To celebrate the addition of dairy-free and vegan wedding cakes to their amazing menu, head chef Brandon Baker of Loveletter Cakeshop in NYC offered to share their secret recipe for vegan double chocolate cake!
Who says vegans can’t have their cake and eat it too? Chocolate cake is one of the easiest and most delicious cakes to make vegan, and if you use high quality chocolate (couverture is best), your guests won’t even tell the difference. I’ve served this double chocolate cake at weddings for vegan brides and grooms and non-vegan guests absolutely love it, too.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Double Chocolate Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Just be sure to use a chocolate that suits your dietary needs, and those who are soy-free should take note that many vegetable oils are made with soy oil. If needed, use another neutral baking oil for this double chocolate cake.
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cups cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1⅛ cups warm water
- ½ cup vegetable oil (can sub another oil)
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 7 ounces dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup plain dairy-free milk beverage
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven at 350ºF. Grease and flour two 6-inch round cake pans.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl.
- Place the sugar in a separate bowl.
- Add the water, oil, and vanilla in a mixing bowl, and set the mixer on low speed. Slowly add the dry ingredients (except the sugar), and mix until fully incorporated. Add the sugar slowly and mix just until batter is smooth (do not over-mix).
- Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Place the chocolate chips in a bowl, and set the bowl over hot water. Melt the chocolate completely.
- Combine the milk beverage and vanilla in a pan over medium-low heat, and cook until simmering. Remove from the stove.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the milk beverage mixture and stir until just combined (over-stirring may cause your ganache to separate).
- Let sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or the until ganache is at your desired consistency for spreading on the cake.
Thicker Ganache: Increase the chocolate to 8 ounces and use 1 cup coconut cream instead of the milk beverage. If you need coconut-free, simply increase the chocolate to 8 ounces and use less milk beverage.
Very delicate, mine fell apart coming out of the pan 🙁 Tasted delicious though, maybe parchment paper next time, or cupcakes.
Thank you for sharing your feedback Rachita!
It was the first time I tried making a cake, and was surprised by the result. I made cupcakes out of this again yesterday with dark chocolate filling and semi-sweet chocolate for frosting. Such an amazing recipe, using granulated sugar is so slick. No need to spend money buying expensive vegan cupcakes anymore. Thank you so much for this!
That’s great. So glad you enjoyed it Deeksha and thank you for sharing your feedback!
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I’m planning on making this for a special anniversary dinner. In the picture it looks like there are four layers, yet it says it’s a 2 layer 6 inch cake. Is the picture of a different cake?
Also, I don’t have any 6 inch cake pans, just an 8 inch. Would this work? How long would I cook it?
Thanks in advance.
Hi Shirley, I haven’t tested this cake personally, and couldn’t give you spot on answers for your question about baking time. Two 6-inch pans is roughly equivalent to 1 8-inch pan (the 8-inch pan is just a wee bit smaller by area, so the cake will be taller). I would still check the cake at 30 minutes, and see how it is. When done, a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. As for the picture, they made a double batch / four layer cake. It’s a bakery, so they tend to make things grander, but paired down the recipe for at-home baking.
Wondering if you are using dutch processed or natural cocoa? Hard to tell since you include both baking soda and powder…
Either one should work, but for the best taste, I would lean toward a mild natural cocoa. There aren’t a lot of ingredients to react with the baking soda in this recipe.
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my ganache did not set. I read a different recipe that mixed with 2/3C of milk and did not refrigerate. I got a soupy mix. I don’t think I over stirred it
I made this cake yesterday and the flavor is intense and chocolately just like Ive been missing! However I had trouble with the amount of water. I ended up needing whole extra cup! How thick is the batter suppose to be? Mine balled up into a dough pretty much before I added the extra water. Maybe my cocoa powder was pretty dry. Do you sue dutch or natural?
That’s very bizarre Natalia. This is the right amount of liquid. Do you live at higher altitude at all?
6 months later I reply to your reply =) Im actually at sea level in Houston. I think it has to do with the humidity in my flours (my AC takes out most of it). Either way it turned out amazing even having to add a lot more water. This cake is delicious.
Haha, well thanks for coming back to share your feedback Natalia! Good to know it still worked out well for you.
I’ve also had the same issue – I live in Ontario, Canada. I followed the instructions and it also resulted in a ball of dough opposed to a batter, so I added 1/2 cup of water extra.
Where are you supposed to use the ganache? On top of the entire cake, after frosting? This looks amazing, and I am looking forward to trying it!
Hi Joy – see step #4 – it’s for icing the cake. You can use it for the filling, too (like in the picture), or do a different filling and just use it for icing. I like it for filling, too 🙂
Thank you so much for your quick reply! I’m going to use it for the filling, since that is what you recommend 🙂
Delicious recipe! I substitue GF flour and just add an egg (since i’m only allergic to milk and gluten) and it works out perfectly! I tried peppermint extract and it is amazing! Do you have the frosting recipe?
I do not have their frosting recipe, but this one is amazing with it – http://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/milk-chocolate-vegan-frosting
Thank you for commenting about GF option. I would do the same thing you did. 🙂
the cake sounds great but how do you do the 1/8 cup with the water? I am horrible in math so any help would be appreciated. is it 1 cup plus 1/8 tsp? thanks
Hi Cindy, 1/8 cup is 2 tablespoons (16 tablespoons in a cup) – so it is 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water.
What an amazing-looking cake. I love the secret for how to keep the cake structurally sound without eggs or egg substitutes. And the hint about using good quality chocolate is so true – no matter what diet you follow!
do you think GF multi purpose flour would work? looks so rich! YUM!
Straight up, it could be a hard swap since there are no eggs in this recipe. With a binder, it would work, but I’m not a fan of gums in cakes so it’s hard for me to recommend without trialing!
VERY interesting about the sugar… it makes sense, I just don’t bake enough anymore to have that science mind turned ON all the time 😉
This looks like a great recipe! Can I substitute gluten free flour instead of the all purpose flour? Have you tried it with GF flour? Sure hope that it would work because it would be amazing!
Hi cd, I would say “at your own risk”! There are no eggs in this recipe, and you would most likely need to add some type of binder to make it gluten-free. I couldn’t recommend without personally testing and modifying myself.
Can I use almond flour in this recipe? Thanks, looks relish!
Not as a 1:1 swap for the flour.