Chocolate Cake (Eggless, Vegan, Whole Wheat)

This Eggless Chocolate Cake is a simple and easy one bowl recipe. A delicious vegan chocolate cake made with whole wheat flour.

Unbelievably soft and spongy, this recipe will satisfy chocolate lovers and cake lovers alike.

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A triangular slice of eggless chocolate cake on a white plate

About this Chocolate Cake Recipe

Soft, moist and chocolaty, this chocolate cake made without eggs makes great base for various chocolate frostings and chocolate cake desserts. I have even made Black Forest Cake from this chocolate cake recipe.

Not only does this cake taste good, it is also quite a bit healthier than your classic chocolate cake. However, even though healthier ingredients are used, the cake still has a soft and moist texture, which means that yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.

This vegan recipe uses sunflower oil instead of butter. I have also shared an easy and delectable vegan cocoa frosting recipe which uses sunflower oil instead of butter. You could use any neutral tasting oil.

In this basic version of the recipe, you can serve the cake plain or with the chocolate frosting. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, it tastes better with the chocolate frosting!

This recipe may resemble the whacky cake, but it is not a whacky cake. In 2014, when I had developed and tested this recipe, I had not even a faint idea of the whacky cake or depression cake. In short, I was unaware about whacky cake.

Now I know about the whacky cake recipe. The recipe proportions for this chocolate cake is different from the proportions of the whacky cake and also uses whole wheat flour. Moreover chilled cold water (which helps in making the cake spongy) is used in the recipe unlike the whacky cake.

Why this Eggless Cake Recipe Works

Making an eggless cake is always a challenge as it can be hard to get that perfect cake consistency without using eggs. Making this eggless chocolate cake with whole wheat flour added another element to that challenge as this usually causes a cake or bread to be much denser than those made with all-purpose flour.

The secret to achieving the light and spongy consistency in this cake is the reaction between the baking soda and lemon juice. These two ingredients work together to cause the cake to rise perfectly and gives it the soft, moist texture that we’re looking for.

vegan chocolate cake on a white cake stand on a black board

Ingredients You Will Need for Eggless Chocolate Cake

  1. Cocoa Powder: The most important ingredient contributing to the flavor of the chocolate cake is cocoa powder. It is important to use a good quality cocoa powder as this will affect the overall taste of the cake. Do not use dutch-process cocoa powder.
  2. Whole Wheat Flour: This cake does not have the denseness or heaviness which wheat flour cakes may have. It is too difficult to guess or believe that the cake is made from whole wheat flour if the texture is considered. It is incredibly light and soft. Though you will get a nutty wheat flour flavor in the cake. Use any good brand or good quality whole wheat flour.
  3. Baking Soda: The most important ingredient affecting the texture of the cake is the baking soda and it is important that it is fresh. If the baking soda is not fresh or 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.
  4. Lemon Juice: As explained earlier, the lemon juice is also crucial in causing the 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.
  5. Oil: Do use oil which has neutral flavors. For all my cake recipes, I always use sunflower oil as it is bland, neutral and there is no after taste felt in the cake. Oil also helps in making the cake soft and moist.

FAQ and Tips to Make Eggless Chocolate Cake

  1. Can all purpose flour be used?
    Yes. You can easily add all-purpose flour in the recipe. Depending on the quality of flour, you can add slightly less water than what is mentioned in the recipe.
  2. Can I double this recipe?
    Yes, you can double this eggless chocolate cake recipe.
  3. Can I skip baking soda?
    No. Baking soda is the only leavening ingredient added in the recipe. So it cannot be skipped.
  4. Can I add baking powder instead of baking soda?
    No. Baking powder cannot be used instead of baking soda.
  5. Can I bake this chocolate cake in a convection oven or in a microwave convection oven?
    Yes. You can easily bake this eggless 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.
  6. Can I make this eggless chocolate cake in a pressure cooker?
    Yes. You can make the chocolate cake in a cooker. In a pressure cooker the time taken will be less as compared to an oven. To see how a chocolate cake can be made in a pressure cooker, you can check either of these 2 detailed step by step recipes:

  7. Can I add vanilla powder in all the cakes instead of vanilla extract?
    Yes. Vanilla powder can be added instead of vanilla extract. You can even add vanilla essence instead of vanilla extract.
  8. Why is my chocolate cake not spongy?
    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.
    Checking the freshness of baking sodaAdd 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.
  9. Can I add dry fruits or nuts in the chocolate cake?
    Yes. Dry fruits and nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashews can be added in the cake 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.
  10. Can milk be added instead of water to the cake batter?
    Yes. 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.
  11. Can I add honey instead of sugar?
    No. 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.
  12. Can I use vinegar instead of lemon juice?
    Yes. You can easily use vinegar instead of lemon juice. Use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  13. Can I use eno (fruit salt) instead of baking soda?
    Yes. You can use eno in this eggless chocolate recipe. So I would suggest to add about ½ to ⅔ teaspoon of eno in the eggless chocolate cake recipe.

