A simple vegan chocolate cake recipe that’s easy and healthy — and devoid of any complicated steps! Super moist, decadent, and made in one bowl. It really is a chocolate lover’s dream.

vegan chocolate cake bundt style on a stand topped with berries

I think it’s fair to say that we’re savouring comforting baked delights these days…and creating beautiful kitchen memories with our beloveds.

This season, some of my family’s favourite easy and healthy vegan dessert recipes are Cranberry Apple Crumble, Masala Chai Waffles, and Rose Falooda.

If you followed my Instagram story this week, you would have seen just how much Master. IZ and I revelled in this delicious chocolate cake. 🙂

Since the cheeky monkeys were born, I’ve been making cakes. I’m talking about almost 20 years.

As a wee girl, many of my favourite moments were spent in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother. Needless to say, I learned all I know about desi Indian and Pakistani (South Asian) cooking (including decadent desserts and sweets!) from these incredibly talented women.

Given that I’ve been sharing plant-based recipes for as long as I can remember – I knew I had to post the best vegan chocolate cake recipe. Honestly, I’m shocked that it hasn’t shown up on the blog sooner.

When I’m craving cake, this is the one I make most often. It’s the perfect vegan cake for celebrations with friends and family – or simply because you are vegan, or looking to enjoy delicious vegan desserts that are easy to make at home.

We sometimes serve this with a lavish drizzle of melted vegan chocolate and a mountain of fresh berries. It’s epic…and we argue over who gets to have first dibs.

Here’s another thing about this recipe, it makes a rich, perfectly moist and delicious cake that’s a perfect match for my masala chai, really. You must try both recipes!

vegan chocolate cake bundt style on a stand topped with berries with a stand mixer in the background

Ingredients

As a home chef and registered dietitian, one of my requisites for recipe development is this: it has to be easy and Desi~licious — zero intricate steps. In all honesty, I want my 7-year old to be able to join me in pulling off a simple vegan cake using accessible pantry ingredients.

Here’s what you need to make this cake:

ingredients with accompanying labels for vegan chocolate cake
  • Flour: The majority of us already have white baking flour in our pantries. It’s a key vegan baking ingredient. For this recipe, I use standard cake flour. Of course, there are numerous varieties of flours available for bakers, but the most common high-gluten flour blends for making cakes include cake or pastry flour (or sometimes all-purpose) mixtures constructed from bleached wheat and unbleached hard winter wheat. These standard options will add texture to your vegan baked items.
  • Cocoa powder: If you don’t want to make the vegan chocolate cake overly sweet, use unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Coconut sugar: this sugar is a low glycemic index option, vegan and undergoes little processing so, as with other unrefined sugars, it retains some of the natural vitamins and minerals. I’m especially drawn to its distinct caramel taste that works its magic in this vegan chocolate cake.
  • Baking powder & baking soda: Both of these leavening agents help to make your chocolate cake fluffy and airy. Apple cider vinegar is also typically used in vegan cake baking to create fluffy cakes.
  • Olive oil: Opt for extra virgin olive oil to create a deliciously moist cake.
  • Espresso: coffee is used to enhance the chocolate flavour and gives this vegan cake a deep rich taste.
  • Apple sauce: Plain, unsweetened apple sauce is a great vegan substitute for eggs in baking. It also has natural sweetness, so you may reduce the sugar.
  • Oat milk: I adore the delicate creaminess that vegan oat milk provides to this vegan chocolate cake. Choose unsweetened if possible. You could also use almond milk or soy milk if you prefer.
  • Sea salt: helps to enhance the flavour of the other ingredients.
  • Dairy-free chocolate chips: This is for the drizzle to cover the entire cake. Unsweetened vegan chocolate chips are a must to create a 100% plant-based recipe.
  • Melted coconut oil: is added to the chocolate chips to help the vegan chocolate melt. Plus it adds a beautiful sheen.

