Ann Reardon

Best Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

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I tried many times to make a truly delicious vegan cake but every recipe seemed to promise much and deliver little. So a few months ago, I put on my food scientist hat and got to work developing my own recipe. Well, after LOTS of experimentation and a few flops along the way, here it is finally … a beautiful vegan chocolate cake that will really wow your friends and family. The main hurdle in a vegan cake is the lack of eggs. Eggs give structure to a cake, so without them it is hard to get the same texture but the two recipes below are really good. The first recipe is for the fudgey cake in the video and the second is for a cake that is more airy.

 
 

RECIPE 1. A fudgey vegan cake recipe

(as shown in the video, quite a dense but yummy cake)
Makes 2 round 8in (20.32 centimetres)ch (20.32 centimetres) cakes

3 cups or 648g (22.86 ounces) sugar
2 1/4 cups or 400g (14.11 ounces) flour
3/4 cup or 90g (3.17 ounces) cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
6 tablespoons flaxseed meal
3 tsp vanilla
300millilitres (10.14 fluid ounces) or 1 1/4 cups minus 1 Tbsp canola oil
600millilitres (20.29 fluid ounces) or 2 1/3 cups plus 1 Tbsp water

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit).

Place the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and flaxseed meal into a bowl and whisk together to get rid of any lumps and aerate the mixture. Make a well in the centre and add the oil, water and vanilla. Mix together with electric mixers until just combined.

Pour into two lined and greased baking 8in (20.32 centimetres) round baking tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is done when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

ann's vegan chocolate cake recipe
 
 

RECIPE 2. A more airy textured vegan cake recipe

(lighter and but not as chocolatey flavoured)
275g (9.7 ounces) or 1 3/4 cups plain or all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
175g (6.17 ounces) or 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp cocoa powder
300millilitres (10.14 fluid ounces) or 1¼ cup minus 1 Tbsp almond milk
150millilitres (5.07 fluid ounces) or 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp or 57g (2.01 ounces) golden syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit)
Grease and line two 8in (20.32 centimetres) round baking tins.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre. Add the wet ingredients and then mix with electric beater until just smooth.

Bake for 25-30 minutes
 
 

Vegan frosting recipe

Vegan Ganache
70millilitres (2.37 fluid ounces) almond milk (or you could use soy milk / rice milk)
204g (7.2 ounces) vegan chocolate
Combine the almond milk and chocolate and heat in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring each time. Once smooth leave to chill.

Vegan buttercream

630g (22.22 ounces) or 5 cups icing sugar
240g (8.47 ounces) or 1 cup plus 2 tbsp vegan margarine
Beat together the icing sugar and margarine until smooth.

Add the ganache to the butter cream and beat together well for a rich vegan chocolate frosting.

Decoration

how to make a chocolate bow ann reardon
Tempered Chocolate (how to temper) for the bow and lid.
50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/2 cup almonds for the lid
350g (12.35 ounces) or 2 cups of assorted fresh fruit, washed and dried.
See the video for how to create the bow and the lid
Copyright 2016How To Cook That

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can purchase your very own copy: http://bit.ly/ARcookbook


All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

106 Comments View Comments

  1. HI! Looks beautiful and I can’t wait to try it! Two questions, if I can’t get fresh fruit for the top of the cake, what would you recommend as a substitute? Also, can I replace the flaxseed with eggs? (dairy is problem, eggs are not). If so, how many eggs and would I cut any of the liquid?
    Thank you:)
    Shayna

    • Hi Shayna, Really you could use anything that you like. You could use chocolate decorations like chocolate butterflies or feathers. If you can have eggs, we recommend using the best ever chocolate cake recipe and just replacing the milk with a soy milk alternative.

      • Thanks for answering!!! I made it with the flaxseed and it came out lovely:)

  2. Rating: 5

    Hello Ann,
    Thank you sooo much for all your amazing recipes!! One day i wasn’t able to bake your vegan cake, so i made a miniature fimo clay version. I was wondering if you could possibly make a ”Sound of Music” cake? My whole family would just LOVE it!!!!

  3. Hi.
    The recipe in the list of ingredients says baking powder and in the instructions says baking soda. Which one should I use? Or it doesn’t matter??

    • Hi Dani, Use baking powder.

  4. Hi. Can you please tell me what size acetate sheet you used? And for the lid, did you just cut a strip from an acetate sheet or did you buy a roll?

    • Hi Anonymus, Ann usually uses A4 or A3 sheets and tapes them together if needed, though she has just recently purchased some on a roll. She has found the roll acetate a little thinner though.

