Vegan Chocolate Cake

Written by McDonald, T. | Date 9th of January 2023

My sister and cousin are the cake queens.  Since baking is obviously in the blood and I used to bake with my Nan as a child, I decided to bake a chocolate cake for the work's Christmas do.  As ever, I searched for the best vegan cake recipe, but nothing seemed right.  They either had too much sugar or used solid fats in the cake mix, which I try to avoid, especially if the cake will have butter frosting.  Nonetheless, I came up with this recipe based on others I had found.  Although the first attempts failed by either sinking in the middle or sticking to the tins or just didn't taste right, in the end I succeeded.  This is my vegan chocolate cake with chocolate butter frosting.  


  • Make sure you use a cake liner and grease the tin. 
  • Watch this to find out how to half the cake if you make a tall one in one tin.  Cutting a cake in half.
  • The batter will seem a bit heavy for a vegan mix, but that is OK.  Nonetheless, if you feel the need to add a little more water or vegan milk, you can.  
  • Please don't miss out the coffee ingredient since it really intensifies the taste of the chocolate!  
  • Spoon measurements are all level. 
  • Doming, is where the cake forms a dome on top, which is not ideal and will need levelling off. 
  • Remember!  The cake will be delicate, so be careful how you handle it. 
  • Let the cake cool down completely before cutting it.


Dry ingredients 

  • Self-raising flour x 250 g
  • Cocoa powder x 50 g
  • Coffee granules  x  2 tsp
  • Caster sugar x 200 g 
  • Baking powder x 1 tsp 
  • Bicarbonate of soda  x 2 tsp
  • Salt x 1 tsp 

Wet ingredients 

  • Plant-based milk 200 ml
  • Water boiling 120 ml 
  • White vinegar 2 tbsp
  • Vegetable oil 100 g

For the vegan chocolate frosting

  • 75 g vegan butter at room temperature
  • 200 g powdered icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp water


Step 1 – make the batter.

  1. Add the vegan milk and the white vinegar to a bowl or jug.  Cover with a tea-towel and leave for 30 minutes.  This makes the vegan butter milk. 
  2.  Preheat the oven to 180 C or 350 F.
  3. Add all the dry ingredients except the coffee to the mixing bowl. 
  4. Boil the water and add it to a jug with the coffee.  The coffee will intensify the chocolaty taste without changing the overall flavour.  Add this to the dry ingredients with the oil and mix.  Please do not over mix, or it will turn out heavy. 

Vegan butter milk

Cake batter

Step 2 – Bake

  1. Grease and line two 20 cm/8-inch diameter cake tins or 1 taller cake tin.  I used spray oil and then put the cake liner on top.  The grease will hold the cake liner in place.
  2. For two tins, bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes.  For one tall tin, bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes.  Check with a cake tester.  If the cake tester comes out clean, the cake is done!
  3. Leave to cool for at least 25 minutes before attempting to remove from the tin. 
  4. Stand on a cooling rack until completely cooled. 

If you choose to use two tins, you will not need to cut the cake in half.

One tin cake must be cut in half.

Cake before halving.

Step 3 – Decorate

  1. If you have made one big, tall cake, you will need to cut it in half. 

  2. First, with a seriated blade, cut off any doming from the top to make it as flat as possible.  

  3. Now you can cut the cake in half.  I used the cocktail sticks and cotton thread method. See notes. Carefully remove the top half and put in a save clean place like a plate.

  4. Make the chocolate frosting by adding all the ingredients and mixing with a metal spoon until smooth. 

  5. Add half the frosting to the top of the bottom half of the cake that will become the middle.  Don't go right up to the edge since it will squish out a bit. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread out the frosting.

  6. Add the other half of the cake to the top. 

  7. Add the other half of the frosting to the top of the cake.  Again, use the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread it out evenly. 

Measure the height of the cake and insert cocktail, a stick.

Do the same around the cake at the same height as the first stick.

Use the thread to cut in half. 

Chocolate frosting.


This was much better than I expected, but the cake did suffer a bit of doming, which I had to cut off.  In hindsight, I should have cut off more.  Nonetheless, this cake still turned out better than the first attempt, which stuck the tins and ruined.  In the second attempt, I used less sugar and one tin, which I greased and lined with my releasable cake tin liner.   My main worry after successfully removing the cake from the tin was cutting it in half.  I was not keen to use a knife, so I was grateful when I found a video on YouTube explaining the cocktail stick and thread method.

I hope that you liked this blog and if you do try this recipe, please let me know how you got on and what it turned out like. You can leave a comment in the comments below.


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