Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

I used to be a very strict vegan, and for the first year, I honestly believed that a fluffy, moist cake was an impossibility without using eggs. I was sure that cake was something that vegans just didn’t eat. Luckily, a friend came along with a recipe that proved me wrong. Her secret ingredient? Distilled

vegan chocolate cake – wonderful moist and fluffy texture

white vinegar. I never would have guessed. Over the years I played with her recipe and compared it with others, tweaking ingredients and instructions until I had the perfect vegan cake.

This vegan chocolate cake recipe is wonderfully fluffy and moist. It is so good that even though I am no longer strictly vegan, my whole family prefers it to all of the other traditional (non-vegan) cake recipes that we have tried. If you want a frosted cake that is still strictly vegan, be sure to take a look at my vegan chocolate frosting recipe, too!

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe
9 to 16 servings, depending on how you cut it


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup natural, vegan unbleached sugar*
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup cold water
  • optional: 2/3 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

* Make sure that the sugar you use is unbleached sugar or sugar that is bleached in a vegan bleaching process (bleached sugar is often made in a process that uses animal bones).

birthday vegan chocolate cake

Preparation instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. It is important to mix the ingredients in the right order to get the correct texture. First, combine the unbleached all-purpose flour, unbleached sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl, and

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

mix well (a fork seems to work best for this).

3. When the dry ingredients are well mixed, stir in the vanilla, distilled white vinegar, and canola oil.

4. Pour the water over the mixture and stir well.

5. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (preferably insulated) with vegetable shortening or margarine and scoop the batter into it. Spread it to make sure it is level and fills in the corners.

6. If you want to add the vegan chocolate chips, sprinkle them over the top of the batter, so that they are resting evenly across the top.

7. Bake for 40 minutes and check if it is done (it may need a little more time). Baking times will vary. It is ready when it no longer wiggles when you shake it and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for at least an hour, then you can either serve it straight from the pan or carefully loosen it from the sides and upend it onto a serving tray and apply vegan frosting (vegan chocolate frosting recipe can be found here). Enjoy!

Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

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