Vegan Chocolate Cake

Who says vegan desserts can't be decadent? The bottom layer of this two-tier chocolate cake is covered with mocha icing, while the top is blanketed with ganache.


  • 1 cup neutral oil, such as canola, plus more for pans
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup apple-cider vinegar
  • ½ cup margarine
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free soy creamer
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup or brown rice syrup
  • ⅓ cup dairy-free soy creamer


    1. Cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly brush two 8-inch round cake pans with oil; set aside.
    2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar into a large bowl. In a small bowl, dissolve espresso powder in 2 cups warm water; whisk in oil and vanilla. Whisk wet ingredients into dry mixture until well incorporated. Quickly whisk in vinegar. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
    3. Icing: in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat margarine on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, espresso powder, soy creamer, and vanilla; beat until smooth, 30 seconds more. Beat in cooled chocolate; set aside.
    4. Trim tops of cakes flat. Place a cake layer on a cake plate. Spread 1 1/2 cups icing evenly over it (reserve remaining icing for another use). Top with second cake layer, cut-side down.
    5. Ganache: Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring golden syrup and soy creamer to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Let stand 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Pour ganache over cake, allowing it to drip down sides. Let stand at room temperature until set, at least 15 minutes.