This dreamy decadent vegan chocolate cake was meant to be posted for Valentine’s Day last month, but flu season decided to hit our house and took me out instead. So this post sadly sat in my draft folder for way too long. Therefore, I’m bringing the romance and drama into March.
I reworked my go-to vegan chocolate cake recipe because it’s tried and true, moist, rich and delicious. I’m never-not going to use this incredibly easy vegan chocolate cake recipe made with simple ingredients that you should already have in your pantry, when I want or need to make a chocolate cake. What I’m trying to say is: this a staple recipe that you’ll want to make again and again.
A combination of baking soda and vinegar acts as the leavening agent of this cake and replaces eggs. This method was used during times of war when ingredients like butter and eggs were rationed. It’s pretty ingenious and -seriously- you will not miss the eggs in this cake. The resulting crumb texture is light, airy and moist.
I’ve used natural cocoa powder, raw cacao powder and Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe before and liked it each time, but Dutch-processed cocoa will result in a deeper darker color and slightly less bitter chocolate taste.
This cake can stand alone with a simple dusting of powdered sugar or be frosted any way you like. I’ve gone the super decadent route with this thick fudgy whipped vegan dark chocolate coconut milk ganache. The method is the same as making ganache with heavy cream, but we’ve swapped heavy cream with rich fatty coconut milk. You want to use the full-fat canned variety or make it from scratch. The good thing is the coconut cream does not need to be separated out, just use it straight from the can.
The ganache should be made by weighing the coconut milk and chocolate so you can get the right consistency. That’s why I suggest using a kitchen scale to measure, well, pretty much everything, but especially the ganache components. Some recipes for ganache call for a 1:1 ratio of heavy cream to chocolate. I found that with coconut milk the resulting ganache was too thick with a 1:1 ratio, so I prefer a 3:2 ratio of coconut milk to chocolate.
The ganache needs to chill and firm up before whipping it, so I like to make it the night before and just let it sit in the fridge until I’m ready to frost the cake the next day. I often bake the cake the night before as well, because the flavor improves the following day. You just need to be sure to wrap the cooled cake well, so that it does not dry out. Once the ganache has chilled and set, it whips up into a thick fluffy glossy luscious frosting in minutes.
This may look like a over-indulgent thick layer of frosting, but realize that it is not made with 2 lbs of powdered sugar and is, therefore, not sickly sweet like a thick layer of buttercream would be. Because we’re basically using just dark chocolate and coconut milk the frosting is not terribly sweet at all, which I love. I even add a couple tablespoons of sweetener to the ganache just to offset the bitter edge of dark chocolate. Think of this like a decadent truffle filling on top of an amazing layer of chocolate cake. Just get me a ice cold glass of milk with my slice and I’m good.
Bottom line: this cake is easy, simple and so delicious. Its components can be made ahead of time and assembled right before serving. It’s perfect for Sunday cake, birthday celebrations and special occasions. Also, don’t forget to bookmark it for Valentine’s 2021!
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