The rich and tender vegan small chocolate cake is topped with a small batch silky dairy free milk chocolate buttercream. Based on my award winning vegan chocolate cake, you only need one bowl and NO eggs to make this 6 inch small batch chocolate cake!

small vegan chocolate cake

We have an amazing vegan chocolate cake and decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes, but what if you don’t need that much cake (or cupcakes!)?

Enter in the most decadent and delicious small chocolate cake that’s naturally vegan, dairy free, and easily gluten free too!

Most cakes on this blog are wonderfully impressive and fun layer cakes. But like my small vanilla cake recipe, this single layer 6 inch chocolate cake is perfect for beginner cake bakers AND beginner bakers alike (and if you’re really new to vegan baking, you should check out my baking tips section and my vegan baking cookbook!). You only need one bowl and a whisk to make the cake, and you won’t believe the texture.

We’re talking deliciously rich, soft, tender, and indulgent yet petite in size for small gatherings, small birthday parties, or even date night (Valentine’s Day would be cute too!).

sliced vegan chocolate cake

Then we’ll top our small chocolate cake with a milk chocolate buttercream that will leave you absolutely speechless- all dairy free, by the way.

You’re just going to love this easy small chocolate cake!

P.S. If you want another really easy gluten free vegan chocolate cake, check out my vegan flourless chocolate cake!

Why do you not need eggs nor dairy for this small chocolate cake?

Don’t worry- this really works.

Many people think that the only way to lock in moisture and give our cakes structure is through eggs and dairy. While yes, those can help our cakes rise and bake to a beautiful texture, there are other methods that can do just the same!

Because this is a small vegan chocolate cake, we’re substituting out the eggs and dairy for dairy free yogurt or applesauce and dairy free milk (to make vegan buttermilk). This not only keeps this chocolate cake vegan friendly, but also super allergy friendly, since eggs and dairy are top on the list for most common food allergies.

slices of chocolate cake

You might be wondering- how on earth does yoghurt or applesauce work as an egg replacement in cake baking? I actually have a whole guide on my favorite vegan egg substitutes on the blog that goes over these details in depth. Highly recommend checking it out so you can gain some confidence in making these swaps yourself!

But especially with the cost of eggs being so high, it’s not a bad idea to try some alternatives just for fun!

Ingredient notes:

What about the other remaining ingredients for our small chocolate cake? Well, you probably already have them in your kitchen!

  • Flour: You can use all purpose flour OR gluten free flour (just make sure it uses xanthan gum!). Now the trick for gluten free flour is using a tried and true flour blend that truly is 1:1. I’ve found with experience that Bob’s Red Mill is NOT 1:1 anymore, which is a bit of a bummer. However, King Arthur Measure for Measure IS, both for the cup measurements and the metric measurements. I made this cake for a birthday once for someone who was gluten free- I kid you not, everyone asked me for the recipe. They couldn’t believe it was gluten free AND vegan!
  • Cocoa powder: Using a high quality cocoa powder is key!
  • Vegan butter: You may not be dairy free, but there ARE some amazing vegan butter brands on the market that truly taste like real butter. I always use Miyoko’s vegan butter- it’s unbelievable! My family is convinced that’s why my frostings always taste so good too.
  • Leavening agents: This is the baking powder and baking soda. The baking soda will react with the buttermilk that we make to create our rise.
  • Coffee: Make sure that it’s HOT coffee. You can use decaf coffee or a dissolvable espresso. But essentially, the hot liquid will bloom the cocoa powder, giving it a richer taste. Then the coffee comes in to amplify that chocolate flavor as well. Talk about a powerhouse of an ingredient!
  • Sugar: I like to use both granulated sugar and brown sugar here. The brown sugar contains molasses, which will add to the depth of flavor profile!
small chocolate cake ingredients

Overview: How to make a small vegan chocolate cake:

Here’s a brief overview with images to go over how simple this vegan small chocolate cake is to make!

The key to making milk chocolate frosting:

The most important part about making a chocolate buttercream that contains real chocolate is ensuring that your chocolate is NOT hot before adding to your room temperature butter.

Why is this? Because hot melted chocolate will further melt the vegan butter, making it impossible to create a fluffy frosting.

So the trick is to melt the chocolate, then give it 10 minutes or so to fully cool. Maybe your chocolate will be ready in 5 minutes, but it should still be liquid yet not hot to the touch.

Other topping ideas:

If you’d rather make a simpler topping, such as vegan ganache, you absolutely can! You can also make a simple vegan chocolate buttercream, vegan vanilla buttercream, or vegan cream cheese frosting (chocolate cream cheese frosting is also delicious!).

I also love this vegan peanut butter frosting from my vegan chocolate peanut butter cake. A dream!

To top, you can use sprinkles, like Go Supernatural! Vegan Sprinkles or the vegan selections from Sweetapolita!

slice of vegan chocolate cake

I also love topping with fresh berries, or chocolate shavings is another good idea 🙂

Can I make this into small batch chocolate cupcakes?

Absolutely! I already have a small batch chocolate cupcake recipe for two on the blog, but this will yield about 6 cupcakes. The perfect size for a small birthday party, celebration, or family holiday!

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

One Bowl Small Chocolate Cake (Vegan!) pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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small vegan chocolate cake on a plate

Moist & Rich Small Vegan Chocolate Cake (No eggs needed!)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 small slices 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


The rich and tender vegan small chocolate cake is topped with a small batch silky dairy free milk chocolate buttercream. Based on my award winning vegan chocolate cake, you only need one bowl and NO eggs to make this 6 inch small batch chocolate cake!


  • 1/3 cup (100 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cups (125 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (32 g) all natural cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cups (117 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp (37 g) brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 2 tbsp (38 g) unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) hot water + 1 tsp dissolvable espresso powder (or 1/3 cup (80 mL) brewed coffee, decaf if desired)

Vegan Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) vegan milk chocolate chips (such as by Enjoy Life)
  • 1 cup (160 g) powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F, and grease and line a 6″ cake pan with parchment paper. Measure out all ingredients, and make sure that the vegan buttermilk is prepared. 
  2. Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the vegan buttermilk, granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted vegan butter, applesauce or dairy free yogurt, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Gently whisk just until the flour begins to integrate into the batter, then pour the HOT coffee or espresso into the bowl, and whisk JUST until a smooth batter forms. 
  3. Bake: Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan. Place the cake into the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Cool: Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool in its pan for 10 minutes. Then transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 30-40 minutes. There should be no warmth whatsoever coming from the cake before frosting.
  5. While the cake is cooling: About 10-15 minutes before you’re ready to frost the cake, melt the vegan chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave until completely melted, stirring in between increments to fully melt. Allow the chocolate to cool for 5-7 minutes. 
  6. Make the milk chocolate buttercream: When the chocolate is cool enough, add the vegan butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment or use a hand mixer to cream the vegan butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add in the melted chocolate, and cream the butter and milk chocolate together. In 1/4 cup increments, add in the powdered sugar until completely combined.
  7. Frost the cake: Scoop the frosting onto the cake, and spread it around on top. Top with vegan sprinkles.
  8. Slice and serve! Serve the cake immediately, or store any leftovers tightly wrapped and in the fridge for up to 4 days. 


Gluten free: I recommend using King Arthur Measure for Measure flour. 

small vegan chocolate cake on a plate