This fool-proof step-by-step recipe will show you how to make perfect vegan chocolate sponge cake without eggs, dairy milk and butter – It’s a fluffy, soft and moist cake base that’s quick and easy to make!
After sharing a basic recipe for vegan vanilla sponge cake, it’s now time to share the chocolate version. So if you want to make a delicious chocolate layer cake or just need a simple cake base, this recipe is absolutely perfect!
The perfect vegan chocolate sponge cake
This chocolate sponge cake recipe is enough for an 8-Inch (20 cm) cake layer. If you want a thicker cake layer, feel free to bake twice the amount of batter in one pan. Just increase the baking time by about 10-15 minutes.
If you want to use a larger baking pan, feel free to use my baking pan converter to calculate the amount of batter needed for your baking pan size. Keep in mind, however, that the baking time may vary depending on the baking pan you use, the amount of batter you use, and the type of oven you have. Therefore, it’s always important to do a chopstick test to check if the cake is already done.
The best tip to make perfect vegan cakes!
When you take the cake out of the oven, it’s important that you let it cool completely. If you want to cut your sponge cake into thinner cake layers, it’s best to wrap it airtight in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. A chilled cake is more stable, so you can cut it more easily the next day.
If you want to make a layer cake with chocolate mousse, whipped cream, chocolate ganache, or other fillings that require refrigeration, it’s a also good idea to chill the cake layers overnight beforehand. After all, if the cake layers are chilled, then the filling and frosting won’t melt quickly.
Other ingredients – flavors, spices & co
If you want to add another flavor to your chocolate sponge cake batter, feel free to add other ingredients, flavors and spices like lemon or orange zest or cinnamon. You could also substitute some of the plant milk with orange or cherry juice. Or simply use vanilla, hazelnut or almond flavored plant milk.
Alternatively, you could brush your vegan chocolate sponge cake with liqueur, coffee or cherry juice after baking. This will also give it extra flavor and even keep it moist longer!
Can I make the vegan chocolate sponge cake gluten-free?
Of course! If you are on a gluten-free diet or suffer from an intolerance or allergy, you can make this sponge cake without gluten-containing flour! You can simply replace the all-purpose or spelt flour with gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour. To make the cake less crumbly, it’s a good idea to substitute about 1.5 tbsp of water or plant milk with 2 tbsp of applesauce as an egg substitute.
Tips for making perfect vegan chocolate sponge cake
Before we get started with the recipe, here are 5 important tips you should definitely follow to make your vegan chocolate sponge cake perfect! You can find a detailed description of the tips in the post for my vanilla sponge cake recipe.
- Follow the recipe exactly.
- Sift the dry ingredients.
- Do not overmix the batter.
- Do not overbake your cake.
- Allow to cool completely.
To make this vegan chocolate sponge cake, you only need a few simple ingredients. Since the cake doesn’t use eggs, dairy milk, or butter, it’s even faster to make than traditional sponge cake recipes. You don’t have to beat egg whites until stiff or mix butter until creamy; just mix all the ingredients together briefly with a whisk. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Flour: all-purpose flour, spelt flour or gluten-free flour (see note below).
- Cocoa: Please use baking cocoa and not sugary drinking cocoa.
- Baking powder: Alternatively, you can also use half the amount of baking soda.
- Sugar: e.g. raw cane sugar, white or brown sugar or coconut blossom sugar.
- Salt: just a pinch.
- Water: or plant milk such as soy, oat or almond milk.
- Coffee: This intensifies the chocolate flavor. However, if you don’t like coffee, you can use more water or plant milk instead.
- Vegetable oil: e.g. canola oil, sunflower oil or butter flavored Alba oil.
- Apple cider vinegar: or white vinegar or lemon juice.
How to make vegan chocolate sponge cake – This is how easy the recipe is!
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction and the recipe video first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Make vegan chocolate sponge cake batter
First sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Then add sugar and salt and whisk together. In a measuring cup, whisk together water, coffee, oil and vinegar. Then add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. The batter will be quite runny, but don’t worry – that’s how it should be!
Note: Since cocoa powder dissolves better in lukewarm or hot liquid, use water or plant milk that is at least at room temperature, as well as hot coffee.
Step 2: Bake vegan chocolate sponge cake!
Lightly grease the sides of an 8-Inch (20-cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Pour in the batter and gently tap the pan on the work surface a few times to remove any air bubbles that have formed and to smooth out the top. Bake for about 20 minutes at 356 °F (180 °C). Then allow to cool completely.
Note: Do not forget the chopstick test!
How can I store and freeze sponge cake?
You can make this vegan chocolate sponge cake ahead. Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap after cooling and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. It also freezes well for 3 months, so you’ll always have a ready-made homemade vegan chocolate sponge cake on hand!
When you take it out of the freezer, simply let it thaw in the fridge overnight and turn it into a delicious vegan chocolate layer cake the next day.
This vegan chocolate sponge cake recipe is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Also works gluten-free
- Without butter
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Versatile & adaptable
- Soft and fluffy
- Super delicious!
- Perfect for all kinds of chocolate cakes!
Vegan recipes for cake fillings and frostings
Here are some wonderful vegan cake recipes that will surely inspire you. Whether it’s chocolate ganache, buttercream, whipped cream, creamy chocolate mousse, or a fruity fruit filling – here you’ll find everything:
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Snickers Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- Raspberry Almond Cake
- Poppy Seed Lemon Layer Cake
- Blueberry Lemon Cake
- Strawberry Lemon Cake
- Blueberry Coconut Cake
- Strawberry Cream Cake
- Vanilla Cake
- Strawberry Coconut Cake
If you try this easy vegan chocolate sponge cake recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your cake and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Happy baking! 🙂
Vegan Chocolate Sponge CakeAuthor:
- ¾ cup (80 g) all-purpose or spelt flour or gluten-free flour
- 2.5 tbsp (20 g) cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar variety of choice
- 1 pinch of salt
- ½ cup (120 ml) warm water or plant milk
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) strong coffee or plant milk
- 3 tbsp (40 ml) vegetable oil e.g. canola, sunflower or Alba oil
- ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar or lemon juice
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step instructions + tips above!
- Preheat the oven to 356 °F (180 °C). Lightly grease the sides of an 8-inch (20 cm) round baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Then add sugar and a pinch of salt and whisk together.
- Whisk together water, coffee, vegetable oil and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup.
- Then pour this mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir until the ingredients have just combined (the batter will be quite runny, but that's how it should be).
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Gently tap the pan on the work surface a few times to release any air bubbles and smooth out the top.
- Bake the cake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (If you want moist cake, don't overbake it).
- Allow to cool completely. Then it's best to wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (a chilled cake is more stable, so it's easier to assemble and layer the cake the next day without the filling and frosting melting).
- Baking time for double the amount of batter in one pan (2 layers) is about 30-40 minutes. Baking time for three times the amount in one pan (3 layers) is about 50 minutes. Before cutting, it is best to chill the cake layers overnight in the refrigerator as described in the instructions above.
- To make the cake layer gluten-free, I recommend using gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour.
- The cocoa powder dissolves better in lukewarm or hot liquid. Therefore, I recommend using water or plant milk that is at least at room temperature, as well as hot coffee.
- Coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor. However, if you do not like coffee, you can simply use more water or plant milk.
- If the cake is too crumbly for you, you can replace 2 tbsp of water or plant milk with applesauce as an egg substitute.
- The nutritional information is calculated for 1 piece of 8.
- More information about the recipe, including tips on storage and freezing instructions, are mentioned in the blog post above!
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