Fabulous Vegan Fudge Cake with Bittersweet Icing Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Fabulous Vegan Fudge Cake with Bittersweet Icing

“I’ve tried vegan cake recipes in the past, but didn’t like the sour taste of the vinegar that is usually used to activate the leavening,” Chef Shelly Platten from Wisconsin. “I tinkered with some recipes that didn’t use vinegar to come up with a fudgy, satisfying cake.”



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1 ¼ cups Bob’s Red Mill organic unbleached white flour
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1 ⅔ cups Florida Crystals organic cane sugar, divided
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1 ⅓ cups Chatfield’s cocoa powder, divided
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1 tsp. baking soda
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½ tsp. salt
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1 cup Silk vanilla soymilk, divided
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⅓ cup plus ¼ cup canola oil, divided
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1 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9-inch round pan with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together flour, 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Whisk together 2/3 cup soymilk, 1/3 cup oil, and 1/2 cup water in separate bowl. Stir soymilk mixture into flour mixture. Spread in prepared pan, and bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Unmold onto plate.

3. Warm remaining 2/3 cup cocoa, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup oil in saucepan over medium heat. Pour in remaining 1/3 cup soymilk, and cook 1 minute, or until smooth. Spread icing over warm cake, and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Nutrition Information: 

5 g
Total Fat: 
25 g
Saturated Fat: 
2 g
67 g
0 mg
315 mg
7 g
43 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

I wonder if you could substitute some apple sauce for some of the oil? That's an awfully high-fat and high-calorie vegan cake!

Agreed Faith! Be nice to know some ways to have healthy alternative

Okay.... This was perfect! Perfectly simple, perfectly yummy! We followed the recipe exactly and the cake/icing came out exactly delicious!

This is truly FABULOUS. I have made the "other " vegan chocolate cake for years, and it's pretty good, but this is such an improvement. The texture is perfect - a lovely crumb without being dry or gummy. The flavor is rich and chocolatey. I have used a vegan chocolate ganache (made with coconut cream) with a few fresh raspberries on top for a bit more fancy desert. But it doesn't need "improving", it's great as is. It also keeps well for a few days. BTW the healthy alternative comments - I'm nearly 70 and have no health problems - been veg/vegan most of my life and I can tell you a little piece of yummy cake now and again will not hurt you ! Enjoy !

Will it work with my organic wheat flour?

Simply DELICIOUS! Made this for non-veg friends; they loved it and thought it was a "regular" cake! Just wondering, has anyone tried replacing the soy milk with almond milk? Just curious as to how it would turn out...

This was soooooo good!!!! And soooooo easy! My youngest and I were browsing recipes yesterday and she asked if we could make this. We checked the cupboard and had all the ingredients so I told her yes. I let her make it with minimal help. We didn't make the icing and skippd the nuts because one of my sons doesn't like them. She decided to add chocolate chips. It was delicious!!!! We will definitely be making this again...and again...and again!!!

Joella we used half white flour, half organic wheat pastry flour and it came out great! Next time I'll use straight organic wheat flour, I was just worried about the taste, but I'm sure it'll be fine :)

oh And we used coconut oil instead of canola

almond milk? choc chips instead of nuts?

If you want to cut out the oil use strained applesauce, at least in the cake (1/3 applesauce replacing 1/3 cup oil).It actually worked out just fine. I did not do the frosting, me being a diabetic I felt I did not need the added sugar.

I substituted coconut oil and it lends a slightly nutty flavor.

I substituted carob powder in place of cocoa powder, and the flavor wasn't as sweet. I will use cocoa powder next time.

I'm not usually a cake person - too fluffy - so I have one vegan chocolate cake recipe for bdays. This is definitely my new recipe and it will be made beyond bdays. Dense/fudgey/chocolatey goodness!

Oh - and I used regular whole wheat bc didn't have pastry and baked it in a bunt pan - I was concerned about the bunt pan but came out perfect in about the same amount of time.

There are so many unhealthy items in this recipe: soy, Silk!!!, canola

Well it is a cake recipe Sally! I found it a bit confusing to follow with my bear brain, I would have found it easier if the quantities for the icing were itemised separately. My reading difficulties aside it's an awesome cake :) thanks!

Anyone know if I can use coconut flour instead? I want to cut down on the cards. What about coconut oil instead of canola and Stevia in the Raw instead of cane sugar?

Sally - I'm sure you could subs the soy milk for almond or coconut milk, and the canola for coconut oil. That would definitely help.

Oh my word. I'm not full Vegan and this was the most excellent cake I've ever had. I'm very health conscious but having this on a special occasion to share with friends, is the best! It tickles me to see people saying that a CAKE has unhealthy items in it. It's CAKE!!! Hee hee. Also used coconut oil instead of canola, shredded pecan nuts, and added a teeny bit of grated orange rind to the icing. I wish I could eat this for breakfast every day of my life!

I have to agree with the previous comment. It starts out so organic and healthy and then ends up with canola and soy....the most pesticide/herbicide sprayed crops. Ugh. How about changing to organic grape seed oil and rice milk.

If I use unsweetened almond milk, should I add a teaspoon of vanilla?

This was a great cake! I heated up the soy milk with 2T loose leave Rishi masala chai tea, for 3 mins, then strained it and put milk in freezer to cool it. (Yummy & fun) My soy milk was unsweetened & plain, so I added 1 tsp of vanilla. Also used applesauce for part of the oil. No frosting on this cake. But will try the frosting at some other time.

Will it be ok if I replace the sugar with agave syrup and the canola oil with coconut oil? Thank you :)

Positively decadent! I substituted oat milk and probably about 1/2 tsp vanilla for the Silk, and it could not have turned out any better. Valentine's dessert success!

So I made this not because I was looking for a vegan cake, but simply because I was looking for a fudge cake and this one looked amazing! I used whole wheat flour, regular white sugar, 1% milk, coconut oil, and walnuts. The cake turned out delicious! I do have to say that I think the icing is a little too much--next time I will only make half of the icing and spread it thinly on the cake. This cake tastes even better once it's been left in the fridge over night.

This cake was wonderfully chocolate! Hit the spot. Great tasting, I think I will try almond meal instead of flour next time!

This was a great recipe Shelly and I did not have the need to criticize or judge your milk alternative or other ingredients but simply substituted with what I believed would work for me! Veganism is supposed to be the kinder way of nourishing ourselves and treat animals, we should also do that among ourselves!

Havung a hard time finding receipts were the end of the cooking process equals a menu that's worth eating

Hi! Have you attempted to substitute apple sauce or flax eggs for the oil in this recipe? My father in law is an oil-free vegan, and this cake looks like it has the potential to be a crowd pleaser!! Thank you!