This easy vegan chocolate cake is so delicious and filling! And, the frosting is the absolute BEST vegan chocolate frosting I have ever tasted!
Fellow dairy-free friends, rejoice: you CAN have your chocolate cake and eat it, too!
Before going dairy-free, I would wonder: can a traditional chocolate cake really taste just as good when it's a vegan cake, with no eggs, no dairy?
Oh yes, my friends. The answer is a resounding, joyful YES!
This amazingly easy vegan chocolate cake will rock your world.
What is vegan chocolate cake made of?
The vegan chocolate cake is made with dairy-free milk. I love almond milk but you could use soy or even full-fat coconut milk for the cake batter.
Instead of eggs, I used applesauce.
Pro tip: applesauce is a fairly standard -and excellent - substitute for eggs in vegan baked goods.
How to make the vegan chocolate frosting
Let's talk about the frosting for a bit.
This chocolate "buttercream" frosting is lick-the-bowl, eat-it-by-the-spoonful, out-of-this-world delicious.
Instead of dairy butter, I used my everyday favorite vegan butter.
Light and fluffy, buttery, sweet and rich, but not too saccharine sweet. The frosting alone is a divine treat, but it's especially decadent with this easy vegan chocolate cake!
My whole family loved this cake. I could easily just eat the frosting with a cake chaser. My daughter could probably eat half of this cake in one long, drawn-out sitting if I had let her. When MY picky kids approve, you know it is a pretty darn amazing cake!
I can't wait to make this again. In the meantime, YOU should totally make this cake. I hear there's a holiday just around the corner that would be perfect for this cake. Some holiday that starts with a V... Vegan Day? No, that's not it... ;)
More Easy Vegan Recipes
- Dairy-Free Queso Dip (Vegan Queso Recipe)
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce with Fettuccine
- Quick Vegan Cauliflower Soup in Under 30 Minutes
- Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Dairy-Free Grocery List
Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe
Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk can substitute soy or cocount milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅔ cup melted coconut oil
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-⅓ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans (I use vegan butter to grease the pans). I also add parchment paper cut out to fit the inside bottom of each cake pan here, but you can skip this step. I personally find that it helps ensure the cake batter doesn't stick to the pan. Then, lightly cover with cocoa powder, swirling the cocoa powder around the sides and bottom of pan to ensure it's sufficiently and evenly covered. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, add the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, vanilla, and apple sauce and mix on low until well blended, just 1-2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer and combine dry and wet ingredients until well blended. The batter should be wet but not too runny.
- Pour an even amount of the batter into each prepared cake pan.
- Bake for 22-28 minutes. You can check by inserting a toothpick into the middle of each cake; if it comes out clean, it's ready. Set out to cool at room temperature for a couple of minutes, and then place in the refrigerator to chill while you make the frosting.
- Make the frosting by beating together all of the frosting ingredients in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or hand mixer. Beat until the frosting turns a lighter color and is light and fluffy.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and frost as desired.
Top with fresh fruit (as pictured here), a light dusting of sifted cocoa powder, or chocolate shavings.
Cake recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker | Frosting recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
This post was originally written November 13, 2015. It was updated February 5, 2020 with edited photos and new relevant information to help you make the best dish possible!