Vegan Chocolate Cake


5 from 833 votes
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This vegan chocolate cake recipe features a moist, fluffy cake with dark chocolate flavor, all hidden beneath a sheet of creamy chocolate frosting. No one would guess it’s vegan!

Craving more vegan cake recipes? Try my vegan birthday cake, vegan lemon cake, and vegan carrot cake next.

slice of vegan chocolate cake.

Everyone needs a staple cake in their repertoire. Yes, even vegans. 

If you’re looking for a foolproof chocolate cake recipe that satisfies the vegans in your family but doesn’t taste like anything’s missing, my recipe is exactly what you’re looking for. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make vegan chocolate cake
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. More vegan dessert recipes to try
  8. Vegan Chocolate Cake (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Made in one bowl. We’ve got cake-making down to a science!
  • Simple ingredients. No flax eggs, no vegan butter, and no niche or hard-to-find substitutions. 
  • Ready in 30 minutes. Seriously, you can have the cake ready in no time. Then, once it’s cool, just frost, slice, and serve. 
  • The perfect flavor and texture. Trust me, even the vegan skeptics in your group will find it hard to believe there’s no dairy or eggs in this cake.

★★★★★ REVIEW 

“I’ve made this cake several times, and we love it. I highly recommend trying it.”Morgan

Ingredients needed

  • All-purpose flour. Also known as plain flour. Be sure to sift the flour very well, to ensure there are no clumps throughout. 
  • Sugar. Use raw white sugar, which is the best sugar to use on a vegan diet. White or brown sugar can often be made using bone marrow, so use the purest forms. 
  • Cocoa powder. Dutch processed and 100% unsweetened cocoa powder. For a richer flavor, you can use dark cocoa powder. 
  • Baking soda. The leavening agent is used to give the cake some fluffiness and rise. It also reacts with the vinegar to replicate eggs. 
  • Salt. Balances out all the sweet ingredients. 
  • Apple cider vinegar. Or white vinegar. Reacts with the baking soda. 
  • Vanilla extract. A must for any delicious cake!
  • Vegetable oil. Or any neutral-flavored oil. Keeps the cake moist and fluffy in the middle. 
  • Water. To mix everything together. You can also use plant-based milk if you prefer. 
  • Vegan chocolate frosting. What is a vegan cake without some vegan chocolate buttercream frosting?

How to make vegan chocolate cake

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Prep. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line an 8-inch springform pan or cake pan with parchment paper. 

Step 2- Make the cake batter. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and whisk until a smooth batter remains.

Step 3- Bake. Pour the batter into the lined pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out just clean.

Step 4- Frost. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, frost the cake.

vegan chocolate cake.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Want a double or triple-layer cake? Simply double or triple the ingredients. 
  • Use a stand mixer. I usually don’t mind stirring the cake batter by hand, but I’ll admit using a stand mixer does make it a speedier process. 
  • Don’t overbake the cake. The cake continues to bake while it is cooling in the pan, so remove it from the oven as soon as a toothpick inserted is ‘just’ clean. 
  • Let the cake cool completely before frosting. Otherwise, it’ll slick right off the cake.
  • Add more chocolate flavor. Swap two tablespoons of water for freshly brewed coffee or a shot of espresso. No one will be able to taste the coffee, but it’ll enhance the chocolate flavor.

Storage instructions

To store: Leftover cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

To freeze: Place leftover cake slices in a shallow container and freeze for up to 6 months.

vegan chocolate cake recipe.

Frequently asked questions

Is vegan cake healthier than regular cake?

Although vegan cakes don’t use dairy or eggs, they still contain plenty of sugar and/or oil. Because of this, it doesn’t make it any healthier than a regular cake.

Can I make this oil-free?

To make this an oil-free chocolate cake, sub the oil for unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana.

Can I make this gluten-free?

To make this cake suitable for celiacs, swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free blend (with added xanthan gum).

More vegan dessert recipes to try

vegan chocolate cake recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

5 from 833 votes
This vegan chocolate cake is so moist and fluffy, it's truly the BEST vegan cake recipe. NO eggs, no milk, and no butter needed, it's ready in 30 minutes. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!
Servings: 12 slices
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes




  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line an 8-inch springform pan or cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder. salt, and baking soda, and mix well. Add the vanilla extract, oil, and water, and mix until a smooth batter remains.
  • Transfer to the lined pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out just clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, frost the cake.


To make a layer cake or triple layer cake, double and triple the ingredients, respectively. 
* Any oil works- Vegetable oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, coconut oil etc. 
TO STORE: Chocolate cake will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days, covered. However, if you frost the cake, it should be stored in the fridge. If refrigerated, it will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks.
TO FREEZE: Place leftover slices in a shallow container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. 


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 189kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSodium: 204mgPotassium: 44mgFiber: 1gCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 29g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published September 2022, updated and republished July 2024

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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5 from 833 votes (746 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made this the other day. Big hit with the family. No one knew it was vegan and gluten free. So moist and sweet. Will definitely make again!!

  2. 5 stars
    This looks a lot like the chocolate cake that I grew up with in Alaska. A vinegar add in to a mass of chocolate was in all of the “Homesteader” cookbooks. so many memories.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Arman,

    Is it possible for you to provide your recipe measurements in metric ? Easier this way on the weighing scale. Thanks.

  4. 5 stars
    Hey you!!!! This cake by far is the BEST vegan chocolate cake I have ever made and tasted. It was so good yesterday that I made a second one today (double batch). Ummm so this was like better than boxed cake and most from scratch cakes. It was so easy to make that it should be taught in home economics, or “Cake Making for Dummies”. I used sunflower oil and half raw cane and dark brown sugar. I am going to play with other variations. Hands down, superb!

  5. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! Have you had anyone try to cover this cake with fondant? I think if I were to use cake flour it would be more sturdy to hold the weight of it? Anyways, just wondering if you or knew of someone attempted this with success. Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    Has anyone used this recipe for cupcakes? And if so how long and at what temp should I bake them for?

    1. 5 stars
      Hi, Can i use Gluten free oat flour or cassava flour? For the sugar, can I use brown sugar or coconut sugar?
      Thank you

  7. 5 stars
    It’s my grandmother’s birthday tomorrow and I tried making a Japanese style cake, which failed spectacularly. So here I am at 7:30 at night and I need to drop off a cake by 10 in the morning, not to mention I also ran out of butter and milk.

    I was a little hesitant to try this recipe since I’ve never made a vegan dessert before. Needless to say this turned out great! I’ll definitely be making this again, thank you for saving my grandma’s birthday!

  8. 5 stars
    Can the oil be substituted for butter? We are eggfree but not vegan and some of us are less fond of the taste of oil in baked goods.

  9. 5 stars
    Hi Arman! Want to try out your vegan recipe. Just wanted to know whether this turns out dark. All the chocolate cake recipes I have baked have cocoa powder quantities which are half or slightly less than half the measure of flour. Would it affect the outcome if I increased the cocoa powder to half or two thirds cup instead of one fourth?