Rich and full of chocolate flavor, this devil’s food cake is made with a few vegan baking tricks that might surprise you. Top with chocolate ganache and strawberries for a decadent vegan chocolate cake that won’t disappoint!
This cake recipe is a vegan adaption of Nana’s Devil’s Food that Reddit Readers are losing their minds over – and for good reason!
This is probably the best vegan chocolate cake I’ve ever made!
It holds together perfectly without falling apart as some unfortunate vegan cakes tend to do. It is moist and has a lovely crumb as a chocolate cake should!
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- For more delicious vegan desserts try:
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- What is devil’s food cake anyway?
- Ingredients needed to make vegan devil’s food cake:
- How to make Vegan Devil’s Food Cake:
- Serving suggestions:
- The printable recipe card:
For more delicious vegan desserts try:
- Cherry Cheesecake Dump Cake
- Vegan Pumpkin Cake
- The Creamiest Vegan Sweet Cream Ice Cream
- Sour Cream Apple Pie Dump Cake
- Ooey Gooey Rocky Road Brownies
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What is devil’s food cake anyway?
Is devil’s food cake just another fancy term for chocolate cake? According to My Recipes, “Devil’s food cake is richer, darker, and fluffier thanks to the use of cocoa powder and a bit extra baking soda.”
And according to Wikipedia, “Devil’s food cake is a moist, rich chocolate layer cake. It is considered a counterpart to the white or yellow angel food cake.”
Well I don’t know about that…
I remember both both devil’s food and angel food cakes from my non-vegan childhood and there was little resemblance. Angel food was light and fluffy and made with whipped egg whites, while devil’s was denser and had a more solid feel to it.
All I know is that this cake is legit the best vegan chocolate cake I’ve eaten!
Ingredients needed to make vegan devil’s food cake:
A full list of ingredients with measurements and directions can be found on the printable recipe card below.
The wet ingredients:
- warm coffee
- ground flax – not wet but goes with the coffee to make a flax egg
- plant milk – I used oat
- white vinegar
- vegetable oil
- vanilla extract
The dry ingredients:
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- baking soda
- baking powder
You will also need:
- various bowls for mixing
- a basic hand mixer
- and because we are following “Nana’s” recipe, a bundt cake pan or tube cake pan. You can use any pan you’d like. The cooking time is formulated and tested for a bundt pan. If you cook with another pan, I’ve love to hear how it turned out and for how long you cooked it.
- oven…of course – but remember to set your rack in the middle position
How to make Vegan Devil’s Food Cake:
Before getting started, turn on the oven and prep the pan. (See below.)
This recipe has a few hacks that make it the best vegan chocolate cake. I carefully looked at the original “Nana’s Devil’s Food” cake recipe and made my adaptations from that.
First, you will need to make a “flax egg” by mixing warm liquid with ground flax. Since Nana’s cake uses warm coffee, that is perfect to make our flax egg! Mix the warm/hot coffee with the ground flax and set aside.
Another vegan baking adaptation I’ve successfully used is to mix a little vinegar with the plant milk to make a fake vegan buttermilk. This will help the cake rise since we aren’t using eggs.
Mix the plant milk with the vinegar and set aside.
While the two liquid mixtures are sitting and doing their thing, you can mix together the dry ingredients.
The important thing you need to do in this step is to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed together so that there are no lumps before adding the wet ingredients. You don’t want clumps of cocoa powder or cornstarch. Sift if you have to.
Then you can combine all of your wet ingredients into a small bowl. (Sorry but this in not a one-bowl cake recipe!)
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once. Stir a little to moisten and then beat with a hand mixer about a minute and a half or until the cake is nice and smooth and satiny looking – just like a cake mixture should look!
Prepping the oven and the pan:
Before you start even assembling your ingredients, go ahead and prep the oven and the pan.
Turn the oven on to 375° and make sure the rack is in the middle position.
Prepare your pan by using vegetable shortening or some other fat and sprinkling the pan with flour. The flour will help with the sticking. But perhaps the most important function of the flour is so that you can see any spots you’ve missed when you applied the shortening.
If you tilt your pan around in the light, it’s easy to see spots you’ve missed. Especially with all the little folds and crevices in a bundt pan, you will want to make sure it is thoroughly covered with shortening. Just dab a little more on the shiny spots.
Baking the cake:
A trick my mom taught me when I was growing up was to release the air bubbles before baking the cake in order to have a nice even crumb – not one riddled with air pockets.
To do that, fill your cake pan and then gently lift and tap it on the counter top a few times. You can see the bubbles have come to the surface of this unbaked cake.
To make the cake easy to slip in the oven and remove, I always place it on a cookie sheet.
Bake your cake for 35 to 45 minutes. Honestly, it will probably take closer to the 45 minute time. But ovens vary and especially with a bundt cake I’ve found that you really do need to check early and then every couple of minutes.
My cake was done at exactly 43 minutes. You will know your cake is finished baking when:
- The edge of the cake is starting to pull away from the sides.
- The top of the cake springs back when gently pressed.
- A toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool for about ten minutes in the pan and then carefully turn onto a rack and allow complete cooling.
I was a little worried about the volume of the cake mixture in the pan before baking. It seemed pretty full. I was also concerned about the oven temperature. I usually bake my cakes at 350°. Having faith in Nana’s recipe though, I followed the directions and am happy to report that it came out perfectly! Unknown “Nana” would be proud!
You can sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top or top with coconut milk whipped topping. This cake is quite tasty and doesn’t need a lot.
But it was absolute perfection with a luscious vegan chocolate ganache drizzled on top! Do allow your cake to completely cool before pouring on the ganache.
Want to take this vegan chocolate cake to the next level?
I happened to be working on my strawberry ice cream and Homemade Strawberry Topping with Pineapples the same weekend I was working on this recipe. O….M….GEE….
The printable recipe card:
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Vegan Devil’s Food Cake – Rich and Chocolatey
Wet Ingredients with the Add-Ins
- 1 cup coffee warm or hot
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax
- 1 cup plant milk
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°
- Prepare your bundt or tube pan with fat of some sort. This can be vegetable shortening or vegan butter or something similar. Shake flour around the pan to check for spots that aren't well covered. Add in some extra shortening to those spots.
- In a small bowl, mix together the warm/hot coffee with the ground flax. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together the plant milk and white vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Pour the vegetable oil and vanilla into a medium-sized bowl and set aside until we combine all ingredients.
- While the coffee/flax and plant milk/vinegar are sitting, you can mix up the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together so that everything is well combined and the cocoa powder especially is well mixed in with no little lumps of cocoa.
Combine, Bake, and Cool
- After five minutes, add the coffee/flax and plant milk/vinegar mixtures to the oil and vanilla. Stir well to combine.
- Then all at once, add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. With a mixer, mix on low until everything is moistened and then on high for one minute.
- Pour the mixed cake into the prepared pan, scraping every little bit out.
- Bake in a 375° oven for 35-45 minutes. My cake takes exactly 43 minutes in my oven. If this is the first time you've made this cake then start checking at 35 minutes and every few minutes thereafter. You will know the cake is done when it bounces back when gently pressed, the sides are coming away from the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Set the baked cake on a cooling rack while still in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then turn upside-down on the rack, removing the cake and allow to cool for another 45 minutes. If you are frosting the cake, allow it to completely cool. I suggest my Vegan Chocolate Ganache.