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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.

Overhead Shot Of Chocolate Traybake

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:

Square Slices Of Vegan Traybake With Chocolate Buttercream On Top

How to make vegan chocolate traybake

Step 1:

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.

Step 2:

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.

Step 3:

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.

Step 4:

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.

Step 5:

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.

Chocolate buttercream

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.


I topped my chocolate tray bake with some mini dairy-free chocolate buttons (Moo-Free milk chocolate drops and white chocolate drops) but here are some other ideas:


How long will this vegan chocolate traybake cake last for?

If you keep it in an airtight container at room temperature, it’ll keep well for 4-5 days.

Can I freeze it?

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.

Close Up Of Chocolate Vegan Tray Bake Cut Into Slices

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

Thumbnail image of vegan chocolate traybake cake cut into slices
5 from 9 votes

Chocolate Vegan Traybake Cake

Easy, fluffy chocolate party tray bake cake without eggs or dairy!

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan chocolate traybake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 317 kcal


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

Chocolate buttercream:

  • 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)

To top:


Chocolate traybake:

  1. 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.

  2. Melt the margarine and stir in the coffee granules until dissolved. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

  3. Mix the soy milk and vinegar together and set aside. This will act as your vegan buttermilk.

  4. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and caster sugar.

  5. Add the melted margarine and the vegan buttermilk into the bowl. Mix well to make a smooth cake batter.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

Chocolate buttercream:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the vegan butter and vanilla extract.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Vegan Traybake Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 317 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Sodium 151mg7%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 28g31%
Protein 4g8%
* All values are an estimate only and will vary depending on the food brands used.
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Image of dairy-free chocolate buttercream frosting piped into a white ramekin
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Recipe Rating


Saturday 10th of February 2024

Loved this, light and fluffy and not too sweet, so much nicer than other recipes ive tried, thank you


Sunday 11th of February 2024

Thank you so much!


Sunday 20th of August 2023

ive been looking for an easy vegan traybake and this recipe is PERFECT. so light and fluffy and tastes amazing. superb cake thank you so much !


Sunday 20th of August 2023

Thanks for your review Cerys, so glad you like the recipe! :)


Friday 7th of July 2023

First time and it worked!! It rose really well, was light not dense like some, not too sweet. My son couldn’t tell it was vegan! I will be baking this again! THANKYOU


Tuesday 11th of July 2023

Thanks for your comment Louise. I'm so glad to hear that!


Tuesday 28th of February 2023

Where did you get your 10x8 inch baking trays?


Wednesday 1st of March 2023

@Chloe, Thanks Chloe 😄


Tuesday 28th of February 2023

Hey Avril. The one I use at the moment is from Tesco (the Go Cook brand). I've also got one from Dunelm too :)


Sunday 26th of February 2023

What a fabulous recipe, can it be converted to a loaf tin or cake tin using same quantities.?


Monday 27th of February 2023

@Chloe, that’s great Thankyou. Can the lemon drizzle traybake be converted to a 2lb loaf tin ? For a cake sale. I’ve never baked Vegan before, but all the girls at work have taken copies of your recipe, they loved it .


Sunday 26th of February 2023

Hey Avril, it sure can! For a loaf, you'll need to bake it for 40-45 minutes. I've made a separate post for chocolate loaf cake- that one is topped with ganache instead of buttercream. I haven't tried these exact quantities in a round cake tin yet but have a chocolate fudge cake recipe that is quite similar. Let me know if you need a hand with anything else :)

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