Food, Recipes

Vegan Cake Recipes: Dark Chocolate Cake


Vegan Dessert Recipes: Dark Chocolate Cake
This decadent vegan dark chocolate cake is perfect for occasions when you want to impress or simply days when no amount of chocolate is too much. The rich chocolate flavor is complemented by the hint of espresso laced into both cake and frosting. All of the ingredients are easy to pick up at your local grocery store, so there’s no excuse not to treat yourself with this king of cakes. Plus, there are several fun options for decoration and getting creative with colors (see suggestions below). Enjoy!

Vegan Dark Chocolate Cake


Prep Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 55 minutes
Yield: 1 8-inch cake
  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (sub 1/3 rice or almond flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/3 heaping up (3 ounces) cocoa powder
  • 1/3 scant cup (10.5 ounces) soft dark brown sugar (or sugar of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1/3 heaping cup (3 ounces) coconut oil (or vegan margarine)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/3 heaping cup (3 ounces) vegan margarine (or coconut butter)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2/3 scant cup dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
  • Optional toppings:
  • chocolate shavings
  • flaked almonds
  • pistachios
  • sprinkles
  • raspberries


1.Preheat your oven to 350°F and then get going on the frosting. This may seem counter-intuitive, but making it first gives it plenty of time to cool, so that when the cake has cooled down, you can slap on the chocolate coating of wonders! To make said frosting, put all frosting ingredients except the chocolate in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring regularly. When everything has dissolved, take off heat and throw in the chocolate, mixing until melted. Mix for a good couple minutes until frosting turns glossy, then leave until you need to spread it, mixing occasionally to keep it homogenized.
2. Onto the cake. Grease and line a 8-inch springform cake pan. Put the flour, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, and cocoa in a large bowl and lightly mix through with a fork.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, hot water, coconut oil, and vinegar until the coconut oil has completely dissolved. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Next, transfer to the cake pan and pop in oven for 25-35 minutes depending on your oven. When the cake is ready, it should be coming away slightly from the edges of the form, and an inserted skewer should come out clean. Do not overcook! The texture is meant to be slightly fudgey (but not gooey like brownies).
4. Leave cake to cool in pan, unmolding after approximately 40 minutes.
Then, slap on the frosting. The frosting texture should not be so runny that it all drips down the sides of the cake. Then sprinkle on your topping of choice.
5. Ideally leave the cake for at least an hour before serving, then slice away and enjoy.

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Related: Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Icecream Cake

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Photo: Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy
Kat Kennedy is an explorative writer and advocate for sustainable living. She's a proud 'third culture kid' who is passionate about houseplants, vegan baking and outdoor adventures. You can read more of her articles on her blog, Sphynx Kennedy, or keep up with her on Instagram @sphynxkennedy.
  • Cat Robson

    Kat, this looks wonderful! Would you check the dark brown sugar measurement — I think you meant 1 cup. Thanks!

    • Hi Cat, thank you for your question. We converted this recipe from metric to US measurements, and there may have been a bit of miscommunication in the process. I do apologize for any confusion. We’ve corresponded with Kat and clarified the measurements.

      There should be 300g sugar in the cake and 50g in the frosting. According my conversion tool, that translates to slightly less than 1.5 cups and roughy 1/4 cup, respectively.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!

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