Vegan Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Filling

By • October 1, 2013 28 Comments

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Author Notes: Think vegan desserts are out of your reach? Think again. While this recipe is a little time intensive, it feels much easier if you make the creamy chocolate filling a day or two ahead of time. You can also make the cake a day ahead of time, and then simply assemble it and make the ganache the day you'll be serving. Gena Hamshaw

Serves 10 to 12

Vegan chocolate layer cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups almond, rice, or soy milk (I used soy)
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups organic sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Place these dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the apple cider vinegar to the milk and beat until it's frothy. Whisk in the oil, vanilla, and sugar.
  4. Add about a third of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix them together (you can use a spatula, whisk, or a hand mixer on the lowest setting). Add another third, keep mixing for a few moments, and then add the final third. When ingredients are just fully incorporated, stop mixing.
  5. Pour the cake batter into two round, 8 or 9-inch springform cake pans that have been greased with coconut oil. Bake for twenty-five minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake is clean. Allow the cakes to cook completely.

Creamy Chocolate Filling and Ganache

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond or cashew butter
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  1. To make the creamy chocolate filling: Use a food processor to process the pumpkin, cocoa, maple syrup, and almond or cashew butter till smooth. Set aside.
  2. To make the ganache: Stir the milk and syrup together in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Pour this mixture over the chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. To assemble the cake: remove the cakes from their pans. Place one onto your cake stand and gently shave the rounded top off of it with a sharp knife. Spread the creamy filling over this layer. Gently place the other cake over it. Pour the ganache over the cake. Transfer to a refrigerator to set for an hour. Serve.

More Great Recipes: Chocolate Cake|Desserts|Coconut

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Comments (28) Questions (1)


5 months ago Malka

I made this cake last night. Couldn't believe how easy it was yet so delicious. Best chocolate cake ever. However, since pumpkin puree is more of a seasonal thing, i substitute it with the fig butter from Trader Joe's. I think it worked perfectly.


about 1 year ago Vili Dobreva-Tankas

Can I replace the pumpkin puree with something else? Thanks!


about 1 year ago Mark Perino

This is a variation on the classic Moosewoods Chocolate Cake. I prefer the original Moosewoods Vegan Chocolate cake. The flavor of Coffee is a better choice than almond/soy milk.


over 1 year ago Ami

Has anyone tried to bake this as one cake, then slice it into two pieces after baking? I have many cake pans, and none of them are the same size. I wanted to bake in one cake pan so that each layer comes out the same size to not waste the edges.


over 1 year ago Jodie

With a tad of tweaking this cake is one the the BEST homemade chocolate cakes I have EVER had. Bonus that it is vegan!!! I used Almond Milk and Olive Oil. I found the cake to be Super moist and yummy. To the filling I added 1/2 tsp vanilla, pinch salt, and 1/2 c. of the chocolate ganache. I start by doubling the filling, put it in the fridge in the processor bowl until the ganache (which I also double)is ready, then I add a total of 1c. of the ganache to the filling and process until smooth. I use a 10 inch spring form pan and I put almost all of the filling in the middle (I end up with about a 1/2 c left over for yummy dipping later). The filling tastes better after it has had a chance to sit and the cocoa absorb into the pumpkin. Adding the ganache to the filling gives it a true chocolate taste. I have made this twice now, most recently for the Easter Holiday, and my mom - the hardest sweet tooth to please - loved it! It is THE chocolate cake I will be making for now on.


over 1 year ago rachel

I thought this cake was ok. The cake part turned out a little dry for me--maybe I didn't measure my flour carefully enough. I thought the ganache was perfect! But the pumpkin flavor in the filling didn't work for me. I added a little extra syrup and vanilla to try to make it less pumpkin-y, but if I were to make this again I would look for a different filling recipe.


over 1 year ago German

I have tested several similar recipes with cococa butter. For me, it's less expensive, and easier to get by than coconut oil. The flavor is amazing.


over 1 year ago Sera Seo Jin Jeong

i served it tonight to my college hall mates! i made extra ganache and added about 1/2 cup of the ganache, salt, and vanilla to the pumpkin filling to completely mask the metallic taste of canned pumpkin. it was a huge hit!


10 months ago Ku Ala

Haha, you made this cake?! I did too. Bout to make it again tmrw for my mom's b day. Hope you are well.

-Akure from Swat


10 months ago Sera Seo Jin Jeong

Oh hey there Akure! Funny to meet you virtually on a recipe thread! Happy birthday to your mom. I hope you guys have a great celebration and enjoy some delicious cake! Thanks and I hope you are doing well too! :-)


over 1 year ago Cindy Leung

I made it for a vegan friend and non-vegan friends. They loved it! At first, I was skeptical about pumpkin puree for the filling but to my amazement it was delicious. Very decadent.


over 1 year ago tulip549

This was quite a tasty cake! I didn't have time to make the ganache so only made the cake itself. I just halved the recipe and poured it into a 9 inch round baking pan. I also added a tablespoon of ground coffee and used regular milk instead of the "vegan" milks. Also added a touch more cocoa (I like my cakes super chocolatey!). Baked it for 25 minutes and it came out very moist. It was quite delicious and I definitely will be making it again!


almost 2 years ago April Bautista

My daughter has a nut allergy so I used Sunflower Seed butter instead of the nut butter and it still tastes delectable!


almost 2 years ago April Bautista

I made your cake it is WONDERFUL! thank you so much for sharing - I wish i could send you pics I took!


almost 2 years ago Juliann

An extra bonus was the ganache "frosting". I don't usually frost cakes, and my family loved the chocolate bar topping!


almost 2 years ago Juliann

I made the cake with whole wheat pastry flour, almond milk, dutched cocoa and baked it in a 9x13 pan for ease. My family declared it a winner. The cake was moist and rich. It might replace my usual birthday celebration cake, Susan Purdy's Chocolate Buttermilk cake. I have not made the filling. Any further comments on it?


almost 2 years ago Krista Lauren O'Farrell

For the ganache is it 1/4 cup of maple syrup or 2 Tbsp? It's listed twice.


almost 2 years ago bdholtzman

The 1/4 cup goes in the pumpkin/chocolate mix, and the 2 tbsp goes in with the coconut milk. Then it all gets mixed together.


almost 2 years ago Isa Mulder

I just made the chocolate filling, and much to my disappointment, it wasn't good at all. I followed the directions exactly, but it tasted really strange. I'm going to just throw it out, I'm a bit pissed I wasted precious ingredients on this.


almost 2 years ago Juliann

Do I have to use springform pans? Can I use my regular cake pans?


almost 2 years ago Trees

I used a regular cake pan, and it was fine. I greased and floured the pan, and it didn't stick at all.


almost 2 years ago Laurie Crummett

Made this cake last night and it was beautiful, tasted rich and is a definite keeper to serve to family.


almost 2 years ago Trees

I just made this, and the creamy filling is brilliant! I added a bit more maple and almond butter to make it sweeter and thicker. The cake itself was a little dry (I only baked it for 23 min), so if I make it again, I'll add more oil and maybe use cake flour instead of all-purpose. I used almond milk – not sure if soy milk would make a difference.


almost 2 years ago Gretchen Taipale

Oh my lord, I just made this for a vegan friend's birthday and it was unbelievable! Better than most non-vegan cakes. Seriously fabulous recipe.