the best chocolate cake ever...that happens to be vegan

You guys, this cake is vegan and it is good.

Two years ago my friend J baked me this cake for my birthday.  I've made it several times now and I can say that it lives up to its name.  You can find the original recipe here but the way they wrote the recipe out you have to skip thru 4 or 5 pages to read the whole thing which is annoying.  So I put it all in one place.  It's super easy.

I did not change any ingredients in the original recipe but I do pierce the top of the cooled cake with a skewer and drizzle some homemade kahlua over the top before I frost it.  I also make the batter in a bowl instead of the pan that it bakes in.  As you can see by the photo, it makes just one layer so you'll have to double the recipe to get 2 layers.  Or you could double it and use a bundt pan, that would work too.  I also smear a little earth balance and flour the pans before I pour the batter in.

1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar

In a bowl mix dry ingredients well and then add the water, vanilla, oil and vinegar.  Stir until well combined.  Pour in pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hr.

Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp earth balance margarine
2 tbsp soy milk/almond milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan combine the sugar, margarine, soy milk or almond milk and cocoa powder.  Over medium heat stir & bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and continue stirring for 5 additional minutes then as the mixture cools down add the vanilla.

I'd like to thank you all for your kind comments re the office.  You guys are so sweet.  It can be scary exposing so much of yourself and your home online so I really appreciate your thoughtful remarks.  You are the BEST.  x


  1. This looks delicious! I will try this recipe for sure. I tried a vegan coconut choc chip cookie recipe that went terribly wrong but this looks easy. Thanks Janet! Have a nice weekend.

  2. thanks Janet - we are eating a lot of vegan here now, so this is a much-appreciated recipe!

  3. Our family's favorite cake is very similar - the same ingredients though in slightly different proportions. Ours also has walnut pieces stirred into the batter. We never frosted it, though; we always ate it with whipped topping.

  4. I'm surprised there's no egg replacer, or soy, set the cake. Looks great though!

  5. Oh thank you soooo much, Janet. I had all the ingredients here except the margaringpe and vegi oil so I just made finished baking this cake for a pot luck tonight. I substituted coconut oil for both the cake and glaze and added a little salt to the glaze as Earth Balance has some salt.
    Then I thought to add some leftover coconut flakes in both the cake batter and glaze. OMG it is delish!! I don't even think I will tell them it's vegan (unless they ask ;)

  6. Thank you, Janet for opening your home and sharing your talent for decorating. I like getting new ideas for my little cottage from you! It's been difficult to go from full blown Victorian to a cottage. But, I have to admit I love the cleaner look and ease of the actual cleaning now. And don't even get me started on your cute retro style!

    Lisa in Fort Worth

  7. I'm not vegan but the cake looks wonderful. I may try the recipe soon. Thanks !

  8. This looks delicious Janet! I definitely will be trying this recipe soon. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Hi Janet,
    You mentioned that you use kahlua, I am not a strong cook so do you mind explaining what the kahlua does? If I made the recipe without the kahlua do you think it would be okay (alcohol upsets my stomach)? Love the difference the navy made to your office. Very RL.

    1. sorry i missed this question missone. the kahlua just adds some dimension to the cake. it is not necessary at all.

  10. Janet you are inspiring me to fire up the oven! That cake looks delicious and easy to make.

  11. What a delicious-looking cake! Wondering on the sweetness scale if there is room for sugar reduction. Thanks.

  12. Definitely will make this cake. Thank you for the recipe.
    It IS very scary exposing oneself to the world...And when it is said, "the world," a blog definitely touches globally.
    It is almost unbelievable.
    I am grateful that you can go past the fear and share your thoughts, your recipes, your decorating, your vegan lifestyle.
    The Gardener's Cottage has and will always be my favorite online "magazine."
    What cheers me on a dreary day, what prompts me to try new things, what reminds me of the sweet simplicity of my life, of all lives.

  13. Looks delicious and sounds like an easy one to make and it looks beautiful on this pedestal cake stand.

  14. It looks delicious! Thank you for the recipe Janet!

    Madelief x

  15. Thank you Janet! Even without the glaze the cake was perfect! I love this recipe because I use to have everything you need to bake the cake at home any day. So even when the shops are closed, we can bake this cake.
    I used the remaining heat in the oven, after having baked tofu and red pepper in the oven. It went really fast. It was also gone quite fast. ;-)

  16. I made this cake and frosted with a chocolate peanut butter frosting. My husband said it was the best cake he's ever eaten, and he has 5 decades of chocolate cake eating experience. Guess I'll be making it again.

  17. Made it and yes, the best chocolate cake ever! Thanks for the recipe.

  18. I made this cake today and it is fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  19. Great post! You have timed that to perfection...
    this cake is vegan and it is good...
    I did a change any ingredients in the original recipe
    .... It taste is delicious

    You can post your ad for free...

  20. Hi Janet, I remembered this recipe and decided to make it today. What a wonderful cake!! Thanks for being a positive vegan inspiration. I will make this cake again.

  21. This is actually known as "Wacky Cake." I originally found it in the American Heart Association Cookbook but it used melted shortening. You can mix the whole thing in the baking pan. Sift all the dry ingrediants into the pan, make three wells (vanilla, vinegar and oil), and then pour the cup of water over the whole shabang and mix with a fork. The recipe is pretty old. I read somewhere that it originated back during one of the WWs due to the lack of eggs. I'm not sure if this is accurate. In any case, I make it all the time with a little powdered sugar sprinkled over the top or Cool Whip.

  22. Thank you! The site where the original recipe was posted made my computer not want to work with me! So thank you for enduring all the ads in order to provide us with this delicious cake!

  23. The exchange a few items in my cake to have it gluten free. I use a mix of coconut, millet and another gluten free flour with 1 tsp of xantham gum. I replace the oil with equal amounts of applesauce and 1 tsp of oil. Because I prefer a dark chocolate flavor, I decrease the sugar to 3/4 cup. It all works very well and I mix it directly in the pan. Anyone I offer it to loves the coconut flavor from the flour. I am thankful for the internet to find this great little cake.

  24. Just FYI: before I thought of clicking on the original recipe, I always wondered if you do cool the cake on the rack ( yes, you do for 2 hours) and when to pour glaze ( immediately after you whip it up and pour it on a cooled cake). You also need to let the cake sit for 1 hour after the glaze has been poured.

  25. Do you have any other recipes for vegan cakes besides chocolate. The chocolate is very good. I made it in a 8" spring form pan instead of the 8" square. I baked it for 35 min. It came out close to 2" high. I split the layer, spread 1 C. tart cherry preserves in the middle and frosted it with a mascarpone/whipped cream frosting. Every-one loved it. When I make it again I'll probably use a cooked vanilla frosting. Didn't try the glaze. One person for whom I especially baked this cake didn't like chocolate, that is why I'm asking for any other vegan cake recipes. Thank you.

    1. i'm sorry but i don't have any other vegan cake recipe. i'm sure if you googled it you will come up with quite a few! glad you liked this one! x


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