Vegan chocolate cake

Simple, elegant, delicious, vegan

My daughter puts on a pop-up restaurant fund-raiser for homeless people every year, and all kinds of people come, so we always need to have good vegan desserts. One of the waitresses – a friend of my daughter’s – brought this vegan chocolate cake one year, and we’ve made it every year since.

How to make vegan chocolate cake:

Preheat the oven to 350, and use safflower oil or margarine to grease a 9×12 baking pan.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking soda (the kind in the orange box), and a large pinch of salt. Then add 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. of white vinegar (this helps the baking soda with rising), 1 cup of water, and 1/3 cup safflower oil or 1/3 cup of applesauce or plum sauce. Mix again, pour the batter into the baking pan, and bake 45 minutes. Let it cool before you cut it up. We haven’t had a lot of luck getting these cakes out of the pan, so I’d just cut it in the pan. Or try making it in a springform pan.

What about chocolate frosting?

In a medium-size mixing bowl, put half a stick of margarine or any vegan butter, 2 1/2 cups of vegan powdered sugar, 1/4 cup of water, a cup of cocoa powder, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Use the electric mixer to blend it all together (or do it with a wooden spoon, but it’s harder).

Can’t find vegan powdered sugar? You can make your own powdered sugar by mixing 2 1/2 cups of sugar with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and spinning it in your blender until the sugar is crushed fine.

Use a rubber spatula to spread the frosting on the cake. Refrigerate for an hour and the frosting will get harder.

Can I keep this for later?

Yes, it’s good for at least a week.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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