My #1 Best Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

My thoughts on Vegan Chocolate Cake

My vegan chocolate cake is everyone weakness. All you need to do is try it once and you will be hooked! This is my best vegan chocolate cake recipe and it will blow your mind!

My Best Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe is….

  • Succulent
  • Delicious
  • Moist
  • Rich
  • Super Chocolatey
  • Simple
  • Full of Flavor
Vegan Chocolate Cake

History of Chocolate Cake

Surprisingly enough, the vegan chocolate cake has a clear cut, definitive history. I guess they couldn’t let this good of a dish be unknown. Before we can understand the history of vegan chocolate cake, we must start with the main ingredient’s modern origins, chocolate!

Traces of chocolate can be traced back to thousands of years ago in Mesoamerica. This wasn’t the chocolate we know today, but a similar process. The Mesoamericans would grind cocoa beans and brew them into a frothy, spiced “tea”. This tea was powerfully bitter due to the unsweetened nature of the brew. This is why I stated above, “modern origins” , because one could argue this was the beginning states of chocolate.

The Aztecs and other Mesoamerican civilizations would use this concoction for a wide variety of uses. This drink was believe to have medicinal properties of different sorts, making it used quite frequently among the indigenous peoples. There is also some evidence that this chocolate “tea” was used as an aphrodisiac. I’m not sure how but ok.. This bitter substance was also used I the rations of soldiers. Which, I assume, was to most effective use of the drink. If you eat a raw cocoa nib today, you will see why people wouldn’t want to eat after that.

The next historical celebrity to encounter the cocoa bean was a European explorer by the name of Christopher Columbus in 1509 . It was his fourth trip to the new world, when he discovered how the natives prized this particular bean; enough to go out of their way for it. Aware, but unintrigued the bean remained irrelevant to the educated man until 1519.

Hernan Cortez, a Spanish conquistador who was as ruthless as he was important in history. Brought this drink to its relevancy, in court of all places, in Mexico. Once the Spanish completed their conquest of Mexico, chocolate became a commonality for the higher society peoples. At this time, it was still a drink but sugar or honey was added to take the edge off.

By the 18th century, chocolate was known all over the civilized word. Plantations utilizing slave labor were becoming more frequent to harvest this delicious bean. Still most commonly used in liquid form, this drink was only enjoyed by those who could afford its premiums. Its popularity grew to the point where it started replacing coffee in London.

A man by the name of Dr. James Baker is credited with the discovery of chocolatein 1764. Modern chocolate, that is . He made the main ingredient for this irresistible delicacy by grinding the cocoa beans between two mill stones, resulting in a rustic cocoa powder. Get this, this all began is Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Netherlands 1828, was when the entire game changed. Conrad Van Houten, a local engineer of sorts, created a steam powdered mechanical extraction method to harvest the fat from cocoa liquor, which yielded cocoa butter and the byproduct was a reduced fat cacao. This cacao was compacted solids formed into a singular mass, sold in portions or ground into powder.

Now that the process was streamlined, production increased. In turn, chocolate was now available to a larger consumer base and more of the time. Chocolate went from a luxury to an everyday snack very quickly thereafter. This was a crude production of what we enjoy today.

Chocolate was gritty and grainy. The people loved it back then, but if we tried it today, we probably wouldn’t care for it. Swiss Rodolphe Lindt saw the future of chocolate though. He knew the potential of chocolate and he saw the flaws of its current design. In 1879, he developed a process to fix chocolate called “conching”. Conching is the process of taking crude chocolate, and transforming it into a smoother, more silkier final product.  The creation of this product made chocolate vastly more versatile, and more susceptible to influence.

Finally, the chocolate cake was born! Due to the recent advances in chocolate technology during those times, vegan chocolate cake was appearing in cook books everywhere. 1886 was the year the first recipes appeared in American cookbooks.

The devils food cake was the first mass produced vegan chocolate cake, sold in dry mix form. In the mid-1930s, The Duff Company was ready for the revealing of this product when their introduction was put on hold by WWII. Other big names, like Duncan Hines and General Mills, quickly followed with their own versions of different cake mixes.

