How to Make a Moist Vegan Chocolate Cake

Whether you're a dairy-free baker or a chocolate connoisseur, this vegan chocolate cake recipe is sumptuous—and our foolproof method will make it your new go-to dessert.

Goodbye, days of dry cake. This vegan chocolate cake recipe reinvents the classic dessert so it’s friendly for diners with this dietary preference. Plus, the treat is so moist and delicious, it could be mistaken for Grandma’s secret recipe!

Following these tips will help you whip up the perfect cake every time (and we won’t blame you if it becomes a kitchen staple).

Sweet tooth still not satiated? Get your chocolate fix with these tasty recipes.

A Few Tips to Get Started:

Line it up.

To make sure you’re able to enjoy as much of the cake as possible, grease the pan and then line it with parchment paper. You can grease and flour the parchment paper, too, for added reassurance that the baked cake is easy to remove.

Try these other smart hacks for parchment paper.

Get your Caffeine fix!

A good chocolate cake should serve as a canvas for new and exciting flavors—and this recipe is no different. Consider subbing some (or all!) of the water with strong, brewed coffee (our test kitchen was a big fan of these brands) for richness and to really bring out the chocolate flavor.

Add a ‘lil crunch.

Add your own flair to this dessert by sneaking in some of your favorite treats, whether those are vegan chocolate chips or walnut chunks. If you’d prefer to change the flavor of the cake entirely, making it vanilla or marble will be just as irresistible.

Top it off.

Though no frosting beyond powdered sugar is needed for this recipe, if you do want something extra, this bakery-style frosting will make your cake taste like it came from a local bake shop. Just make sure the shortening is vegan.

How to Make a Moist Vegan Chocolate Cake


  • 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
  • Confectioner’s sugar

Step 1: Mix it Up

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 the entire mixture. Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined. The batter will be thin.

Step 2: Bake & Wait

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar (or frosting!) if desired.

How to store leftover cake:

Should some of the cake manage to survive your sweet tooth, wrap it in plastic and store in the refrigerator. If frosted, put the cake uncovered in the fridge for about 15 minutes so the frosting hardens before wrapping it. Let the cake return to room temperature on the counter before serving.

If you plan to keep the cake for longer than a week, cut it up and wrap individual sections in plastic before storing in the freezer.

Next, learn how to make vegan peanut butter cookies.

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Kim Bussing
Kim is a writer and creative consultant with more than a decade of experience publishing content about food and drink. She has told food and wine stories for top brands with household names, including Hilton and Marriott. Kim also writes about health and wellness topics, home decor and baking. For Taste of Home, she’s tackled stories about canned wines, cocktail kits, wine Advent calendars and much more. Kim’s passion is bringing together nutrition and joy in every meal and she’s always on the hunt for the perfect gluten-free cinnamon roll.