This easy (one-bowl!) Eggless Chocolate Cake is a simple vegan recipe you’re sure to come back to time and again. Unbelievably soft and light, you won’t believe that this decadent, chocolatey sponge cake is actually made with healthy whole wheat flour.
Table of Contents
About This Recipe
Soft, moist and deeply chocolatey, this eggless chocolate cake makes an excellent starting point for a multitude of chocolate cake-based desserts and a perfect vehicle for any number of delicious frostings. In fact, I make my Black Forest Cake from this spongy vegan chocolate cake recipe!
Not only does this recipe taste good, it is also quite a bit healthier than your classic chocolate cake. Don’t worry though. Even though healthier ingredients are used, this sponge cake still has a soft and moist texture. So yes, my friends. You can have your cake and eat it too. You’re quite welcome!
My eggless chocolate cake is also super easy to put together. Made in just one bowl and without a mixer, this cake batter is a lazy baker’s dream! With just about 10 minutes of active prep time, you can have a rich, dark, delectable chocolate cake in the oven. How amazing is that?
You’ll have to bake this eggless cake to really believe it – it’s insanely moist, perfectly spongy and is just the thing to cure your chocoholic cravings.
And while you’re more than welcome to serve this it plain, I’ve also included a recipe for a vegan chocolate glaze. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, it tastes better with the chocolate frosting!
Why this Recipe Works
Making Eggless Cakes is always a challenge as it can be hard to achieve the perfect, light consistency we associate with good cakes without using eggs.
Adding to that challenge, the addition of whole wheat flour can often cause a cake to be much denser and stodgier than those made with all-purpose flour.
The secret to achieving the light and spongy consistency in this vegan chocolate cake is the reaction between the baking soda and lemon juice.
These two ingredients work together to cause the cake to rise perfectly, giving it the soft, moist texture that we’re looking for.
NOTE: This recipe may resemble chocolate wacky cake, but it is not the same. The recipe proportions for this eggless chocolate cake are different from the wacky cake. My eggless chocolate cake also uses whole wheat flour and chilled water unlike in a whacky cake.
Ingredients & Possible Substitutions
- Cocoa Powder: The most important ingredient contributing to the flavor of the eggless chocolate cake is cocoa powder. It is important to use a good quality, naturally processed cocoa powder as this will affect the overall taste and consistency of the cake. Do not use dutch-process cocoa powder, or you might end up with a dense, stodgy result.
- Whole Wheat Flour: This vegan chocolate cake is incredibly light and soft. If you were only to judge the cake based on texture, you would never guess that it was made with whole wheat flour.
That said, the choice of healthy whole wheat flour will provide an almost nutty flavor in the cake. This recipe has been tried and tested with the Indian wheat flour (used to make roti) and the wheat flour available in USA and Europe. Use any good quality whole wheat flour. You can also opt to substitute all-purpose flour instead.
- Baking Soda: The most important ingredient affecting the texture of the cake is the baking soda, so it is important that it is fresh. If the baking soda is not fresh or is past its shelf life, the cake will not rise.
In the FAQ section below, I cover how to test the freshness of your baking soda. Please note: Baking powder cannot be used instead of baking soda. You can use eno (fruit salt) instead of baking soda in this eggless chocolate recipe. I would suggest adding about ½ to ⅔ teaspoon of eno.
- Lemon Juice: As explained earlier, the lemon juice is also crucial in causing the vegan chocolate cake to rise properly. However, if you don’t have lemon juice, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used for the same effect.
- Oil: Use oil which has neutral flavors for the best result. For all my cake recipes, I always use sunflower oil as it is neutral and leaves no aftertaste in the cake. Other options include vegetable oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil or avocado oil. Oil also helps in making the cake soft and moist.
- Flavorings: Vanilla powder can be added instead of vanilla extract. You can even add vanilla essence instead of vanilla extract.
- Liquids: The only liquid I have added to the cake batter is water. Milk (dairy or vegan milks like almond milk, cashew milk or soy milk) can be added instead of water. Make sure that the milk is cold and chilled.
