Updated on April 13, 2019
Vegan chocolate cake is just perfect for Birthday, Easter or Christmas celebration. It is indulgent, moist and delicious. A beautiful treat for chocolate lover!
This is one of the best vegan chocolate cake recipe and it is so easy that you will absolutely love it! It has layers of moist chocolate sponge, chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries.
Moreover, it is a healthier version of vegan chocolate cake, because I used less sugar and more spice and vanilla for flavor. One of the best vegan desserts to have!
Simple vegan cake. But so heavenly good that you need to pin this recipe!
Chocolate cake and strawberries in vegan desserts
I think it is an ideal flavor and color combination, isn’t it? Chocolate is so dominant in this cake, it needs something refreshing. So when you bite – you get chocolate, then strawberry, chocolate then strawberry…
This chocolate cake is to die for! It is like chocolate covered strawberries on the opposite..more like strawberry covered chocolate, haha.
You can use other seasonal berries for chocolate cake such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries etc. I don’t recommend using jams or preserves for layers, as they will not give needed freshness. If you can’t find fresh berries, you can use defrosted and well drained packed produce.
How to make vegan chocolate cake
To make this chocolate cake you will need all-purpose flour, cacao powder, vegan chai powder, Muscovado sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Yes, I used cacao, not cocoa powder.
Vegan chai is optional, it is used to add more spicy flavor to the chocolate. And there are so many options of adding chai in vegan desserts!
It is usually a combination of ground spices cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, pepper, black tea and sugar (or substitutes). I used store bought vegan chai latte (refined sugar-free), but if you can’t find it, you can make your own. Combine 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tbsp of icing sugar (or substitute), 1 tsp of each: ground tea, sugar and other spices that I mentioned. Add just a pinch of ground pepper, salt and cloves. Mix everything with cacao. Make sure the total weight of spice and cacao is 165 grams. If less than that, add more cacao. And yes, to be more precise, it is better to use scales!
Muscovado or khandsari sugar is a dark brown sugar with a strong molasses content and flavor. To my mind, it gives the depth and umami flavor during the baking process. It is partially refined cane sugar that is a little bit healthier than regular sugar, because of higher content of minerals. If you can’t find Muscovado, you can use good quality brown sugar.
It is very important to sieve all dry ingredients twice (except the sugar). It will help you to get rid of any lumps or big pieces of spice. The batter will be smoother, too.
You will need 675 ml of vegan milk of your choice. I used low-calorie coconut-rice milk, because I love the combination of coconut, chocolate and strawberries. You can also use coconut or almond milk for this vegan chocolate cake recipe.
I used a combination of melted and cooled coconut oil and sunflower oil. For more flavor, I added vanilla extract and to make soda “work” – a little bit of grape vinegar.
Combine all the wet ingredients in big bowl, then sieve in dry ingredients, mixing in batches. Finally add sugar and mix just until combined.
You don’t need any electric mixer, just use a hand whisk.
Divide the batter in 3 pans or use 3 parts to bake vegan sponges in batches.
By the way, this batter has no eggs, so you can safely taste it before baking! Delicious? Let’s bake it!
How to bake vegan chocolate cake
To bake chocolate sponges, layer the baking paper in a pan (I used 8 inch 20 cm spring form pan). Pour 1/3 of batter and bake this cake for 20-25 minutes in oven, preheated to 325 F / 160 C. It should be ready, when inserted wooden skewer comes out with few crumbs on it. Let the chocolate cake cool a little, then run the knife around the edges. And let it cool completely at room temperature on a wire rack.
It is ok if the sponges are slightly cracked in the center. Chocolate sponges will be a little bit oily if you touch them, but it means they are super moist and tasty. I think this could be a great base for other vegan desserts, such as trifle.
You can also make this easy vegan chocolate cake a bit smaller -with two sponges and one layer of strawberries and ganache. Just calculate 2/3 of the recipe for sponges and ganache.
When all the chocolate sponges are baked and cooled, you can start assembling the cake.
How to make vegan chocolate ganache
Melt vegan dark chocolate with coconut-rice milk on a Bain-Marie or water bath. Just roughly chop 270 g of chocolate (or use vegan chocolate chips) and place it in a heat-proof bowl. Add 150 ml of vegan milk (0,6 cup). Place a small pot with a little bit of water on a small heat. Put a bowl with chocolate and milk on top, make sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Melt the chocolate, mixing with a spatula.
You can microwave milk with chocolate for 20 seconds 3 times, mixing with a spatula just until melted.
Set aside chocolate ganache to cool for 30-40 minutes, but don’t refrigerate. It will thicken, and it will be easier to spread on the vegan cake.
Save this easy vegan chocolate frosting recipe for your favorite vegan desserts.
This is always a fun part! Carefully remove the baking paper from the chocolate sponge and place it on the cake stand or serving plate. Spread 1/3 of chocolate ganache on top. Cut strawberries and place them around the cake in one layer.
Repeat with another sponge and layer of ganache and strawberries. Put the 3rd chocolate sponge on top. Spread the ganache and let some of it drop around the edges. Make sure your cake is even from different corners. If not, you can insert more pieces of strawberries between the layers.
How to decorate chocolate cake
I’ve made simple raw decoration, using fresh strawberries. Moreover, I’ve added baby arugula leaves. They have savory peppery taste that I love in combination with sweet strawberries and chocolate. But green leaves are more for decoration than taste, so if you can definitely use some fresh mint or lemon balm leaves!
I also sprinkled some dried strawberries on top (and in between the layers, too). It is optional, but it gives more concentrated strawberry flavor and lovely color.
By the way, if you decide to make this cake for Easter, you can top it with colorful chocolate eggs!
