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Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

My oldest son came home with this recipe from college, and I do not know its origin other than that.  It has, however, been my go-to vegan chocolate cake recipe ever since.  I love to bake, and this is one of those recipes I have put together so many times, I no longer need to follow directions.  It is “perfectly perfect” every time.  I have made it as a sheet cake, a layer cake, a single layer cake and as cupcakes.  This is a one-bowl wonder packed with chocolatey goodness.


The measured amounts of this vegan chocolate cake recipe will fill one 8″-layer cake pan or a 12-count cupcake tin.  It easily doubles if you require larger amounts.  Frost it, glaze it, or dust it with powdered sugar.  Put your dry ingredients in a mason jar for an elevated version of off-the-shelf box mix!  Layering ingredients in a jar makes for an artsy presentation and serves as an excellent hostess or last-minute holiday gift.  The recipient will only need to add water, oil, vanilla and a teaspoon of vinegar.

More Reasons To Love Vegan Chocolate Cake

Two nice side-benefits of this cake:  It is vegan, (if you use a cocoa powder that does not contain milk powder) and is better than any chocolate cake I’ve made with eggs.  Secondly, no need for a blender; I dump all the ingredients in a bowl and stir with a spoon.  Done!  This recipe has a no-fuss prep and an elegant result.  (Note that the batter appears quite thin when you pour it into the pan.  No worries here; it rises and firms up nicely during baking). 


The finished cake will be rich looking, and very dark in appearance, with a nice gloss on top.  The baking time is similar to a box mix; remove from the oven when a toothpick, fork tine, or wooden stick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Rich, dark chocolate cake in a one-bowl recipe.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8


  • 1 8" cake pan


  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached, white flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp distilled white, apple cider or balsamic vinegar


  • Preheat Oven to 325.
  • In medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients; saving vinegar for last.
  • Stir by hand with wooden or silicone spoon until batter is smooth. Note that mixture will appear thinner than boxed cake mix.
  • Pour into greased 8" cake pan. This makes a single layer cake. Double ingredients if you prefer a two-layer cake.
  • Bake 25 minutes. Test and remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Set hot pan on baking rack to cool. After 20 minutes, invert and remove cake from pan and return to rack until completely cool. Frost, glaze or dust with confectioner's sugar. Serves 8.

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