1-Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake

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Slice of Vegan Chocolate Cake with chocolate frosting

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 at the reception. I was in sweet tooth heaven.

Flour sugar, cocoa, and other ingredients for making our easy 1-Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe

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.

Bowl of Vegan Chocolate Cake batter and two cake layers resting on a cooling rack

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.

Vegan Chocolate Cake topped with chocolate frosting ready to be spread

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.

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.

Frosted Vegan Chocolate Cake resting on a cutting board

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

Slice removed from our delicious and moist Vegan Chocolate Cake

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

Generously frosted
& Perfect with a glass of almond milk

Slice of Vegan Chocolate Cake on a plate and the rest of the cake on a cutting board

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!

Slice of moist and fluffy Vegan Chocolate Cake on a plate

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!

Slice of delicious and moist Vegan Chocolate Cake for dessert

1-Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake

1-bowl vegan chocolate cake made in less than 1 hour with simple ingredients. A 2-layer buttercream-frosted cake that’s moist, fluffy, and rich with chocolate flavor.
Author Minimalist Baker
Slice of amazing Vegan Chocolate Cake on a plate
4.74 from 560 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10 (slices)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 Month (frost just before serving)
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 1 ½ cups original unsweetened Almond Breeze Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted (or sub avocado oil)
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (or sub more almond milk)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened applesauce*
  • 2 heaping cups whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour (heaping implies 1 cup + roughly 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 ⅓ cups organic cane sugar (or sub granulated sugar)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 1 cup vegan butter (softened)
  • 2 ½ – 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


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly spray 2 8-inch round cake pans or 1 large rectangular pan with nonstick spray (see notes for cooking times for different size pans // adjust number or size of pans if altering batch size). Dust with cocoa powder, shake out the excess and set aside.
  • 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. If coconut oil hardens, microwave the mixture in 10-15 second increments until melted.
  • 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).
  • Divide batter evenly between your cake pans or rectangular pan.
  • Bake 25-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 4 pans for a 4-layer cake. Halve the recipe and use 1 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 is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 slices Calories: 524 Carbohydrates: 74 g Protein: 4.8 g Fat: 26 g Saturated Fat: 15 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 5.1 g Sugar: 51 g

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My Rating:

  1. Theresa says

    Hello! How many cupcakes would this make and how long would I bags them for? Thanks for being my go-to source for vegan recipes.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Theresa! We haven’t tried this recipe as cupcakes but other readers have had success making ~24 cupcakes and baking for 23-27 minutes. Hope this helps!

  2. Jessi says

    Thank you for recommending this recipe!! Definitely a better option for me – and my son! What can I use in place of almond milk? My son has a dairy and nut allergy – so maybe either soy milk or coconut milk? Can’t wait to make this for our party on Saturday and post my review!! :)


    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jessi, we’re so glad the recommendation was helpful! Soy milk or a thinner coconut milk like those in the carton (not canned) would work. Hope you love it! xo

  3. KOTLCRULES says

    This is my favourite chocolate cake recipe, I use a gluten free flour and have made it three times, the gluten free flour I use is Cup 4 Cup Gluten free all purpose flour and it works great for this recipe, I am making it for the fourth time and am infusing the almond milk with lavender and making a lavender buttercream or whipped cream instead of the chocolate buttercream.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ohhh that sounds divine! Thanks so much for the wonderful review and for sharing your modifications!

  4. Dayna says

    The frosting on this recipe is Gods-Honest-Truth Life Changing™. I’m not even a frosting fan, and I lovingly eat it from a spoon, no cake. (I mean, it’s also unreal on cake.)

  5. Gabriela says

    I wonder if someone baked this cake without using a beater/ food mixer. I don’t have one but I really wanna make this recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gabriela, other readers have mentioned using a whisk with success – it will just be more effort and may not be quite as fluffy. Hope that helps!

  6. Lauren says

    I have been baling vegan for 6 years now, and this remains my favorite chocolate cake recipe. It is super versatile, and it always comes out the best chocolate cake ever!!!

  7. Wendy says

    What a delicious cake! I used less sugar in the frosting (just under 2 C) bit otherwise just as written. Yum! Great cake for my husband’s birthday ❤️

  8. Monica says

    This recipe is a keeper! I started making the cake before realizing that my applesauce was moldy, so I subbed smashed banana. It gave the cake a banana flavor, which is nice but I’ll try it as written next time. The cake itself isn’t very sweet, so if you do a pan cake which uses less frosting than a layer cake, I’d recommend a couple tablespoons more sugar or using sweetened milk. Other than that, it was wonderful! Rich and flavorful, not too dense, and the frosting is delicious.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience and modifications, Monica! So glad you enjoyed it overall! xo

  9. Mia says

    Made this for my mothers birthday and everyone loved it! Probably the best vegan cake recipe, im definitley gonna make it again, I thank you a lot for this recipe

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Woan! We haven’t tried this cake with the matcha buttercream, but it might be good! We think a chocolate frosting would be best with this cake, and maybe a vanilla cake with the matcha frosting? Let us know how it goes if you give it at try!

  10. Keira Lyons says

    Oh my goodness – light, fluffy amazingness. Not too sweet so everything balanced out in the mix. I tested the recipe with cupcakes, piped raspberry puree into the centre and stuck with a frosting recipe that I love that doesn’t use icing sugar (from Lisa Fabry’s, Divine Vegan Desserts)… but that cake was so soft and with a good level of moisture on its own. It totally won, hands down, the competition for my brother’s 50th birthday cake. You’re such gems – thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, you’re the sweetest, Keira! We are so glad it was such a success! The raspberry puree sounds like a delicious addition! xoxo

    • Sarah says

      I made this a couple weeks ago so I can’t really remember what I didn’t just love about the cake itself – a bit too dry I think which is easily correctable . However, I think the frosting is the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever made. I’m going to use it now is my ‘go to’

  11. Kate says

    I am making this again for Friendsgiving. Its the best chocolate cake I’ve literally ever eaten. Wondering if you can use ghee as a butter sub?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy this cake, Kate! We haven’t tried making frosting with ghee, but it should work. Let us know if you try it!

  12. Antonia Columbo says

    Hi. Can this recipe be made with cashew milk and Dutch processed baking cocoa? Also, can refined coconut oil be used?

  13. Jann says

    Made this recipe as it is written for potluck but didn’t have applesauce so I used eggs; I didn’t like the texture as much but everyone else said it was good and wanted it again. I made sure I had all the ingredients next time and made it as a sheet cake. Much better! Now, they say next time I need to bring TWO sheet cakes, and could I please share the recipe. Guess it’s a hit!

  14. Natalie Fay says

    Such a great recipe for a quick cake! I added shredded coconut on top, because we love chocolate and coconut !!
    Thanks again for sharing such amazing vegan recipes!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Natalie! Coconut sounds like a delicious topping! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  15. Mary says

    This is my go to dairy free/egg free birthday cake recipe – I’ve made it dozens of time now. Super easy to make, super yummy,to eat and always gets a ton of compliments. I sub in normal canola oil and soy milk to make this nut free too, and make a very basic butter cream with dairy free butter. Thanks so much for this recipe – its make many kids very happy!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoy it, Mary! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  16. M. Kelly says

    I baked this following the recipe exactly about a day and a half before having guests. It was exceptionally good! We all loved it. I happened to have a fair amount of leftover frosting, but I’m so happy with the results. This was the first time I baked a cake from scratch.

  17. Lori Klatt says

    Can I substitute almond flour for wheat flour? Or applesauce for the sugar? If so do I need to adjust any of the other ingredients?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lori, we wouldn’t suggest subbing it 1-1 as the consistency of the batter won’t be right. We’d suggest using this recipe instead. Hope that helps!

