Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake | The Minimalist Vegan


This classic vegan chocolate cake is my go-to tried and tested recipe for when I need a chocolate fix or want to bake a treat for a special occasion. 

It’s been a recipe two months in the making and started when my husband Michael requested a chocolate cake for his birthday this year back in March. He wanted a beautiful, rich chocolate cake. I then realised that in all the time we’ve been vegan, I never made one!

This cake was inspired by a chocolate cake that is in my friend Anthea’s cookbook from Rainbow Nourishments. She is a fantastic chef/baker!

Tested to perfection

After trying (and failing) at MANY testers, this is the vegan chocolate cake recipe I’m super proud to share with you. It’s rich, moist, has the perfect amount of crumb, and is layered with a decadent two-ingredient velvety chocolate ganache.

If you love a chocolate fix (or are a chocoholic like me) every now and then, you know a good chocolate cake when you taste one. And this, my friends, will certainly hit the spot! 

Vegan or not, everyone will enjoy this cake. So don’t be afraid to make it for those that usually wouldn’t pick a plant-based cake if on the menu. 

It’s a super simple, fuss-free cake that doesn’t require any fancy kitchen equipment! Just your basics. 

Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake

I also wanted to make a point of saying that it uses your everyday staple pantry ingredients—no need for specialty cacao powders, flours, or egg and dairy replacements. 

Lots of cake creators out there state only to use Dutch-processed cocoa because it’s been treated with alkali. The raw cacao is more acidic; therefore, many say not to use it. However, I have found that it still works nicely in cakes and, again, doesn’t have to be a specialty ingredient that you need to go out and find. 

If you happen to have Dutch-processed cocoa at home, wonderful, if not, it’s perfectly fine to use either cacao or cocoa! More on the differentiating factors of those two in my hot chocolate recipe.

The added ingredients of maple syrup and espresso coffee will bring out the chocolate flavours even more. 

Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake

Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake

A few tips for making the best vegan chocolate cake

  • Please, please, PLEASE use scales, not measuring cups for this recipe! The cup measurements vary from country to country, and also, the flour that you use will be a different density potentially to the one that I used. So this is why it’s essential to measure it out accurately to get the best results.
  • It’s important to sift the ingredients to avoid any lumps in your batter. Since we’re using coconut sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, they are all ingredients that can lump quite easily. 
  • To get a nice even bake, use the middle rack in your oven. If baking two cakes, place them side by side. If your oven is too small for that, bake them individually.
  • This cake is best made ahead of time, as you want it to completely cool on your benchtop, then transfer it to either an airtight container or cling wrap and then to the fridge. I usually make mine the morning of when I want it for that evening or the day before. 
  • Let the cake cool completely and sit in the fridge for an hour or two before spreading the ganache. You’ll avoid the ganache sticking to the cake crumble or it being too thin. It needs that time in the fridge to set a little to make it thick and spreadable.

Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake

Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake

This classic vegan chocolate cake is:

  • Eggless
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy-free (optional), just pick your ganache chocolate without any soy
  • Refined sugar-free
  • Nut-free
  • Palm oil-free 

Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake

So if you’re after an easy, moist, chocolatey rich cake that is topped and layered with a creamy dairy-free thick ganache, this is your cake!

It’s not too sweet, yet it doesn’t compromise on flavour. It satisfies that chocolate craving without too much guilt. 

Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake

If you try this recipe, let me know! I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram, or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest. Or Pin It for later!



  • 2 cups (270g) unbleached plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp (8g) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (5g) bicarb soda
  • 1 cup (150g) coconut sugar
  • 2/3 (60g) cacao powder
  • Pinch of salt (2g)


  • 1 cup (220ml) espresso or strong coffee (preferably freshly made and still warm)
  • 1 cup (230ml) any plant-based milk (I’ve tried with soy, almond, and coconut)
  • ½ cup neutral oil (I use rice bran oil)
  • 1 tsp (5ml) apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup (80ml) good-quality maple syrup


  • 150g vegan chocolate (I used 55% cocoa for the added sweetness)
  • 1 cup coconut cream


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (355F) and place the over rack in the middle. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides for easy removal from the pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients and whisk together to combine well.
  3. In a separate smaller bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk those until they are also well combined and slightly frothy.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix using the whisk until there are no lumps. Please don’t over mix!
  5. Pour batter into the prepared tin and tap on the benchtop a few times to release any air bubbles.
  6. Place on the middle rack in the oven baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake until the skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Please don’t be tempted to open the oven any sooner as this will make the cake collapse in the middle as it cools. You will see that the cake is starting to separate from the sides of the pan, this is when you can test to see if it’s finished. You want the cake to spring back if you touch the top.
  7. While the cake bakes, place the chocolate in a small saucepan on very low heat on the stove. Stirring as it melts. Once it has all almost melted, remove from heat and let it completely melt, stirring. The heat from the pan will finish the melting without burning the chocolate.
  8. Add in the coconut cream and stir until fully combined. Let it cool.
  9. Place in the fridge once cooled to firm up and become and nice thick ganache. Stirring occasionally.
  10. Once the cake is done, let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before carefully removing it and letting it completely cool on a wire rack.
  11. Place in the fridge to firm up a little before frosting the cake. It will make it much easier to apply.


This recipe is for one layer of the chocolate cake pictured. If you would like the full two-layered chocolate cake, double the recipe and bake two evenly distributed batters for the same amount of time in two cake pans. Make sure to also double the ganache recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

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Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake

Other recipes you’ll love:

  1. Vegan Chocolate and Pear Loaf Cake
  2. Vegan Lumberjack Cake (Gluten-Free)
  3. Fluffy Vegan Chocolate Mousse
  4. Vegan Chocolate Brownies (Candida Diet Friendly)
  5. Vegan Peanut Butter & Chocolate Pie

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