The times passed on with different variations of the basic chocolate cake. The 1980s were exceptionally kind to the “Chocolate Decadence Cake”. The “Molten Vegan Chocolate Cakes” were all the rage in the 1990s. Then the 2000s were home to the artisanal chocolate bakers who resided in places called “chocolate Lounges”. Now days? You see a lot of chocolate cakes being advertised on the internet via blogs, like this one. Offering chocolate cakes in more ways to count, from gluten- free to vegan!

What is Vegan Chocolate Cake?

Chocolate cake, also known as Chocolate Gateau, is a cake flavored with melted chocolate, cocoa powder, or a mixture of the two. These cakes can include fudge, vanilla crème, or other sweeteners.

The Vegan Chocolate Cake is a rendition of the mainstream chocolate cake, just omitting animal products such as: milk, eggs, butter, etc. These products are then replaced with substitutions that fit their dietary needs.  Substitutions may include: Dairy-free milk, vegan butter, flax eggs, and many more.

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

How To Make The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake?

Making a chocolate cake is very similar to making any other kind of cake, but there are a few differences that we are going to go over.

First off, Sifting the dry ingredients together and setting aside. Sifting if always a good way to start, ensuring you get a lighter cake.

Next, We need to melt the chocolate into some form of “dairy” (Because were vegan). Whether the recipe calls for a vegan butter, nondairy milk, or another form.  This will be the start of our base. Typically, You will add the sugar or mixture of sugars to the chocolate and combine thoroughly. Following will be the rest of the wet ingredients the recipe calls for. Please note that all recipes are different, so steps may vary.

Now, it is time to incorporate the dry ingredients mix that was set aside earlier. Most recipes will call for adding the dry ingredients into the wet in batches. So its best to not add all at once, but we will talk about that later.

Once combined, we then transfer our batter to the cake pan or pans. Once evenly distributed, bake the cakes off to the specifications the recipe calls for.  As you can see, these recipes aren’t difficult to make. They just require a bit of time.  Lets move on to common ingredients.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake Ingredients

These ingredients are common ingredients you will see in these kind of recipes. Vegan chocolate cake recipes contain a wide variety of different ingredients.

Chocolate

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree. Chocolate has a bad reputation, because of its association with diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension. Some of these accusations may be harsh, here are some facts provided by real doctors.

Chocolate contains high amounts of anti-oxidants and studies have suggested chocolatecould also help lower cholesterol. In fact, eating chocolate may have positive effects on lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems, and preventing cognitive decline. Chocolate is also linked with anti-aging properties.

Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder are the dry solids extracted from the chocolate liquor. The dry solids are ground into powder and sold. The powder provides many health benefits. Health benefits such as improved cognitive health, stronger immune system,  and lessened side effects of radiation therapy are all linked to cocoa powder and its nutrients.

Cocoa powder also contains other vitamins and minerals beneficial for the human body. Magnesium is on of these minerals, believed to help with better muscle and nerve function. The zinc found in cocoa powder is also associated with would healing. You may also benefit from the lowered risk of heart disease and reduced inflammation properties from cocoa powder.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a solution of acetic acid and sometimes other flavorings. White vinegar contains 5%-7% acetic acid on average.  White vinegar is used widely both commercially and non-commercially. It can be used in foods, household cleaners, and a wide variety of other uses.

Along with its uses, white vinegar has a laundry list of health benefits as well. Promoting healthy weight loss is probably on the top of the list due to the fact it contains metabolism stimulating nutrients and no fat.  This acidic liquid also accelerates digestion and controls cholesterol making it sought out by many struggling with weight loss and the associated issues with it. White vinegar has also been know to promote the feeling of being “full”.

Vegan Chocolate Cake Tricks and Tips

Measuring Ingredients

Always measure your ingredients as precise as possible. Baking is a science and requires accurate measurements to work. You don’t want to waste your time.

Sifting Dry Ingredients

To ensure your cake has no clumps or inconsistencies, be sure to sift your dry ingredients. The proper tools would be to use a sieve or a sifter, but if those are not available to you then you can always use a whisk and a mixing bowl.

Room Temperature Ingredients

Plan ahead and have your ingredients set out before mixing them. Room temperature ingredients are a good practice for making cake batters because they emulsify better and easier. In turn you have to whisk less, therefore ensuring the batter never gets overmixed. This will result in a lighter, fluffier cake.