How to make it

Here are the steps (quick overview) of how to pull off my easy vegan chocolate cake. I use the paddle beater attachment of the stand mixer. Detailed recipe instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

step by step preparation shots of how to make a vegan chocolate cake in a stand mixer
  1. Begin by mixing the dry ingredients (Image 1).
  2. Add the wet ingredients and mix well. Start at low speed and increase gradually (Image 2). After a couple of minutes, scrape the sides and mix again on medium speed for 1-2 minutes (Image 3).
  3. Oil your bundt pan. I use the leftover oil in the measuring cup for this (Image 4). Because I’m using a silicone mould, I don’t need to use parchment paper. If you’re using a cake pan, you should use parchment.
  4. Carefully pour the cake batter into the pan (Image 5), and send it to bake for 55 minutes (lower/middle oven shelf).
  5. Cool completely before removing from the cake pan. Pour the melted chocolate over your cake and top it with berries (Image 6).
vegan chocolate cake bundt style on a stand topped with berries

Tips

If you’re looking to create a super moist vegan chocolate cake, here are some lessons I’ve picked up along the way:

  • Use baking powder and baking soda. Both of these will support leavening to prevent an overly dense, dry cake.
  • Use oil. The ratio of dry to wet ingredients is key and will impact your cake’s moisture. I find this recipe achieves a good balance.
  • Don’t overbake it! This will lead to a dry cake. After about 45 minutes, I always keep a closer eye and regularly check to prevent overbaking.
  • Follow the recipe measurements and don’t wing it. This is important for most recipes, but particularly so for baked goods. Use measuring cups and spoons. Always spoon out the flour and other ingredients versus scooping the flour into the measuring cup. Use a knife to level the flour in the cup. This has a significant impact on amounts. It’s always a good idea to practice this technique with all the dry ingredients.
  • To melt the chocolate chips, I use the double boiler technique. Put simply; it’s a jug or bowl stacked inside a saucepan – over a heat source. To prevent the chocolate from burning, water is added to the saucepan (see image below). Once the water starts to simmer, the jug with the solid chocolate is placed inside the saucepan. The slow heat helps to melt the chocolate. I add 1/4 tbsp of coconut oil to improve its consistency – making it easier to pour.
double boiler technique to melt chocolate

Recipe variations and substitutions

  • If you don’t have oat milk, use almond or soy milk.
  • You can also use vegetable oil or vegan butter.
  • This vegan cake recipe is also delicious made as cupcakes! Bake them at 350° F for 18-22 minutes.
  • You can also use vegan cream cheese frosting on your chocolate cake.
  • If you’re looking for a gluten-free cake, use gluten-free flour instead.
  • I’ve also used this recipe to make a layer cake by making many rounds using cake pans.

FAQs

Can you make this vegan cake with whole wheat flour?

Yes, you can replace 1/3 to 1/2 of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. You may need to add a little more oat milk (up to 1/4 cup) to keep the vegan cake moist.

Can vegan chocolate cake be frozen?

Yes, vegan chocolate cake is freezer-friendly. It can be stored in the freezer in an airtight sealed container for up to 2-3 weeks. Defrost at room temperature in a cool dark place.

What makes vegan cakes fluffy?

The vegan leavening agents in this vegan chocolate cake recipe are baking powder and baking soda. These ingredients help to create a light, fluffy vegan cake. In the vegan world, you will find vegan buttermilk as well. Use 1/4 cup of vegan buttermilk or vegan yogurt for an even fluffier vegan chocolate cake.

Why is my vegan cake so dry?

There are a few vegan cake dryness culprits. The first is overbaking, leading to a dry vegan chocolate cake. Secondly, if you skim on the fat and your vegan cake batter is too thick. Using vegan milk and apple sauce accordingly to ensure a moist vegan chocolate cake batter is crucial.

Nutrition information

Chocolate has a long and illustrious history. The Mayans thought chocolate (a cocoa drink prepared with hot water) was “the Food of the Gods,” in ancient times. Chocolate comes in many forms, including milk, dark, white, flavoured, unsweetened baking chocolate, etc.

Chocolate’s appeal has risen as a result of its physiological and health-related advantages, including blood pressure management, improved insulin levels, enhanced blood vessel function, antioxidant activity, prebiotic effects, blood sugar and diabetes management, and cholesterol level control.

