The BEST chocolate cake ever...that happens to be VEGAN. I kid you not!

Picture of The BEST chocolate cake ever...that happens to be VEGAN.  I kid you not!
First off, I will admit, I have never been a cake person. For the first 20 years of my life (I'm 26 now), I rarely touched my birthday cake. I'm not sure if my palate didn't like boxed/store-bought cakes or what, but only when I started baking them myself did I begin to take a liking to the moist airy treat. Also, I am an omnivore, with a lot of vegetarian and vegan friends, so imagine my excitement when I perfected the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted, AND made it vegan in the process. Don't believe me? Bake it! You can thank me later. :)

Step 1: Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

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

Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

Note: if you don't care to make it vegan, or don't have soy milk or margarine, you can use butter in place of the margarine, and whatever milk you prefer in place of the soy.

Step 2: Mix

Picture of Mix
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In an 8X8 square pan/dish, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt with a fork, making sure it is really blended together. Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and again, mix together so that it's really blended together. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary.

Step 3: Bake!

Picture of Bake!
Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely (2 hours).
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do you un-mold the cake before you put the glaze? Or do you leave it in the baking dish and pour the glaze on top?

how does using butter or margarine make this recipe vegan?

by using vegan/dairy free marg, ie...

To anyone who might be confused on how this cake is vegan, there is vegan margarine you can buy. As well as vegan flour and sugar. Vegan flour is flour that is not bleached. So you should be using all purpose flour, unbleached. If you want vegan sugar, it is a little harder to find. If you have a whole foods around you, they carry it.

MillyW2 days ago

Guys, all you have to do is look up vegan/dairy free margarine - I use it all the time, Tesco and holland and barret both sell the 'pure' range - in olive or sunflower, it is great - here is the link. So yes this recipe is vegan if you use vegan marg! just made the cake it is yummy, but didn't rise really well at all....any advice?

miradellz5 days ago


can anyone tell me what size cake pan can this recipe make please.

Hi there! I want to do this for my friend's birthday. When and how do you put on the glaze?

ChonaG15 days ago

Can this be baked in a bundt pan?

huertal22 days ago

This cake tastes awesome! However, my cake fell in the center. I followed recipe exactly any suggestions? Has anyone made cupcakes?

From my experience, this usually means that there are too many large air bubbles in the batter and/or the oven is too hot which makes the cake rise too much when in the oven but sink when it's cooled because it isn't firm enough or you need a bit more flour. When I made this cake, I tapped the tin on the counter a few times to break the larger air bubbles and to even out the batter. I set my oven to 170 degrees Celsius (about 338 F) because I used a fan-assisted oven.

Also, for cupcakes I used which was loosely based on this recipe and they turned out great :)

Thanks for the reply and insight! I'm definitely going to attempt again!
nimsidhu22 days ago

Hi, I was just wondering do you use plain flour or self raising flour

Hello. The recipe uses plain flour. The baking soda and apple cider vinegar combine to act as the raising agent.

Thanks for this quick and easy recipe. I made this to bring into work and everyone loved it. It turned out moist, light and fluffy, chocolatey and not overly sweet. I'm not vegan and have made numerous different chocolate cakes but this is now one of my favourites since I find most other chocolate cakes a bit too dense or dry for my liking. The cake holds up well and bakes evenly (using a good quality 8 inch square baking tin in the centre of the oven, greased and lined with baking paper, 170 degrees Celsius with a fan-assisted oven) however it's quite light and delicate so I wouldn't recommend it for layer cakes or anything that requires a denser cake to withstand a lot of handling.

The only changes I made to the cake batter ingredients was to use almond milk instead of the warm water (because I had some leftover from a similar cake recipe) and used sunflower oil instead of vegetable oil. For the top, I just melted a 200g bar of chocolate and poured it over the cooled cake since I wanted something harder than a glaze to contrast with the fluffiness of the cake.

Will definitely make again because it's so simple, has a great chocolate flavour and I love the fluffy texture. I'll probably experiment with coffee next time instead of the water/almond milk to try a nice mocha flavour as suggested by another commenter.

tania85 made it!19 days ago

the best cake ever. I made this fir my nephnews birthday who is vegan and let me tell you it turned out better than the other shop made cake we bought.

Thank you so much for this awsome recipie


Just made this cake and it tastes funny had to throw it in bin will try again with baking powder.

I should have mentioned I used baking powder instead of soda. I misread the recipe and realized that after I read your post. I usually cook with powder instead of soda. Otherwise followed it, and I live near Denver (mile high elevation).

Lucky20101 month ago

I am now making this cake for the 5th time since I came across the recipe 9 months ago, because it's brilliant. I'm vegan but I don't eat chocolate (triggers migraines), so I've had many test eaters try this and it's a hit every time. Thank you!!!! FYI I followed the recipe exactly except once I used coconut milk instead of water. Great either way.