  18. stephanie says

    doubled the recipe, baked for a long time – 35 minutes – but did anyone’s attempt turn into soft brownies (if frozen), or maybe soft flourless chocolate cake? i’m considering adding peanut butter and dates, combine and scoop from the bundt pan to make energy bites rolled in coconut finished with pink salt. not sure what went wrong, but i
    love the ingredients and look forward to trying again!

  19. Liz says

    Making for my daughters wedding cake. I have a month to practice. Please provide a good vegan white icing recipe. Using 10 and 6 inch pans. Will do a test run today freeze it than ice tomorrow as wedding is not local. I will let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed as I am not a baker lol!!!

    • Liz says

      Ended up buying a vegan cake BUT— if time allotted and was easy to transport I would definitely use this recipe —this cake was the best cake I have tasted. It was like a chocolate brownie. I let all my friends try and they gave two thumbs up. I will be making this cake again for my daughter and new son in laws visit as they are out of town.

  20. Janice says

    I make this cake for every occasion that warrants cake and it is, without exception, a favorite! I use gluten free flour and it turns out beautiful and delicious. I’d like to make it as cupcakes this time… how long would you recommend baking them for? TIA!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad you enjoy it, Janice. We’d say start with 25-30 minutes and increase time as needed from there.

  21. Helen Hooper Butt says

    My son-in-law made this and it is yummy. I try to avoid oil, but this was a special occasion. Do you have any ideas for oil substitutions?

  22. Annana says

    You rock my socks off! Every recipe I try is delicious, simple, inspiring, and gorgeous in every way.

  23. Nadia says

    This cake recipe has been my go to for years! I made it for my daughter’s 3rd birthday and now she requests it often. We usually make it as cupcakes and leave off the frosting for a quick sweet treat. All my friend’s who have tried this cake love it, vegan and non. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.

  24. Gina says

    Hello! Do you think home-made almond milk yield the same texture as Almond Breeze? Home-made wouldn’t have the stabilizing ingredients that a store-bought almond milk might have.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gina! We haven’t tried this with homemade milk but we are pretty sure it would still work. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

  25. Gina says

    I am making this cake today for Memorial Day and I’m wondering if it’ll turn out as fabulous if I use my homemade almond milk (or cashew milk). I know the the store bought ones have stabilizing ingredients, and I wonder if the absence of those will affect the texture of the cake. What do you think?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gina! While we haven’t tried this with homemade milk we are confident it should work. Hope it turned out beautifully! xo

  26. Katie says

    I just made this cake for my husband’s birthday this weekend, and it turned out AMAZING! Literally the perfect cake. The recipe is easy, healthyish, and so, so much better than anything from a store. 10/10 recommend!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad to hear it, Katie. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  27. Hannah says

    This has been my go-to cake recipe ever since I first discovered it 4 years ago. I make this for my vegan and non-vegan friends alike and everyone asks for the recipe, including my “conventional baking” friends! Even my friend who is a trained professional pastry chef uses this recipe.

    I’ve tried this with about every reasonable substitution you could make; different vinegars, many different oils (even olive oil is delicious!) the addition of different extracts and liqueurs, different kinds of sugar, numerous different fruit and veggie purees, and its always turned out AMAZING.

    Cannot recommend this recipe highly enough. Thank you Dana.

  28. Theresa says

    Hi there!
    I love your recipes and I would like to try out this one. Do you think I can bake the whole batter in one pan and simply adjust the baking time?
    Thank you so much,

    • Carolyn Lefebvre says

      Looking forward to making this for a friend’s birthday. I really prefer weighing, rather than measuring, flour – I feel like I always get a better result.

      Any chance you actually weighed the flour? I’m worried I won’t get the right amount.
      Thanks! Love ALL your recipes!!

  29. Lara says

    Quick question. I have two 9-inch cake pans…could I use those without unfortunate results? This is my first vegan cake so I’m just wary of making any adjustments. Thanks!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lara! That should work just fine, you’ll get a slightly shorter cake, but we don’t think it will make much difference. Let us know how it goes! xo

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Yes, it does freeze well! We’d suggest frosting just before serving. Hope that helps!

  30. Maura Binetti says

    I am planning to make this next week. Have you tried any flour substitutions such as almond, coconut oat flour, or a mixture of whole wheat and white flour? I am not a baker so I really don’t know much about what is possible to substitute. I will be using white flour.

    Also, could I substitute coconut sugar for the cane sugar?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maura, we’d suggest one of our gluten-free chocolate cake recipes if wanting to use almond flour. Otherwise, all purpose would be your best bet here. We haven’t tried coconut sugar in this recipe, but it should be fine! Let us know how it goes!

  31. Heather says

    This is my go-to birthday cake. I have been making it for three years now, and it comes out great every time! I use extra almond milk instead of adding coffee and use granulated sugar. It is definitely more moist and dense than the average cake, but I love that. I have made the frosting with vegan butter and with margarine (we’re not strict vegans…) and both turned out great – definitely have to make sure the cake has cooled all the way first! I made that mistake the first time and the frosting was a mess – but still delicious!
    I’ll be making this recipe into cupcakes this afternoon!

  32. Kendra says

    Okay… I’m not usually one to hop back on and write a review after the bake (out of pure laziness up to this point), but this was SUCH a winner, it made me a review believer. My vegan girlfriend’s been craving cake lately, so I turned to ol’ reliable Minimalist Baker and looked for the simplest recipe I could find. I replaced the coffee with more almond milk and used granulated sugar, mixed everything by hand with a whisk, and did the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. After 30 minutes on the top rack of the oven, mine was perfectly baked! I made my own vegan homemade vanilla buttercream recipe to ice.
    When I say that my girlfriend fell out of her chair when she tried it, I’m not exaggerating. Anyone on my social media can attest. It was fluffy and moist, extra chocolatey, and just the right amount of sweet. We ate our slices with some dairy-free almond whipped cream and it was out of this world. As a non-vegan, this is just one of the best chocolate cakes there are — and my girlfriend is already asking me if I can make it again for her birthday in October. Let this be your sign to bake this cake, seriously. You won’t be sorry!

  33. valentina escobar says

    Hi! Awesome recipe, I can´t find vegan butter for the frosting, can I use coconut oil instead?

      • Grayson says

        I’ve used coconut oil many times and it’s worked well. (This is such an excellent cake! Everyone always loves it, vegan and non-vegan alike.)

        • Eva Brenner says

          This was soooo yummy!! Loved it so much and will definitely make again. Thank you so much!!!

          I made some changes: used a bit less sugar since I’m not too much of a sweet tooth and replaced the applesauce with sweet potato mash. I also accidentally added 1/2 teaspoon extra baking soda. My cake deflated when it came out of the oven. Do you think it could have been the extra baking powder that messed it up?

          • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

            We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Eva! Yes, that could be the issue. Or is it possible you opened the oven during baking?

  34. Pamela Stein says

    I followed the recipe for the vegan chocolate cake exactly as written. The cake came out chewy and the second layer kept sliding off the plate. My family thought the taste of the cake was good but we were trying to figure out why the cake didn’t come out light and fluffy. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Pamela, so sorry to hear that happened! Is it possible your baking powder is expired?

      • Pamela Stein says

        Yes… you are right. That would have a big impact on the results. Good to know. Thank you so much.

  35. Yuti says

    I made this cake and it did taste delicious but the thing with all my vegan cake recipes(and this as well) is that it always comes out under baked even after 1 hour of baking it with the same temperature (180*C).
    Please suggest some solutions

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm. What kind of pan are using and did you let it cool completely before slicing? You could always try leaving it in the oven just a little bit longer.

      • Yuti says

        I am using a stainless steel pan and I did let it cool for about an hour or so.
        By under baked I meant that the cake is too “smushy” or it does not have that spongy texture and sticks inside the mouth while eating

  36. Stacey says

    I made this in cupcake form for my son but before I poured them into their cups they looked SUPER watery. The did cook up and didn’t sink but he said it was like tofu in the middle. Any idea how I can make this more cakey? When I took them out of the tins there was a TON of oil residue which I anticipate it will only get more oil over the coming days – I did use oat milk because he’s allergic to nuts – could htat have been it? Can I cut back on the oil or applesauce? Any ideas? I’d really like this to get to a 5 star – Thanks!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry that happened, Stacey. We don’t think oat milk would cause that. Did you use the metric or US customary measurements? What type of flour did you use? We’re thinking it may have needed more flour.

  37. Camille says

    PHENOMENAL chocolate cake!!!! I made this for my mom’s birthday and the whole family agreed it was the best chocolate cake we have ever eaten. For the cake, I used avocado oil, 1 and 1/4 cup sugar, spelt flour, and raw cacao powder. The texture was absolutely perfect. HIGHLY RECOMMEND <3

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Camille! Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  38. Amulya James says

    love love loved it! I’m making it again but i’m short on applesauce, any substitute you recommend? dairy products also work for me!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Amulya! You can use a grated apple or pear (or make your own sauce with either of those). Or another similar fruit / veggie puree such as sweet potato or beet! Or maybe even yogurt? But we haven’t tried that!

  39. Jane says

    Stop your search for recipes and make this cake! I just made it (with your date chocolate frosting- amazing, by the way) for my son’s birthday and everyone in my family LOVED it. My husband kept complimenting me like I was an amazing baker…when really my 2 kids helped me make it, it was so easy. I’m not even a cake person and I loved it. Ok, enough gushing. Thank you so much for the delicious and simple recipes!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, so kind Jane! We’re thrilled that you and your family enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  40. Chrissy Lake says

    Love this cake! I’ve made it multiple times and it’s my favorite vegan chocolate cake. Thanks for your fab recipes!! <3

  41. Caroline says

    If I were to bake this the day before serving it. Would you keep the cake pieces separate from the icing and then combine before serving or just put it together and keep it in the fridge?

    I’ve made this before and its the most amazing cake EVER….ITS AMAZING. I want to replicate for a birthday party but wont be able to bake the day of.


    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Caroline, we’re so glad you enjoy it! We’d recommend keeping the icing and cake separate until ready to serve.

    • Megan says

      If I dont have a cake pan can I make these into cupcakes instead ?

      Ps i love your recipes so much! I dont know if you do already and ill definitely check but tou should have an app so people can save recipes easier. I’m not on pinterest much so an app would be awesome!

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Megan, thanks for sharing! Cupcakes will work. We’d say start with 25-30 minutes and increase time as needed from there.

  42. Caru says

    As a north American that didn’t grow up in North America I mostly avoid cakes because they are too sweet or (too much baking soda). I made this cake for my vegan husband and all of us ended with a sugar coma. I made the frosting with one cup of sugar. I have to say that the cake had a great texture, but too sweet for us.
    I had a problem with vegan butter while I was mixing it, it separated in two phases, it was like cheese curd with vanilla water. I used the butter that I found in my supermarket and apparently it wasn’t a good one. To fix it, I put the mix in bain Marie for five minutes and next, I put it in the fridge for 20 min, then I removed the water and put it in the mixer again and it was great.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Caru, sorry to hear you had some difficulty with this one! We’ve retested this cake several times before and couldn’t replicate these issues. But if the main issue was the cake is too sweet, you could simply add less sugar next time and compensate with additional flour as needed if the batter is too wet. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Megna says

    Cake rose in the oven but sank down flat while it cooled, final texture was like a gummy brick. Needed more salt and more sugar too, so the flavor was flat too.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So sad! Sorry you had trouble with this one, Megna. We will do a retest on this one ASAP to troubleshoot.

      • Kaitlyn says

        I’ve made this cake before many times, in fact I followed the recipe again today to make it for a friend. The cake texture was lovely and moist, the frosting was delicious as usual. I even used canola oil instead of coconut and it was no different. Not sure what the original poster might have been having an issue with, but I haven’t been able to replicate it on my end.

  44. Stine says

    After reading the reviews I decided to give this cake a go for my Birthday. It turned out really well! The best vegan cake I have made so far and even my anti-vegan husband had a second piece ;) I went for 1 cup coconut sugar only and for the icing added more melted chocolate and 1,5 cup icing sugar. It also freezes well! Thanks for all the great recipes!

  45. Joanie K. says

    I am not exaggerating when I say, this is the best chocolate cake I have ever had, vegan or not! As an avid baker and cake decorator, I loved how moist it was yet dense enough to carve and decorate. Thank you for this recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Michelle. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  46. Talli says

    This was the best vegan cake I’ve ever made. I used only 1 cup of sugar and added 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips according to one of the comments which was a brilliant idea.

    I shaped it into a robot cake for my son’s birthday :)

    thank you!!

  47. Emily L says

    This cake came out very fluffy and moist and is a perfect snacking cake! I decreased the sugar by half, used roasted and mashed squash, used extra milk instead of coffee, and added a 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips. My oven runs hot so it took about 23 minutes. Great recipe!

  48. Hil says

    A yummy, moist, perfect texture vegan chocolate cake with not too fancy ingredients! Thanks! After tasting the frosting I added some salt, it increased the rich flavour.

  49. Ann says

    I made some minor tweaks from the recipe since I lack the same ingredients but it turned out well. I used Almond Breeze Chocolate Milk, made my own applesauce, and coconut sugar instead of granulated sugar. I also used less sugar to lessened the sweetness. I omitted the coffee since I’m not a fan. But since I used 100% cacao powder and 55% dark chocolate coin instead of a semisweet chocolate for the frosting, the bitter taste of it complimented the sweetness of the cake. My family loved it and I will surely make this again. Thank you for this recipe. Looking forward to trying other recipes too.

  50. Elena says

    Delicious! Made just the cake last night to have around as a snacking cake and it came out so fluffy and perfectly chocolatey. I didn’t have applesauce so I used canned pumpkin purée and I also used 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour. Thanks for the great recipe!!

  51. Amanda says

    This is the BEST vegan cake ever – I never thought I would be able to bake one at home but alas this recipe is here! Followed the recipe exactly. Super moist and delicious. This was a favorite for vegans and non vegans alike!

  52. Elena says

    Hello! I just wanted to say that this recipe is delicious! I needed a recipe for my mom’s birthday, and this was perfect! Thank you so much for making all these delicious recipes!

  53. Jasmine alsakin says

    Honestly, This cake is a masterpiece. I was hesitant at first, I mean it’s a vegan chocolate cake how good it could be? But it was the best chocolate cake I ever test, and I am a chocolate cake lover. I made this recipe with hazelnut cake frosting because it less butter, and the result is: Just WOW. Everything is just perfect: the texture, the sweetness, the moisture. Literally A MASTERPIECE!

  54. Sarah says

    I made this to take for a pre Christmas catch up with friends, one of whom has recently gone vegan. Everybody loved it and kept asking me if I was sure it was vegan! It was moist and dark and chocolatey and tasted fabulous. The frosting was amazing.
    I used standard plain white flour and reduced the sugar (used white caster sugar) to 1 cup and I used grapeseed oil. I also doubled the amount of dark chocolate in the frosting.
    I did have to bake it for about 10 more mins to cook through (i think splitting this into 2 tins is a good idea to help it bake through).
    The frosting quantities allowed me to put a thick layer on top and in the middle but there wasn’t sufficient to frost all over, which was fine as I liked the rustic finish.

