Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Also known as Depression Cake or Wacky Cake, this recipe for egg free & dairy free Vegan Chocolate Cake is surprisingly GREAT!

“We don’t need no stinking eggs!” LOL

I actually wanted to name my cake “The Salad Cake” or the “Oil & Vinegar Cake” since those are 2 of the ingredients!

I am not quite sure who to credit for the original posting to the internet for this recipe (since there are tons, not to mention the original recipes dates all the way back to the early 1900’s).

I first tried the recipe from  Sweet Little Bluebird who actually calls it a Crazy Cake.

I’ve tweaked it slightly to suit my liking!

I hope you think so too!

Call it what you will, but be sure to try it!  It is so moist and so chocolate-y and affordable too!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Grease 2- 8" pans Pan Grease
Preheat oven to 350°F
Be sure to use natural cocoa powder here, not Dutch Process **I tried it with Dutched and I didn't like it
I also tested this with All Purpose (or Plain Flour) and it was still great!
Serves: 2- 8" layers
  • Cake Flour 3 cups (360g)
  • Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder 6 Tablespoons (36g)
  • Granulated Sugar 2 cups (400g)
  • Baking Soda 2 teaspoons (10g)
  • Ground Cinnamon 2 teaspoons
  • Salt ½ teaspoon (3g)
  • White Or Apple Cider Vinegar 2 teaspoons (10g)
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons (10g)
  • Vegetable Oil 12 Tablespoons (165g)
  • Hot Water 2 cups (480ml) *approx 180°F - boiling
  1. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the cocoa powder with the hot water and then add the vinegar, oil and the vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the sifted dry ingredients and whisk vigorously with a hand whisk until smooth (about 15 strokes)
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan
  5. Bake in preheated 350°f oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs
Cool cake completely before using.

can be frozen wrapped well for up to 1 month
5.0 from 2 reviews
Vegan Vanilla Cake Recipe
Preheat oven to 350°F
Serves: 2- 8" layers
  • All Purpose Flour 3¼ cup (400g)
  • Granulated Sugar 2 cup (400g)
  • Baking Soda 2 teaspoon (10g)
  • Salt 1 teaspoon
  • White Vinegar 2 teaspoon (10ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons (10ml)
  • Oil ¾ cup (180ml)
  • Warm Water 2 cup (480ml)
  1. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the hot water and vinegar with the oil and the vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the sifted dry ingredients and whisk vigorously with a hand whisk until smooth (about 15 strokes)
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan
  5. Bake in preheated 350°f oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs

I do practice veganism in my home.

I feel I am in a bizarre catch 22 with my baking blog business that uses animal products; so I will admit that I am a hypocrite since I don’t stop using that stuff to teach you guys my recipes.

I am slowly learning Vegan recipes with egg substitutes and alternative milks and coconut everything…..

It is a learning curve for sure.

I am determined to master this technique of baking, and once I do I plan to share my new found knowledge with you all!

I was visiting my mom in Florida just recently, and I tried out this recipe on her.

Note** She is NOT Vegan and does NOT prefer anything that IS VEGAN!

She asked me to make her another cake before I left…… that should tell you how good this cake is!

You don’t have to be Vegan to enjoy peaceful, compassionate dining, but it sure does taste good!!


vegan cake at moms

*Notice the plate full of crumbs from the first batch!

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  1. Oh, my god . It’s the n’est chocolate cake Iever taste!!!!! Cinnamon really add something in this recipe. I add it in my favorites ones for sure!

