The Best (vegan) Chocolate Cake EVER

It’s my birthday on 10. June, so I’m making this cake for the mathematicians potluck, as the closest thing to a birthday part (given that I’ll be in Santa Barbara for my actual birthday, getting my braces removed).  Lots to celebrate, for sure!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Seriously, this is the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made, vegan or otherwise! It’s gluten-free, non-dairy, and you can use erithyrtol instead of sugar, if you prefer. It’s also pretty virtuous, so you can even have a piece for breakfast without regret or apology.

Prep time is 20 minutes; cook time is 35 minutes. The icing takes about 20 minutes. Wait until the cake is room temperature before applying the ganache.


1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups gluten-free flour
2 Tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
1 Tbsp Xanthum gum
1¾ cups granulated sugar, Lakanto or erithrytol
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil, light vegetable oil, OR melted coconut oil
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce – or cook up 1-2 pears and mash them
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1½ cups chocolate chips

Two 9” spring-form pans, oiled and lined with baking parchment


1.   Preheat oven to 350°F and oil two 9-inch cake pans. I use spring form pans, and also line them with oiled circles of baking parchment for easy removal of the layers later.

2.   Measure out one cup unsweetened almond milk and add the tablespoon of vinegar. Stir slightly and set aside for ten minutes to curdle.

3.   In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk well to combine.

4.   Now add the oil, applesauce (or pears), vanilla, and almond milk/vinegar mixture. Mix well using a hand mixer (or stand mixer with the paddle attachment) on medium speed.

5.   Lower the speed and carefully pour in the boiling water, continuing to mix into the cake batter until combined. The batter will seem very runny at this point; relax, that’s how it should be. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand until just combined.

6.   Divide the batter evenly between your prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After 10 minutes of cooling in the pan, carefully remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely before icing with the chocolate buttercream frosting below, or your favorite vegan filling.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


1 cup cocoa powder
1½ cups (three sticks) Earth Balance vegan spread, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract and/or 1 tsp coffee granules
4 oz 72% block chocolate, barely melted

Optional: 3-6 fl oz unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk to your taste)


1.   Place chocolate in a glass bowl and heat over simmering water (in a bain marie or double boiler) until just melted. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

2.   Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl and whisk well to remove any clumps.

3.   Add the softened vegan butter and mix with a hand mixer until creamed.

4.   Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate. Mix starting on low, and turn to high. Beat for 2-3 minutes until glossy.

5.   Set aside and allow to firm up for 20-30 minutes. Beat again until it’s a spreadable consistency.

6.   If the frosting seems too dry, add more plant milk, a tablespoon or two at a time. If the frosting seems too wet and doesn’t hold its shape, add more powdered sugar until it is the thickness you prefer.

7.   Ice the cake using an icing spatula or a long butter knife. This quantity is enough for two layers; if you wish to ice the sides as well, double the quantity.

And here is the link for the .pdf version of the BEST chocolate cake EVER!