DianeS31 month ago

5 stars! This cake was much loved by my clients. I used a tablespoon of espresso powder for part of the cocoa powder in the cake, only. Used unsweetened almond milk. Topped glaze with sliced almonds and sugar pearls. It was not only a pretty sight, but so moist and choc-oh-latey! Thank you so much for your recipe!

CindersUK1 month ago

I made this recently and it tasted fantastic. I did have a question though in regards to the glaze - I used the cane sugar as suggested and found when I mixed it it had a gritty texture and was more fluffly like butter cream then a glaze. Is this meant to be heated to dissolve the sugar?

kellyf1 made it!1 month ago

Made this last night, it was SOOOO good. I did some changes though.... With the cake - I added 1/2 cup applesauce and only used about 2 TBSP oil. Then I used 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk in place of the water. Everything else the same amounts - but I used coconut sugar, not plain white sugar (I avoid this crap when all possible). The glaze was made as is stated in recipe and I also sprinkled some finely chopped almonds on top! OMG, great recipe. I bet I could have actually frosted/iced it though - others say this wouldn't have been possible, but my cake turned out solid and not crumbly. totally held its shape. thx for the recipe!

kellyf1 kellyf11 month ago

BTW - with the coconut sugar I only used 3/4 cup, and I just realized I used 1 tsp baking powder instead of the called for baking soda... turned out wonderful still!

AIRIZONAGAL1 month ago

I used to make this for my vegan daughter. Now she's grown, I still make it. Just popped one in the oven. Superb. My variation? I add a little instant coffee, both to the batter and the frosting.

PaulK31 month ago

Anyone know how many servings result from this recipe? Thanks, looks good.

I added 1 tablespoon of xantham gum, not only did it hold its shape but it stayed moist too. Overall, the best vegan recipe I have used and will be a favorite for a long time to come.

PorschaD2 months ago

Has anyone made this with stevia instead of sugar?? I'm not sure if it'll be as good, but the sugar might make me sick!

sydney.mills12 months ago

I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil and it turned out tasting so good!!!! It didn't hold its shape, though, so I made little cakes balls out of them and coated them with frosting and sprinkles, yum!

FeedMeS2 months ago

I make a version of this chocolate cake with red wine.
I was out of vanilla, but, I had a Cabernet Sauvignon that had been around a few days. So I thought...

Where this recipe uses the vanilla for flavor, and the vinegar for the chemical reaction, I tried substituting the slightly-turned-to-vinegar Cabernet for both. I used about a tablespoon of wine. It came out good. Different, but good.

Another time, I tried substituting the 1-cup warm water for 1-cup warm coffee. That was good, too. But the red wine variation is much more exciting. The ingredients for this cake are so cheap, and it takes such a low investment of your time, this is a good recipe for experimentation. What's the worst that can happen? You throw out your baking-soda-tasting cake and pour yourself a glass of wine.

I just made this. If you don't make it in a dish like this, don't expect to be able to ice it.... it's too fragile to hold it's shape since it doesn't contain egg or an alternate binder (xanthan gum, etc). The sides fell off while trying to spread the icing. haha I could taste the baking soda and my family said it had an off-flavor. I'm going to try it again for cupcakes and replace the vinegar + baking soda with an equivalent strength of baking powder to reduce the "off flavor".

I've made it countless times, never had a problem, and I've made carved cakes with it aswell

I completely agree as far as the fragility of the cake. I made it in a square pan as the recipe instructed, and I tore off the top layer when I tried to ice it.

I have had no issue inverting it and frosting it, especially with a glaze. However, you could add a bit of mashed banana, a 1/4 of applesauce, or a "flax egg" made from mixing milled flax seed with warm water.

Were you using apple cider vinegar? I usually avoid using white vinegar in all recipes except ketchup, because it can be very powerful.

kate.ashling2 months ago

Would this recipe work with almond milk in the place of soy milk?

Also, does anyone have a conversion of this recipe into metric units? ("grams" instead of "cups" etc)


It will work with almond milk! In almost all cases, any plant milks can be subbed for any other.

The only exceptions are when you need a very high fat content (you'll likely need coconut only) or a very high protein content (That would be soy). Typically in most baking recipes that isn't the case and any (or even water, but that's just boring) will work.

tammy.spits2 months ago

Thank you for such a super easy and delicious recipe. My friend shared your recipe with me and now I share it with others. I sometimes double and triple the recipe to make lots of cupcakes, decorate them (buttercream icing using Earth Balance Butter) and freeze in airtight containers. I'm always ready for company or to go anywhere with dessert! Best chocolate cake ever! Thanks again!

maggieasm2 months ago

Just had the first slice of BEST chocolate cake. YUMMY!

I just made this one today and wanted to say thank you. Very easy to make and very tasty. :-)

Do yu need to heat the glaze to melt sugar ect? or just mix it together??? thanks

pthom012201228 months ago

sorry correct me if I m wrong but margerine is not vegan...

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