How to make Eggless Chocolate Cake

For ease of understanding, I have divided the step by step pictorial in 4 main parts.

  • Step 1 – Making the Batter
  • Step 2 – Baking Eggless Chocolate Cake
  • Step 3 – Making Vegan Chocolate Frosting for the Cake
  • Step 4 – Icing the Eggless Chocolate Cake

Step 1 – Making the Batter

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.

brushing cake pan with oil

2. Sieve 1 cup whole wheat flour (you can also use all-purpose flour) and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. Use good quality cocoa powder. Keep a plate or tray below the sieve.

whole wheat flour, cocoa powder taken in a sieve

3. Add a pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon baking soda.

baking soda being added in the sieve

4. Sieve the ingredients on to a plate.

dry ingredients being sifted

5. Keep the sieved dry ingredients aside.

sifted dry ingredients on a white plate

6.In another pan or bowl, take 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 cold and chilled.

water being added in a small bowl containing sugar

7. Stir with a small whisk till the sugar dissolves.

sugar dissolved completely in the water with a whisk

8. Now add ¼ cup oil. I added sunflower oil. 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.

oil being added to the sugar & water solution

9. Stir briskly so that everything is mixed well.

mixing oil with a whisk

10. It should be a homogenous mixture.

a homogenous mixture of oil, sugar and water

11. Next add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir again. You could even use 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in place of lemon juice.

lemon juice being added to this mixture

12. Now add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. You can also add chocolate extract or chocolate essence instead of vanilla.

vanilla being added
13. Mix very well.

mixing again with a whisk

14. Add the sieved dry ingredients to the wet mixture.

sifted dry ingredients being added to the water+oil+sugar mixture

15. Using a wired whisk, mix everything well.

mixing with a whisk

16. There should be no lumps in the chocolate cake batter. The batter is slightly thin and not thick.

whisked to a smooth chocolate cake batter

Step 2: Baking Chocolate Cake

17. Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared cake pan.

pouring the batter in the cake pan

18. Tap the sides so that the extra air bubbles are let out.

tapping the sides and edges of the pan

19. Bake the eggless chocolate cake in a preheated oven for 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) for 35 to 40 mins. Since temperatures vary from oven to oven be sure to keep an eye on it. Do not open the oven door many times. Only open it after three-fourth of the baking is done.

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 the cake at 180 degrees celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 to 35 minutes.

chocolate cake after being baked

20. For doneness check the cake with a bamboo skewer or toothpick. The bamboo skewer should come out clean. Once the eggless chocolate cake becomes warm or cools down, remove and place it on a wired rack. 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. Before frosting, let the chocolate cake cool completely.

testing eggless chocolate cake with bamboo skewer

Step 3: Making Vegan Cocoa Frosting for the Cake

21. This frosting recipe makes for a thin frosting. Take 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, ¼ cup almond milk and ¼ cup raw sugar in a small saucepan. To make a slightly thick frosting, add 2 tablespoons almond milk. You could use any nut milk, vegan milk in place of almond milk.

almond milk and sugar taken in a small steel sauce pan

22. Keep the pan on stove top and begin to heat on a low flame. Mix very well and stirring often heat the almond milk, so that the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil the almond milk, but just make it lightly hot enough to dissolve the sugar.

mixing the sugar in the almond milk with a whisk while the sauce pan is kept on low heat

23. Keeping the heat to a low, when the almond milk is just lightly hot and after all the sugar has been dissolved, add 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.

adding cocoa powder

24. With a small wired whisk mix and stir so that the cocoa powder gets mixed evenly.

cocoa powder being mixed with a whisk

25. The cocoa frosting is ready now. Switch off the flame.

whisked to a smooth icing

Step 4: Icing the Eggless Chocolate Cake

26. While still hot, pour the frosting on the top and sides of the chocolate cake.

pouring the icing on the chocolate cake

27. With an offset spatula or a silicon spatula spread the icing evenly all over on top and the sides of the cake. You can also slice the chocolate cake in half and spread frosting in the center and then on the top.

Usually I wrap a medium sized plate with aluminum foil and then place the cake on it. This makes 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 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. I kept it in the fridge overnight.

spreading the icing with an offset spatula on the sides and top of the cake.

28. The next day, I topped the cake with some cacao shavings. You can even add sprinkles or sliced nuts. You can also sift some icing sugar and cocoa powder on the cake. This step is optional.

vegan chocolate cake being decorated with cacao shavings

29. The eggless chocolate cake is ready to be served.

a slice of eggless chocolate cake being lifted with a spatula. The entire cake is kept on a white cake stand on a black board

A Few More Eggless Cake Recipes for you

This recipe post from the archives (December 2014) has been republished and updated on 17 May 2020. 

