Chocolate Vegan Traybake
This vegan chocolate traybake cake is topped with creamy dairy-free buttercream and chocolate buttons. It’s easy to make with super simple ingredients and is perfect for sharing at children’s parties and other special occasions.
This is probably the 5th or 6th chocolate cake I’ve made for this blog but since there’s no such thing as too much chocolate, here’s another recipe!
This eggless party traybake is quite similar to my chocolate sheet cake but this one is topped with a creamy chocolate buttercream instead of ganache. I also added coffee to the cake batter instead of vanilla extract- coffee works to enhance the chocolate flavour. Don’t worry if you don’t like the taste of coffee because its flavour is totally undetectable in this recipe.
I love making vegan tray bake cakes because they are so easy to whip up quickly for a crowd. If I ever need to make dessert for a group of people at short notice you can bet I’m making a party traybake cake! There’s no fancy decorating techniques needed, they can be made with basic, simple dairy-free ingredients and they can serve quite a lot of people.
They are also very versatile. You can switch the flavourings, frostings or toppings and you’ve got a totally different cake. I made this cake with chocolate buttercream but you could also use vanilla buttercream, cream cheese icing, a simple water icing, or even add coffee to the chocolate buttercream for a mocha flavour. So easy!
Ingredients and equipment
As I mentioned, this chocolate dairy-free tray bake can be made without any complicated ingredients. The craziest it gets is using vegan margarine, but that can now be found in most supermarkets and even some smaller shops!
- 8×10-inch tin. I recommend using this size of tin if you can. If you use a larger tin, the cake will be flatter and will burn. If you use a smaller tin, the top may burn before the inside is fully baked.
- Soy milk. I prefer to use unsweetened soy milk in my baking recipes but you can substitute it for any other dairy-free milk such as oat or almond. The results may be a tiny bit different but nothing wild!
- Vinegar. This can be substituted for lemon juice if you don’t have any vinegar. We just need a small amount of acid to create a reaction with the raising agents, which will help to provide a moist, fluffy cake.
- Self-raising flour. Make sure to use self-raising and not plain flour.
- Bicarbonate of soda. Also known as baking soda- helps to add some extra lift and fluffiness.
- Vegan margarine. Use the soft spreadable type in this cake instead of the blocky type. I used Vitalite.
- Instant coffee granules. I’m very sensitive to caffeine so I used to be scared to put coffee in my recipes but I promise it makes the cake even more delicious! It really does intensify the chocolate flavour and there’s no trace of coffee flavour left behind. If you don’t have any to hand, you can substitute it for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.
- Caster sugar. To add sweetness!
- Chocolate buttercream. Made with cocoa powder, icing sugar, dairy-free margarine, vanilla extract and soy milk (or other plant-based milk of choice).
More vegan tray bake recipes:
How to make vegan chocolate traybake
Preheat your oven to 180°C (or 160°C if you’re using a fan or convection oven). Line an 8×10-inch tin with baking paper, leaving a little hanging over the edges for easy removal later on.
Mix 250ml of unsweetened soy milk with 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice. Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken slightly- this will act as your vegan buttermilk.
Melt 150g of vegan margarine. While it’s still warm, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee granules until dissolved then allow to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together 250g of self-raising flour, 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 180g of caster sugar.
Add the buttermilk you made earlier, along with the melted margarine/coffee mixture. Mix well until you have a smooth cake batter.
Pour the chocolate batter into your lined tin and spread it out evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick through the centre comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so then flip it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling you can prepare the chocolate buttercream frosting.
In a large bowl, mix together 90g vegan butter or margarine and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Once soft, slowly add in 150g of icing sugar and 40g of cocoa powder.
Mix it in a little bit at a time, adding some soy milk as you go to loosen it. You’ll need around 2-4 tablespoons of soy milk- the amount you need will depend on the water content of your butter/margarine.
Once you have a smooth buttercream, use an electric whisk or stand mixer to whisk it up for a minute or so until light and fluffy. Spread it over your cooled chocolate cake.
- Dairy-free milk or white chocolate curls (made by grating a chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler)
- Chocolate vermicelli sprinkles
- Chocolate Jimmies
If you keep it in an airtight container at room temperature, it’ll keep well for 4-5 days.
Yes! It freezes well frosted or unfrosted. Just pop slices into airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, just transfer the slices to a wire rack or plate and let them thaw at room temperature. Do not refreeze.
I hope you enjoy this eggless, dairy-free chocolate traybake! If you make it at home, please let me know how you get on by leaving a rating or comment below. Happy baking! xo
Chocolate Vegan Traybake Cake
Easy, fluffy chocolate party tray bake cake without eggs or dairy!
Chocolate tray bake:
- 150 g Vegan margarine
- ½ Teaspoon Instant coffee granules (this intensifies the chocolate flavour- you won't taste the coffee at all) can be subbed for 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 ml Soy milk
- 2 Teaspoons Apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 250 g Self-raising flour
- ½ Teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
- 3 Tablespoons Cocoa powder
- 180 g Caster sugar
- 90 g Vegan block butter or margarine (if using block butter, make sure it's softened at room temperature)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 150 g Icing sugar
- 40 g Cocoa powder
- 2-4 Tablespoons Soy milk (the amount you need will depend on which type of vegan butter/margarine you use)
- Vegan chocolate buttons (I used Moo-Free baking drops)
Preheat your oven to 180°C (or 160°C if you're using a fan oven). Line an 8×10-inch tin with baking paper.
Melt the margarine and stir in the coffee granules until dissolved. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
Mix the soy milk and vinegar together and set aside. This will act as your vegan buttermilk.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and caster sugar.
Add the melted margarine and the vegan buttermilk into the bowl. Mix well to make a smooth cake batter.
Pour the cake batter into your lined tin and spread it out evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick through the centre comes out clean.
Let the cake sit in the tin for around 10 minutes then carefully flip it out onto a wire rack. Peel the baking paper off the bottom and leave to cool completely.
In a large bowl, mix together the vegan butter and vanilla extract.
Slowly add the icing sugar and cocoa powder, mixing as you go, until smooth. Use as much of the plant-based milk as you need to help loosen it.
Once all of the icing sugar and cocoa powder has been mixed in, use a stand mixer or electric whisk to whisk it for a minute or so until light and fluffy.
Spread the buttercream over the cooled cake and top with chocolate buttons. When the icing is firm to the touch, cut into squares and enjoy.