Sweet Treats – Vegan Chocolate Cake

Without stating the obvious, there are all sorts of reasons why you should have this recipe handy.

It’s a beautiful soft cake with a tender crumb, with a result not unlike my Legless Chocolate Cake. It’s ideal for any sort of celebration and could easily support thick icing and birthday candles. It keeps well for several days, and freezes beautifully, meaning you can make this in advance and decorate it closer to time.

Because it’s egg-free and dairy-free it aids all those who may have nasty food intolerances, without the need for expensive substitutes.

You don’t need special equipment to make it, because this recipe requires only two bowls and one whisk. It’s such an easy recipe it could well become a favourite with your children to make in school holidays.

But the best bit? It can be made with ordinary, generic, cheap-as pantry staples. No special flour, raising agents or trickery involved.

Dear readers, it is the perfect cake.

Recipes like this one have been around for a while and relies on good old-fashioned chemistry between the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to give the cake a softness and lightness to the finished result. If you want a really dense chocolatey taste on your tongue (as a chocolate lover, I do), add a little coffee to the mixture in place of water which helps to ‘Dutch’ the chocolate.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Adapted from a recipe in Cafe Beaujolais by Margaret Fox

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Makes a 24cm round cake


  • 1½ cups (250g) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (35g) unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) water (or substitute cold brewed coffee)
  • 100ml vegetable oil (canola or other neutral-flavoured oil)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar or cider vinegar


Preheat oven to 170°C (Fan-forced). Grease a 24cm round cake tin and set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarb, sugar and salt into a large bowl. In a smaller bowl or large jug, whisk together the water (or coffee), oil, vanilla and vinegar.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and use a whisk to thoroughly combine until any lumps of flour are dispersed.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Tap the tin hard on the bench top several times to break up any air bubbles. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake springs back when it’s pressed lightly in the middle.

Cool in the pan (it will sink a little), then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Top with sifted icing sugar, some cooked and crushed frozen berries or your favourite chocolate ganache (although it won’t be dairy free if you do.)


$4.00 for a 24cm un-iced cake

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