Desserts, Vegan

Vegan Chocolate Cake


Vegan Chocolate Cake is dense and moist. The frosting is fudgy and delicious.
Vegan Chocolate Cake is deliciously dense and moist with a fudgy frosting.

The fall after my parents were married, dad and a couple of his friends planned a hunting trip to a camp way back in the woods near Westfield N.B. They were to be gone three days and since none of them could cook much more than bacon and eggs my mom decided to bake them a special chocolate layer cake.

To set the scene you need to know that my mom didn’t grow up in a hunting household so she really had no idea what a hunting trip entailed. For instance, it didn’t occur to her that this was a camp you had to hike into.

Picture the procession through the woods, my dad carrying the cake in front of him like a crown on a velvet tufted pillow (because there really is no other way to carry a layer cake), while his buddies lugged his gear and theirs along the rutted trail?

That particular cake recipe is long gone, although the story of it is firmly planted in our family lore.

Today our family’s go-to chocolate cake for birthdays came from my sister Martha years ago. It became a favourite for a few reasons: it’s moist and dense, the recipe makes two layers and it’s quick to mix up. This is also a vegan chocolate cake but you can substitute butter for the oil. The frosting is especially frothy and delicious.

(Omit the frosting if you choose not to eat icing sugar.)

Vegan Chocolate Cake


  • ½ cup oil (or melted butter for non-vegan version)
  • 2 tsp. vinegar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups flour (half whole wheat pastry flour & half whole white flour)
  • 2 cups raw sugar (can be reduced to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

Martha’s chocolate frosting

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup coconut oil (or butter, softened)
  • ¼ cup water or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

To make the cake:

  1. Grease and flour two 8” round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the butter, vinegar, vanilla and water.
  4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
  5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake starts to pull away from the edge of a pan or a tester comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan 10 minutes then remove from pan to a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  1. Cream coconut oil & vanilla
  2. Add water and mix well.
  3. Add cocoa then the icing sugar one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.


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