6 Minute Chocolate Cake

I got this recipe from a fellow vegan baker (who got it from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home) and decided to make it for Dave’s birthday.


Chocolate cake!


1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water or brewed coffee (I used brewed instant coffee)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vinegar

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Lightly grease a 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan, and dust lightly with cocoa powder. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar into a bowl.
  • In a 2-cup measuring cup, measure and mix together the oil, water or coffee, and vanilla.
  • Pour the liquid into the bowl and mix the batter with a fork or small whisk. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly. There will be pale swirls in the batter where the baking soda and the vinegar are reacting. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning out to wire racks to cool completely.

I doubled this recipe so that I could make a 2 layer cake.

I then made this frosting:

Vegan Chocolate Frosting Recipe

1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 cups vegan powdered sugar*
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vegan soymilk
1/3 cup cocoa powder (or more)
a dash of salt

* If you want this to be strictly vegan, make sure that the powdered sugar you use is made from unbleached sugar (bleached sugar is often bleached in a process that uses animal bones). See note above the recipe about vegan ingredients for more information.

  • Soften the vegan margarine. (This would be a good step to do while baking the cake). Once the cake has cooled, start making your frosting:
  • Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar into the softened margarine. Then add the vanilla extract, soymilk, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix well. If it is too thick, add a very small amount of soymilk, and if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Continue to mix until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Frost your cake.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour to let the frosting set. Enjoy!
  • To store, seal the cake in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

Rating: A- from adults, C from the kids.  While my in-laws and husband raved about it, I thought it was slightly dry.  (This seems to be my vice for ALL cakes.  Drat the dryness!)  My kids took a bite and didn’t really like it – they liked the frosting but  complained that the cake was bitter – probably from the  coffee.

I think next time I try this I will use water instead of the coffee and I’ll make cupcakes – they are easier in controlling the dryness.  But, it’s definitely worth trying again!

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