Due to the high degree of chocolate processing, cocoa loses some of the polyphenol elements (the main components responsible for the health benefits), and scientists believe that chocolate’s impact on human health may not necessarily be compared to that of cocoa.

One serving* of my vegan chocolate cake is:

  • A source of fibre
  • A source of calcium
  • A source of iron
  • A source of potassium

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

vegan chocolate cake bundt style on a stand topped with berries

What’s your favourite chocolate cake memory? Share in the comment section below!

If you try this moist vegan chocolate cake recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Can’t wait to see your photos. 

Desi~liciously Yours, Shahzadi

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vegan chocolate cake bundt style on a stand topped with berries
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Get the Recipe:

Super Moist Vegan Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Yield: 12 slices
A simple vegan chocolate cake recipe that's easy and healthy — with no complicated steps! Super moist, decadent and made in one bowl. It really is a chocolate lover's dream.

Ingredients
 

  • 1⅔ cups baking flour, white
  • ½ cup cocoa, unsweetened
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt, sea salt
  • ½ cup olive oil, extra virgin. Use leftover residue for oiling cake pan
  • ½ cup espresso
  • 1 cup apple sauce, no added sugar
  • ½ cup oat milk, unsweetened

Melted chocolate

  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips, semi sweet
  • ¼ tbsp coconut oil

Equipment

  • stand mixer

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Attach the paddle attachment to your stand mixer. Combine the flour, cocoa, coconut sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into the mixing bowl. Set the speed to low and mix until combined
  • Add the wet ingredients to the bowl. Increase the mixer speed gradually to combine the components. Continue mixing for a few minutes more. Then, scrape the sides and mix again on medium speed for 1-2 minutes
  • Oil your bundt or cake pan. I use the leftover oil in the measuring cup
  • Carefully pour the cake batter into the pan, and send to bake (lower/middle oven shelf) for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Cool completely before removing it from the bundt mould

Melted chocolate

  • Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to simmer on low heat.
  • To melt the chocolate chips, I use the double boiler technique. Add chocolate chips and coconut oil to a small jug and place inside a saucepan filled halfway with water. Bring the water to a simmer on low heat. Allow the heat to melt the chocolate chips completely before removing from the heat source.
  • Pour over the cake, top with berries (optional), slice and enjoy.

Notes

If you’re looking to create a super moist vegan chocolate cake, here are some lessons I picked up along my baking journey:
  • Use baking powder and baking soda. Both of these will support leavening to prevent an overly dense, dry cake. 
  • Use oil. The ratio of dry to wet ingredients is key and will impact your cake’s moisture. I find this recipe achieves a good balance.
  • Don’t overbake it! This will lead to a dry cake. After about 45 minutes, I always keep a closer eye and regularly check to prevent overbaking. 
  • Follow the recipe measurements and don’t wing it. This is important for most recipes, but particularly so for baked goods. Use measuring cups and spoons. Always spoon out the flour and other ingredients versus scooping the flour into the measuring cup. Use a knife to level the flour in the cup. This has a significant impact on amounts. It’s always a good idea to practice this technique with all the dry ingredients.
  • To melt the chocolate chips, I use the double boiler technique. Put simply; it’s a jug or bowl stacked inside a saucepan – over a heat source. To prevent the chocolate from burning, water is added to the saucepan (see image below). Once the water starts to simmer, the jug with the solid chocolate is placed inside the saucepan. The slow heat helps to melt the chocolate. I add 1/4 tbsp of coconut oil to improve its consistency – making it easier to pour.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 276kcal (14%)Carbohydrates: 41g (14%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 13g (20%)Saturated Fat: 3g (15%)Sodium: 291mg (12%)Potassium: 486mg (14%)Fiber: 4g (16%)Sugar: 16g (18%)Vitamin A: 26IU (1%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 81mg (8%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Keep in mind that the nutritional values provided are approximations and suggestions. This nutrition facts table cannot account for your individual needs. Your body — including your hunger and satiety cues — change daily. It’s perfectly fine to eat more or less on different days. Instead of letting food guilt take over, consider mindful eating.

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Did you make this recipe?Mention @desiliciousrd on Instagram or tag #desiliciousrd.