The Best vegan chocolate sheet cake ever! This vegan sheet cake is super rich and decadent yet secretly vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and oil free. Made in just one bowl, you won’t believe how easy and delicious this sheet cake is!

vegan gluten free chocolate cake with sprinkles, sliced

Why you’ll love this vegan gluten free chocolate cake (even if you aren’t gluten free!)

This is truly the ultimate vegan gluten free chocolate cake. I’m serious, you’re just going to love this chocolate sheet cake recipe, and for a few reasons:

  • This chocolate cake is super moist without containing any oil. Yes this is an entirely oil free vegan chocolate cake recipe that’s still super moist! The trick is in the vegan buttermilk and applesauce.
  • It’s super rich and decadent, while also being refined sugar free and gluten free. You won’t even be able to tell that this is actually a healthier vegan sheet cake. The cake itself is so rich and tender, I promise even non-vegans will beg for a slice!
  • The ingredients are super simple. For this vegan sheet cake, you don’t need much! We’ll go over that in the next section, but really easy and straightforward ingredients.
  • You just need one bowl! That’s it! Just one bowl that you can use for both the batter and the frosting. Talk about a stress free cake!

Just get ready for the best dang vegan chocolate sheet cake you’ve ever had! This one is a keeper!

slice of valentines day chocolate sheet cake

What is a half sheet cake?

You’ve heard of a Texas sheet cake, or just a sheet cake before. Basically, a cake that’s baked in a sheet pan rather than round cake pans. That’s truly the only difference! It makes cake baking more approachable and easier for all.

However, you might not have heard of a half sheet cake, which is essentially what we’re baking here (although you can use a smaller sheet cake pan to bake this as well!).

A half sheet cake is essentially a square cake- only half of what a sheet pan cake would be!

This chocolate half sheet cake only serves about 9 people, and it is absolutely decadent. The perfect size for small birthday parties, get togethers, celebrations, or even Valentine’s Day!

Oil free vegan sheet cake ingredients

You’ll be shocked by how simple these ingredients are for a small vegan chocolate cake.

For this half sheet cake recipe, you’ll need:

  • Oat flour: if you’re not gluten free, you can also use regular or cake flour.
  • Arrowroot starch: also called arrowroot powder, this helps create a “cake flour” texture to the cake.
  • Coconut sugar: I recommend this over granulated sugar, as the cake turns our much richer- and refined sugar free!
  • Cacao powder
  • Dairy free milk: you can use any dairy free milk here. I recommend oat milk or coconut milk!
  • Apple cider vinegar: this will be used to create both the vegan buttermilk and an alternative baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Applesauce: this acts as the vegan egg replacement.
vegan sheet cake ingredients

In terms of equipment, you’ll need:

  • one large bowl
  • hand mixer
  • whisk
  • rubber spatula
  • square baking pan

That’s it! This vegan chocolate sheet cake is super easy in both process and ingredients!

How to make a vegan gluten free chocolate sheet cake from scratch

As with all of my recipes, the full detailed instructions to this vegan chocolate sheet cake are found down below in the recipe card (along with the measurements for the ingredients). However, we’ll go over a brief overview along with photos for reference!

  1. First, whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, cacao powder, and arrowroot powder.
  2. Then add in the applesauce and dairy free milk mixture, mixing together to form a batter (on the thicker side).
  3. Here is where we’ll add in the baking soda and apple cider vinegar mixture. Combine the baking soda and vinegar, and immediately add it to the batter. Mix to combine.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake!
how to make a sheet cake from scratch

Once baked, you’ll allow the vegan sheet cake to cool before frosting. Then we’ll use my favorite vegan chocolate buttercream frosting as the frosting here! I like to top with vegan sprinkles as well, but you can leave it just as is!

Recipe Tips

Vegan buttermilk. This is my secret to all of my vegan gluten free cake recipes. Vegan buttermilk helps to yield that super moist and tender texture that you’d find in conventional cakes. I use apple cider vinegar here, but you can also use lemon juice or white wine vinegar. I also prefer a creamier dairy free milk, such as oat or coconut. This also helps to keep this recipe nut free.

Sifting the flour. Always make sure that you’re sifting your flour, regardless of whether it’s gluten free or regular.

Alternative baking soda. Otherwise known as baking soda and vinegar (in our case, apple cider vinegar). I mention this below, but I really find this to be the best way to rise this cake, versus baking powder. Simply combine the baking soda with the vinegar just before you need to use it in the recipe. This is because the vinegar acts instantly with the baking soda, so you want that rise to continue on through the baking process.

Vegan chocolate buttercream. My absolutely favorite buttercream of all time, vegan or not, AND approved by my nearly 80 year old grandma. I use coconut sugar as the powdered sugar here instead of regular sugar, and I honestly think it makes all the difference. The chocolate buttercream is smooth and velvety, but also super rich and more complex in flavor. It’s absolutely heavenly!

vegan gluten free chocolate cake with sprinkles

Recipe Q+A

What brand oat flour do you use?

For this vegan gluten free chocolate cake, I used Bob’s Red Mill oat flour. It really works just like flour with a bit of arrowroot powder.

You can also make your own oat flour for this cake, but please try to get the oat flour as fine as possible! Otherwise, the cake might taste a bit oaty. Still a delicious taste, but just depends on if you want a decadent and rich chocolate cake or a slightly healthier tasting one.

Do I need to use the baking soda + apple cider vinegar mixture?

I personally recommend this combination. I know it seems like a bit of a science experiment, but my vegan gluten free cakes rise so well with it as opposed to baking powder.

You can, however, sub in baking powder if you’d like. Simply swap in an equal amount of baking powder to baking soda, and omit the apple cider vinegar all together.

Please note: you’ll still need the acv for your vegan buttermilk!

Best Ever Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake (Gluten Free + Oil Free!)

If I’m not gluten-free, can I use all-purpose flour or cake flour?

Absolutely! If you’re not gluten free and don’t feel like experimenting with an alternative flour, you can absolutely swap in all purpose flour here, or even cake flour.

I recommend cake flour, as it will yield the best texture; super tender and light!

Can I use a round 6″ cake pan instead of a sheet cake?

Absolutely! If you’d like to make this a 6″ small chocolate cake, simply prepare the cake the same way, only swapping out the cake pans.

What vegan sprinkles do you use?

The vegan heart sprinkles that I’ve used in these photos are by Go Supernatural! There are also other vegan sprinkles by Sweetapolita that I absolutely love.

bite taken from a slice of vegan gluten free chocolate cake

I hope you love this super easy vegan chocolate sheet cake as much as I do! It’s the perfect size cake for a Valentine’s Day celebration for two (or a family!), or even a small birthday party, celebration, graduation, and more!

If you loved this half sheet cake recipe, let me know how it went for you by leaving a comment below, as well as giving this recipe a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This helps show the recipe to more people who might want to make it!

As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there.

Happy baking!

More vegan gluten free cake recipes you’ll love:

Super Moist Vegan Chocolate Cake

Best Ever Vegan Vanilla Cake

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake

Vegan Birthday Funfetti Cake

Secretly Vegan White Chocolate Cake

Fudgy Vegan Brownie Cookie Dough Cake

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Best Ever Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake (Gluten Free + Oil Free!)
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slice of vegan sheet cake on a plate

One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake (Gluten Free, Oil Free)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 23
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The Best vegan chocolate sheet cake ever! This vegan sheet cake is super rich and decadent yet secretly vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and oil free. Made in just one bowl, you won’t believe how easy and delicious this sheet cake is!


Ingredients

Scale

Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake:

  • 2 cups oat flour, sifted 
  • 1 cup cacao powder 
  • 1 cup coconut sugar 
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened dairy free milk + 1 tsp acv, room temperature, mixed before the batter
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature 
  • 3 tsp baking soda + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (DON’T mix until you’re about to add to the batter)

Vegan Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • vegan sprinkles, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with parchment paper and oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar, and arrowroot powder.
  3. Add in the applesauce and dairy free milk mixture, and fold together. 
  4. Once the batter is mixed, combine the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Allow it to foam, and immediately add to your batter, then mix. 
  5. Pour the batter (it should be rather thick) into the baking pan, and place the baking pan into the oven to bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely so that you may frost.
  7. When ready to frost, prepare the vegan chocolate buttercream. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and large bowl, cream the vegan butter for 2-3 minutes. Add in the cacao powder and coconut sugar, and cream until fluffy and smooth.
  8. Spread onto the cooled chocolate cake. Top with sprinkles. 
  9. Slice and enjoy! Store any leftovers covered and in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the fridge up to 5 days, or in the freezer up to 3 months.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/9th without frosting
  • Calories: 221
  • Sugar: 24.2 g
  • Sodium: 50.6 mg
  • Fat: 3.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46.9 g
  • Fiber: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 5.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: chocolate sheet cake, one bowl chocolate cake, vegan gluten free chocolate cake, vegan sheet cake, half sheet cake