This dark chocolate cake is the best thing in the entire world. Yes, I realize I said last week that my favorite thing in the world was birthday cupcakes.
I’ve said a lot of things were my favorite, but I’ve decided I’m not going to choose anymore. This cake has made me realize that it’s more than okay to love all desserts equally, especially rich, moist dark chocolate cake.
This dairy free chocolate cake is made without butter and the results are insane. Moist chocolate cake, made even better with the intensity of dark chocolate, topped with chocolate dairy free frosting.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this dark chocolate cake
Ingredient notes: be sure to use a Dutch process cocoa powder for this recipe. The pH levels vary between Dutch process and cocoa powder, and can impact the results of the cake, so be sure you’re using the right one.
How to make dark chocolate cake
Mise en place. Preheat oven to 350˚F, and grease/ flour your cake pans.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined.
Add the wet ingredients. Next, stir in the oil, warm water, eggs and vanilla and mix until the batter is smooth.
Bake. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool completely before removing from pan (don’t rush this or you’ll break your cakes!).
How to make vegan chocolate frosting
Mix the base. Beat the vegan butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the sugar. Mix in about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time, until you use it all up. If necessary, add water or milk to reach your desired consistency.
FAQS and tips for making moist dark chocolate cake
For this recipe, we used dark cocoa powder. It’s the best choice for a dairy free cake, since we don’t have to worry about milk being in the chocolate, but it’s also a great option for making cake in general.
Yes. That’s what we’ve done in this recipe. Just make sure you don’t mix up Dutch process with regular cocoa powder, because that can make a difference in the final outcome of the cake.
If your cake didn’t turn out dark enough, you probably mis-measured one of the ingredients. The two that make the biggest impact in this recipe are the cocoa powder and the sugar.
Chocolate cake can taste bitter if you use too much cocoa powder or too much baking powder. It can also happen if you don’t use enough sugar, so double check your ingredients before starting next time!
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This dark chocolate cake is a chocolate lovers dream! Full of rich chocolate flavor with dense, moist cake layers and creamy, homemade frosting. This recipe is made from scratch and super easy! With one simple swap, it can also be made vegan.
For the cake:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 2 large eggs (or 2 prepared flax eggs)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup dairy free butter (1 stick)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch coarse salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 – 2 tablespoons water or milk
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Stir in the oil, warm water, eggs and vanilla extract, whisking until smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan.
To make the frosting:
- With an electric mixer, beat butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt until light and fluffy.
- Add salt and powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until incorporated. Add water or milk until desired consistency is reached.
Keywords: dairy free, vegan option, chocolate, dark chocolate, cake
Last Updated on August 3, 2020 by Melissa Belanger