The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake

Rich, decadent, and totally egg and dairy-free! This vegan chocolate cake is made with two layers of deliciousness slathered and stuffed with luscious vegan chocolate buttercream frosting. It’ll knock your socks off!

Slice of Vegan Chocolate Cake on its Side on a Plate with Cake Dish in the Background

One of my favorite things to do is to wow non-vegans with my vegan baked goods. People are always so impressed and say they’d never know what they were eating was vegan! This is true for most of the desserts I make, but especially vegan cake.

And this vegan chocolate cake in particular gets high marks from just about everyone I serve it too!

It’s rich, decadent, and oh so chocolaty.

Let’s talk about how it’s made!


What You’ll Need

Vegan Chocolate Cake with a Large Wedge Cut Out
  • Non dairy milk. You can use just about anything that’s unsweetened and unflavored.
  • Coconut oil. Or use your favorite oil for baking — canola, vegetable or corn oil all work.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • White vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can be substituted if you’d like.
  • Flour. The recipe calls for all-purpose wheat flour, and that’s the only thing I’ve tested it with. Use another variety at your own risk!
  • Granulated sugar. Use organic to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Cocoa powder. Make sure it’s unsweetened.
  • Baking powder.
  • Baking soda.
  • Salt.
  • Frosting. I like this recipe with my vegan chocolate buttercream frosting. You could also use my vegan vanilla buttercream frosting. Or your favorite frosting — use what you like!

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cake

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this cake. Scroll down if you’d prefer to skip right to the recipe!

Make the Cake

  1. Mix your liquid ingredients in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup: milk, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Tip: Warm your milk up to room temperature if it’s been in the fridge — this will prevent the coconut oil from solidifying.
  2. Stir your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry mixture and beat everything together with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.
  4. Divide the batter among two oiled and parchment paper-lined cake pans. Tip: If you have a food scale, weigh the batter as you add it. This will ensure that your layers come out even.
Collage Showing Steps for Making Vegan Chocolate Cake: Mix Liquid Ingredients, Mix Dry Ingredients, Beat with Mixer and Place Batter in Cake Pans

Pop your layers in the oven to bake. Make your frosting in the meantime.

Frost and Fill the Cake

  1. Invert one of your cooled vegan cake layers onto a dish, then peel off the parchment paper. Tip: Line the dish with a couple of strips of parchment paper, placed so that they sit just under the edges of the cake. This prevents you from getting frosting on the plate. You can remove them after you’re done frosting the cake.
  2. Spread a generous layer of frosting over the top of the layer.
  3. Now invert the second layer over the first, peel the parchment, and spread frosting over the top.
  4. Spread frosting around the sides of the cake.
Collage Showing Steps for Frosting a Vegan Chocolate Cake: Invert First Layer on Dish, Top with Frosting, Top with Second Layer and Additional Frosting, and Frost Sides

Tip: If you have time, do a crumb coat. This basically means starting the process of frosting the outside with a thin layer to smooth out the imperfections and trap crumbs. Chill the cake for a bit to set that layer of frosting, then apply a second, thicker layer of frosting over the crumb coat.

Shelf Life & Storage

Seal up any leftover vegan chocolate cake and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this cake be made gluten-free?

I’m not sure! I haven’t tested a gluten-free version of the recipe, but I have had luck with similar cake recipes using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour.

My cake didn’t rise. What happened?

Most of the time this is due to old baking soda and/or powder. To test your baking soda, sprinkle a bit in a glass of vinegar. To test your baking powder, sprinkle some in a glass of water. In either case, it should fizz. If it doesn’t, time to toss and replace it!

Why does the sugar need to be organic?

In the U.S., most sugar is processed using animal bone char, so it’s not vegan. Organic sugar is processed differently, without animal bones.

Can I make this into cupcakes?

I’m sure you can with modifications, but I haven’t tested it so I can’t give you exact instructions. Instead, I recommend following my vegan chocolate cupcakes recipe.

Close Up of a Slice of Vegan Chocolate Cake Standing Upright on a Plate

More Vegan Cake Recipes

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Slice of Vegan Chocolate Cake on its Side on a Plate with Cake Dish in the Background


The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake

Rich, decadent, and totally egg and dairy-free! This vegan chocolate cake is made with two layers of deliciousness slathered and stuffed with luscious vegan chocolate buttercream frosting. It’ll knock your socks off!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan baking, vegan cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 292kcal
Author Alissa Saenz


  • 1 ½ cups unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups organic granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Vegan Chocolate Buttercream frosting (or your favorite frosting)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Lightly oil and line the bottoms of two round 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and vinegar.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Use a spoon to make a well in the center of the flour mixture, then pour the milk mixture into the well.
  • Beat the ingredients together using an electric mixer at high-speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat until the ingredients are completely mixed, about 2 minutes.
  • Divide the batter among the two prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake pans from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
  • To frost the cake, invert one of the layers onto a plate, then peel off the parchment paper.
  • Smooth a layer of frosting over the top of the cake.
  • Invert the second layer over the first layer and remove the parchment paper.
  • Slather a layer of frosting over the second cake layer.
  • Cover the sides of the cake with another thin layer of frosting.
  • Cut the cake and serve immediately or chill for later. 


Nutrition information does not include frosting. Why? Because it depends on what kind of frosting you use and how much. If you use my chocolate frosting, you can add the correct nutrition info for the amount of it you use.


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.3g | Protein: 3.3g | Fat: 13.3g | Saturated Fat: 10.9g | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 25.2g | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg

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