Gluten- Free Substitutions

Substitution products have come a long way in the recent past. You can now pretty much mold any recipe to your dietary needs.  You can make any of these recipes gluten free by switching out the flour with Bobs 1 to 1 gluten free flour.

Overmixing

Once the ingredient are incorporated, turn the mixer off! Overmixing the batter makes a crappy cake. Once the ingredients are combined its good!

Checking Doneness

There are multiple ways to check your cakes doneness without being to invasive.

The first way to tell your cake is cooked, if when the sides pull away from the cake pan. This indicates your cake is completely cooked.

The middle of the cake should be springy! There should be a pillowy resistance to the touch in the center of the cake.

When the cake tester comes out clean, but moist. Sticking a cake tester in the dead center of the cake and pulling it out can tell you a for sure answer of whether its cooked or not.

When the cake stops making noises. This may sound odd, but when the cake stops crackling and sizzling, its done.

The internal temperature is around 210F.  when in doubt, use an instant read thermometer to gauge doneness. If the center of the cake is around 210F ( 5 F below 210 is still ok) then its ready to come out!

Leveling

It’s important to follow this tip when going to layer your cake. Naturally cakes develop a crest when baking. The crest it is the highest point on top of the cake. This can obviously pose to be a problem when layering your cake. A simple fix to this obstacle is to take a bread knife or another long knife you have on hand and to slice it off! See not that difficult. You obviously do not have to level the top section unless you want too.

Icing

The icing is an important factor in these recipes. It cannot be too thin because it will just run off the cake. It can’t be too thick or it won’t spread easy and possible damage your cakes. Also, too much icing it very pleasant to eat either. I have formulated a nice basic frosting here with variations.

Layering

Some say this goes without saying, but I had to learn the hard way. Layering the cakes require a touch of skill and patience. Be sure to use a light amount between the layers for structural and flavor purposes. Also be aware of the amount of icing going in between layers because you will probably be putting some on the outside.

Equipment needed

  • 2- 3 9 inch cake pans
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 rubber spatula
  • 2-3 mixing bowls
  • 1 wire cooling rack
  • 1 sifter
  • 1 bread knife
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • stand mixer or hand mixer
  • toothpicks
  • parchment paper
  • pan spray

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

This vegan chocolate cake recipe makes the best cupcakes! To do so you will just need to take into account a few factors.

Vegan Chocolate cupCake
  1. Reduce the cooking time considerably to bake cupcakes. At 350 F you should bake the cupcakes for 12 – 16 minutes. You also should rotate the pan in the oven half way through. Lastly, bake the cupcakes in the center of the oven.
  2. Use high quality cupcake liners to ensure the best results.
  3. Portion the cupcakes using a ice cream scoop to ensure they all bake at the same rate. Only fill the cups 3/4ths the way up.
  4. Once cooked, leave the cupcakes in the pan(s) for only a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Let cool completely before frosting. Be sure to cover the entire exposed area of the cup cake with frosting. It acts as a seal for the moisture.
Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chef Mason Bostwick
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Cups Cake Flour
  • 1 ¾ Cups Sugar
  • ¾ Cups Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Fine sea salt
  • ½ Cup Coconut Oil refined
  • 2/3 Cup Applesauce unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Water boiling
  • 1 Cup Vegan Buttermilk
  • 1 recipe Vegan Frosting

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. While the oven is preheating, line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment, then grease the sides and bottom of the pans with pan spray or brush with oil.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients (cake flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda) together. Once everything is sifted, add the sugar and mix thoroughly.
  • Next in a separate mixing bowl, using a hand mixer combine the wet ingredients (vegan buttermilk, white vinegar, refined coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, and vanilla extract) and mix thoroughly. Once fully combined, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  • Once the batter is combined, slowly pour the boiling water into the batter while mixing with the mixer. The batter should be runny.
  • Next, divide the cake batter evenly between cake pans.
  • Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes, or until the cake is just cooked. The internal temperature should be around 210 F.
  • If they are completely cooked, transfer the cake pans to a wire cooling rack to cool properly. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before taking the cakes out. The cakes should be completely cool before applying the frosting.
  • Once cooled, level the tops of the cakes so they stack nicely. Use a serrated knife to do this.
  • Once leveled off, it’s time to decorate the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread an even layer of frosting over each cake.
  • Stack the cake layers. Using a spatula, cover the cake with a thin layer of vegan buttercream frosting. Smooth the frosting with a bench scraper. Then chill the cake in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add a second layer of frosting covering the cake and smooth using a bench scraper.
  • Lastly add any last decorations you want to the cake. Once you are done decorating, then the cake is finished!
Keyword best vegan chocolate cake, vegan chocolate cake, vegan chocolate cake recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe Standardized Version

