Vegan Chocolate Cake
First published: 2nd May 2019 – Last updated: 14th February 2020
This fudgy vegan chocolate cake is rich, decadent and looks super impressive! It’s made of light and fluffy sponge layers and paired with a creamy chocolate truffle frosting. Best served with vegan whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Being a huge baking lover and the owner of a vegan baking blog, I’m quite embarrassed to say that my cake skills are pretty poor. And when I say cake, I mean layer cakes, or the larger “celebration” style cakes.
It’s not the way they taste (I always love the flavor and texture), but more so the way they look. No matter how hard I’ve tried in the past, I’ve always ended up with cakes that look mediocre at best.
Now, I’m by no means a professional baker. I’ve never had any training and I just learn things as I go, through trial and error.
You’ll notice I only have a few large cake recipes on this blog at the time of writing and although I’m happy with the recipes themselves, I’m not that proud of their appearance.
After one cake I made crumbled to pieces three times, I figured it wasn’t worth the time, money or effort. And as a result, I swore that I’d only to stick to simpler things such as cupcakes and cookies from then on.
Looking for more vegan dessert recipes?
That is, until I discovered cake decorating compilations on YouTube. Oh my gosh, have you ever watched them? They are seriously addictive! (pls tell me I’m not a weirdo)
I then fell down a rabbit hole of cake videos on YouTube and after seeing so many others do it well, I decided it was about time for me to get good at making layer cakes!
I’ve learned lots of cool baking and decorating tricks that I can’t wait to put into practice. I have also finally perfected my vegan sponge recipe!
Because my previous cakes kept crumbling (they were too moist), I reduced the amount of fat (vegan butter) in them and I used buttermilk in place of soy milk, for a creamier consistency.
My sponges came out light, fluffy and most importantly, sturdy. This means they are perfect for cutting, stacking and frosting! Hurrah!
The thing I love most about my sponge recipe is that it’s literally only a few steps. Also, it makes very little mess which is always a bonus.
The sponges also bake super quickly compared to any other vegan cake recipe I’ve seen- they are ready in around 17 minutes!
Now that I’ve got that recipe down, I can use it as a base for all my layer cakes going forward. So expect to see a lot more cake recipes coming your way!
Vegan Chocolate Cake with Truffle Frosting
I had planned to decorate this cake with ganache but halfway through, I realized I didn’t have enough cream. Classic me!
I kept going anyway and although the consistency was a lot firmer than I’d hoped, I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted it. It tasted light, creamy and A LOT like chocolate truffles. It has the texture of a mousse-type of dessert.
So instead of making ganache, I decided to just call this a happy accident and keep it as it was. Plus, it’s something a little different that you don’t see very often on vegan chocolate cake.
Once you spread the truffle frosting on the sponge layers, it tastes like a lighter version of a chocolate fudge cake and it is TO DIE FOR! My taste testers said they liked it because it had a strong chocolate flavor without being overly sweet.
If you like your frosting to be creamier/looser, you can always add extra cream until you reach your desired consistency or use vegan chocolate buttercream instead.
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cake
Although this cake looks super impressive (if I do say so myself) and complicated, it’s actually quite straight forward and doesn’t take too long to make!
First off, preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
Grease and flour three 7-inch cake tins then line with baking paper. I found that doing all 3 steps makes it SO much easier to get the cakes out after they’re baked.
Prepare your vegan buttermilk by mixing together 315ml (1+1/4 cup) of soy milk and 1+1/2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar or lemon juice instead.
Use a fork to whisk it briefly then set the mixture aside for a few minutes. It will become slightly “curdled” with a smooth and creamy consistency.
In a large bowl, mix together 325g (2+1/2 cups) of all-purpose flour, 200g (1 cup) of caster/superfine sugar, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1+1/2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda. Make sure there are no lumps and that everything is well mixed together.
Measure out 180g (3/4 cup) of vegan butter then melt it in the microwave.
Add the melted butter and the buttermilk from earlier into the bowl. Give it a good stir until everything is smooth and creamy.
Divide the cake batter in between the 3 prepared cake tins. Pop them in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes.
You can check if they’re ready by poking a skewer or small knife through the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cakes are ready.