  55. Dimitra says

    Hello, I usually use vegetable oil but i have this coconut oil with “butter flavour” i wanna use this time. The coconut oil is measured before or after melting?
    thank you :)

  56. Colleen says

    This cake was so good! Perfectly moist and chocolatey but not overly rich. I used coconut sugar as that’s my preferred. My cake pans are 10 inches, so I used one and then made six cupcakes with the leftover. Bake time was 15 mins for the cupcakes and 30 for the cake. I didn’t have chocolate chips on hand, so I added a bit more cocoa powder for the frosting, and only 1/2 cup of butter. I froze the leftovers so I can make this again! (Reposting this as i forgot to star)

  57. Colleen says

    This cake is SO good! Perfectly moist and delightfully chocolatey, but somehow not too rich. I only have 10 inch cake pans, so I made the recipe as written and made one layer and six cupcakes. Cook time was about 15 mins for the cupcakes and 30 for the cake. I also used coconut sugar as that’s my preferred sugar. I’m not vegan, so i used regular butter for the frosting as it’s what I had. Only used 1/2 cup and it made plenty. Also didn’t have chocolate chips so i just added a bit more cocoa powder. I froze the leftover frosting so that I can make this again!

  58. Sian Sims says

    Have made countless times. It’s very dark and rich I do use quality choc but low cal spray oil. No coffee and gluten free flour. Apricot jam and coconut milk as filling. Dark choc melted over top. You can thin with soya milk. Bake 30 / 35 at most. It’s a large cake and family love it

  59. Amber Yothers says

    Hi Dana, is there anything I can sub for the applesauce? I live in Taiwan and it’s pretty difficult to find applesauce here. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amber, you can use a grated apple or pear (or make your own sauce with either of those). Or another similar fruit / veggie puree such as sweet potato or beet!

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Amber, we think using the full amount would make it have a banana taste. But it should work for texture. We use a smaller amount of banana in this recipe.

          • Nina says

            Hi, I’m making this cake today for my boyfriend’s birthday and I have two questions:
            1. I bought this vegan butter for the first time (“Naturli’ “), but now I realize that it’s salted :( It’s the only vegan butter I could find in the supermarket, so I was wondering if I could use Margarine instead?
            2. I only have a 26cm cheesescake pan for baking. Should I double the recipe and make two bigger layers instead of two smaller ones? Or should I stick with the same recipe and just make thinner layers (and try not to burn them 😁)

          • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Nina, it’s fine it it’s salted, just add less salt. If the thinner layers don’t bother you in terms of appearance, it should be fine to use the same size recipe. We think doubling would be too much, but maybe a 1 1/2 batch?

  60. Angélique says

    I just want to say thank you for this recipe. I made it for my son’s birthday and he loved it. I left out the coffee and used half oat milk, half almond milk.
    I only made the base cake in a large rectangular mould and then split it in half to make 2 layers (working with what I have!).
    I didn’t make the frosting from this recipe since I didn’t have vegan butter or icing sugar, so I made a frosting from another recipe which contained vegan chocolate, oil, sugar, peanut butter and oat milk and it turned out delicious with the cake.
    Just added some sprinkles and smarties and it was very Mum-made but satisfaying! Thank you again!

  61. Chandni says

    Good cake! I frosted it with Dana’s recipe for the peanut butter mousse. People loved it and said they wouldn’t have known it was vegan! Accurate bake time- mine were done in 26 minutes

  62. Steph says

    My first time making a vegan cake! We found out recently that my daughter has a lot of food allergies so I went on a mission to find a cake recipe that didn’t have many common allergens. The only thing I did differently was substitute the almond milk for coconut milk because my daughter is allergic to almonds. This cake tastes amazing!!! We’re chocolate lovers and this has a great chocolatey taste!

    I shared this with my family and everyone loved it! None of us has a vegan cake before and everyone agreed that this tasted better than a “regular” cake!

  63. Danielle says

    Love this cake! I put in 2 teaspoon of instant coffee instead of strong coffee, it worked great. My kids could not believe it is vegan. Awesome.

  64. Robin says

    I have made this before and it was great, but today the batter is so liquidy??I added flour but still not creamy, more like water.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      So strange! Is it possible you left out an ingredient or subbed a different type of flour? And did you make sure to use heaping cups of flour?

  65. Rebecca says

    this is hands down the best chocolate cake recipe in the world. Only me and my partner are vegan and when our family have it they can’t get enough of it. Only thing which I have found is it takes my cakes around 40mins to cook to come out clean.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  66. Claire Halbrook says

    I made this recipe for my dad‘s birthday. He’s vegan, but all of my friends that I shared leftovers with were blown away. I converted the recipe into cupcakes and then sliced a little hole in the top and dropped raspberry jam inside. Then I frosted the cupcakes and topped them with jam-glazed raspberries. Everyone said it was one of the best cupcakes they’ve ever had. I added some extra sugar to the batter because I think the coffee I used was quite bitter (the recipe does say to taste the batter first to check for sweetness). I also cut the baking time down to about 20 minutes and added extra melted chocolate to the frosting (because yum!). A half batch of the frosting covered a dozen cupcakes well. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  67. Emily says

    Hi Dana!
    I am a chef and made this for a kosher group retreat. I made the applesauce and used espresso powder. I also did not have a mixer so I did it entirely with a wooden spoon and whisk. Woah. Best chocolate cake ever!
    Thank you very much.

      • Amanda Rhind-Tutt says

        Have tried this cake before following this recipe and it came out great. This time I want to try it with a gluten/yeast and wheat free flour.
        Do you know if this would work at all?

  68. Adi says

    OMG THIS CAKE IS DELICIOUS!!! I have tried quite a few vegan cakes but this was the best… I added some cherry compote and some rum to the cake… It makes it heaven like… I encourage everyone to make this cake.. I wanted to know if I can use a flaxseed egg instead of applesauce cause I usually don’t have it around my house

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Adi! Those additions sound incredible and we’re so glad you enjoyed it! We haven’t tried flax in this one, but our concern is that it wouldn’t add as much moisture. Another fruit or veggie purée might be a better option. Let us know if you try it!

  69. Lucy S. says

    The word decadent aptly describes this amazing chocolate cake recipe. So easy to make. Most of the ingredients I already had in my pantry. I love that it is all made in one bowl. I made it for my son’s birthday. He didn’t believe that I made it and didn’t believe it was vegan. I’ve made other vegan cakes. This was–by far–THE best and THE best chocolate cake I’ve ever made.

    Thank you for putting together delicious, quality recipes that allow us to omit animal protein.

  70. Mario says

    I have made this cake a number of times now and it is perfect. I am not a vegan and I love to put butter in everything, but this cake competes with the best chocolate cakes out there. I have substituted coconut oil for plain vegetable oil when I ran out of that ingredient, but the coconut oil adds a better aftertaste. The cake comes out fluffy and very tasty. Follow the recipe as is and you will not be disappointed. My go-to chocolate cake and its vegan.

  71. Helen says

    My cake is in the oven while I write this. I may or may not of made a mistake. Instead of using 2 circle pans, I used a circle cake pan. I went to put in my toothpick after 30 minutes and still not ready. I left it in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes all together. The toothpick came out clean. I’m using this cake as a birthday cake for a friend of mine…..maybe kinda crazy using a recipe for the first time for an important event. Now the icing and I sure hope everyone is going to love it.

  72. Antonetta says

    I would like to make this for the daughter in-laws baby shower but in cupcakes form instead of cake so they can be put in a take away box. How long would I cook them for cupcakes?? Looks delicious!

  73. Susan says

    I would like to make this cake but I am confused, the recipe calls for 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached all purpose flour, or if using all purpose flour use 1 cup + roughly 2 tablespoons.
    Am I understanding that correctly?

  74. Jane W. says

    I’ve done it and I loved it, but I tried the “chia chocolate cake” from This Baker’s Soul on YouTube and I love how fudgy it is with the chia, it’s incredible. Could you please make a version with chia?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenni, you can find the weight measurements by clicking “metric” beneath the ingredients header. Hope that helps!

