One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake

Two Layer ONE BOWL Vegan Chocolate Cake! Make it in one hour with no fancy or special equipment | so moist, fluffy and chocolatey!

Four years ago this month, John and I were just kids planning our wedding. We decided to give up sweets during our engagement to feel our best on our wedding day, and to more fully enjoy our dessert bar and wedding cake.

The big day finally arrived. We had been so good, not even having an ounce of sweets aside from honey and the occasional after-dinner mint. And you better believe we pigged out like fat kids at the reception. I was in sweet tooth heaven.

One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake!

Like most, our honeymoon was a time of sheer indulgence so when we got settled back into “real life” we hit the reset button on our diet. Sweets were out the door again.

That was, until we attended the wedding of some close friends in Portland where I met the chocolate cake that perhaps changed my life.

Easy One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake! #vegan

Yes, big words for a cake.

I’d resigned to give desserts up indefinitely. But then we show up at this wedding and it’s absolutely charming and the food is delicious and the ambience is perfect and the music is a local bluegrass band…and all at once they bring out this giant chocolate cake.

I wrangled our entire table into a discussion over whether or not this cake was worth breaking my fast for.

Unanimously, we agreed yes. I took one bite into this luxurious, velvety, rich chocolate cake, and amidst so many layers of mousse, cake and ganache my mind couldn’t comprehend what my taste buds were experiencing.

Was it worth it? Without a doubt, yes.

1 Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake!

These days my sweet tooth still wins once in a while, but I keep it to the occasional indulgence. A donut here, a cookie there, almost always something on the healthier side of the spectrum. But especially in the last 6 months, always dairy free. And so, it was a given that I had to make my dream chocolate cake vegan style.

Friends, I’ve done just that.

ONE-BOWL Vegan Chocolate Cake!

As the title suggests, this cake is made in 1 bowl in under 1 hour! You can even make your buttercream frosting in the same bowl you used for the cake. Simplicity at its finest.

Vegan Chocolate Cake! One bowl, simple ingredients, SO moist and chocolatey |

The ingredients are fairly simple and considerably “healthier” than most chocolate cakes.

Coconut oil replaces vegetable or canola
Oil is reduced with the addition of applesauce
Cane sugar replaces granulated sugar
And the only  (vegan) “butter” is in the (vegan) “buttercream” frosting

Vegan Chocolate Cake! One bowl required and SO moist and chocolatey! #vegan!

So, what does it taste like? Just like chocolate cake should! It’s:

Generously frosted
And perfect with a glass of almond milk

1 Bowl, 45 Minute Vegan Chocolate Cake! Moist, rich, chocolatey and SO delicious

If you’re like me, chocolate cake (or any cake for that matter) deserves a giant scoop of ice cream beside it. Melty ice cream and a thick slice of heavily-frosted cake – does it get any better than that?

But for the modest cake eater, a glass of almond milk is really all you need to wash down this vegan chocolate dream. Enjoy!

1 Bowl, 1 Hour Vegan Chocolate Cake! So simple yet so moist, fluffy and chocolatey!

Speaking of almond milk, this recipe marks the first of several recipes we’ll be sharing over the next few months featuring Blue Diamond Almond Breeze! I’ve been using Almond Breeze for years and am thrilled to bring you guys some tasty recipes featuring a product I adore so much. For more information about the integrity of this brand, see their FAQ page.

Now bring on the cake!

One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake! Easy, moist, so fluffy and delicious

4.7 from 34 reviews
One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
1 bowl vegan chocolate cake made in 1 hour with simple ingredients. A two layer, buttercream-frosted cake that's moist, fluffy and rich with chocolate flavor.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 10
  • For the Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups original unsweetened Almond Breeze Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce*
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (or sub more almond milk)
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil, or sub grape seed or canola oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups cane sugar (or sub granulated sugar)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) vegan butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ~1/4 cup unsweetened original Almond Breeze Almond Milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly spray 2 8-inch round cake pans or one large rectangular pan with nonstick spray (see notes for cooking times for different size pans). Dust with cocoa powder, shake out the excess and set aside.
  2. Mix the almond milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl, and let set for a few minutes to activate. Add the oil, coffee, vanilla extract, and applesauce and beat until foamy.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a sifter and slowly sift over the wet ingredients while mixing with a hand-held or standing mixer. If you don’t have a sifter, simply mix dry ingredients in another bowl and add to the wet mixture while beating. Beat until no large lumps remain. It should be creamy and pourable. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed, adding more sugar if desired (I found it plenty sweet).
  4. Divide batter evenly between your 2 cake pans or rectangular pan.
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  6. While cooling, prepare frosting by beating together all ingredients until light and fluffy, adding the powdered sugar in small amounts until you reach your desired consistency and sweetness. If it becomes too thick, add more almond milk. If it's too thin, add more cocoa powder or powdered sugar.
  7. Once the cake is cooled, frost generously with buttercream frosting, adding a thick layer between the top and bottom layers (if doing a 2-layer cake). Alternatively, omit the frosting and dust with cocoa powder.
  8. Serve with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream, a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce, coconut whipped cream or a glass of almond milk!
*I tested butternut squash puree in the original recipe and it made it a bit too dense for my liking. Applesauce was perfect, which is why I highly recommend it over other purees.
*Double the recipe and use four pans for a 4-layer cake. Halve the recipe and use one pan for a 1-layer cake.
*Adapted from my Fudgy Vegan Beet Cupcakes
*Buttercream adapted from Martha Stewart
*Confused on how long to bake your cake when using different pans? Here's a helpful guide.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 524 Fat: 26 g Saturated fat: 15 g Carbohydrates: 74 g Sugar: 51 g Fiber: 5.1 g Protein: 4.8 g

