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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Updated on December 13, 2008
this vegan chocolate cake has a wonderful moist and fluffy texture
this vegan chocolate cake has a wonderful moist and fluffy texture

(recipe for vegan chocolate frosting is here)

I used to be a very strict vegan, and for the first year, I honestly believed that a fluffy, moist cake was an impossibility without using eggs. I was sure that cake was something that vegans just didn't eat. Luckily, a friend came along with a recipe that proved me wrong. Her secret ingredient? Distilled white vinegar. I never would have guessed. Over the years I played with her recipe and compared it with others, tweaking ingredients and instructions until I had the perfect vegan cake.

This vegan chocolate cake recipe is wonderfully fluffy and moist. It is so good that even though I am no longer strictly vegan, my whole family prefers it to all of the other traditional (non-vegan) cake recipes that we have tried. If you want a frosted cake that is still strictly vegan, be sure to take a look at my vegan chocolate frosting recipe, too!

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

9 to 16 servings, depending on how you cut it


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup natural, vegan unbleached sugar*
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup cold water
  • optional: 2/3 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

* Make sure that the sugar you use is unbleached sugar or sugar that is bleached in a vegan bleaching process (bleached sugar is often made in a process that uses animal bones).

Preparation instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. It is important to mix the ingredients in the right order to get the correct texture. First, combine the unbleached all-purpose flour, unbleached sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl, and mix well (a fork seems to work best for this).

3. When the dry ingredients are well mixed, stir in the vanilla, distilled white vinegar, and canola oil.

4. Pour the water over the mixture and stir well.

5. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (preferably insulated) with vegetable shortening or margarine and scoop the batter into it. Spread it to make sure it is level and fills in the corners.

6. If you want to add the vegan chocolate chips, sprinkle them over the top of the batter, so that they are resting evenly across the top.

7. Bake for 40 minutes and check if it is done (it may need a little more time). Baking times will vary. It is ready when it no longer wiggles when you shake it and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for at least an hour, then you can either serve it straight from the pan or carefully loosen it from the sides and upend it onto a serving tray and apply vegan frosting (vegan chocolate frosting recipe can be found here). Enjoy!

Store in the refridgerator in an air-tight container.

vegan chocolate cake with vegan chocolate frosting, perfect for a birthday cake!
vegan chocolate cake with vegan chocolate frosting, perfect for a birthday cake!


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      Nadin 5 years ago

      I love it

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      Tejas Gokhale 5 years ago

      Forgot to mention I used olive oil instead of Canola as we don't get it here in Ireland.

      Also, not sure if its the same but I used white malt vinegar.

    • profile image

      Tejas Gokhale 5 years ago

      Did this cake on the weekend. Sort of first time. It turned out pretty good. Thanks for sharing this.

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      Cynthia 6 years ago

      does anyone know the nutritional info on this?

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      Tempe 6 years ago

      hi, I want to ake this along with the frosting soon, but I don't have the square tin.

      can it be made with a round cake tin?

      and would you know which size?


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      Micky 6 years ago

      I have been looking for such a recipe but can you please tell me if the baking soda is added as a powder or diluted with vinegar or lemon juice?

      thank you

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      Nicole Dodi 7 years ago

      I made this cake for my daughter who is allergic to dairy and eggs, and this cake tastes wonderful!! You would never know the difference, my daughter love it. A+

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      Victor Rech 7 years ago

      This is by far THE BEST VEGAN CAKE EVER! Super soft and delicious. I never thought i could make vegan cakes this good. Thank you so very much for sharing it!

    • Spider Girl profile image

      Spider Girl 7 years ago from the Web

      Hi Melissa, it's one of the best chocolate cakes I ever tried!

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      chocolate addict 7 years ago

      For the ultimate in decadence for a vegan chocolate-lover, cut the cake in half horizontally and spread a layer of chocolate silk tofu on it. It tastes just like chocolate pudding and would make an amazing triple chocolate cake. Then add the top layer of cake and frost with your vegan frosting. (the frosting recipe may need to be doubled.)

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      Mommy 9 years ago

      I made this cake for my one year old's birthday cake- he is allergic to egg. I really wanted a fluffy yummy cake for him, and lucked out with this recipe, along with the frosting recipe. Thank you!

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      How to chocolate guru 9 years ago

      Looks really delicious on the photo, I might try it