The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Chocolate Cake - Root Kitchen UK

The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Chocolate Cake

David Beaver

When it comes to satisfying a sweet tooth, few things can compete with the rich, indulgent experience of chocolate cake. But what if you’re vegan or catering to vegan friends? Fear not, for the world of vegan baking is bursting with possibilities, and vegan chocolate cake is no exception. Whether you're a seasoned baker or a newbie in the kitchen, this guide will help you create a delicious, moist, and utterly irresistible vegan chocolate cake. Let’s dive into the art of vegan baking, shall we?

Understanding Vegan Baking: The Essentials

Vegan baking may seem daunting at first, but it’s all about finding the right substitutes for traditional ingredients. In a vegan chocolate cake, you’ll be swapping out eggs, dairy milk, and butter for plant-based alternatives. These swaps not only make your cake vegan-friendly but can also add unique flavours and textures.

  1. Egg Replacements: Eggs typically provide structure and moisture. In vegan baking, common substitutes include flaxseed meal, chia seeds, applesauce, mashed bananas, or commercial egg replacers.

  2. Milk Alternatives: Plant-based milks such as almond, soy, oat, and coconut milk are excellent substitutes for cow’s milk. Each type brings a different flavour and consistency, so feel free to experiment.

  3. Butter Substitutes: Vegan butter, coconut oil, or even avocado can replace dairy butter. They all provide the fat needed for a moist, tender crumb.

The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Let’s get to the heart of the matter – the recipe. This vegan chocolate cake is rich, moist, and has a deep chocolate flavour. It’s perfect for birthdays, celebrations, or just because you fancy a slice of cake.


  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any plant-based milk)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy removal.

  2. Mix the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Ensure they’re well combined to avoid any lumps in your batter.

  3. Combine the wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. The vinegar helps to create a buttermilk-like consistency, which reacts with the baking soda to give your cake a good rise.

  4. Bring it together: Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be quite thick at this stage.

  5. Add the boiling water: Slowly pour in the boiling water while stirring continuously. The batter will be very thin, but don’t worry – this is what makes the cake so moist and fluffy.

  6. Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  7. Cool: Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Decadent Vegan Chocolate Frosting

What’s a chocolate cake without a luscious frosting? This vegan chocolate frosting is smooth, creamy, and perfectly sweet.


  • ½ cup vegan butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup almond milk (or any plant-based milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Cream the butter: In a large bowl, beat the softened vegan butter until creamy and smooth.

  2. Add the dry ingredients: Gradually sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, beating on low speed until combined. This helps to avoid a sugar dust storm in your kitchen.

  3. Incorporate the liquid: Slowly add the almond milk and vanilla extract, beating on medium speed until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more milk; if it’s too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.

Assembling Your Masterpiece

Now comes the fun part – putting it all together!

  1. Level the cakes: If your cakes have domed on top, use a serrated knife to level them. This ensures your layers stack evenly.

  2. Frost the first layer: Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a generous amount of frosting on top.

  3. Add the second layer: Carefully place the second cake layer on top. Press down gently to adhere.

  4. Frost the outside: Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. For a smooth finish, use an offset spatula or a cake scraper.

  5. Decorate: Get creative with your decorations! Add chocolate shavings, fresh berries, or a sprinkle of sea salt for an elegant touch.

Tips for Success

  • Measure accurately: Baking is a science, so be sure to measure your ingredients accurately. Use a kitchen scale for the best results.
  • Don’t overmix: Overmixing the batter can result in a dense cake. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Room temperature ingredients: Ensure your ingredients are at room temperature before starting. This helps them to combine more easily and results in a smoother batter.
  • Experiment with flavours: Add a hint of coffee to the batter for a mocha twist, or a splash of orange extract for a chocolate orange cake.

Why Go Vegan?

You might be wondering why someone would opt for a vegan chocolate cake. There are plenty of reasons!

  • Health benefits: Vegan baking often includes whole, plant-based ingredients that can be healthier than traditional baking. Think of heart-healthy oils and nutrient-rich flaxseeds.
  • Environmental impact: Reducing animal product consumption can help lower your carbon footprint.
  • Dietary restrictions: Vegan cakes are a great option for those with dairy or egg allergies.

Serving and Storing

This cake is best enjoyed fresh, but it can be stored for later indulgence.

  • At room temperature: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • In the fridge: If you live in a hot climate or want to keep it longer, refrigerate the cake for up to a week. Bring it to room temperature before serving for the best texture.
  • In the freezer: Wrap the cake (sliced or whole) tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.

Vegan Baking Myths Debunked

There are many myths about vegan baking, and we’re here to debunk them!

  • Myth 1: Vegan cakes are dry and dense. Not true! With the right ingredients and techniques, vegan cakes can be as moist and fluffy as any traditional cake.
  • Myth 2: Vegan baking is difficult. While it may seem complex at first, once you get the hang of it, vegan baking is straightforward and rewarding.
  • Myth 3: Vegan ingredients are hard to find. Many supermarkets now stock a wide range of vegan products, and you can find specialty items in health food stores or online.

Embracing the Vegan Lifestyle

Baking a vegan chocolate cake is more than just creating a delicious dessert; it’s a step towards a more compassionate and sustainable lifestyle. Whether you’re a full-time vegan or just trying it out, every effort counts. Plus, with recipes like this, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything!


In the realm of desserts, vegan chocolate cake stands tall as a testament to the creativity and adaptability of plant-based baking (perfect for when you have just polished off one of our vegan ready meals). It’s rich, indulgent, and offers a delightful experience for all cake lovers. So, roll up your sleeves, preheat your oven, and dive into the wonderful world of vegan chocolate cake. Happy baking!

By embracing the world of vegan baking, you're not only treating yourself to delicious desserts but also making choices that are kinder to the planet and animals. Cheers to more compassionate baking adventures!

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