  5. Just wondering about the more airy cake. Why does that not have flaxseed meal in it too?

    • Hi Jeanine, The flaxseed meal has a high fat content which would significantly impact the light texture of the cake. The recipe that uses it turns out more fudgy.

  6. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, wow this cake looks fabulous, I wanna make it for my son’s birthday. I noticed that in the fist cake version the sugar is 648gr and the flour 400 is that correct? Usually in most recipe the flour is more than the sugar? Also my cakes tins are 22 cm will it still work fine? Thanks so much for inspiring and creating such beautiful cakes.

    • Hi Bela, The Flour ,cocoa and meal together form the base of this cake and the combined quantity of these is greater than the sugar. The 22cm tins will work okay but the cake will not be as deep.

  7. Rating: 4.5

    Hi,
    The first recipe looks great. I want a dairy-free cake, but I can eat eggs. How would I change the recipe back to eggs? Is each tbsp of flaxseed meal equal to one egg? And how would I adjust the liquid content? Thanks!

  8. Hi Ann what brand vegan margarine r u using for ur vegan buttercream ? As I used Nuttlex and it wasn’t nice too salty and has funny smell . Thx

    • Hi Heba, It is best to use an unsalted vegan magarine. Ann doesn’t recommend a particular brand as these vary greatly from country to country.

  9. I’m so thankful for this cake recipe because my mom is vegan and I don’t want her to feel left out.

  10. can i use normal milk butter n choclate not vegan?

  11. Beautiful design! I done baking for vegan friends, but I’ve never tried flax seed. Did you try agar? Do you know how the two compare in terms of height? I’ve used agar to levin brownies and felt like I got results I was happy to eat, as a non-vegan.

    • Hi Christina, Ann hasn’t tried agar for that purpose, but it sounds interesting.

  12. Hi Ann,
    Thank you so much. I was trying to come up with a vegan recipe but it just did not turn out right, but this recipe worked. Thanks….

    • Great to hear Kanupriya

  13. Hi ! Thank you for the recipe, I saw the cake in your video and it looks absolutely delicious ! I’m having some friends for dinner in a few days and I’d like to make this cake (as me and my friends are vegan) but I live in France and I couldn’t find any golden syrup here 🙁 So I was wondering if I could replace it by something else, like maple syrup or agave nectar for example ? Do you think it will change the texture of the cake ? Thanks again!

    • Hmmm, not sure about maple syrup … golden syrup is very thick. But i’m sure the taste would be nice. I suggest doing some experiments 🙂

  14. sorry, forgot to attach the file)

  15. Dear Ann, again thank you so much for the recipe! As soon as I was not able to find the almond milk for the 2nd version of your recipe I tried the 1st one and it worked out very well! I don’t find it fudgey, by the way. It is chocolaty, rich, very nice.
    Thank you, you are my inspiration! When I have any difficulties in the kitchen, I say to myself, let’s go and see, maybe Ann has already written about it)
    Wishing you all the best,
    yours Yullia

    • Hi Yullia, this looks great!

  16. I’m not vegan but does the ganache work with whole milk and milk chocolate?

  17. Hey Ann!
    It’s me Anju again. The last time I was here to tell you how my daughter is such a big fan of yours and how she can’t try anything because we don’t eat egg.
    This time I am here to express my gratitude to post a vegan recipe. My daughter loves chocolate cakes and she can sure try this out.

    Thanks once again
    Much love from India

    • That is great to hear Anju!

  18. Hi Tita Ann!!!! I’m a new viewer from the Philippines and I was wondering how much people could be served a standard sized cake? I’m deciding whether or not to give one to my teachers. Thank you po!!!!
    PS. If it helps, I’m planning to make the airy vegan chocolate cake.:)

    • *cake slice

    • Hi Kouta Ono, it will all depend on the way you assemble and cut your cake. If you bake a round one similar to Ann’s and you cut large serves., You will get at least 10-12 generous serves. Of course you could make the serves smaller!

  19. It worked really well. I did it for my cousins birthday. He is dairy intolerant and allergic to eggs. He loved it and I made it myself and I’m 11

    • Wonderful Rowan, I am so glad

  20. I was wondering if you were to make the cake without the cacao powder would the cake be fine?? Thanks!! Excited to try this recipe!

    • Good question as this one is quite a fudgey cake that is not usual for a vanilla cake. I’d try the more cakey one and increase the flour by the same amount you decrease the cocoa powder and add vanilla extract.

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