slices of chocolate cake next to gluten free vegan chocolate cake on stand

Best Vegan Chocolate Cake Ever

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 32
  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Absolutely decadent and irresistibly moist vegan chocolate cake layered with an undetectably vegan chocolate buttercream frosting! This is the best vegan chocolate cake you’ll ever make that everyone will love!



Vegan Chocolate Cake:

  • 3 cups organic flour, sifted *see note for gluten free option
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk with 2 tsp lemon juice, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 cup just boiling water (just after boiling)
  • 2 tsp dissolvable espresso powder

Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 cups vegan butter, softened
  • 45 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup cacao powder


Bake the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease three 8″ cake pans with oil and lightly flour. Alternatively, you can also insert a parchment paper slip at the bottom of the cake pan. See note for alternate cake sizes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Add in the dairy free milk mixture, applesauce, and dairy free yogurt, and mix until just combined. It won’t fully combine here, but just until the wet ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Add in the boiling espresso water and gently mix again until it becomes more like a traditional cake batter.
  5. Divide the batter evenly into each of the cake pans, and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan for 10 minutes while the pans cool. Then remove the cakes from the pans and place them onto a cooling rack to fully cool before frosting.
  7. When ready to frost, prepare the vegan chocolate buttercream: beat the vegan butter until creamed, about 3 minutes. Then sift in the powdered sugar and continue beating until it becomes a fluffy vanilla buttercream.
  8. Add in the cacao powder, and start by beating the cacao powder into the middle so as not to create a dust around the bowl, then beat the entire buttercream mixture together with the cacao powder until full incorporated.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Assemble the cake by placing the bottom layer onto a cake plate and adding about 1 cup of frosting to the top of the cake. Spread it just to the edges, then add the second layer and repeat.
  2. Top with the third layer and frost with the remaining frosting.
  3. Decorate with flowers or any remaining frosting, and enjoy!
  4. Store any leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 2 days or sliced in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


To make this vegan chocolate cake gluten free: use gluten free 1:1 baking flour. Please ensure that the mixture contains xanthan gum.

To make a three-layered 6″ cake: bake the cakes for 25-27 minutes, but check with a toothpick towards the end of the baking time.

To make a two-layered 9″ cake: bake the cakes for 32-37 minutes, but check with a toothpick towards the end of the baking time.

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