Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Vegan chocolate cake

  • serves 8-10
  • Easy

Decent espresso powder is the key to this luxurious vegan chocolate sponge, sandwiched together with indulgent (and butter-free) chocolate buttercream


Make this vegan chocolate cake for a special treat, then check out our vegan brownies, vegan chocolate cupcakes, vegan chocolate mousse, vegan cheesecake and vegan cookies

This recipe comes from vegan expert Richard Makin aka School Night Vegan. Check out his expert guide to cooking with vegan ingredients here.

Richard says: “A classic, two-layer vegan chocolate cake, sandwiched and topped with light, fluffy vegan chocolate buttercream. This cake uses an incredibly simple two-bowl batter which uses a touch of espresso powder, along with cocoa, to ensure a rich, bitter-sweet chocolate flavour.”

Treat yourself to more dairy-free and egg-free desserts such as our vegan chocolate cheesecake and double chocolate chip vegan cookies



  • plant milk 170ml
  • vegan yogurt 190g
  • apple cider vinegar 1 tsp
  • caster sugar 250g
  • vegetable oil 145g
  • vanilla bean paste 1 tsp
  • plain flour 220g
  • cocoa powder 100g
  • espresso powder 1 tbsp
  • baking powder 1 tsp
  • bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
  • fine sea salt ¼ tsp


  • vegan dark chocolate 110g
  • vegan butter 100g, room temperature
  • vegan margarine 100g, room temperature
  • cocoa powder 20g
  • icing sugar 200g


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and line two deep 20cm springform cake tins with baking paper.

  • Step 2

    In a large measuring jug, mix together the plant milk, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, caster sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla bean paste. Set aside.

  • Step 3

    In another large bowl, sift together the remaining sponge ingredients and mix well. Add the plant milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat gently until just combined. Working quickly, divide the batter between the two prepared tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Allow the sponges to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool enough to handle, remove them from their tins. 

  • Step 4

    While the sponges are baking, make the buttercream. Carefully melt the dark chocolate in short bursts in the microwave, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

  • Step 5

    Tip the butter and margarine into a bowl and use electric beaters to beat until silky smooth. Add the sifted cocoa powder and beat again until smooth, with no lumps of cocoa. Working with a dessertspoon at a time, add the sifted icing sugar and beat well between each addition.

  • Step 6

    Add the cooled dark chocolate and beat well until you have a beautifully fluffy frosting. To serve, put the sponges in the fridge for at least 15 minutes – before you frost, they should be cool to the touch, otherwise the frosting will melt and become greasy.

  • Step 7

    Frost the top of one sponge then top it with the second sponge. Add another layer of frosting on top. You can either serve at this point or you can frost the sides, if you like.

Check out our selection of easy vegan cake recipes...

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