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sliced vegan mocha cake

Moist Vegan Mocha Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.6 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This rich and moist vegan mocha cake is so easy to make in just one bowl and is topped with a velvety 3 ingredient mocha ganache! You won’t believe this mocha cake is dairy free!



Mocha Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
  • 1 cup (95 g) all natural cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (110 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted vegan butter*, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup (220 g) dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder, decaf if desired
  • 1 cup (240 mL) hot water + 1 tsp dissolvable espresso powder (yes an additional tsp of espresso powder! or 1 cup (240 mL) brewed coffee, decaf if desired)

Mocha Ganache:

  • 1 batch vegan chocolate ganache
  • 1 tbsp dissolvable espresso powder, decaf if desired
  • Vegan chocolate shavings, for decoration


  1. Be sure to read all instructions before beginning. Measure out all ingredients for the cake.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper (or if doing a layer cake, three 8″ cake pans with parchment paper). Prepare the vegan buttermilk according to instructions.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients: Add the sugar, brown sugar, melted vegan butter, dairy free yogurt, vanilla extract, espresso powder, and coffee to a large bowl. Whisk until combined. Then add in the cocoa powder, and whisk until there are no clumps of cocoa powder in the mixture. Then add in the baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt, and whisk to evenly distribute the leavening ingredients throughout the batter.
  4. Finish the batter: Add in the flour and vegan buttermilk, and whisk just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the chocolate cake batter. 
  5. Bake: Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, and place into the oven to bake for 50-55 minutes. If you’re baking as a layer cake, the layers will only need 30-35 minutes. As a sheet cake in a 9×13 pan, about 35-40 minutes. 
  6. While the cake is baking: Make the vegan mocha ganache. Prepare the ganache according to instructions, stirring in the dissolvable espresso powder as well. Then set aside in the fridge to cool and thicken again. You can stir it every 30 minutes or so, noting how thick it’s getting. You want smooth and spreadable consistency, like Biscoff cookie butter almost.
  7. Cool: Remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Do not frost until the cake is fully cooled.
  8. Frost and serve! Top the cooled mocha cake with the thickened chocolate ganache and spread to the edges of the cake. Top with shaved chocolate or vegan chocolate covered espresso beans. Enjoy!


Room temperature: this is different for different liquid ingredients. Vegan butter should be 65F, and dairy free milk and applesauce should be 70-72F. 

Espresso powder is different than ground espresso! Please see post for full details.

Please see blog post for full recipe notes + tips!