  75. Rachel says

    Made this as a birthday cake in a 9×13 pan, which took 40+ minutes to bake. It tastes great, not too sweet, but do know that this makes a very heavy and dense cake. The texture was interesting – the bottom half was very compact and fudge-y, while the top half was much lighter and crumb-y. I might consider using slightly less coconut oil next time. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Elsa, oh no, sorry to hear that! It definitely sounds like something went wrong. Did you make any modifications? It sounds like it may have needed additional flour.

  76. Amy says

    My first experiment with a vegan cake. The result? YUM-MY?!?!!!
    I subbed coconut milk for almond milk because that’s all I had at hand. Made some honeycomb toffee to decorate after frosting, but that was totally forgotten, the frosting is THAT good. If you’re making this cake, please make the vegan buttercream frosting mentioned in the recipe, trust me, it is worth it.
    The cake came out just a little denser than a regular cake with dairy/eggs would, I’m not sure how to tackle that? I really want a less dense, more airy texture to my cake.
    Taste wise – sinfully good.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Amy! Did you use whole wheat or all purpose flour? We’d suggest all purpose for a lighter texture.

  77. Rocio says

    I was looking for a chocolate frosting for a chocolate cake base i did for a birthday of a friend, I love minimalist baker’s recipes so I searched for one here first and OH MY GOD! I have never tried such a delicious frosting in my life. TOTALLY RECOMMEND! Everyone at the party was blown away by its softness and creaminess! Will save the recipe.
    The only difference is I only had 250gr of powder sugar that I had bought thinking it would be enough so I skipped the milk and the result was superb, not too sweet and perfect texture to fill the cake without it falling from the sides (the cake was decorated on top so it had quite some weight on it)

    • Rocio says

      I should add: I made a 30mm cake and it was enough to fill it very generously but I only had a bit left that was’t enough to cover the sides or the top, so plan that accordingly :)

  78. Elissa says

    I’ve made this cake so many times over the last few years. Pretty much every family birthday and it is always a winner!! The most delicious plant based chocolate cake and very easy to make!

  79. Roshana says

    I made your cake for my daughter B.D. as she requested exactly this recipe. The frosting was so far the best chocolate frosting I have tasted in my life. I even ate the left over with a spoon next day.
    But my cake sadly baked in two different textures!!!! underneath was gooey and gummy but the top half was fine. I kind of see it in your close up picture.
    I can’t figure out why this happened!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So strange! I’ll have to give this one another test as a few others have experienced texture issues. The odd thing is that so many others have had such success! In any case, we’ll flag this for review.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I’m not sure! But I’m guessing same temperature just less bake time. Let us know if you try it out!

      • Rebecca hartley says

        Well here goes nothing! I’ve not used any applesauce (didnt have any) used normal lactose free milk (my daughter doesn’t like almond milk so none in) and I’ve used chocolate (vegan) spread as no cocoa powder in either…fingers crossed…no idea how its going to come out. Thing is, whatever I make my family say its delicious lol.

  80. Joy Anderson says

    This chocolate cake is Amazing! Truly restaurant worthy. Don’t change a thing for perfection. I’ve only served it to non-vegan friends and each one has said it’s the best chocolate cake they’ve ever had and have begged for the recipe. Thank you!

  81. Louise says

    This cake is the bomb! Definitely one of those, ‘I can’t believe it’s vegan moments’.

    I used rice bran oil instead of coconut and bought some apple baby-food to use for the apple sauce.

  82. Sandy says

    This is the single nicest chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. I didn’t have a fan forced oven so I added a little extra heat and about 8 mins extra. It was perfect all the way through.

    This is my new cake for all occasions!

  83. Claudia says

    This looks amazing and Id love to make it for my friend whom is Vegan. One quick question, could I use Almond Flour vs Wheat? Ive used un other recipes and love it but just wasnt sure if it would work here?

  84. Melanie says

    Hello, my friend recommended your site and i am planning on make this cake for a birthday cake. I have one question. Does this cake lend itself well to be levelled with a cake leveler? Usually, i cut the tops off of my cakes so i have uniform size layers before decorating. I wonder whether the texture will hold ?Thank you very much.

  85. Sarah says

    The cake was decent, but nothing extraordinary. It is dense and moist and rich – all good, though maybe I’ll add some melted chocolate or chopped chocolate to the batter next time. Only sub I did was oat milk for almond milk as I don’t like the aftertaste of the latter.

    The frosting however was fabulous and IMO made the cake. I am not vegan, but I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between this and buttercream made with real butter. I added the minimum amount of powdered sugar, a little less cocoa powder too, plus a few dashes of instant espresso powder. There was no need to add milk.

    The combination of the cake and the frosting is definitely a winner.

  86. Bridgette Davenport says

    Hi, I want to make this cake, but only have brown sugar and baking soda – do you have suggestions on how to switch the ratios/ will this still work?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Bridgette, we think the brown sugar sub should be fine. As for baking powder, maybe look up a recipe online for making baking powder using baking soda and cream of tartar? Hope that helps!

      • Alyssa says

        My daughter’s birthday is this weekend, she’s not dairy free but her BFF has a milk allergy. This recipe sounds great and I was wondering if it could be modified to make cupcakes. If so, how? I would need no more than a dozen cupcakes. Thanks for any help with this.

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Alyssa, it should work great as cupcakes! Some other readers have done so with success. If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for “cupcakes” in the post and comments to see what others have done.

      • Luise says

        I have been making this cake over and over again for the past… Years? Always comes out perfectly. I have added chopped dark chocolate, vegan chocolate chips, raspberries and cherries in the past (although not altogether), which is a great addition. Also replaced the sugar with coconut sugar, worked just fine! Delish. If you replace some of the flour with ground almonds, halve the recipe and press some raspberries in there, you’ll have a great summery cake that doesn’t need any icing (but looks great with some powdered sugar)!

  87. Courtney Jett says

    Hi! Have you every made the cake layers and frozen them to use later? If so, how did it turn out and how did you defrost them? THANK YOU!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! I’d seal them well (with some kind of wrap or tupperware), freeze, and just let them thaw at room temperature.

  88. Ridhi says

    Oh. My. God. This is the most amazing cake ever! me and my non-vegan family loved it!!! I used 2 frostings, the one listed here, as well as your oil free chocolate frosting. Awesome tasting and fool-proof, this cake is a must try for everyone!

  89. Laura says

    Despite following the instructions to a tee the cake was far too moist and dense and it did not cook properly (I left it in for 1 hour and was still getting a soggy bottom). It was a bit of a disappointment as I made it for someones birthday. Fortunately we discovered the next day that it was much better delicious warmed up- it was like a melt-in the middle chocolate brownie pudding! mmmm. Flavour was amazing but recipe definitely needs a bit less moisture or oil.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that, Laura! It does sounds like it needed more baking and/or flour. Did you make sure to use heaping cups of flour?

    • Beverley Winfield says

      I’m always looking for vegan dishes for my family and friends! I followed this recipe really closely – it took 55 minutes to bake through .. (could you let us know the weight of ‘2 heaping cups of flour’ .. as my interpretation might be different to yours :-) …) I also think I’ll use different oil next time as the coconut oil kept congealing during the mixing process .. and leached out of the bottom of the cake tins during the bake.

      The aroma when cooking was devine and made the whole house smell lovely!! the cake was a bit crunchy on the outside and a little too moist inside – but still very tasty! I served it with creamy vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries With a few changes (more flour/different oil/hopefully less cooking time) I will definitely be trying this again!!

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks for sharing your experience, Beverley! You can find the weight measurement by clicking “metric” beneath the ingredient header. Hope that helps!

  90. marcia says

    I made this for a friend’ 50th birthday who is diary intolerant. This was to share with a friend who is vegan. I am not a great cook but this was a hit with everyone, including my dairy friends and family.
    I even made the buttercream frosting- something i am definitely not good at especially as I don’t like frosting, but this was delicious- I even lick the bowl with the left overs!
    Definitely one to make again.

