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Vegan Chocolate Cake

This vegan chocolate cake is ultra rich and moist with a delicate crumb. Top it with silky smooth buttercream for the perfect sweet treat everyone will love. Made in just one bowl for a nearly fail-proof dessert.
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 527kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn


Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted


To make the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. line (1) 8” or 9" cake pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Mix together and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the milk to curdle. Once curdled, add coconut oil, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar to soy milk mixture and whisk together.
  • In a large bowl whisk together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix to combine; a few lumps are okay. Once your cake batter is well hydrated, add the warm water and whisk until the water is fully incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the cake pan. Let the cake continue to cool on a wire cooling rack.

To make the buttercream

  • Gently melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in 15-second increments in the microwave.
  • In a stand-up mixer, cream the vegan butter on high for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extra and beat for another 5 minutes, scraping down the sides again, as necessary. Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the melted chocolate into the buttercream. Increase the speed to high and mix for another 2-3 minutes.

Decorate the Cake

  • To assemble the cake, carefully cut it in thirds. Once your cake is cut into layers, place about 1 cup of buttercream on the bottom layer of the chocolate cake, smooth evenly with an offset spatula, and top with a second layer. Repeat one more time and then coat the entire cake in the frosting.


Serving and Storing - Serve this cake immediately or place it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Store the cake for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This cake can also be store in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to serve, simply pull out and let thaw at room temperature.
Recipe Tips
  1. Do not overmix. Overmixing allows the gluten strands to develop making the cake gummy. Mix until just combined to ensure a light, delicate crumb.
  2. Do not open the oven door while the cakes are baking. This causes the structure to fall leaving you with a dent in the middle of your cakes. You can check for doneness after 50 minutes.
  3. Let the cake completely before decorating to prevent the buttercream from melting.
  4. For a helpful tutorial on how to trim and cut a cake, here’s a helpful video tutorial.
  5. Make sure to let the melted chocolate cool for at least 5 minutes before adding it to your buttercream. Otherwise the heat from the chocolate may cause your buttercream to break. 
  6. For a gluten-free option, use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
Variations - If you prefer, make cupcakes! This recipe makes 24 cupcakes. When making cupcakes, line the muffin tin with baking cups generously spray the cups with cooking spray. Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 652IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg