I Was Shocked To Learn My Favorite Cake Recipe Is Vegan

It's so rich and chocolatey your friends and family will never guess this is a vegan chocolate cake.

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Being lactose intolerant I’m keenly aware of how difficult it is to find a dessert that doesn’t contain dairy. While I have a lot of dairy-free dessert recipes at the ready, one I keep coming back to over and over again is Cocoa Cake. Not only is it dairy-free, it uses no eggs making it completely vegan friendly.

I can’t say enough about this cake. First, it’s simply delicious. Cocoa powder adds a delicious chocolate flavor. If you’re wanting an even richer chocolate flavor, try Dutch-process or dark cocoa powder. Second, I find cakes made with oil instead of butter tend to be moister, especially if they’re not eaten in one sitting or you plan to serve it a day or two later. Third, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry, making it a great recipe to have on hand when you need something sweet right now.

And if all that isn’t enough, this cake freezes beautifully. Wrap up individual pieces and freeze them for a quick dessert at a moment’s notice. One taste and I know you’ll have found your go-to chocolate cake, whether you’re vegan, lactose-intolerant or simply just a chocolate cake aficionado.

How to Make Vegan Cocoa Cake

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This recipe for rich and decadent Cocoa Cake from Beulah Sak of Fairport, New York, will probably become your go-to recipe for a quick and easy vegan treat.


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Yield: 9 servings.

1 piece: 248 calories, 9g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 272mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (22g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.


Step 1: Mix the Batter

First, preheat your oven to 350°F.

Then, in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Using a spoon, make three wells in the dry ingredients. Pour oil into one, vinegar into another and vanilla into the third. Slowly pour water over all the ingredients. Beat with a handmixer on low speed until thoroughly combined (batter will be thin.)

Step 2: Prep the Pan and Bake

Greased and flour 8-in. square baking dish. By the way, here’s how to grease a cake pan the right way.

Then, pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 3: Enjoy!

Keeping the cake in the pan, allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, slice into equal pieces and serve!

Now that you know how to make a vegan chocolate cake, learn how to make a vegan birthday cake.

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James Schend
Formerly Taste of Home’s Deputy Editor, Culinary, James oversaw the Food Editor team, recipe contests and Bakeable, and managed all food content for Trusted Media Brands. He has also worked in the kitchen of Williams-Sonoma and at Southern Living. An honor graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, James has traveled the world searching for great food in all corners of life.