  91. Cvita says

    Hiii! Can I use vegan margarine for frosting?
    I can’t find any vegan butter here and I have only margarine made of beet oil and vegetable fats as palm and coconut.

      • Chloe says

        I made this cake for a party and both the cake and buttercream turned out amazing. I am only 11 and this is the second cake I made but this was super easy. I wish recommend leaving your cake in the pan for 5-10 minutes to prevent your cake from breaking.

  92. Caitlin Chumbley says

    I made this cake for my non-vegan boyfriend’s birthday, along with the vegan chocolate frosting. I halved the recipe since I was low on a few ingredients, added a few dark chocolate chips, and used strong brewed vanilla almond black tea instead of coffee. Baked it for 27 minutes and it could’ve gone a minute or two longer because it was a little fudgey, but honestly it was SO delicious! It was gone in 24 hours!

  93. Patricia says

    I’m gonna be completely honest, when I was making this cake I was thinking this is just not gonna work. The way the ingredients mixed just seemed odd to me, however I carried on and I can honestly say this is the best vegan cake i’ve ever made. Everyone loved it and it will now be my go to cake for future. If you make it and you think it all seems a bit odd, I encourage you to carry on! So yummy. I couldn’t find unsweetened apple sauce so just used a standard supermarket applesauce. So good… Thank you!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! So glad you stuck with it =) Thanks so much for the lovely review, Patricia!

  94. K says


    Is the applesauce the same as your ‘3 ingredient applesauce’? If not do you know if you could you substitute the applesauce with beetroot puree (as per your fudgy vegan beet cupcakes – I made these and they were incredible but would like to make a cake this time for a birthday).


    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi K, We think it would work if you pureéd the applesauce after cooking. We’d suggest that over the beet puree as the applesauce also provides sweetness.

  95. Jacqueline says

    The cupcake part was good. I only used a cup of sugar and it was plenty sweet. Also, the frosting was way too sweet. I would maybe try to use a less intense frosting next time

  96. Anka says

    I’d like to try this recipe but with almond or coconut flour. Would it work and what quantity do you recommend? Thanks

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we haven’t tried that so we can’t guarantee results! But maybe try that and add more vanilla? Let us know how it goes!

    • Mandy says

      Went looking for this recipe tonight as I’ve made it a few times over the past couple years but to illustrate the tremendous resilience of this recipe I can tell you I pre-measured all ingredients, brought them with me, and baked this cake in an oven run by a generator in a tent at burning man while a dust storm raged outside. It turned out perfect. Make this cake.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rudra, we haven’t tried it, but we think it would work. Let us know how it goes!

    • Cheryl B says

      Hi, Im making this beautiful cake but everywhere I went they were out of 8” round pans so I bought two 9”. Do I need to adjust anything (ingredients or baking time)? Thank you!

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Cheryl, that should be fine without adjusting! They will just be slightly thinner layers.

  97. Abby says

    Hi, Looks amazing! can you leave the sugar out? I’m making it for my daughters first birthday cake and would like to do no sugar. Any suggestions?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, that would be tough. I don’t think it would taste very good. Are you subbing stevia or something?

  98. Dawn says

    I made this today with my girls (7 & 9) for my husband’s birthday. It turned out perfect. The cake was fluffy and lightly sweet, and the icing was thick, sweet, and creamy. I think next time I will make the icing a different flavor, but that’s just to try out new things. This will be my go-to cake recipe from here on. Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Móni, Olive oil will probably work, but expect it to definitely have a bit of an olive oil flavor. If you’re okay with that, we would say go ahead!

  99. Nancy says

    I made this cake with slightly less sugar (1 cup), sieved the dry ingredients twice, and used only one cake pan instead of dividing the batter into two pans. It came out perfectly sweet and light! Love your recipes. Thank you so much!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Raquel, we haven’t tried it, but you may be able to reduce the applesauce slightly and add egg. Let us know if you try it!

  100. Elaine says

    I am eager to make this for my daughters birthday… I had one question that I didn’t see on the page… could you make the frosting the day before?

  101. Rhonda says

    I made this cake for Mother’s Day and my Mom and everyone loved it! I read through the comments and got a little scared of having it turn out too moist, so I made these changes: 1 1/4 c of almond milk and 1 c of applesauce. I baked in 2 springform pans and made half the amount of frosting. When baking I did 360 for first 15 minutes and 380 for the latter 15-20 minutes and the toothpick was clean. The sponge was beautiful with low moisture to my delight. In the past I’ve made your vegan chocolate doughnut recipe, except baked them as cupcakes. I’m wondering how this will turn out in the future if I use white spelt flour. Thanks for giving us reliable vegan recipes that always taste good, Dana!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rhonda, thanks for sharing your experience! We haven’t tried it with white spelt flour, but it might work. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  102. Rina says

    I made this for my child who is allergic to eggs and dairy. She loved it so much! My husband said it was soooooo good that it’s better than store bought ones. 🙀

  103. Anne Hubbard says

    Hello. I want to make this tomorrow for my nieces’s birthday. However, I can’t see instruction for the Apple sauce?! Please help

    • Maria says

      I think ive found my sons birthday cake! :)

      Could i use rapseed oil instead of coconut oil?

      And, ive got one tin of 28cm will that be sufficient if i halve the recipe?


  104. Allana says

    I never post comments but am because this cake turned out perfectly!! :) The only change I did was add 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (instead of 1 and 1/4 cup due to other people saying it was too moist with the full amount), and I used a combo 1/3 c. olive oil and 1/3 c. coconut oil and slightly less sugar (maybe 1/8-1/4 c less) as those are just my personal preferences. Baked for exactly 30 minutes at 350 in 2, 8 in. pans. It was super moist and delicious and even the kids that had it couldn’t get enough of it. As well, like many other people say, I only made half the frosting recipe, and that was plenty for icing, I even had some leftover! Overall, it was a great hit!

  105. Naomi says

    I’ve made this cake five times now for various birthdays and it’s always SO GOOD! Extremely moist and delicious. My dad, a 65 year old omnivore/dairy lover, told me that this was the best cake he’s had in his entire life. The cake keeps exceptionally well in the refrigerator. One thing I will say is that it definitely isn’t a “one-bowl” recipe for me, but that’s no big deal. I’ve cooked it with both avocado oil and coconut oil. Make sure you give it plenty of time to cool off before icing. I’ve been cooking in a 9″ pan for about 32 minutes each time.

  106. Roro says

    I made this with AP flour and omitted the coffee. WOW. Thank you for this amazing recipe! The coconut oil brings a lovely flavor to this cake!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Roro. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  107. Deepa Mehta says

    Can I use a 1 quart loaf pan? If so do the measurements of the ingredients change or the cooking time? Thanks!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deepa, we haven’t tried making this in a loaf pan, so we aren’t sure. We would think it might need to cook longer or you could try making a 3/4 batch. Let us know how it goes!

  108. Jean says

    Love the site but made this recipe on a whim not thinking too much and WOW- this cake is SO GOOD!! It’s absolutely my new favorite and go-to. I love that the cake is fudgy without being too dense, but also isn’t too delicate (sometimes I feel like chocolate cake looks chocolately but then it just falls apart without much flavor or oomph). The frosting is the perfect complement- creamy and rich and not too sweet. I used regular flour and decaf coffee in the cake and regular butter and milk in the frosting and halved everything for a single layer. Thank you for such an awesome recipe, I seriously didn’t know chocolate cake could be this good!

  109. Emma McDowall says

    Hands down THE best vegan chocolate cake I’ve ever made! Having tried many different recipes over the years, the results have always been a bit “meh”. This recipe, has secured its place as my new go to!

