Vegan Chocolate Cake

The BEST vegan chocolate cake recipe! It's moist and deeply chocolatey, with a rich chocolate frosting made from a secret healthy ingredient.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

This vegan chocolate cake recipe comes from my new cookbook, Love & Lemons Every Day. Today, I’m sharing it in honor of the book’s launch, but this vegan cake recipe would be perfect for any celebration. It’s moist and delicious, with a rich dark chocolate flavor. Topped in a luscious frosting, it’s a dessert that everyone will love, whether they’re vegan or not.

Spreading frosting on a vegan cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe Ingredients

This vegan chocolate cake tastes rich and decadent, but secretly, it’s healthy. Healthy for a cake, that is. 🙂 Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • All-purpose flour and whole wheat flour – They make the cake wholesome, but still moist and tender.
  • Cocoa powder – It adds rich chocolate flavor.
  • Baking soda and apple cider vinegar – They help the cake rise.
  • Almond milk – Or any non-dairy milk you like. Soy milk or oat milk would work here too.
  • Maple syrup – Instead of using refined white sugar, I sweeten this vegan cake naturally with maple syrup.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – For moisture and richness.
  • Cinnamon and vanilla extract – They enhance the cake’s chocolate flavor.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Vegan Frosting

Frosting Your Vegan Cake

But the real healthy secret to this recipe is in the frosting. Despite its creamy texture and rich flavor, it’s not made with powdered sugar or vegan butter. Instead, I use baked sweet potato!

As you blend the frosting together, the heat of the sweet potato melts chocolate chips into a smooth puree that’s finished with coconut oil and cocoa powder. While it may feel decadent, this frosting actually gets its luscious texture from a vegetable!

Of course, if you prefer vanilla frosting on your cake, that’s fine too! This vegan frosting recipe would work perfectly.

Vegan Cake with Chocolate Frosting and sprinkles

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe Variations

You can make this vegan chocolate cake recipe three ways:

  • In an 8×8-inch square pan. Follow the recipe below to make this variation. It will yield a vegan chocolate cake like the one you see pictured here. I make this variation when I’m just baking for Jack and me.
  • As a layer cake. In the book, I make this recipe as a layer cake. To make it, double the recipe below and bake the batter in two round 8- or 9-inch cake pans. I love making this variation for parties and gatherings!
  • As a sheet cake. Don’t want to bother with layers? I get it! Double the recipe below, and bake it in a 9×13-inch pan.

All three versions are delicious!

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

More Favorite Vegan Treats

If you love this recipe, try one of these vegan desserts next:

Want even more vegan dessert recipes? Check out Love & Lemons Every Day!

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Vegan Chocolate Cake

rate this recipe:
5 from 110 votes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 9
This moist, rich vegan chocolate cake is secretly healthy, made with part whole wheat flour and a chocolate sweet potato frosting. Adapted from Love & Lemons Every Day.


Sweet Potato Frosting

  • 1 large sweet potato, enough to yield 3/4 cups mash
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt

Chocolate Cake


  • Make the sweet potato frosting: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Use a fork to poke a few holes into the sweet potato. Place on a baking sheet or on a piece of foil and roast until very tender, about 60 minutes. Let the potatoes cool slightly, then measure 3/4 cups of the soft flesh. In a (small) food processor, puree the sweet potato, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and salt. The heat of the sweet potato will melt the chocolate.
  • Make the cake. Reduce the oven heat to 350°F and grease an 8x8 baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. To the same bowl, add the almond milk, maple syrup, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when pressed or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on cooling racks and cool for 10 minutes.
  • Gently loosen the sides of each cake with a knife. Remove the cakes from the pan and place back on the racks to cool completely. Frost the cake and serve!

vegan chocolate cake


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Cindy

    If I don’t have whole wheat flour, and just used all-purpose, would I need to make any substitutions?

  2. Lauren

    I’m excited to try this recipe! Do you think I could halve everything to make a smaller batch of cupcakes? Or could I freeze them after baking?

  3. Stephanie

    5 stars
    A delicious cake and a delicious frosting. I followed the recipe (almost) exactly (I used oat milk instead of almond milk). I made the cake into 12 cupcakes and baked for 19 minutes. I was so amazed by the flavor and texture of the frosting using sweet potato. It was a nice consistency to pipe on to the cupcakes. I definitely will make this again and again.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing your cupcake timing! I’m glad you loved the cake and the frosting.

  4. Alexie

    I just made this and I’m not vegan… it was good!!!! I wanted to make something without adding cane sugar. I made the frosting according to the recipe it was good. The cake idk if it’s vegan because I had to sub honey instead of maple syrup vecause I didn’t have any at the moment. And I’m okay with regular milk so I used that. It’s very good. It reminds me of a fudgy flavor mixed with Mexican hot chocolate cause of the cinnamon. Will make again!

  5. Ryan

    5 stars
    Made this with gluten free flour (Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour) and used organic cacao powder instead of cocoa powder and it was excellent! Cake was moist and light. I was a little suspicious about a frosting made with sweet potato but it was terrific. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad it worked well with Bob’s GF flour – thanks for coming back to let us know!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.