This chocolate cake is vegan but we don’t tell people it is, and they love it. That’s how good it is.–Bea Vo
LC We'll Second That... Note
We second the author’s sneaky sentiment about not telling people this is a vegan chocolate cake indulgence, as it somehow makes it all the more gratifying when they go back for seconds. (We also won’t divulge how long any remaining slices last after guests go home.)
Another lovely thing about this recipe? If you have no unsweetened soy milk in the house, you don’t necessarily need to run to the store or pass the recipe by. One of our trusted LC recipe testers, Natalie Reebel, smartly swapped soy for almond milk (plain almond milk, not the sweetened, flavored kind, notes another LC recipe tester, Sita Krishnaswamy) and found it to be a swell substitute given how “beautifully” the cake turned out. A word to the wise: Though it may be tempting, don’t swap rice milk for the soy milk, as it results in a profoundly different, and not desirable, texture in the cake.
Special Equipment: 9-inch round cake pan that's 2 inches deep
Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Serves 8 to 12
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- A pinch salt
- 1 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 2/3 cups superfine sugar (you can easily make your own by blitzing granulated sugar in the blender until finely ground but not powdery)
- 1 cup sunflower oil (you can substitute any mild-flavored vegetable or olive oil), plus more for the pan
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F (163˚C). Oil a 9-inch round cake pan that’s 2 inches deep and line it with parchment paper.
- 2. Dump the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
- 3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, vinegar, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a spoon until well combined.
- 4. Spoon or scrape the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 to 55 minutes. It’s done when a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out with almost no crumbs attached and the center of the cake, when pressed, springs back slightly instead of sinks. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes if necessary.
- 5. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Slide a table knife or a paring knife between the cake and the edge of the pan to loosen, then carefully invert the cake onto the wire rack. Invert it again so it’s right-side up and let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:
Testers ChoiceTesters Choice
Feb 07, 2012
This may very well be the Platonic ideal of chocolate cake, vegan or otherwise. Almost indecently moist and tender, it also boasts a robust chocolate flavor that isn’t undermined by too much sweetness. I’m usually able to bake a cake, eat a slice, and then ignore the rest until my boyfriend dispatches it, but this cake leveled any defenses I’d like to think I possess. Needless to say, it did not cool for 1 hour, nor did it serve 8 to 10. Pure black magic. I do have one caveat here: I didn’t have enough sunflower oil, and so I blended it with a mild olive oil. The cake turned out perfectly.
Feb 07, 2012
This is a very good chocolate cake. It's simple to make, smells wonderful while baking, and comes out very pretty. Realizing I only had almond milk and no soy milk, I thought I would give the cake a try anyway. I opened the oven to check it at about 45 minutes, and it looked like a cupcake—the center had risen considerably, but then settled as the cake cooled. This cake is delicate and does require care while removing it from the pan and placing it on the cooling rack. I might wait 15 minutes before I remove it from the cake pan next time. It came out tender, moist, slightly crisp on top, and dense in the center. For eye appeal, I might dust it with confectioners' sugar, but it doesn't need any enhancements. My tasters all went back for seconds. No one knew, nor could they tell, that the cake was vegan.
Feb 07, 2012
This is a very easy chocolate cake. I followed the recipe exactly, and it took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to bake completely. The chocolate color was very dark and intense, and the cake extremely moist. The chocolate flavour was very good. I served it with plain Greek yogurt on the side but it would be very good with berries and ice cream or whipped cream as well.
Feb 07, 2012
This cake was easy to make and turned out quite well. This is a very moist and tender cake with a rich, dark color. I like the fact that it mixed quite easily by hand and I didn't have to take out my big mixer and deal with cleaning it. I'm glad that the amount of oil was reduced —even with only 1 cup oil, the cake came out a bit "oily." I was also happy to see that the cake could be baked at 325°F rather than at 350°F, unlike most cake recipes. I bake all of my cakes at 325°F and am able to avoid getting a crown on the top of my cake.
Feb 07, 2012
This was an amazing cake—rich, moist, and deep chocolate in flavor. No one would believe it was vegan. It's one of the best recipes I've come across. The recipe is easy, accurate, and simple. As the cake was cooling, the outer layer seemed to be starting to dry out; however, once I stored it covered, it was back to being moist again. This cake would work well with a nice frosting or ganache topping or simply served with crème fraîche and raspberries.
Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe © 2011 Bea Vo. Photo © 2011 Kate Whitaker. All rights reserved.