Vegan Chocolate Cake

Last Saturday our nephews and my sister-in-law were coming for a bonfire, (Winter bonfires are so much fun!) and I wanted a treat that I knew everyone would enjoy. But I also needed it to be something relatively quick! Which leads me to a chocolate cake that I’ve whipped up more times than one probably should. I noticed over the years, from browsing recipes on Pinterest or in cookbooks, that it has various names. Chocolate Snack Cake, Depression Cake, Vegan Chocolate Cake and others! I refer to it as the vegan chocolate cake. I have been frosting it with a vegan buttercream; using the becel unsalted plant based sticks.

My nephews and the rest of us devoured nearly the whole thing after coming in from the cold. If you make it I promise it will disappear fast! The directions show making it in an 8×8 dish, however, it’s perfect for a two layer 6” cake as well (see picture of the gluten-free vegan 6” slice below).

Are you hungry yet? Let’s get to the recipe!

Start by preheating your oven to 350. Grease an 8×8 baking pan, I use oil but you could use shortening. If you use shortening lightly for your pan too.

Using a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup baking cocoa (unsweetened), 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Next take a small bowl, and combine 1/3 cup oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar (white or cider) and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix really well!

Then you’re going to add one cup of cold coffee to the dry ingredients. I make it ahead of time, when I preheat the oven and then throw it in the freezer while I’m doing the above steps. I use the large setting on the Keurig. If you don’t have coffee, cold water will also work. However, coffee will give your cake a better, richer taste.

Add in the oil mixture to the medium bowl and then mix your cake batter fairly quick, you’ll see it bubble a little from the vinegar reacting with the baking soda (I love science!).

Pour it into your prepared dish and throw it in the oven for about a half hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool for about 10-15 minutes and then you can dig in!

If you choose to frost it wait until it’s completely cooled. Otherwise you’ll have a runny (but still delicious) mess.


If you have made this and would like to share your creations feel free to send a pic or tag on Instagram @bairdsbaking . Find more recipes and short videos over there as well!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Bake time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 6-8


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup cold coffee or water

Gluten-free Option

  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour


  • Preheat oven to 350F; grease 8×8 pan.
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a small bow combine oil, vinegar and vanilla; mix well.
  • Add cup of coffee or water and oil mixture to dry ingredients, stirring quickly.
  • Pour batter into pan, and bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10-15 minutes before digging in!
  • If frosting wait until completely cooled.

Vegan Frosting


  • 1/4 cup plant based butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Cream together butter and shortening in a small bowl with an electric mixer.
  • Add in vanilla and mix again.
  • Add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder and mix until combined.

2 thoughts on “Vegan Chocolate Cake

  1. Pingback: Vegan Carrot Cake

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