Vegan Chocolate Cake

6 Sep

Chocolate Vegan CakeSo keeping on with the vegan theme this weekend, I decided to try my hand at a vegan chocolate cake. I know, right. Vegan and chocolate just dont seem to go together, but if you stop to think for a moment, cocoa powder, which is the most intense chocolate taste you can find, is vegan. Get all the other bits right, and you have one superb cake. Its delicious, tasty, moist, velvety, and very chocolaty … and yet at the same time, its not heavy as most cakes are. May be because there are no eggs, milk or butter to weigh it down, but honestly, this was the most decadent light chocolate cake I have ever sampled.

The recipe for this cake, in one version or another, has been floating around the internet for ages. Its called Depression Cake because it was created during the Great Depression in America. It uses simple, easy to access ingredients. I bet you have just about everything to make this cake in your larder! The vinegar is the surprise ingredient. When it interacts with the baking soda, it not only leavens the cake, but also ensures a deep moistness. Most vegan cakes are either really dry, or really heavy. The vinegar changes this completely by taking the place of eggs which serve to moisten and leaven cakes usually. Once its baked, you cannot taste the vinegar, but you can experience the effects of it on the cake – heaven!

I used light brown sugar in this recipe. Of course some vegans dont take sugar or honey. If you are one, then substitute agave or liquid cane syrup to give the same sweetness as 1 cup of sugar. I also upped the amount of cocoa powder (because I really like chocolate) and added a dash of cinnamon. I find that cinnamon or coffee really deepens and develops the taste of cocoa powder – it ripens it and allows the cocoa scent to flower. I wouldnt add coffee to this cake simply because we were eating it in the evening, and I didnt want everyone to be up until all hours. However, if you like coffee better than cinnamon (or another spice – like nutmeg or even more vanilla), go ahead and substitute.

This cake is immensely forgiving. And very easy to make because literally, you can do it in the cake pan, though I used a bowl. And please, try and make it with the chocolate frosting. While the cake by itself is great, the frosting just brings it right over the top! The frosting is the icing on top 😉 Its creamy, light and yet very chocolate. I cant believe its made with so few ingredients, but again, the interaction of the different ingredients (salt is key here – dont leave it out!) created a creamy frosting that really worked well. Try this cake, and serve it to carnivores you know and love. They will not believe that there are no animal products!

Serves 8 – 10 (depending on greed). I used a 9 3/4″ spring form pan for this cake.

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (if you have it – all purpose flour is absolutely fine too – the whole wheat flour just gives a little nuttiness to the cake which is nice)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (you can add up to 1 tbsp more if you feel the need but it will become very cinnamon-y)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup soy milk

Preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F)

Lightly oil a 9″ or larger cake pan. I did not oil mine – I lined it with greasproof paper, and it was fine. Oil if you wish. You can also mix all the dry ingredients straight into the cake pan, and then pour the wet ingredients over, but I preferred to do this in a bowl.

In a large bowl, measure out the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt. Using a fork or small whisk, mix together until completely combined.

In a 1 cup measuring cup, measure out 2/3 cup canola oil. Measure the vanilla, and vinegar into the cup, and beat together well. Pour over the dry ingredients, and then measure and pour over the soy milk. Mix everything together very well with a fork or whisk, and immediately pour into cake pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs attached.

Let cool for at least 20 minutes before icing.

With Vegan Chocolate IcingCreamy Chocolate Icing

  • 3/4 cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup soy milk or soy creamer
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Mix everything in a small bowl. Whisk together for a few minutes, until the mixture is completely combined, and has become slightly fluffy, creamy, light and glossy. Pour straight over the cake, and refrigerate for a few minutes. The icing will be soft, but will not run.

8 Responses to “Vegan Chocolate Cake”

  1. Tammy McLeod September 6, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    Looks like a birthday cake to me! I agree that vegan chocolate cakes seem to have more intense flavor.

    • delectableblog September 6, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

      And yet they are lighter when you eat them … none of that heaviness that you get in regular cakes. I really really like 🙂

  2. Brittany August 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    Wow just made its so good, better than regular cake. Love the texture. And love how it has simple ingredients, most of which i had on hand. Thanks for recipe

  3. Sarah February 17, 2014 at 3:11 am #

    Made this with bobs red mill gf flour. Turned out fluffy and delisious! Thanx.

  4. Sarah February 17, 2014 at 3:14 am #

    Oh and i added peanut butter to the icing. 🙂


  1. More Cooking Obsessions « delectable - September 7, 2010

    […] Sep So here I sit, eating the last of the vegan chocolate cake (man, it was good), full as a tick after a phenomenally good veggie burger from BGR The Burger […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: