Vegan chocolate cake

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake! (With a Gluten Free Option!)

Everyone needs a failsafe chocolate cake recipe, the one you pull out time & time again for birthdays, when people come over for lunch or, well, just because.

And this gorgeous vegan cake  is the yummiest, scrummiest, most chocolately cake ever.  In fact I think my mum has made this for every birthday since I went vegan 3 years ago. And we don’t just have it for birthdays; just ‘Oh, the family is together again’ or ‘I fancy cake today’ is enough of an excuse to make this one!

Even better, the last time Mum made it for me,  we had a go at making it gluten free, just to see how it would come out..

And it came out just as scrummy as the original!  Yippeee!!

vegan chocolate cake with a slice out

Using gluten free flour makes it a bit denser than using regular flour, but still super delicious. We used a flour which was a blend of rice, potato and maize. Many gluten free flours are blends, and it’s the blends that tend to work the best. Whether you use standard or gluten free flour, this vegan chocolate cake will be the one you come back to & use over & over again.

If you don’t have one large tin to make the sponge mixture in, you could use two smaller Victoria sponge tins. Just remember to reduce the cooking time by about a third. However, every oven is different so do still test it is cooked (using a skewer) before you take it out the oven to cool.

To decorate the cake, you can either cut the sponge in half and fill the middle as well as the top for a layered sponge (so decadent!). Or just smooth the icing over the top and let it come down the sides.

Add berries, edible flowers or pretty sprinkles for a festive effect- we used red currants for the photo shoot because Louise had found some at the market & liked their jewel like effect, but you do you..go crazy, after all, what better reason is there to get creative than decorating the top of a cake!?

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Ganache topping - With a gluten free option!
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins

This is The Vegan Larder's go-to chocolate cake to make for Birthdays, Holidays or just any reason you can think of to make a cake! 

Course: Afternoon Tea, Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: chocolate cake
Author: Louise-Claire Cayzer
For the sponge:
  • 360 g self raising flour OR use gluten free flour & 2 tspns gluten free baking powder
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 140 ml sunflower oil
  • 400 ml water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp white wine / apple cider vinegar
Ganache topping:
  • 300 g Dark vegan chocolate
  • 1/2 cup Non-dairy milk
  • Fresh / frozen fruit or chocolate shavings, to decorate
To make the sponge
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C. Grease and line and a cake tin.
  2. In a large bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Then stir in the sugar.
  3. In another bowl mix the oil, water and vanilla extract. Then add this to the flour mixture.
  4. Lastly stir in the vinegar.
  5. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 30-35 mins or until clean skewer emerges.
  6. Allow cake to cool before adding topping.
To make the ganache topping
  1. Break up the chocolate and place in a glass bowl along with the non-dairy milk.
  2. Place bowl above water that has just boiled and allow the chocolate to start to melt.
  3. Have the heat on very low from the cooker so that the milk does not split. Allow the mixture to melt slowly, while stirring.
  4. Once melted, top the cake with the ganache.
  5. Decorate with fruit / chocolate shavings/ sprinkles/whatever your little heart desires!

Recipe Notes

Note for seasonal flavours:

Winter - orange For winter orange version, add rind of one orange to the batter before baking, and 1 tsp of orange essence to the chocolate topping mix. Top with candied orange

Summer - raspberry / summer fruits For summer, decorate with raspberries or any other summer fruit. Optional to add 100-150g freeze dried raspberries to batter before baking

Chocolate Cake PInterest

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