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 snack cake since it’s quick for when you really want a chocolate snack. I usually frost it with whatever frosting I’m in the mood for, but my favourite is caramel frosting (Tastes similar to brown sugar fudge). But you can also leave it as is, it’s just as good plain with a cup of coffee or tea.

Anyways, 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!

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.


I didn’t get a picture of the frosted cut pieces because they were eaten up too fast! Next time I make it I will update the post with a shot of it.


March 11/21; Made the caramel frosting! I made a reel on my instagram account briefly showing how to make it (It’s the second reel I’ve ever made so don’t judge too hard!).

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: 9


  • 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.

Caramel Frosting

A very rich frosting that goes very well with this cake; the frosting itself isn’t vegan so if you’re vegan I’m sure there is another frosting that is just as delicious to put on top! This will also perfectly frost this 8X8 cake. If you are using it for a layer cake, simply double the amounts.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter.
  • Add in brown sugar and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil 2 minutes.
  • Add in milk, boil and then remove from heat.
  • Let cool until slightly warm (I usually put it in the freezer to speed things up)
  • Add in powdered sugar until combined.

One thought on “Vegan Chocolate Cake

  1. Pingback: Vegan Carrot Cake

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