Delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake (from a non-vegan)

It is my 7th day on the vegan diet challenge and I absolutely love it (now). At first I was experiencing some light headaches and minor irritabilities, though I’ve previously kept a lean and clean eating schedule– but with the drastic changes of cutting meat and diary out, I feel lighter, healthier, and I find myself toying with the idea of possibly keeping this up for longer than 14 days. Though I can’t promise that. But, the vegan substitutions have been tasting surprisingly tasty!

My research paper for grad school is going really well. Occasionally, I will stare endlessly at an undecorated wall with poorly constructed philosophical thoughts such as: nothing is greater at reducing your self-confidence than staring at the screen with an attempt to write. And other days are glorious, and quite enjoyably actually. Somehow that’s the divide; the ping pong of the writing realm. And I also have been working on a curriculum development project for the up-coming winter courses. I was sitting finalizing materials about all day. So I came home to unwind with some baking (as I naturally do, sometimes). I admit I wasn’t craving chocolate cake–a pretty rare habit. But I wanted to experiment, and somehow, just somehow, I hit the jackpot with this vegan chocolate cake recipe. It’s a delicious recipe; vegan or not.

cake 1

Delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake (from a non-vegan)


Time to make: 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups original unsweetened Almond Milk 
  • 2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce*
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (or sub more almond milk)
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil, or sub grape seed or canola oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups cane sugar (or sub granulated sugar)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) vegan butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened original Almond Milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly spray 2 8-inch round cake pans or one large rectangular pan with nonstick spray (see notes for cooking times for different size pans). Dust with cocoa powder, shake out the excess and set aside.
  2. Mix the almond milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl, and let set for a few minutes to activate. Add the oil, coffee, vanilla extract, and applesauce and beat until foamy.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a sifter and slowly sift over the wet ingredients while mixing with a hand-held or standing mixer. If you don’t have a sifter, simply mix dry ingredients in another bowl and add to the wet mixture while beating. Beat until no large lumps remain. It should be creamy and pourable. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed, adding more sugar if desired (I found it plenty sweet).
  4. Divide batter evenly between your 2 cake pans or rectangular pan.
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  6. While cooling, prepare frosting by beating together all ingredients until light and fluffy, adding the powdered sugar in small amounts until you reach your desired consistency and sweetness. If it becomes too thick, add more almond milk. If it’s too thin, add more cocoa powder or powdered sugar.
  7. Once the cake is cooled, frost generously with buttercream frosting, adding a thick layer between the top and bottom layers (if doing a 2-layer cake). Alternatively, omit the frosting and dust with cocoa powder.

    Lessons Learned: I loved this recipe the way I made it. I sort of changed a couple of ingredients because I didn’t have them in my fridge (like coconut oil and apple sauce). I used regular canola oil and dairy-free vegan flavoured yogurt (vanilla and strawberry)- which miraculously tasted delicious in the recipe. I think sometimes you have to trust your instincts when it comes to baking. I always follow my heart when I alter recipes- and sometimes it’s worth raving about, and sometimes it’s worth learning from. This recipe, though, is quite delicious.





  1. Linda says:

    That looks so decadent!! 🙂

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