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Vegan Chocolate Cake

A truly decadent dessert! – this Vegan Chocolate Cake is rich, moist, and fudgy! It has a tender crumb with a silky-smooth, buttery frosting that is hard to resist. Plus, it's easy to make and requires simple ingredients. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 people
Calories 415kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

    Wet Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (sub lemon juice)
    • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons avocado oil , or any neutral-flavored oil (grapeseed, sunflower, vegetable, etc.)
    • 1/2 cup applesauce
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    Dry Ingredients:

    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (*see note about measuring)
    • 3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder (sub unsweetened cocoa powder)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt

    Chocolate Frosting

    Instructions

    Chocolate Cake

    • Preheat your oven to 350 °F (177 °C). Lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans for easy cake removal. (9-inch pans can be used too)
    • In a medium mixing bowl, add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Combine and let it sit for 10 minutes to create vegan buttermilk. It will thicken and curdle slightly. Set aside
    • In a large mixing bowl with a Mesh Strainer on top, sift the cocoa powder into the bowl to break up clumps. Remove strainer and add flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine well. Set aside
    • In the medium bowl with the buttermilk, add the oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk to combine well. 
    • Now slowly pour the wet ingredients into the larger bowl of dry ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl so you get all that moisture. Whisk together until just combined. Small lumps are fine. (*Don't over mix or it can create a dense and chewy cake)
    • Divide batter evenly into each cake pan. Bake them in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (some dry crumbs are fine, just not wet batter). Don't overbake or the cake will be dry.
    • Let the cake cool in the pans for 15-20 minutes before removing. Then let them cool on a rack completely before frosting.

    Chocolate Frosting

    • In a medium mixing bowl fitted with a mesh strainer on top, add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and sift together to break up clumps. Set aside.
    • Add the softened vegan butter to the bowl of a Stand Mixer (or use a Medium/Large Stainless Steel Bowl with a Hand Mixer). Beat until pale and fluffy for 2-4 minutes. 
    • Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated (about 30-60 seconds)
    • Now add the powdered sugar and cocoa mixture, 1 cup at a time over low speed until it's mostly incorporated. Scrape down sides as needed. Now turn up to medium-high speed and mix until smooth and fluffy. Repeat until the mixture is gone. Taste and add more sugar if needed.
    • On medium speed, add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
    • If the cake is not cool yet, store the frosting in the fridge in an airtight container. It may harden a little in the fridge. Just give it a good stir and let it sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature.

    Notes

    • MEASURING FLOUR: For accurate results, don’t scoop the flour with a measuring cup directly from the flour container. Instead, Aerate the flour first, then scoop the flour out of your container with a spoon and then into a measuring cup. Don’t pack or tap the cup. After filling, lightly sweep a butter knife across the top to remove the excess flour.
    • STAND MIXER: you can use the paddle or balloon whisk attachment. The whisk adds more air into the frosting which gives it a slightly whipped texture. If you want a more traditional buttercream, use the paddle attachment.
    • FROSTING: it can stay out at room temperature for quite a while without melting, so you can leave the decorated cake out. However, if it's too warm, the frosting will start to soften. I prefer to store the decorated cake in the fridge and take it out an hour before serving. This also helps set the frosting and prevents it from getting too soft.
    • If you'll be adding sprinkles or decorations on top of the frosting, make sure to do so right away or they won't stick.
    • If you're using regular cocoa powder for the frosting, you may want to add 1/4 cup more to the recipe. Taste before adding more. 
    • Use organic powder sugar to ensure that it's vegan.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1slice | Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 289mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 2mg