Death By Chocolate Cake


5 from 612 votes
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This death by chocolate cake is truly a chocolate lovers’ dream! Made with TWO kinds of cocoa powder, there is no butter, no eggs, and no milk needed! 

death by chocolate cake

Death By Chocolate Cake Recipe

When it comes to showstopping chocolate dessert recipes, I love making a chocolate mousse pie, chocolate tart, and this easy death by chocolate cake. 

One of my favorite parts of entertaining and having friends over, is to ALWAYS serve a showstopping dessert. I’m affectionately known as the dessert king, and feel somewhat obliged to deliver something special everytime they come over. While I typically do brownies or blondies, I wanted to go back to basics and do a classic chocolate cake…with a twist.

I’ve been meaning to share a death by chocolate cake recipe for quite some time now. While I already do have several chocolate cake recipes on here (like a flourless one, a healthy one, and even a low carb one), none of them catered to those who are obsessed with chocolate…until now. 

A friend of mine had a birthday recently and asked if I’d be okay to make a simple chocolate cake for them. Knowing that they are a massive chocoholic (and vegan), I agreed, and opted to make them this Death by chocolate cake.

Now, this cake may look incredibly fancy, but I promise you, it uses simple and easy ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to whip up.

No eggs, no milk, and no butter are needed, but you’d never tell. The texture of the cake is moist, fluffy, and with a tender crumb. Flavor wise, it is loaded with chocolate flavor in every single bite. 

When my friend served it at her birthday, people thought I had bought it from a cake shop! Even better, NO ONE knew that it was dairy free!

double chocolate cake

Ingredients to make a double chocolate cake

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this chocolate lovers cake. I typically use milk or plant based milk for the liquid but found using water to be perfectly fine! Try not to substitute out any of the ingredients unless specifically stated.

ingredients to make death by chocolate
  • All purpose flour– Plain flour, that has been sifted. If you’d like to make this a gluten free cake, use gluten free baking flour (gluten free flour with added xanthan gum).
  • Dark cocoa powder– A rich and more potent cocoa powder, that is almost black in color. This intensifies the chocolate flavor. If you don’t have dark cocoa powder, you can just double the amount of cocoa powder. 
  • Cocoa powder– Use a good quality brand, and ensure it is unsweetened. 
  • Baking soda– Works with the vinegar to give the cake some fluffiness and rise. It also omits the need for any eggs whatsoever. 
  • Espresso powder– Optional, but intensifies the chocolate flavor. 
  • Granulated sweetener of choice– White sugar, brown sugar, or any granulated sweetener can be used. I prefer brown sugar, as it yields an even more moist cake.
  • Vinegar– Either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used.
    Vanilla extract– A must for any good cake or baked good. 
  • Oil– Use a neutral flavored oil, like canola oil, vegetable oil, or refined coconut oil. 
  • Water– To mix everything together! 
  • Chocolate frosting– Takes the chocolate up a notch! Use either a healthy chocolate frosting (pictured) or a keto chocolate frosting

How to make a double chocolate cake 

Start by mixing your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Once combined, you’ll then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, until a smooth batter remains. Transfer the batter into two greased 8-inch cake pan and bake for around 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean. 

Allow the cakes to cool completely, before carefully slicing each cake in half, until 4 thin cakes remain. Layer the cake by adding frosting between each layer, before covering the top with it. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, to firm up before serving. 

death by chocolate

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Do not overbake the cake, as it continues to cook as it is cooling down. Once a skewer comes out mostly clean, the cake is ready!
  • If you use gluten free flour, you MUST use one that contains xanthan gum, otherwise your cake will turn out gummy. 
  • Be VERY careful when slicing the cake in half. If you’d prefer a single layer cake, you can skip the slicing step. 
  • For an even more chocolate flavor, feel free to fold through some chocolate chips into the batter (1/2-1 cup) and bake for a further 5 minutes. 
  • Serve this cake with a scoop of chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream for the ultimate decadent dessert. 

Storage instructions

  • To store: If you intend to eat the cake within 3 days, you can store it at room temperature, covered. If you’d like it to keep longer, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 
  • To freeze: Place slices of the cake into a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw completely before enjoying it. 
chocolate lovers cake

More delicious cake recipes to try

death by chocolate cake

Death By Chocolate Cake

5 from 612 votes
This death by chocolate cake is one showstopping cake that is SO easy to make! No eggs, no milk, and no butter needed, but you'd never tell. Moist, fluffy, and made in just one bowl.
Servings: 12 Slices
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Greast 2 8-inch cake pans generously, before setting aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients and mix well, until combined. Add your wet ingredients and mix until everything is fully incorporated.
  • Distribute the batter amongst the two cake pans. Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cool, carefully slice them in half so 4 thin cakes remain.
  • Layer the cake by placing the first cake on a flat surface. Cover with frosting, before adding the next layer on top. Repeat until the cake is layered up, before frosting the top of it. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, to firm up.


* If you use gluten free flour, be sure it is one with added xanthan gum.
** You can use all standard cocoa powder if you don’t have black or dark cocoa powder. 
TO STORE: If you intend to eat the cake within 3 days, you can store it at room temperature, covered. If you’d like it to keep longer, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 
TO FREEZE: Place slices of the cake into a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw completely before enjoying it. 


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSodium: 345mgPotassium: 128mgFiber: 2gCalcium: 12mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 30g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I will never, ever look for a chocolate cake recipe again. It is moist, delicious and has a rich chocolate taste. I did have black cocoa, but not cocoa. I used chocolate chips. I boiled the water so that the chocolate chips would mix easily. Made half the recipe for one cake since it is only me. Drizzled ganache over cake instead of frosting. Had to freeze to keep from eating it all. There’s a saying that something that taste so good makes you want to “slap your mama”. This cake is absolutely delicious, thanks!

  2. Wondering if you can substitute applesauce for the oil? Also wondering if you can lessen the amount of sugar… thank you so much for your help.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow wow wow, I couldn’t be happier with how this turned out. I used cassava flour instead of wheat (and slightly less than 3 cups), reduced the sugar to 1.5 cups of brown, I only had 1 type of cocoa powder so I used that and I also used hot water as I read somewhere it blooms the cocoa. I baked in a 9×13 for 50 minutes and didn’t frost it and it was absolutely delicious and such an easy method too. Will definitely bake it again. Thanks for a fantastic recipe

  4. 5 stars
    Hello. I would like to ask if I can substitute the flour using almond powder with added xanthan gum? If yes, is it still the same measurements? Thank you.

  5. Can this be made as a sheet cake? How big of sheet would this make? Was considering this for a grooms cake. Thanks, Stacey

  6. I have a question. Does the frosting get mixed into the cake batter? Or is it to be put on top after it comes out and cooled?

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious, moist and so easy to make. This is now my go to chocolate cake/ death by cholate pudding recipe. Thanks so much for sharing Arman

  8. 5 stars
    Best chocolate cake I’ve ever had, so moist but doesn’t fall apart like a lot of vegan cakes!!

  9. 5 stars
    Okay. So I made the cake with four cake pans and it was amazing!!! I made it for my dad’s 50th and he said it was better than any store brought cake he had. I also infused the cake with a chocolate rum syrup and substituted the vanilla in the frosting with some rum too. I ended up eating most of the leftovers because my family can’t afford to consume that much sugar. Too good.

  10. 5 stars
    This cake is making me drool! I’m thinking of making it next week but I don’t trust my slicing skills. Could I divide the batter into 3 pans instead of two?