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  1. Carmen says

    Wow! look so awesome! I wonder if it’s possible to replace the flour by a gluten free all-purpose flour?

    Say yes, pplleeaasse:)

    A girl from Quebec City who love your website.

    • Delia says

      hi! I just made this cake today with gluten free all purpose flour. I just added in 1/2 tsp of xantham gum like the gluten free flour bag recommended for cakes. It was delicious!!!!!!!! My parents who are neither gluten free nor vegan LOVED it and my dad asked me to make it for his birthday which is pretty incredible, as he pretty much hates vegan food.
      I would totally recommend it! I also added coconut flakes into the icing- yum.

  2. Julie says

    Made this for my daughter’s 17th birthday part as one of her friends is vegan and I was amazed that it is the best chocolate cake I have ever made! First time baking a vegan cake but so moist and chocolaty. Everyone loved it. I am addicted to this now as well as your granola bars!

  3. Molly says

    I’ve made this cake about three times and each time it’s been gobbled by housemate (and myself!) far too quickly. I halve the recipe and make it in a rectangular slice pan with a frosting made from avocado/agave/cocoa/etc for more “everyday” eating (well, I like to tell myself this when I’m piling it into my mouth at 11pm…or 6am).

  4. Kat says

    Killer recipe. Making it for the second time in cupcake form as I type (they’re in the oven). Thanks for coming up with this!

  5. Ajay says

    I made this cake for my family this past weekend. They totally loved it. I followed the recipe as written and it turned out great!! Thanks :)

  6. says

    My last vegan chocolate cake was a bit of a disaster, this one seems to be MUCH more successful, I’m off to impress my dairy avoiding boyfriend with a cake that might actually be edible!

  7. Deanna says

    My friend made this for upmy husband and I when when came to visit and it was so delicious! Crazy good! My daughter wants to make this into cupcakes, do you have any suggestions for us?

    • Dana Shultz says

      So glad you liked it, Deanna! I think other readers have made these into cupcakes, so scan the comments for suggestions/results. However, I would say just reduce the cooking time by half and check every few minutes thereafter for doneness. Hope that helps and good luck!

  8. Stacie says

    Well, I’m back to stalking. The summer is our busy season at work and I haven’t had time to experiment. I saw several of your recipes that I wanted to try, but when we were invited to a BBQ (with non Vegans) I jumped on the chance to make this cake. I’ve never made a cake from scratch, Vegan or otherwise, so I did a test run before hand. The first one tasted good, but was messy – Totally my fault! I learned a lot of general stuff about cake making on the first go. Well, the second one I made, the important one, was AMAZING. You are awesome!! Everyone loved it!

  9. Amy McGarry says

    Hey!! I was wondering what your thoughts were on using spelt flour instead? I really really want to make this cake :-)

    • Dana Shultz says

      Check the comments as I think other people tried it with success. I think it will work but as always, no guarantees!

  10. Ragnheidur says

    This is the best vegan cake I’ve ever tasted! I found your recipe a couple of weeks ago and I’ve all ready made it three times.

  11. Chris says

    Sounds great. Suggest just pointing out to your readers that subbing granulated sugar and powdered sugar (if refined), disqualifies it as being vegan (processed via bone filtration). So many vegans these days confuse dairy free and egg free as sufficient for what truly vegan means. Even some vinegar is clarified with gelatin, etc.

    I’ll try your recipe, as it’s similar to another I’ve used.

    • Alison says

      Great point! In the US, all certified organic sugars are free of bone char, according to the USDA and the Vegetarian Resource Group. Many organic sugar packages are also labeled as vegan, in case consumers don’t realize.

    • Nightsinge says

      True that, regarding sugar. However, sugar cannot use bone char and be qualified as “organic.” So organic sugars are safe to use for vegans.