    As a side note, after cutting I stored the cake in the fridge it was still fantastic the next day! Apple sauce isn’t as prevalent here in New Zealand, so I used 3x 120gm tins of puréed apple baby food. Also, I didn’t have the recommended vinegar, so used what I had which was rice vinegar, that worked just fine.

    This cake is so good, it really rivals its dairy based counterparts!

  110. Meghna says

    Please tell substitutes for apple sauce, we are in lockdown due to corona virus and can’t source apples at the moment.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Meghna, if you have apples, you can make your own using this recipe. Otherwise, another fruit or veggie pureé!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Heather, we would suggest leaving at room temperature and frosting just before serving. Hope that helps!

  111. Divya Sridhar says

    Hi! Can’t wait to try out your recipe for my husband’s birthday. Just wanted to know if I can use almond flour instead of the one suggested. If yes, are there any changes that need to be made?

  112. Antonella Ruffolo says

    I have almost all the ingredients…it’s a last minute endeavour. Any way I can leave out the almond milk altogether or will it not turn out?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Antonella, we wouldn’t recommend that. Any milk should work! As a last resort, you could try water.

  113. Rose says

    Looking forward to making this, but I just a quick question about the applesauce…is this just apple purée? Thanks!

  114. Nish says

    Hi Liv, I added 2 tbs of vegan yoghurt, it gave the butter cream and extra lightness and richness at the same time. I like the almond and vanilla – as the sweetness with a little bit of maple syrup goes a long way and didn’t need to add any sugar. I made a big batch and left it in the fridge and used it for other cakes, puddings too.

  115. Sarabeth says

    Your recipes are always amazing, and this one was no different. Thank you for always providing such fine work.

  116. Paola says

    We loved it! It was our first vegan cake at home and was totally worth it. Thank you! It came out a perfect chocolatey cake.

  117. ELHAM says

    I made this cake. It was so delicious. I used coconut milk. And banana sauce instead of applsauce. My family like it too much

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa, we haven’t tried it, but it looks like another reader did with success (baked it longer). If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for specific words in the post and comments. Hope that helps!

  118. Jade Crawley says


    I made this yesterday and to a great result (Theres none left)

    Im thinking of subbing the coconut oil for Canola Oil in the sponge on my next bake, would this be recommend/would I need to alter the quantity?

    Also I subbed the apple sauce with some strawberry jam (jelly) loosed with agave, and I found this had a great result, as did using a mixture of cocoa and cacao powder.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jade, we haven’t tried it that way, but it might work. Let us know if you try it!

  119. Florence says

    I made this cake yesterday with great success and a few tweaks:
    1. I followed the metric measurements and ended up with a moist and decadent cake. It isn’t as light and airy as I expected but I would still consider it a cake, not a brownie.
    2. I used oat milk, instead of almond milk and coffee.
    3. I only had 1 8 inch springform tin so i poured half the mixture in, cooked, cooled, released from the tin and did it all over again. The first half weighed 783g – at 25mins it was wet in the middle still but at 35mins the toothpick came out clean. The second half weighed ~740g – at 25mins the toothpick was not clean, but at 30mins this half was ready. I treated the 25min mark as a time to check and see how much longer your cake will need.
    4. For the frosting, I only needed half the amount to achieve the desired sweetness.

    Overall super happy with the cake, it was a huge success, especially with it being the first cake i have made and frosted from scratch.

  120. Liv says

    Just a heads up, this tastes like healthy/vegan chocolate cake not like normal chocolate cake. It is very rich and has a strong flavor which is not normal chocolate or coffee. I liked it but non-vegan family did not unfortunately! The texture is really nice and rich. Also the frosting did not get fluffy for me like it did in the pictures.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Liv, sorry to hear your family didn’t enjoy it! You could try adding more sugar and/or using a more mild cocoa powder.

  121. Ma says

    Can I use coconut milk instead of almond milk? I don’t have sweet potato, pumpkin, squash or applesauce. I do have apples. Please advice what can i use instead of of applesauce.
    Thank you,

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there, coconut milk should work! For the applesauce, we’d suggest using this recipe to make your own- but purée it after cooking. Let us know how it goes!

  122. Lori says

    Fantastic! Best Quarantine Birthday Cake. Made for my husbands birthday, tonight. Blessings to have all the ingredients on hand. We have gone plant based for the last 3 months and this was the best and most moist cake we have ever had!
    Thank you for all your vegan recipes. ?Many Blessings for 2020!

  123. Ash says

    Hi! I really want to bake this but due to the flour shortage and not being able to go outside, all I really have is almond, oat, and quinoa flour.
    Is there any way to bake this using those substitutes?? Thanks!

  124. LuAnne Kingston says

    I made the vegan chocolate cake for my sister’s birthday. It was absolutely delicious and so easy to make. Thank you!

  125. Stacey says

    This cake is delicious! Instead of coffee, I used King Arthur espresso powder diluted in almond milk. I used distilled white vinegar. Instead of coconut oil I used a little bit of canola oil and the rest pistachio oil (because that’s what I had). I’m gluten-free also and so I used King Arthur flour Measure-for-Measure GF flour. For the frosting I used Trader Joe’s 70% dark chocolate (comes in a huge bar). Good thing I cut the recipe in half, because I just might eat the whole thing. Thanks for the recipe!

  126. Rekha says

    Thanks for the recipe. This has become my go to recipe for vegan chocolate cake and has been a hit with family and friends.. a fail proof recipe!
    Just a question- does it freeze well?

  127. Cc says

    Anyone tried making the frosting in a blentec? Does it work or should I just use the my arm?
    I dont have a hand held mixer with me right now. =(

    The cakes are currently cooling and they look and smell AMAZING! Im sooooo excited.

      • Cc says

        I ended up getting a hand held mixer and it worked great. This is such a delicious cake. I added a bit of raspberry preserves in the center and it added a really yummy tart flavor. HIGHLY recommend this recipe to get your chocolate fix. Yum Yum Yum

  128. Sam says

    Hi! I can’t wait to make this- if I don’t have vegan chocolate for the frosting, do you think it would work to sub a little extra cocoa powder and some coconut oil?

    Thanks so much for your recipes!

  129. Peach says

    Followed this recipe exactly and good gracious it is AMAZING! The applesauce keeps the cake moist, coffee really bring out the flavor of the chocolate, it’s awesome!

  130. Marita Peters says

    Maddie my 11 year old and I made it this afternoon. Absolutely delicious! We’re excited to make it for our wider family to share vegan goodness and celebrate life once this time has passed. Just a small note on the frosting… it’s too sweet for us and the quantity was waaaay to much for the cake size so if using frosting we’d suggest half the amount next time. Thank you so much Dana for such a fab recipe!

    • Echa says

      Awesome recipe. I just baked it this morn. My daughter birthday is tomorrow. I sub the sugar with 1 cup of pureed medjool dates. Tasted good. The cake is moisty, airy and chocolatey. Thanks much for the recipe. Hello from Kuala Lumpur.

  131. Anoop says

    Anything I can substitute for apple sauce? Perhaps just swap it out for oil? Or would that be too much oil?
    Don’t have anything to make apple sauce, and since we can’t go out I’m looking for a substitute.
    Any suggestions?

  132. Amanda says

    Absolutely delicious moist cake! These recipes keep me busy during this self-isolation period (though not official lockdown) in Montreal! I’m wondering when your next cookbook will come out?

    Love how you make everything so inviting! Keep up the amazing work, it’s delicious and inspiring!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amanda, thanks so much for the lovely review! We don’t have plans for another cookbook at this time, unfortunately.