- Sweeteners: For the sweeteners, you can opt to use raw sugar (like I have done) or swap in white sugar or brown sugar. You can also add jaggery, maple syrup, coconut sugar or palm sugar instead but the taste of the cake will be different. Avoid adding honey. According to Ayurveda, honey should not be heated as it becomes toxic.
How to make Eggless Chocolate Cake
Prepare Baking Pan
1. First grease a round baking pan of 7.5 inches diameter x 2 inches height with oil. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes.
Sift Dry Ingredients
2. Sieve 1 cup whole wheat flour (you can also use all-purpose flour) and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. Keep a plate or tray below the sieve.
3. Add a pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon baking soda.
4. Sift the ingredients on to a plate.
5. Keep the sieved dry ingredients aside.
Make the Liquid Mixture
6. In another pan or bowl, add ¾ cup sugar. I have used raw, unrefined cane sugar, however regular white sugar can also be used. Add 1 cup cold water. The water has to be very cold.
7. Stir with a small whisk till the sugar dissolves.
8. Now add ¼ cup oil. I added sunflower oil.
Note: I would not suggest adding butter as a few readers did tell me that the butter solidifies and it becomes difficult to get it to a homogenous mixture. Stick with oils that are not solid at room temperature for this cake.
9. Stir briskly so that everything is mixed well.
10. It should be a homogenous mixture.
11. Next add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir again.
TIP: No lemon? No problem. We just need something acidic here. You could use 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in place of lemon juice.
12. Now add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Feel free to add chocolate extract or chocolate essence instead of vanilla.
13. Mix very well.
Make Cake Batter
14. Add the sieved dry ingredients to the wet mixture.
15. Using a wired whisk, mix everything well.
16. There should be no lumps in the cake batter. The batter should also be slightly thin, not thick like a brownie batter.
Bake Eggless Chocolate Cake
17. Pour the eggless chocolate cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
18. Tap the sides so that the extra air bubbles are let out.
19. Bake the eggless chocolate cake in a preheated oven for 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) for 35 to 40 mins.
TIP: For baking in a convection mode of a microwave oven, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes. Then bake at 180 degrees celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 to 35 minutes.
Note: Since temperatures vary from oven to oven be sure to keep an eye on it. Do not open the oven door many times as this will cause your chocolate cake to sink in the center. Only open the door after three-fourth of the baking is done.
The temperature vary widely from oven to oven, which is why I recommend getting a stand-alone oven thermometer. Generally it takes 35 minutes for this cake to bake. But if your oven is very hot or cool, it will take less or more time for baking.
20. For doneness check the chocolate cake with a bamboo skewer or toothpick. The bamboo skewer should come out clean.
If the toothpick is sticky with the batter, then place the chocolate cake back in the oven and continue to bake for some more minutes.
Once the eggless chocolate cake cools down enough to handle, remove it from the baking tin and place it on a wired rack to finish cooling. Before frosting, let the cake cool completely.
Make Cocoa Frosting
21. This frosting recipe makes for more of a thin chocolate glaze. Take 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, ¼ cup almond milk and ¼ cup raw sugar in a small saucepan.
TIP: If you prefer a slightly thick frosting, reduce the almond milk to just 2 tablespoons. You can substitute any dairy or alternative milk in place of almond milk.
22. Begin to heat the pan on a low flame. Mix very well, continuing to stir, so that the sugar is dissolved into the milk. Do not boil the almond milk, but just make it lightly hot enough to dissolve the sugar.
23. When the almond milk is just lightly hot and after all the sugar has been dissolved, add 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.
24. With a small wired whisk, mix and stir so that the cocoa powder gets mixed evenly.
25. The cocoa frosting is ready now. Switch off the flame.
Frost Vegan Chocolate Cake
26. While still hot, pour the frosting on the top and sides of the eggless chocolate cake.
TIP: Usually I wrap a medium sized plate with aluminum foil and then place the cake on it. This makes the frosting work neater.
27. With an offset spatula, spread the icing evenly all over on top and the sides of the eggless chocolate cake. If you want a layer cake, you can slice the chocolate cake in half and spread frosting in the center and then on the top.
