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. :)
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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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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).

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.

DianeS32 days 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!

CindersUK5 days 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!11 days 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 kellyf111 days 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!

AIRIZONAGAL24 days 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.

PaulK326 days 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.

PorschaD1 month 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!

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!

FeedMeS1 month 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.

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.spits1 month 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!

maggieasm1 month 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

pthom012201227 months ago

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

Correcto, 95% of Margarine contains Milk Solids, so therefore is not vegan.

There are a few Vegan spreads, Nuttelex in Australia, or even better use coconut oil!!! yum :)

aliciak (author)  pthom012201227 months ago
Margarine is derived from veg's not dairy.
eoakwell aliciak6 months ago
Some are not and have all sorts of things in. Stork in the UK marketed at cake makers as it taste so bad has lard in.

There is vegan margarine available. I am going to use coconut oil.

areyes443 months ago
I found this recipe about a year and a half ago and I have been making it ever since. Everyone loves it! From the cake to the glaze. Thank you so much for posting this amazing recipe!
dthompson253 months ago

This is the second time I have made this cake. It is so delicious! I used coffee instead of water and let the cocoa powder bloom in the coffee. I reduced the sugar by a forth of a cup and put cherry pie filling in the middle. Amazing.

Anaher4 months ago

I only have an 8 inch springform pan if I follow the recipe like so would it be good to make in that? Or does the temp or time have to change please let me know. Thank you!

aliciak (author)  Anaher4 months ago

It would probably cook the same time/temp b/c that's essentially the same size as the square pan! But maybe grease it if you don't intend to serve it IN the springform pan?

Anaher aliciak4 months ago

Thanks hun!

I had this cake at a birthday party yesterday and O M G it was THE best chocolate cake I've ever had! Instead of the glaze, she frosted it with the peanut butter frosting at

I seriously cannot wait to make this cake myself. It was incredible!

aliciak (author)  orangecountysoda4 months ago


kmjs4 months ago

I used to make this when I was a kid. It was called wacky cake and it was our go to chocolate cake recipe. The amounts here vary a bit (for example my recipe called for 6T of oil and 1T of vinegar) but it is essentially the same. 25+ years later it is still yummy. I usually keep it in the fridge as I find it tastes best when it is cold. Will have to try the frosting.

irisheyegrn4 months ago

I've been making this since 2009.Truly simple and delicious, every time ! Period.

LonesomeTrain5 months ago

Amazing! I made this cake with whole wheat flour with wonderful results. Didn't have time for icing today and was yummy without it. Next time around will make icing and post a picture. This recipe is a keeper - easy and delicious.

Second time making this fabulous recipe! This time in my 'crockpot' in a cake/bread insert. Cooked it on High for approx 1-1/2 hours or till toothpick comes out clean. W o n d e r f u l ! This time, I made the Chocolate Glaze. Delicious! This entire recipe is an absolute success! :)

daisyshen4 months ago

is it not necessary to grease pan?

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