  2. Hi Gretchen!

    Oh, THANK you sooo much for this recipe. I decided to change to a vegan lifestyle last week and since I am such a chocolate freak, this cake will make things so much easier for me 🙂
    Thanks 🙂

  3. Hi Gretchen,
    You have already answered dis qt of mine.hope u dun mind explaining dis again :(p.
    While making cake flour Wid cornstarch.. It’s really easy to follow d instructions while measuring in cups.
    I guess d confusion for me is when I measure in gms 1 cup is giving me 128 gms of Cake flour. Now if I halve d above vegan cake recipe,I need 180 gms of Cake flour. how much all purpose flour plus corn starch do I measure each in grams if I want to bake only half of d above recipe .
    Thanks n sorry 😐

  4. Hey guess Wat? I halved dis recipe twice n used wheat flour half cup n cornflour (or cornstarch) one forth cup..n replaced water Wid milk n used brown sugar instead of white… It turned out awesome..I credit my guts all to u..u r a true inspiration.. Thanks.. Tc

  5. This is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever made, seriously!! Only thing I changed was adding one tsp. of instant coffee and then one tsp. cinnamon instead of two tsp. Now I know why people say the cake doesn’t last long in the kitchen in their house! I keep going back for more. It’s also wonderful because I don’t eat/use eggs. I’m glad I found this recipe- it will stay in my cookbook for YEARS to come, thanks Gretchen!! 😀

  6. Hi der, how many cupcakes would dis batter yield if d base is one n half inch wide n top is two n half inch wide of d tin n height is approximately 1 n half.
    Also can I replace carrots Wid in ua vegan carrot cake with any kind of tinned berries.

  7. Hi Gretchen! My family loves your recipes! Keep receiving praises every time I bake and it feels good! I just wanted to ask, do you have any icing recipe that I can use with this cake that’s also vegan? many thanks!

  8. I want to make this recipe day after tomorrow as a surprise baby shower cake for a friend. But she can’t have cinnamon. Can i just avoid Cinnamon. What kind of effect it may have on the taste.

  9. If I use homemade cake flour then please tell me the ratio in gram please for this recipe…. In 360 gm cake flour how much should I use corn flour and how much should I use ap flour in gms…?

  10. Can you please do a vegan vanila cake? Or can you please suggest which of your recipe can be converted to eggless vanila cake ?

  11. Gretchen

    i cant tell me how much happy today i am after seeing ur vegan baking receipes. u win my heart … u will be alwys my first and last choice for baking .hope u share such receipes often .

    loads of love from india

    god bless u !!!!

  12. Hey Greth

    First off….Thank you for sharing your recipes! I just found you today and am loving everything.

    The questions I have for you is…
    can I use 2 cups of coffee in place of the water in the Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe? And will using the cinnamon give the cake a lot of cinnamon flavor? I ask because I’m making a birthday cake for an 8 yr old boy and I know he loves chocolate but not so much cinnamon..

    Thank you so much!

    1. YAY! awesome welcome! and YES I love the coffee idea (many on page seem to be against it so I dont often do it) BUT YES! LOVE IT! You can leave the cinnamon out, for those who like it- it is not too much, but for those who don’t best to leave it out!

  13. Hi Gretchen!
    My sister is a vegan and her birthday is coming up and she asked me for a marble cake. Would it be 4 super thick layers if I marbled the chocolate and vanilla cake recipes together? Or should I half each recipe? I don’t want there to be too much cake. Let me know if there are any other adjustments I need to make. Thank you

  14. Hi Gretchen, I made your vegan chocolate cake into cupcakes yesterday for an office birthday (along with non-vegan cheesecake cupcakes). Everyone LOVED them (For 12, I brushed Kahlua on the tops when they came out of the oven, frosted with a vegan Kahlua ‘buttercream’ and topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean. For others, frosted with a vegan peanut butter cream with mini-chocolate chips, drizzled melted chocolate, and topped with chopped peanuts.) Everyone said the chocolate cake was fabulous–and one team member said she liked this vegan chocolate cake better than non-vegan! Thank you!!

  15. This is great, I was wondering can I use gluten-free flour with this cake? I would like to make a vegan gluten-free coconut cake for a friend.

  16. Hi Gretchen,

    I made this vegan cake and it’s very good! Do you have a vegan frosting recipe? Or what vegan butters/shortening/brands do you recommend?

    I made chocolate buttercream with Earth Balance vegan butter sticks and it was awful . It was salty! I didn’t realize the sticks were salted. Can you help?! I tried to fix it with more sugar but it was still bad

  17. Hi! Gretchen, I made your vanilla version of vegan cake, but it doesn’t work for me & I tried it 3 times already but still can’t make it, is it because of I used rice white vinegar because I don’t have the apple cider. Pls help! Thks!

