This dairy-free chocolate cake is ultra-rich, moist and chocolaty! It doesn’t use any specialty ingredients and can be made with all-purpose, gluten-free or whole wheat flours. It’s also easy to make vegan!
If you don’t need your cake to be dairy-free, don’t worry – this cake doesn’t have any unusual ingredients. Just use regular milk instead of dairy-free milk! That is the only thing needed to make this cake dairy-free.
This has been my go-to chocolate cake for 15 years. I’ve tried top-ranking chocolate cake recipes, just because I was curious if there’s one better than this, but this one always comes out the winner.
FOR THE CAKE
- berry, of choice, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups maple syrup (505 g)
- 1 ½ cups applesauce (380 g)
- 1 cup coconut oil (240 g), melted
- 3 cups almond milk (710 mL)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar (200 g)
- 1 ½ cups dark cocoa powder (180 g)
- 3 cups whole wheat flour (390 g)
FOR THE FROSTING
- 2 cups powdered sugar (240 g)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (60 g), melted
- 3 cups dairy-free chocolate chunk (510 g)
- 30 oz full-fat coconut milk (880 mL), 2 cans
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE FROSTING
- In a microwave-safe measuring cup, or in a small pot on the stove, heat the coconut milk until hot, but not boiling (about 2 minutes in the microwave).
- Place the dairy-free chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot coconut milk over it, allowing the milk to melt the chocolate.
- Mix well to combine.
- Once the chocolate is melted, add the coconut oil and powdered sugar.
- Beat with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
MIX THE CAKE BATTER
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Grease 3 separate 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the whole wheat flour, dark cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, add the almond milk, coconut oil, applesauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract.
- Whisk to combine.
- In two batches, add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, folding with a spatula until combined. Some clumps are okay.
BAKE AND FROST THE CAKE
- Divide the batter evenly between the 3 pre-greased cake pans and bake for 35–45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out almost entirely clean.
- Cool completely.
- Remove the frosting from the fridge and mix it up well.
- Choose which cake will be your bottom layer and cover evenly with about 1 cup (115 G) of frosting.
- Top with the second layer, frosting evenly again.
- Add the final layer and frost the top and the sides of the cake generously, topping with berries of choice for garnish.