Best Vegan Chocolate Cake

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Get ready for the most amazing vegan and gluten-free chocolate cake ever! It’s super moist, rich, and chocolate-y, topped with a fluffy vegan chocolate buttercream. And the best part? It’s a breeze to make – just two bowls, a sheet pan, and no complicated layers!

Best Vegan Chocolate Cake

Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 16



  • 1/2 cup vegan butter softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cup oat milk or other non-dairy alternative
  • 1 oz freshly brewed espresso or 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted dark chocolate

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 cup 2 sticks vegan butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 oz dark chocolate melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • For garnish: dark chocolate shavings


  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine gluten-free flour, oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (about 1 minute). Add vanilla, applesauce, and maple syrup, and continue mixing.
  • Stir freshly brewed espresso into oat milk.
  • Alternate adding the dry mixture and the oat milk/espresso to the wet ingredients, mixing on medium-low until fully incorporated. Add melted chocolate and continue mixing until incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before frosting.
  • To make vegan chocolate buttercream, melt chocolate in 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring well between each interval, until fully melted. Set aside and let it cool until it’s cool to the touch.
  • Beat butter and powdered sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes. Add cooled chocolate, vanilla, and salt, and continue mixing on medium-high for another 2 minutes.
  • Frost the cooled cake and top it with chocolate shavings or sprinkles. Slice and enjoy!


  • For a circular layer cake: To make a 2-layer cake, use TWO 9-inch round pans. Divide the batter in half and use an equal amount in each pan. The baking time may be a bit shorter – start with 24 minutes and go from there until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Espresso: If you don’t have access to an espresso machine, substitute with 1 tsp of instant espresso powder.
  • Gluten-free all-purpose flour: We recommend Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
  • Non-dairy milk: Oat milk is preferred, but you can also use cashew, almond, or soy milk.
  • Storage: This cake stores well covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. If it’s warm, refrigerate to prevent the frosting from melting.

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