Keep the vegan chocolate cake covered in the fridge for the frosting to set for a couple of hours. I like to use a dome-shaped bowl to cover the cake. Make sure there is enough space between the cake and the bowl which you are using for covering.
The frosting will set after a few hours. I kept it in the fridge overnight.
28. For a little added pizzazz, feel free to top your cake with some simple decor. I recommend chocolate shavings, sprinkles or sliced nuts. If they are in season, fresh berries are also a nice complement to chocolate cake.
If you want to make a more intricate design, try holding a doily over the top of the cake and sift icing sugar or cocoa powder over the top to look like lace.
29. The eggless chocolate cake is ready to be served. Slice and enjoy!
Serve the chocolate cake as it is as an after meal dessert or whenever the chocolate craving strikes! It is simple enough to enjoy with your afternoon tea, and decadent enough to serve at a dinner party.
For a more luxurious treat, enjoy with a scoop of ice cream (vanilla, strawberry, coffee or mint chocolate chip would all be great) or some lightly sweetened whipped cream. You can also flavor your whipped cream if you prefer something outside of the traditional vanilla.
Place the remaining chocolate cake (whole or slices) in a covered box or container and refrigerate for up to a week.
- Cooling the cake: Be sure to let the cake cool completely before frosting. If the cake is even slightly warm, the glaze will simply run off of the cake.
- Oven thermometers: If you like to bake often, I recommend investing in a stand alone oven thermometer. Oven temperature gauges can vary widely, which can affect your bakes. By using an oven thermometer that you can calibrate yourself, you will have much better luck with all of your favorite recipes!
- Variations: Feel free to use the eggless chocolate cake recipe as the base for any chocolate cake. Switch up the frosting flavors, add jam between two layers, or even use as the base for an ice cream cake.
- Nuts: Want to add a little texture to your eggless cake? Feel free to add up to a cup of chopped, roasted nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit to the cake. Simply dust them in flour prior to adding to the batter to prevent them from sinking to the bottom.
Yes, you can double this eggless chocolate cake recipe. In fact, I recommend doubling the recipe if you are wanting a vegan chocolate layer cake!
Yes. You can easily bake this chocolate cake in a convection oven instead of a regular oven or an OTG. You can even bake this cake in a microwave convection oven. The timing will be less for convection ovens as they bake faster than an OTG or regular ovens.
Yes. You can make the vegan chocolate cake in a cooker. In a pressure cooker the time taken will be less as compared to an oven. To see how a cake can be made in a pressure cooker, you can check this Cooker Cake recipe.
In this chocolate recipe, only one leavening ingredient is used. That leaving ingredient is baking soda. The reaction of baking soda with the lemon juice helps in making this eggless chocolate cake spongy and light. It is always better to check the freshness of baking soda before you proceed with the recipe. If the baking soda is not fresh or past its shelf life, the cake won’t rise.
Add about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a mixture of 1 tablespoon vinegar + 1 tablespoon of water. The solution should fizz and bubble. If the solution does not fizz and bubble, the baking soda is not active and fresh, so do not use it.
Yes. Dried fruits and nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashews can be added in the batter. But before adding the dry fruits, mix them with a bit of flour, so that they do not settle down at the bottom of the cake while baking.
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Eggless Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup whole wheat flour – leveled, 120 grams or 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- ¾ cup raw sugar or white sugar – 150 grams
- 1 cup cold water
- ¼ cup sunflower oil or any neutral tasting oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice – swap with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla powder or ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
For the Chocolate Frosting
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil or any neutral tasting oil
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ cup almond milk or any nut milk
- ¼ cup raw sugar or white sugar
- First grease a round baking pan of 7.5 inches diameter x 2 inches height with sunflower oil.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Sieve whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda in a plate or bowl. Before sifting keep a plate, bowl or tray below the sieve. Use a good quality cocoa powder.
- Place the sifted dry ingredients aside.
Making liquid mixture
- In another pan or bowl, take the raw sugar.
- Add cold water and stir with small whisk until all of the sugar dissolves.