  18. Hi Gretchen,

    Thanks for the amazing vegan cake recipe.

    I have one question, can it be layered with ganache and used under fondant (for a single-tier cake)?


  19. Hi! Gretchen! I’ ve been trying again and again for the vanilla version but it still couldn’t make it…. I even bought the new baking soda and white vinegar as well, I have no idea where it’s go wrong?!.. Could u pls help!… Thks!

  20. Hi Gretchen, I used the vegan chocolate cake recipe and made cupcakes for Easter Sunday. One of the kids is allergic to eggs and dairy. All the kids liked them! The hint of cinnammon makes them different, the texture was wonderful. Thank you for another great recipe, looking forward to trying the vanilla version.

  21. Hi Gretchen

    I tried this today and it was pretty thick unlike the video you show. Everything is in gms and measured correctly. Even water was 480ml. Should I add more water to make it liquidy like in the video ?

  22. Hi Gretchen! Taste-wise, how does this cake differ from your vegan red velvet cake?

    Also, I was looking for a reliable recipe for dacquoise and my first thought was to search your website! Unfortunately I can’t seem to find it but if it has been re-uploaded already, do let me know the link to that recipe! Been following you since Crumb Boss days and I have great respect for how passionate and detailed you are when it comes to baking.

    1. HI Claire thanks! I have not refilmed the Daquiose SORRY!! This vegan chocolate cake is so good, so light so fluffy I think you will love it!

  23. Hello Gretchen, I been baking the chocolate cake for a while and is super delicious. I tried the Vanilla cake today but I’m not convinced, the texture is not what I was expecting. What happens if I use half cake and half APF?

  24. Hi Gretchen I’m looking for a gluten-free dairy free chocolate cake recipe. I read online that you cannot just switch out the flour, you have to add xanthan gum too. Do you know how much I would add to this vegan chocolate cake recipe? Or do you have a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe you could recommend? I know there are other recipes out there but I wanted to ask you first because it needs to be quality because it is a paid cake. Thank you so much Gretchen.

    1. Hi There, Im not that savvy with gluten free baking, however many people who are have told me my recipes work great with a GF mix.
      That being said I would still recommend you do a test first, maybe half batch with either a store bought GF Mix or you can make your own with a recipe like this one from an avid follower and gluten free baker herself:
      9.5 ounces white rice flour
      7.25 ounces potato starch
      7.25 ounces tapicoca starch

      She went on to add: I do not use any gums and for every cup ( I use 140 grams) I remove 2 tbs of flour and add 2 tbs of cornstarch. Truly makes a really good cake flour substitute.

  25. Hi Gretchen,
    I’ve always loved your recipes, esp the vegan cakes and the swiss buttercream

    I have a question. If i want to make a half sheet cake, is this batch enough or should i make more? If more then how much? Also, how will the baking temperature and time change?

  26. Hi Gretchen , I am also a baker and I have a website I have had many requests for vegan cakes I made my first vegan cake this past weekend for my sons 28th anniversary turned out great , I used a whipped coconut milk recipe I just added Confectionery sugar ,and coco powder to taste as a frosting worked out great ,please add that recipe to your vegan recipes. I will now add vegan cakes to my website please check it out if you have time . Unique takes By Ann . Thank you

  27. Hi Gretchen. Just wanna say a big thank you for the chocolate and vanilla vegan cake recipes. I served them last weekend and were a huge hit! I’ve learnt quite a bit from you. Your red velvet recipe is my go-to anytime. I haven’t tried another recipe since I found yours. Thanks so much for sharing.

  28. Hi Gretchen from the UK
    I’m just looking at making this cake for a naming day ceremony.

    My baking tin is 11’ x8’, do I need to make double the quantity of your chocolate cake into one pan, or will this cake be deep enough on its own. I want the finished cake to be this size.

    I’m looking to have a finished cake about 3’-4’ tall.

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