  12. says

    This cake is a dream. An actual dream. It makes me wonder why I ever bothered putting dairy in chocolate cakes before I was vegan. After making my apple sauce I realised I only had about 3/4 of a cup’s worth so I sub’d some soya yogurt to make it up to the right amount. I also only had self raising flour so I used that with a teaspoon of baking soda. The cake is so spongey and fudgey, it’s like eating a fudgey cloud. I filled it with some home made vegan nutella and topped it with with some coconut oil buttercream. I’ve had rave reviews. Thank you so much, this will be my go to chocolate cake from now on and most likely the recipe i use for my wedding cake!

  13. Liz says

    Just tried this cake and it had good flavor but i found mine on the overly dense side – like it didn’t bake all the way through! :( looked more like fudge than cake when i cut it. The batter looked really good before i added the applesauce (cuz i had forgotten)… do you think this would work without the applesauce?

  14. Brenda says

    Just wanted to say that I made this cake today. I’m not even going to frost it because it is wonderful on it’s own. Thank you for this recipe.

  15. Crystal says

    My son has several allergies, so when his birthday comes around, I have to find a suitable recipe. Would I be able to use soy milk instead of the Almond Breeze?

    I hope so :)

  16. Trina says

    This was a disaster. Never had a cake look like mush after 40 mins in the oven. Don’t know what went wrong.

      • Trina says

        The only thing I did different was cook it in a bundt pan which could have been the problem. I will try again as so many others gave it such good reviews. I will use two pans next time.

  17. jinal says

    I should have added, I am not a vegan ( I’m vegeterian) but came across this recipe online and with such good reviews I wanted to bake it. I hope I’ve not offended by asking about substitution with milk. thanks.

  18. Nichole says

    I’ve been searching for a vegan chocolate cake recipe for my wedding cake and this cake is it! I’m in love. I made a test cake and nobody even guessed it was vegan.
    The frosting did really odd things and I have never before had that issue (looked so greasy and kind of separated). I just added vegan cream cheese and it was both beautiful and tasted great! Next time I may just make a spiced cream cheese frosting to go with it on for the wedding. I will never love another cake as much as I love this one. Thank you for that.

    • Dana Shultz says

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Nichole. A tip on the frosting: If you use Earth Balance (or real butter) from a tub instead of sticks, there is water added for ease of spreading. SO, when I’m baking, I always recommend the sticks! Hope that helps. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Nicole King says

    This cake was to die for. Nobody even thought it was vegan, haha! I paired it with a vegan pumpkin buttercream, it balanced out the sweetness of that perfectly! Thanks for the amazing recipe.

  20. Justine says

    So I totally read it as 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and now I’ve got this lovely sour concoction on my hands. EVERYONE DON’T DO IT. More sugar? Mayhaps.

  21. Lee Potvin says

    I made this cake last night and it was fantastic and so much better than any traditional chocolate cake. Unfortunately in my haste to prepare it, I forgot to pick up apple sauce. Instead I substituted fresh, peach puree instead and it was amazing. Even my non vegan (yet very supportive husband) was very impressed <3

    • Dana Shultz says

      Ah, lovely! So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your changes! Always so helpful to other readers. Cheers!

  22. Ayu Martin says

    I made this cake for my hubby for Father’s Day. He thought it was “nice” and he ate almost half a loaf (I made 2 cakes in a tin loaf). My 3 year old daughter ate some, but thought it was too chocolatey and decided it was “a bit yucky” (boo!). I ate it and I thought I was a super woman!! I brought the other cake to work. My colleagues couldn’t believe it was vegan.
    I will definitely make it again. Whoever says being vegan is boring, has never tasted this cake. Thanks for the recipe.
    I reduced the amount of sugar to half a cup. The icing was sweet enough.

  23. says

    not only is this the first vegan cake i’ve made, it’s also THE BEST chocolate cake i’ve ever tasted!!! seriously, WOW!!! thanks so much for such delicious delight :)

  24. Charity Odama says

    This was also my first time making a vegan chocolate cake and it was so delicious! Best chocolate cake I have ever had also! This is including non-vegan cakes! I altered the recipe to make it gluten free using a coconut flour mix and it was just as delicious :)

    Seriously, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. My only question is about the frosting. Its pretty sweet. Is there a way to make it hold up nicely if making cupcakes but not adding so much powdered sugar? Your expertise is appreciated. :)

    • Dana Shultz says

      Yes! You can add enough powdered sugar to get it to the sweetness you prefer. Then add in another flavorless thickener of choice, such as arrowroot starch or a gluten free flour blend. Hope that helps!

  25. Archana says

    Hi I tried the cake today. I had to bake it at higher temp of 400 F after trying for 30 mins at 350 F. The cake had risen nicely after baking at higher temp but dropped as it cooled down :( It looks so flat and hard now. I am a novice baker, where did I go wrong? The last time I tried an eggless recipe, the same thing happened. Please advise.


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