How long does vegan chocolate cake last
Consume this chocolate cake for 5 days. You can eat every morning a piece of vegan cake. Just kidding. But it is really filling and energizing. Who doesn’t want to start the day with a healthier chocolate cake?
I’m sure you can also keep it in freezer for a month. However, I’m not sure about the texture of the cake after defrosting. Let me know, if you decide to freeze it!
Hope you will enjoy this easy vegan chocolate cake recipe! This is definitely one of the best chocolate cakes (and vegan desserts) to try. Moist, delicious and indulgent dessert.
Please share this chocolate cake with your vegan friends!
Here are other vegan desserts you might like:
More Birthday cake ideas (vegetarian):
Other delicious vegetarian chocolate recipes:
Vegan Chocolate Cake (Vegan Desserts)
- 2 or 3 x 8 inch / 20 cm spring form pans
- Baking paper
- a pot with heat proof bowl on top (Bain-Marie)
- off-set spatula or spoon
- cake stand or serving plate
- 415 g flour all-purpose
- 110 g cacao powder
- 50 g chai latte powder vegan (optional)
- 2½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 150 g Muscovado sugar
- 675 ml coconut-rice milk or other vegan milk
- 240 g coconut oil melted
- 170 g sunflower oil
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 2½ tsp grape vinegar or wine vinegar
- 270 g vegan dark chocolate
- 150 ml coconut milk or other vegan milk
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 500 g strawberries fresh
- 1 tbsp strawberries dried, crushed (optional)
- 1 tbsp leaves mint, arugula or lemon balm
- Preheat oven to 325 F / 160 C. Layer 3 cake pans with parchment paper*
- Sift flour, cacao, baking powder, soda and chai in a small bowl. Mix together.415 g flour, 110 g cacao powder, 2½ tsp baking soda, 1½ tsp baking powder, 50 g chai latte powder
- In a big bowl add milk, oils, vanilla and vinegar. Whisk until combined. Sift in mixed dried ingredients in 2-3 batches. Combine well.675 ml coconut-rice milk, 240 g coconut oil, 170 g sunflower oil, 2½ tsp grape vinegar, 3 tsp vanilla extract
- Add sugar and mix until combined.150 g Muscovado sugar
- Divide batter in three. Distribute batter to the prepared baking pans.
- Bake each sponge for 20-25 minutes until inserted wooden skewer comes out with few crumbs on it.
- Let the chocolate cake cool a little, then run the knife around the edges. And let it cool completely at room temperature on a wire rack.
- Prepare Bain – Marie or water bath. Place a small pot with a little bit of water on a small heat.
- Roughly chop dark chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl. Add vegan milk and coconut oil. Put a bowl with chocolate and milk on top of small pot with simmering water. Make sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Melt the chocolate, mixing with a spatula.270 g vegan dark chocolate, 150 ml coconut milk, 1 tsp coconut oil
- You can microwave milk with chocolate for 20 seconds 3 times, mixing with a spatula just until melted.
- Let the chocolate ganache cool for 30-40 minutes, but don’t refrigerate.
- Carefully remove the baking paper from the chocolate sponge and place it on the cake stand or serving plate. Spread 1/3 of chocolate ganache on top. Cut strawberries and place them around the cake in one layer.500 g strawberries
- Repeat with another sponge and layer of ganache and strawberries. Put the 3rd chocolate sponge on top.
- Spread the ganache and let some of it drop around the edges. Make sure your cake is even from different corners. If it is not, you can insert more pieces of strawberries between the layers.
- Decorate with fresh strawberries, micro leaves and sprinkle dried strawberries.500 g strawberries, 1 tbsp strawberries, 1 tbsp leaves
This cake was delicious and enjoyed by all. I did not use the chai latte powder because this was for a 10 year old birthday girl and I wasn’t sure if she would like that taste. I did add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg to get some of that personality. I used apple cider vinegar because I could not find grape vinegar. Does this possibly mean red wine vinegar? Also, I added some sugar to the ganache because I felt like it needed to be sweeter for a 10 year old girl although I thought the original recipe was delicious. The only problem I had was the cake fell apart when I tried to put it on the cake stand. I slid the pieces back together and the second layer fell apart as well when I placed it. For the third layer, I slid it off the cooling rack instead of lifting it and that was perfect. Since this is a layer cake with lots of strawberries peaking out from each layer, the problems with the lower layers were not obvious. The cake was still a beautiful presentation and it was greatly enjoyed by all. This was the first proper birthday cake for this girl since vegan birthday cakes are hard to come by. Thank you!
Hi Rachel! Thank you for your comment! Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar. The cake is very moist and strawberries are quite slippery, so it may cause falling apart. I’ve pressed each layer carefully with my hand, as well as worked with ganache that is slightly cool and already holds fruits. If you could share a picture of the cake and tag us, it would be great to see it! Happy Birthday to your girl!
This chocolate cake looks AMAZING! I can’t wait to make this for Easter!
Thank you! Happy Easter 🙂
I’m having a BBQ in a couple weeks with a few vegan friends coming. I think this recipe will be perfect for the occasion. Can’t wait to try! 🙂
I think all your friends will love it! This is actually and easy chocolate cake for special gathering.
By far the richest, moisted and most glorious looking chocolate cake I’ve seen in a LONG TIME. How can it possibly be vegan? I’m amazed.
Thank you so much, Lisa! This is definitely the cake for true chocolate lover, no matter vegan or not.
It is so hard to find good vegan recipes, love this one! Will be saving to make many more times
This is a well-tried recipe. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did!
What a gorgeous chocolate cake!
Thank you, Mary!