  133. Alicia says

    Did it without the frosting yet it was stunning. I’m no vegan but always interested in vegan food/alternatives and my dad couldn’t believe that the cake was vegan (as if all vegan food taste like grass) I had to show him the recipe. Due to the difficult times that we’re going through with the lockdown, we don’t want to leave the house for groceries and your recipes are perfect!
    Love from Paris, France x

  134. Anna says

    This cake is amazingly scrumptious! It’s moist and flavorful, and gets gobbled up SO QUICKLY! I’ve made it several times and it’s been a major crowd pleaser on each occasion. One of my go-to recipes for special occasions. I love topping it with fresh mixed berries to balance out the richness of the chocolate-on-chocolate. Thanks for bringing such mindblowingly rad vegan recipes to the people, Dana! xoxo

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoy it, Anna! Thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review!

  135. Karlie C says

    Hi Dana! This cake is my absolute fav. I make it all the time and it always gets rave reviews. It’s my husbands birthday in a couple of days and he has requested a marble cake. I’d love to use this recipe as the base because it’s so fluffy and moist. For the ‘Vanilla half’ would you recommend replacing what would be the cocoa with flour? And maybe a little extra milk to replace the melted chocolate? Thanks so much!!

  136. Jen says

    I forgot to say that we did not have applesauce so I used mashed garnet yams. Dense, rich, so good!! I have not had sugar in 30 days so this was the perfect indulgence!

  137. Jennife says

    My 14 year old just made this today as our quarantine cake…..it is outstanding! The frosting is a bit sweet for me so I left some on my plate but the cake was moist flavorful perfection!

  138. Smaranda says

    The Best Recipe ! I made this tonight. The cake part came out great, the frosting didn’t really, I tried to make vegan butter at home and after was done I didn’t let it harden in the fridge but used is right into the frosting. It came out very runny and didn’t harden at all. I am a bit.. well. It’s fine anyway. ?

  139. Dina says

    Its’s a great recipe- so soft and airy! I used ordinary milk instead of almond and 1/2 coconut oil, 1/2 olive oil, also I used 1/2 rye flour and 1/2 spelt flour- I had to improvise a bit due to lack of the written ingredients! Thank you Minimalist Baker!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Dina. We are so glad you enjoyed it and were able to modify with what you had! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

    • Denise Jones Harton says

      I made this cake for my son’s birthday. We loved it!!! So moist and delicious. I will definitely make it again.

  140. Aleksandra says

    Thank you So much. I’ve do w this cake twice over period of a week and it is a winner In our home. I used greape seed Oil instead coconut Oil. In my first cake I used pumpkin puree that gave fudge very dense cake. The second time I used 2 mashed bananas more fluffy texture but still delicious. Very easy to make highly recommended to try this at home.

  141. Grace says

    The cake was so dark and moist. I made it in a 9 by 13 inch pan. I used grape seed oil instead of coconut oil and a combination of soy and oat milk instead of almond. I opted for a different icing – I didn’t want it too sweet so I made my own recipe melting raw chocolate with coconut oil and added vanilla and maple syrup. I just spread a thin glaze over the cake. I’m not vegan and I bake a lot. I can honestly say people would never guess this is a vegan cake.

  142. Eluney says

    Hi , thanks for the recipe, looks amazing! Just a question…how can I substitute the vegan butter in the frosting? I am planning to make this for a birthday this week!

  143. Claudia says

    I made this last night and it was great! I followed the recipe to the T (subbed granulated sugar, and added a little more sugar as it wasn’t sweet enough to my liking) and the cake rose beautifully and was a lovely, dark, molten-chocolate colour (I did forget to switch the two pans halfway, which I normally do so they rise the same, so I left the bottom pan a few mins longer after I took the top pan out). 25mins was a good amount of time for me. The frosting was glossy, rich and so delicious (I used a tiny bit more dairy-free choc to taste), and half the suggested amount was perfect.

    The only change I’d make next time is to use 1 cup of applesauce instead of 1 1/4. That was a bit too much, but other than that, this is perfect! Thank you (ps- I’ve made your vegan chocolate silk pie in the past and that is divine too!!)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried it, but we think it would work. There may be a slight banana flavor. Let us know how it goes!

  144. Carli says

    I baked this cake this weekend and followed the recipe with the exception of substituting oat milk for almond. Sadly I also ran into the moisture issue, and ended up under baking my cakes (despite keeping them in the oven for 40 minutes). This resulted in the centers collapsing and being wet, however the outer 2/3 of the cake was perfect. My solution? I cut out the centers, iced with the MB vegan buttercream icing with about a cup of crushed oreos mixed in and piled mini oreos in the center. It ended up being delightful. I rated the recipe 4 stars because I think the vague ‘heaping cups’ of flour might be the cause of some issues, but the parts that were cooked tasted 5 star. Would it be possible to edit in a weight measurement for the flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Carli – thanks for the feedback! We’ll double check the metric quantities and measurements!

  145. Christine says

    I made this cake for my daughter’s bday. She and her vegan/vegetarian friends ALL loved it! It really is a great fudgy cake! So, I followed your recipe and the only things that I found were, I had to bake the cakes for almost 55 mins and there was nothing fluffy to this cake – but, it was more like a beautiful fudgy brownie, sooo can this really be a negative? lol The icing was fantastic too – go on and make this… you won’t be disappointed!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us! ? ( I have photos, I wish I could share.)

  146. Stephanie says

    I made this cake yesterday and it was a total disaster. I had to bake the cake for an hour because it was so wet, but even after an hour it wasn’t good. It had the texture of raw crepe. It was dense and wet. It was awful.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! So sorry to hear that was your experience, Stephanie! It definitely sounds like something went wrong. What kind of flour did you use? Did you use the cup or metric measurements? Did you make sure the cups of flour were “heaping” cups? Did you make any modifications? Would love to help troubleshoot, if possible.

      • Cass says

        Hi there! I’ve just had the same result. I used the metric measurements and all-purpose flour. Only adjustments were sunflower oil instead of coconut, almond extract instead of vanilla. Baked for an hour but it was still wet and collapsed after that time. Flavour is great though, and my husband is loving it nonetheless! :)

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Thanks for the feedback, Cass! We will double check the metric measurements. Any chance you are baking at elevation?

    • Monica says

      Same here! It has been in the oven now for over 30 min and the center is completely wet. I followed the measurements exactly. Also, what is a heaping cup? Why not just use exact measurements if the risk is a soggy cake?

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        I just clarified today that a heaping cup is approximately 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. We’ll revisit this one to see if we can improve texture!

  147. Jake says

    My daughter and i had alot of fun making this cake for her tenth birthday and enjoyed eating it even more! It was the first cake ive ever made and it was super easy to follow and i thought it turned out well. Everyone loved it.! I used vegan margerine for the icing becasue i didnt have butter. I didnt thi k there was a difference but according to my daughter there is. We only used about half the sugar in the icing and few more chocolate chips instead. I baked in rectangle pan then cut it in half and staked it. We will definitly be making this again! Possibly every weekend!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      How fun! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jake. We are so glad everyone enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  148. Ash says

    I made this cake for a friend’s birthday. I followed the recipe exactly, making 2 round cakes for a layered cake. My husband and friends told me that it tasted just like “regular” cake after I told them it was vegan. They reported that is was moist and just plain delicious. I did not try it myself as I am sensitive to caffeine (coffee), but I am happy to share that it was loved by all I shared it with. Another amazing recipe from Minimalist Baker!

  149. Fiona says

    I made this tonight for the first time and followed the recipe exactly.
    Firstly, the sponge. I thought the sponge itself is lovely and moist, my 2 layers turned out a bit bigger than I expected but that’s ok. It did need an hour in the oven though.
    Secondly, the frosting. I found this to make way more than you need, I’ve only used half of what was made for in-between the layers and to cover the cake. Not sure if the remainder would freeze, it feels a bit of a waste to throw it out. I personally find it too sweet but my friend disagrees!!
    Lovely cake and would definitely make again but with only a quarter of the frosting for in-between the layers