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Moist Chocolate Cake (Eggless, Vegan & Whole Wheat)

4.84 from 240 votes
This is a soft, moist and light eggless chocolate cake made with whole wheat flour and without eggs. The recipe is vegan too. The cake is soft and moist and can be used as a base cake for various chocolate frostings.
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:35 mins
Total Time:45 mins
Course:desserts
Cuisine:world
Difficulty Level:Easy
Servings (change the number to scale):12 pieces

RECIPE VIDEO

(1 CUP = 250 ML)

Ingredients

For Eggless Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour - leveled or 120 grams (you can use all-purpose flour also)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¾ cup raw sugar or 150 grams sugar ( i have used unrefined cane sugar, regular white sugar can also be used)
  • 1 cup cold water, 250 ml
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil 62.5 ml, or any neutral tasting oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or or vanilla powder or vanilla essence

For the Cocoa Frosting

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil or any neutral tasting oil
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup almond milk or any nut milk
  • ¼ cup unrefined raw sugar or white sugar

Instructions

Preparation

  • 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).

For making Chocolate Cake Batter

  • Sieve whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda in a plate. Use good quality cocoa powder.
  • In another pan or bowl, take the raw sugar.
  • Add the cold water and stir so that the sugar dissolves.
  • Now add 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.
  • Add the sieved dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Using a wired whisk, mix everything well.
  • There should be no lumps in the cake batter. The batter is slightly thin and not thick.
  • Pour the chocolate cake batter in the prepared cake pan.

Baking Eggless Chocolate Cake

  • Tap the sides of the cake pan so that the extra air bubbles are let out.
  • Bake the chocolate cake 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. Once the chocolate cake becomes warm or cools down, 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 Frosting for the Cake

  • 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.

Icing the Chocolate Cake

  • 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 the eggless chocolate cake.

Notes

Substitutions & Tips:
  • For Lemon Juice: Instead of lemon juice, add same quantity of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • For Baking Soda: You can use ½ to ⅔ teaspoon eno instead of baking soda.
  • For Baking Powder: You cannot use baking powder instead of baking soda.
  • For Whole Wheat Flour: Replace with the same amount of purpose flour (maida) or pastry flour. 
  • For Almond Milk: Instead of almond milk, you can use any nut milk, vegan milk. You can even add dairy milk. 
  • For Sunflower Oil: Instead of sunflower oil use any neutral tasting oil in the cake batter. 
  • Cocoa Powder: Use the regular cocoa powder which is non-alkalized. Do not use dutch-process cocoa powder. 
  • In the frosting, you can use dairy butter or vegan butter instead of sunflower oil. 
  • For a thick frosting, add less almond milk. 

Nutrition Info (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Moist Chocolate Cake (Eggless, Vegan & Whole Wheat)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 158 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 58mg3%
Potassium 78mg2%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Vitamin E 2mg13%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 14mg1%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 5µg1%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 26mg7%
Phosphorus 54mg5%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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947 comments/reviews

  1. Hi Dassana thank you so much for the recipe. What can we replace chocolate with in the recipe to get some other flavours? Coffee?

    • Welcome Juhi. You can use a couverture or compound chocolate, about 3 tablespoons chopped and them melt it in a double boiler or microwave. With coffee the proportions of the ingredients will change.

  2. Hi Dassana
    I tried make this cake today but got some cracks in between. What could be the reason?

    • Cracks on the cake would be due to uneven oven temperatures in the oven or the oven being too hot. if the oven door is opened many times, cracks happen on the cake. You can try baking at a slightly reduced temperature, say 180 degrees celsius. I hope this helps.

  3. Hi
    I made cake 1 st time for my daughter college graduation 👩‍🎓
    Came out very delicious ,she really liked it as well everyone else like it too
    Thank you so much
    Your way of teaching step by step
    It’s very easy to understand and inspired 1st time baker like me and also all other recipes too

    • So nice to know and thanks for sharing. Comments like yours makes me glad as well as happy. Baking is easy and if you can get it for the first time, you can definitely bake further and create awesome dishes. Thanks again.

  4. i tried this recipe yesterday and it really came out well
    Thank you for sharing the recipe4 stars

    • Thanks for the feedback Arti and glad to know. Welcome.

  5. Thank you for posting an easy-to-prepare, low sugar/low fat and delicious recipe. Thank you also for going such a great length to make sure the receipt steps are crystal clear and easy to follow.5 stars

    • Welcome Neena. Thank you for the kind comments as well as the rating.

  6. I have tried quite a few of your recipes for eggless cakes and other desserts. Everything has been absolutely delicious especially this eggless chocolate cake! Thank you.5 stars

    • Thank you so much for this feedback on the recipes you have tried including this chocolate cake. Welcome and Happy Baking.

  7. Dear Dassana
    Thank you! I’ve never come across such an elaborately and lucidly explained cookery blog.
    I baked for the first time in my life in an oven gifted by my parents. My very first bake was an offering to Sri Krishna on Janmastami. I believe it was Divine Mother who led me to your blog. I was nervous and excited, and wow! the cake turned out so well. I’m speechless with gratitude and love for you. Thank you! And God bless you.5 stars

    • hi sandhya, thank you ❤️. i have tears in my eyes when replying to you. i don’t know what to say apart from thank you. i am speechless. thanks again for this beautiful review and for your kind wishes.