The BEST (vegan) Chocolate Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake

(gluten-free, non-dairy, potentially no sugar)

Seriously, this is the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever made, vegan or otherwise! The texture and flavor are both first-rate, and it’s relatively virtuous, so you can even have a piece for breakfast without regret.

Prep time is 20 minutes; cook time is 35 minutes in the oven.


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


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 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.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between your 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 high-quality cocoa powder
1½ cups (three sticks) Earth Balance vegan spread, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-6 fl oz unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk to your taste)


  1. Add the cocoa powder to a large bowl (I just wipe out the cake bowl and use it for the frosting). Whisk well to remove any clumps.
  2. Add the softened vegan butter and mix with a hand mixer until creamed.
  3. Add half of the powdered sugar and half of the almond milk, and mix until combined. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix starting on low, and turn to high. Process until well mixed and fluffy.
  4. 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.
  5. Frost the cake using an icing spatula or a long butter knife.

Click HERE for the printer-friendly .pdf.