The first thing I must say is that I didn’t think up the idea of this recipe on my own. I found Sam Turnbull’s chocolate cake recipe, and and used it as a base to make my own recipe. It’s super simple and one of the best cake recipes I’ve ever tried, vegan or not. Trust me when I say that this is the absolute best recipe out there. And the best thing is it can be modified to make excellent cupcakes, without worrying about the cake becoming too dry. The secret to this cake is that is uses a lot of baking soda, and in order to eliminate the gross-tasting sodium carbonate by-product, uses apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to neutralize it. But I promise you, you won’t taste either.
Preheat the oven to 325˚, although you can look at the bottom of the post to see different modifications. For this cake I like to use bread pans, since they give the cake an almost pound-cake feel. It also keeps it moist inside, while having a crunchy top layer.
It’s a fairly simple recipe, starting with the combining of the wet and dry ingredients. In this case, the espresso is considered a wet ingredient. I will stress that you must dissolve the espresso in water before adding it to the wet ingredients. The first time I tried adding espresso, I mixed it directly into the milk-oil mixture. What I should have realized is that it doesn’t dissolve in oil, only in water.
Once the wet and dry ingredients have been separately mixed, combine them together. i would use a whisk for this, because over mixing is a real danger with this cake, and an electric beater is far too harsh.
Once most of the ingredients have been combined, you can get the rest using a spatula. I’ve found that there’s always a little dry patch at the bottom of my bowl, so be sure to scrape all the way around.
Now you can pour your batter into your bread pan, and put it in the oven for around 45 minutes. Don’t lick the batter. Although this recipe contains no eggs, it still contains flour, which runs the risk of being E-coli ridden. Or do eat it, I’m a blogger, not your mom.
In the meantime, you can set about making the icing. I’ll be honest with you, this cake is so rich it doesn’t even need icing, but a lot of people consider icing an obligatory part of a cake. This icing is very similar to buttercream icing, although it contains neither butter nor cream. The only unfortunate thing about it is that you need to cool it in the refrigerator. To make the icing, combine melted coconut oil with softened vegetable shortening and icing sugar. Add melted chocolate chips and vanilla to it, and ba-da-bing, your icing is ready… to be put in the fridge for 10 minutes. It will be somewhat liquid. By the time your icing is done, your cake should be ready too.
Ice that sucker, and serve.
Ingredients: (makes two cakes)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (sieved)
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups cocoa
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 3/4 cups sweetened almond milk (I use dark chocolate flavoured)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp instant espresso powder (combined with 1 tbsp water)
Ingredients: (makes 1 cup icing)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (melted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat the oven to 325˚F
- Lightly grease two bread pans and dust them with flour to prevent sticking
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. I would recommended running the flour through a sieve. Mix well to ensure no clumping (a whisk is ideal for this).
- In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, vanilla, and dissolved espresso. Be sure to dissolve the espresso beforehand, since it won’t dissolve directly into the mixture.
- Mix together the wet and dry ingredients using a hand whisk. Use a spatula to gather the flour around the edges and along the bottom. Don’t over-mix.
- Immediately pour the batter into the greased pans, and put them in the oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Procedure for icing:
- Combine the vegetable shortening and the melted coconut oil. Mix in the icing sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time. Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla.
- Cool in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Icing will be runny.
Note: I’ve found that different ovens produce wildly different cook times, so be sure to keep an eye on your cake.
Note: this can alternatively be prepared in two round 9in. spring form pans, at 375˚ for about 35 minutes (or until the toothpick is clean)
TO MAKE CUPCAKES: use 3/4 cup oil instead of 1/2 cup, and cook at 375˚ for about 25 minutes