- Pour the sunflower oil. Stir briskly so that everything is mixed well and you get a homogenous mixture.
- Next add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir well again.
Making chocolate cake batter
- Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet mixture. With a wired whisk, mix everything well.
- Ensure that there are no lumps in the batter. This chocolate cake batter is slightly thin and not thick.
- Pour the batter in the prepared pan.
- Tap the sides of the pan so that the extra air bubbles are let out.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) for 35 to 40 mins. Since temperatures vary from oven to oven, do keep a check.
- For baking in a convection mode of microwave oven, preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes. Then bake the cake at 180 degrees celsius (356 degree Fahrenheit) for 30 to 35 minutes.
- For doneness check the cake with a bamboo skewer or toothpick. The skewer or toothpick should come out clean. Place the pan on a wired rack for the cake to cool.
- Once the chocolate cake becomes cool at room temperature, remove it gently from the pan and place it on a wired rack.
- If the toothpick is sticky, then place the cake back in the oven and continue to bake for some more minutes. Before frosting let the chocolate cake cool completely.
Making Cocoa Frosting
- Take the sunflower oil, almond milk and sugar in a small saucepan.
- Keep the saucepan on a low heat and stirring often mix till the sugar is dissolved. Then add the cocoa powder. On a low heat stir and mix till all the cocoa powder is dissolved. Switch off the flame.
- While still hot, pour the frosting on the chocolate cake on the top and sides of the cake. Spread it evenly with an offset spatula. You can also slice the chocolate cake in halve and spread frosting in the center and then on the top.
- Usually I wrap a medium sized plate with aluminium foil and then keep the cake on it. This make the frosting work easier.
- Keep the chocolate cake covered in the fridge for the frosting to set for a couple of hours. You can use a dome shaped bowl to cover the cake. Make sure the there is enough space between the cake and the bowl which you are using for covering the cake.
- The frosting will set after some hours.
- Next day, top the cake with some chocolate shavings or cacao shavings. You can also sprinkle some dry fruits or sprinkles. Some icing sugar and cocoa powder can also be sifted on the chocolate cake. This step is optional.
- Slice and serve eggless chocolate cake as a sweet dessert.
- Serve the chocolate cake as it is as an after meal dessert or whenever the chocolate craving strike! Or for a luxurious treat, enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- Place the remaining chocolate cake (whole or slices) in a covered box or container and refrigerate for a week.
Substitutions & Tips
- For Lemon Juice: Instead of lemon juice, add the same quantity of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- For Baking Soda: You can use ½ to ⅔ teaspoon eno (fruit salt) instead of baking soda.
- For Baking Powder: You cannot substitute baking powder with baking soda in this recipe.
- For Whole Wheat Flour: Swap with 1 cup of all-purpose flour (maida) or pastry flour.
- For Almond Milk: Instead of almond milk, add any nut milk or vegan milk to make the frosting. You can also add dairy milk.
- For Sunflower Oil: In place of sunflower oil use any neutral tasting oil.
- Cocoa Powder: Include the regular cocoa powder which is non-alkalized. Do not use dutch-process cocoa powder.
- Frosting: In the frosting, you can use dairy butter or vegan butter instead of sunflower oil. For a thick frosting, add less amount of almond milk.
- Sweeteners: For the sweeteners, you can choose to use raw sugar or white sugar or brown sugar. Avoid adding honey. According to Ayurveda, honey should not be heated as it becomes toxic. You can add jaggery, maple syrup, coconut sugar or palm sugar instead but the taste of the cake will be different.
- Checking freshness of baking soda: Since baking soda is the only leavening ingredient, ensure that it is fresh. To check its freshness mix about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a solution of 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon of water. The solution should fizz and bubble. If the solution does not fizz and bubble, your baking soda is not active and fresh.
- Baking: The temperature varies widely and differs from oven to oven. Generally it takes 35 minutes for this cake to bake. But if your oven is hotter or cooler, it will take less or more time.
- Scaling: The recipe can be easily scaled to make a small batch or a large batch for birthday parties.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This recipe post from the archives (December 2014) has been republished and updated on 4 April 2021.