Topped with dairy free chocolate ganache, every bite of this vegan chocolate fudge cake is completely irresistible. It’s moist, rich, decadent, and just plain amazing!
Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up dessert! You can still enjoy a moist, chocolatey, and rich chocolate cake even without the dairy and eggs.
Once you learn how to make The Best Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake, you’ll never go back to dry or bland cake again. It’s called the best for good reason too! Every bite is decadent, fudgy, and moist without needing any complicated ingredients or equipment.
There’s no need to stress before the party! This chocolate cake can easily be made ahead of time or kept in the freezer for later. If you’re not in the mood for cake, bake cupcakes instead using the same recipe! You really can’t go wrong with this vegan chocolate fudge cake.
The secret to a super moist and fudgy chocolate cake
Baking a truly moist, fluffy, and decadent vegan chocolate cake requires a few tricks up your sleeve. Vegetable oil and applesauce add lots of moisture, however, melting dark chocolate and cocoa with boiling hot water is the true secret behind a fudgy chocolate cake. The boiling water "blooms the cocoa" bringing out the full chocolate flavour)
Also, making the batter with instant coffee powder really takes the flavor up a notch. Don’t worry about getting a caffeine buzz! The powder only enhances the chocolate and helps the cake taste exceptional.
Vegan chocolate cake ingredients
- Dark chocolate - Both dark chocolate bars and dairy free chocolate chips will work here. The chocolate is melted before it’s mixed in with the batter.
- Cocoa powder - Use 100 % unsweetened cacao powder such as Hershey's for the richest chocolate flavor. You can also use Dutch process cocoa powder like Hershey's Special dark More information in FAQ and notes section in recipe card
- Non-dairy milk - Because this recipe requires homemade vegan buttermilk (plant milk mixed with vinegar), I recommend using soy milk because it curdles the best. If you don’t have soy, substitute it with any other unsweetened plant milk you have at home.
- White vinegar - Vinegar mixed with soy milk will curdle and create vegan buttermilk. It’s necessary for moisture and a slight tang in the vegan chocolate cake.
- Applesauce - For moisture.
- Vegetable oil - Neutral vegetable oil like grapeseed oil is best. Coconut oil won’t work.
- All purpose flour - This will give you the best results, however, a 1:1 gluten free flour blend should work if you’d like to make gluten free chocolate cake instead.
- Instant coffee powder - Coffee is chocolate’s best friend! Instant coffee (regular or decaf) or espresso powder will bring out the chocolate flavor and enhance the richness without the caffeine buzz.
- Chocolate ganache icing - The vegan ganache is made from dark chocolate, coconut cream (not milk), cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. It’s easier to make than buttercream frosting and makes every bite silky smooth and extra chocolatey.
How to make vegan chocolate cake from scratch
This vegan chocolate cake recipe is bound to be a hit at your next party. Prep it ahead of time or make it fresh! You can’t go wrong:
- Make the buttermilk: Mix the dairy free milk and vinegar together in a small bowl. Set aside for a few minutes so it can curdle.
- Mix dry ingredients: Whisk the dry ingredients (except the cocoa powder) together in a medium bowl.
- Melt the chocolate: Break up the chocolate and place it in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over top and let the chocolate melt.
- Mix wet ingredients: Once the chocolate has melted, whisk in the cocoa powder, vegan buttermilk, and the rest of the wet ingredients.
- Finish the batter: Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and gently stir until a smooth batter is formed.
- Bake, then cool: Pour the cake batter into your 2 prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
- Make the chocolate ganache: Add the chocolate to a large mixing bowl. Heat the coconut cream on the stove until it’s hot (but not simmering), then pour it over the chocolate. After 1 or 2 minutes, add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract and stir until it’s smooth. Place it in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Ice the cake: Once the cake is completely cool, spread the chocolate ganache on top and around the sides of both cake layers. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Tips for success
- Always grease your cake pans with cooking spray or vegan butter first. I also like to line the bottom with parchment paper rounds for extra protection!
- Do not use 8 inch cake pans they are not big enough, you need 9 inch for this recipe
- Make sure leavening agents are fresh (baking soda and baking powder). Check the dates before using!
- Decorate the cake with any frosting you like, such as vegan chocolate frosting or cream cheese frosting, buttercream frosting
- Cool the cakes completely before frosting or icing will melt. I like to cool to room temperature then refrigerate them before frosting.
- Chill the frosting: The ganache needs to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour before it’s used to ice the cake. This gives it plenty of time to cool down and thicken up.
- If the icing seems too soft after 1 hour, leave it in the fridge and check on it every 10-15 minutes until you have a thicker consistency.
- Try not to use a high percentage dark chocolate in the ganache so it doesn’t taste overly bitter.
- If adding sprinkles or candies make sure to add them right after icing the cake so they adhere properly
- To frost cake without making a mess on cake platter place pieces of parchment paper around all sides of cake before frosting then carefully remove them when done. A trick Bakery's and restaurants use!
Frequently asked questions
Dark chocolate is often vegan-friendly but always check the label and ingredients list just in case! Sometimes, dark chocolate can contain whey or other milk products.
Yes! Make the batter as normal, pour it into a lined cupcake pan, and bake in a 350ºF oven for 20-25 minutes.
The baked cake will last for 5 days in a cake dome or when wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge. if using buttercream frosting you can store on countertop
Yes! Just make sure cakes are completely cooled then wrap the unfrosted baked cakes in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
Dutch process cocoa means that it has been processed with an alkali (potassium carbonate) giving it a neutral PH. This affects the cocoa's interaction with leavening agents making it neutral meaning it does not react with baking soda; so unless the recipe calls specifically for dutch process cocoa use natural cocoa powder. If wondering how to check for this just look at ingredients on the back of container. Natural cocoa powder has only one ingredient which is you guessed it- cocoa powder. Where as dutch process cocoa has two ingredients, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda (AKA baking soda) or label will say 'cocoa processed with alkali'
Craving more vegan chocolate desserts?
- Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
- Vegan Chocolate Mug Cake
- Fudgy Vegan Black Bean Brownies
- Easy Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Enjoy everyone! Happy Day! Please feel free to comment below and give this recipe a rating. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!Print