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
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Place these dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the apple cider vinegar to the milk and beat until it's frothy. Whisk in the oil, vanilla, and sugar.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.