Yields: 12 servings ( 9 inch 2 layer cake) or 22-24 Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

2              Cups      Cake Flour

1 ¾         Cups      Sugar

¾             Cups      Cocoa Powder

2              tsp          Baking soda

2              tsp          Baking Powder

½             tsp          Fine sea salt

½             Cup        Coconut Oil, refined

2/3         Cup        Applesauce, unsweetened

1              Tbsp      Vanilla Extract

1              Cup        Water, boiling

1              Cup        Vegan Buttermilk

Frosting

Check out our Vegan Icing/Frosting recipes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. While the oven is preheating, line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment, then grease the sides and bottom of the pans with pan spray or brush with oil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients (cake flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda) together. Once everything is sifted, add the sugar and mix thoroughly.
  3. Next in a separate mixing bowl, using a hand mixer combine the wet ingredients (vegan buttermilk, white vinegar, refined coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, and vanilla extract) and mix thoroughly. Once fully combined, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  4. Once the batter is combined, slowly pour the boiling water into the batter while mixing with the mixer. The batter should be runny.
  5. Next, divide the cake batter evenly between cake pans.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes, or until the cake is just cooked. The internal temperature should be around 210 F.
  7. If they are completely cooked, transfer the cake pans to a wire cooling rack to cool properly. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before taking the cakes out. The cakes should be completely cool before applying the frosting.
  8. Once cooled, level the tops of the cakes so they stack nicely. Use a serrated knife to do this.
  9. Once leveled off, it’s time to decorate the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread an even layer of frosting over each cake.
  10. Stack the cake layers. Using a spatula, cover the cake with a thin layer of vegan buttercream frosting. Smooth the frosting with a bench scraper. Then chill the cake in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
  11. Add a second layer of frosting covering the cake and smooth using a bench scraper.
  12. Lastly add any last decorations you want to the cake. Once you are done decorating, then the cake is finished!

Best Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe FAQs

  1. Why is there vegan buttermilk in this recipe?

Vegan buttermilk helps the cake rise, due to a reaction with the baking soda. The baking soda in turn negates the acidity in the buttermilk.

  1. Can I make this in advance? How long does it last?

My best vegan chocolate cake recipe can last 3-5 days at room temperature and 7-9 days in the fridge. So you can definitely make it in advance if that’s easier for you.

  1. Can you freeze this recipe?

Yes, you can. You can also freeze the whole cake or just the layers. However you see fit. I, personally, would freeze the layers and then decorate the cake when I need it.

  1. Why is there applesauce in the cake? Can I replace it?

Applesauce is and egg replacer. Yes you can replace it. You can use a flax egg or even silken tofu.

  1. Do I have to use coconut oil in this cake?

No you don’t. Feel free to use vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil, etc. whatever you like.

  1. I don’t have 9 in cake pans, I have 7 in . Can I still use these recipes?

Yes, you definitely can. You will just have a little batter left over is all. You will probably need to reduce the cook time a bit. It wont be much different.

Thank you for reading!! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think! Your input is much appreciated!

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Sources

Oliver, R. (2020, July 16). Who Invented Chocolate and Why? A Brief History of Chocolate. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://trulyexperiences.com/blog/a-brief-history-of-chocolate/

Culinary Delight: The History of Vegan Chocolate Cake. (2012, January 27). Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://ohlovelylolo.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/culinary-delight-the-history-of-chocolate-cake/

Brennan, D. (2020, August 28). Cocoa Powder: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation Information, and More. Retrieved December 09, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-cocoa-powder

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