Deep Chocolate Vegan Cake Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Deep Chocolate Vegan Cake

A perennial favorite at Moosewood.


Ingredient Set Name: 

Chocolate Cake


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1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
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⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
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½ tsp. baking soda
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½ tsp. salt
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1 cup sugar
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½ cup vegetable oil
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1 cup cold water or chilled brewed coffee
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2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
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2 Tbs. cider vinegar

Ingredient Set Name: 

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting


Ingredient Line: 
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
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¼ cup peanut butter
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3 to 4 Tbs. water
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1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
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1 cup confectioners' sugar


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously oil 8-inch square or round baking pan. Dust with sifted cocoa, or line bottom of baking pan with parchment paper.

To make Chocolate Cake:

2. Sift flour, cocoa, soda, salt and sugar. In another bowl, combine oil, water or coffee and vanilla. Pour liquid into dry, and mix until smooth.

3. Add vinegar and stir briefly; baking soda will begin to react with vinegar, leaving pale swirls in batter. Without wasting time, pour batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve cake from pan, or, when cool, transfer to plate.

To make Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting:

5. In heavy saucepan, melt chocolate over medium heat. Beat together peanut butter, water and vanilla until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, and add melted chocolate, mixing until blended. Spread frosting on cooled cake.

Nutrition Information: 

6 g
Total Fat: 
22 g
Saturated Fat: 
4 g
59 g
250 mg
3 g
37 g

Comments on this Recipe

I'm thinking about making this cake, but my son is allergic to peanuts so I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on how to make this icing without the peanut butter?! I didn't think I could just leave the peanut butter out without replacing it somehow. Any suggestions would be great!

This cake tastes absolutely wonderful and is very easy to make. The flavors are deep and rich and the texture very moist. I chose praliné instead of peanut butter for the icing and that worked out very well. Even my 20 year old son, who cringes when anything vegan is mentionned, didn't leave a single crumb on his plate. A keeper!!

Was very rich and filling. Definatley use a good coffee instead of the brings out the chocolatey flavor. The frosting was delicious and sets really nice. Reminds me of a "hostess cupcake". Great choc. cake recipe!

Soooo good and easy! Definitely a keeper!

This is a great recipe, and worked out so well! I used fresh almond butter instead of pb, and cut the confectioner's sugar in half, and the frosting was excellent--not too sweet, and nice and thick. It's a delicious cake!

This is an amazingly easy and delicious recipe. I am a huge fan of Mooswood, where I found this recipe originally and it has become my go-to chocolate cake recipe ever since :)

I made cupcakes! used almond extract because I had no Vanilla. Excellent with the coffee. Wow factor for sure.

I doubled the recipe for a 9x14 pan to be a Birthday Cake. I had to increase the cooking to 40 minutes. Smells marvelous! Haven't yet bitten into it. The frosting tastes like Reese's pieces, yummy!

Served the cake for my 15 year old's Birthday. He loved and everyone else couldn't believe that it was vegan! Using coffee instead of water would have punched it up, but my son wasn't crazy about the idea. The frosting could be made easily with Nutella and Confectioners' Sugar or a substitute. I used Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate 50/50 with unsweetened cocoa. Could taste the difference without being over sweet. That might also punch up the time.

how about sunflower seed butter?

@ Sarah and other nut butter would do the trick. Or soy butter. Or even just chilled non-gmo margarine, whipped would do...though it wouldn't taste as yummy.

I am looking for a gluten free and dairy free chocolate cake recipe with a dairy free cream and berry topping. I saw it on a web site but cant remember where. Can you please help

I do this cake with a ganache icing...usng coconut milk and semi sweet morsels! Sooooooo good!

What can I use if I don't want to use cider vinegar? I don't cook with it at all. Any ideas. My idea came to me last night, might be applesauce...Can I use that? Or is there something else to replace of the cider vinegar? Let me know thanks. Crissy

Superb Looking Awesome yummy .....!!!!

Crissy, you can substitute another type of vinegar, such as balsamic or white vinegar. But you can't eliminate vinegar - it is what makes the cake rise!