Remove your cakes from the oven and let them cool in the tins for around 10 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack, remove the baking paper from the bottom and allow them to cool completely.
Begin preparing your chocolate truffle frosting by chopping 300g (10oz) of dark chocolate into small pieces. I’d recommend a semi-sweet chocolate at around 60-70% so that the cake is not too bitter.
Place the chocolate pieces into a large heat-proof bowl.
Remove it from the heat when it begins to bubble slightly at the edges. Do not let it come to a boil as this will mean it’s too hot.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate pieces and allow it to sit for a minute or two.
Stir the mixture and the chocolate will begin to melt. Keep mixing until there are no lumps of chocolate left.
Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will give it time to stiffen up and make it easier to whip.
Remove the chocolate cream from the fridge and whip up using an electric whisk or stand mixer until it becomes light, airy and smooth.
Pipe or spoon some of the frosting onto your first cake layer and spread it out evenly using a spatula or butter knife.
Place the next cake layer on top and repeat until all 3 layers are stacked and frosted.
Spread the rest of the frosting around the sides of the cake and smooth it out using a spatula and/or cake scraper.
Top with fresh fruit and a dusting of powdered sugar. This step isn’t essential but it does make for a very pretty vegan chocolate cake!
How Should I Store This Cake?
This cake should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container due to the frosting. It will last for around 3 days this way (if you can control yourself for that long!)
It can also be stored in an airtight container outside of the fridge as long as it’s in a cool and dry place, but the cake will be slightly softer and it won’t keep as long.
Can I Freeze Vegan Chocolate Cake?
Yes! I froze huge slices of this cake and they defrosted really well. I placed the slices in an airtight container to freeze, then transferred them onto a plate to defrost at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
Alternatively, you can wrap the sponges (without frosting) in cling film/plastic wrap and freeze them like that. Then you would just frost and assemble the cake immediately before serving.
I hope you enjoy this vegan chocolate cake recipe- it’s one of my favorites so far! If you make it yourself, let me know what you think by leaving a comment or rating below.
Happy baking! xo
Vegan Chocolate Cake
Light and fluffy chocolate cake with a creamy, dairy-free truffle frosting.
- 1+¼ Cups Soy milk (315ml)
- 1+½ Tablespoons Apple cider vinegar*
- ¾ Cup Vegan butter (180g)
- 2+½ Cups All-purpose flour (325g)
- 3 Tablespoons Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1+½ Teaspoons Bicarbonate of soda
- 1 Cup Caster/superfine sugar (200g)
For the chocolate truffle frosting**
- A few handfuls of fresh berries (I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)
- Powdered sugar, to dust (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease, flour and line 3 7-inch cake pans.
Mix together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar with a fork. Set aside for a few minutes to let it thicken.
Melt the vegan butter in the microwave and leave it to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and caster sugar. Stir until there are no lumps left.
Add in the melted butter and the buttermilk from earlier and mix everything together to make a smooth cake batter.
Divide the cake batter evenly between the 3 cake pans and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick through the middle comes out clean.
Leave the cakes in the pans for around 10 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack, remove the baking paper and let them cool completely.
For the chocolate truffle frosting:
Chop up the dark chocolate into small pieces and place them into a large heatproof bowl.
Place the whipping cream into a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Watch it carefully and remove it from the heat when it starts to bubble at the edges. Do not let it boil.
Pour the hot cream into the bowl of chopped chocolate and let it stand for a minute or two. Then mix it in and the chocolate will start to melt. Keep mixing until there are no lumps of chocolate left.
Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to let it stiffen. Then use an electric whisk or stand mixer to whisk until the frosting becomes light, airy and smooth. It should have the texture of a mousse.
Pipe or spoon the frosting onto your first cake layer and spread it out evenly. Place the next layer on top and repeat until all the cake layers are frosted.
Spread the rest of the frosting down the sides of the cake and use a palette knife and/or cake scraper to smooth it out evenly.
Top with fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar.
- *Apple cider vinegar can be subbed for white vinegar or lemon juice.
- **Alternatively, you can frost the cake with a double batch of my vegan dark chocolate ganache.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.