This vegan no-bake fudge cake is made with a cocoa, espresso, and sunflower seed crust that’s filled with a rich, velvety chocolate and almond butter fudge. Perfect for Valentine’s day or anytime an intense chocolate craving hits.
Rich, velvety, and very, very smooth. That pretty much sums up our experience of this vegan no-bake fudge cake that makes magic from a short list of everyday ingredients and a very, very minimal amount of time. Espresso in the filling keeps things lively. And just wait until you try the ingenious crust. As one of our testers raved, this is a magnificent dessert when you need something quick and vegan—or just quick and delicious.–Jenny Howard
Vegan No-Bake Fudge Cake
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Serves 6 to 8
Special Equipment: 6- or7-inch (15- or 18-cm) springform pan. (To make a larger cake, double the recipe and use a 9-inch (23-cm) round springform pan.)
- For the crust
- 1 cup raw, unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground espresso
- 2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- For the filling
- 1 1/2 cups dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon lite coconut milk or cashew milk, shaken or stirred
- 3 tablespoons creamy roasted almond butter or raw cashew butter* (see NOTE below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon ground espresso
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- For the shaved chocolate garnish (optional)
- One (4- to 6-ounce) dairy-free, dark chocolate bar
- Make the crust
- 1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment, process the sunflower seed until they’re finely ground into a flour, about 30 seconds. Add the salt, cocoa powder, and espresso and blend until just combined. Drizzle in the maple syrup and pulse until the mixture forms large, sticky clumps and holds together when pressed between your fingers.
- 2. Line the bottom of a 6- or 7-inch (15- or 18-cm) springform pan** (see NOTE below) with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit. Spray the sides of the pan with nonstick spray. Press the crust mixture into the pan, making a flat, even layer on the bottom but not up the sides.
- Make the filling
- 3. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and milk. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir well and then heat in 15-second intervals until the chocolate is almost completely melted, about 30 seconds more. Stir until very smooth. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and milk on the stovetop in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.)
- 4. Wipe the bowl of the food processor clean. Add the chocolate mixture, almond or cashew butter, vanilla, espresso, cocoa powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and blend for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and process again until the mixture is completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the filling over the crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until completely firm throughout, at least 2 hours and ideally overnight.
- Make the shaved chocolate garnish (optional)
- 5. If desired, place the dark chocolate bar on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on HIGH for just a few seconds to slightly soften it. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the edges of the chocolate bar into long curls, and scatter atop cake before slicing into wedges and serving.
- *A variety of nut butters will work in this recipe. Just make sure there’s no added oil or sugar in the jar you select. For a nut-free version, try sunflower seed butter (such as SunButter), since thanks to all the chocolate in the recipe, the sunflower seed flavor won’t be noticeable.
**To make a larger cake, double the recipe and use a 9-inch (23-cm) round springform pan.