I’ve always maintained that one can never have too many chocolate cake recipes. And this one, apart from being super simple, is also dairy and egg-free: yes, a vegan chocolate cake that is actually very good.
I found this via Food52’s Genius Recipes column, and I have to admit, it is pretty genius. I’ve tried my hand at vegan cakes before, but many recipes I’ve found online require ingredients that aren’t easily available here, like almond milk. And I don’t want to make almond milk from scratch just for a cake. This cake requires none of the above, and is really economical, too. Just flour-sugar-cocoa-water-vinegar and baking soda, with a touch of vanilla.
So I read through the recipe notes and it says that this isn’t “the richest, most chocolatey cake,” and adds that you can add some coffee instead of water. So I took 1 tablespoon of water from the 1 cup and dissolved 1 tsp of instant coffee in it. And I added another ingredient- almond meal, because I’m a sucker for almond meal.
Like the recipe notes says, it’s not a decadent, rich, Nigella-like cake. But it’s pretty good, and great for those times when you are craving a piece of cake with no eggs or milk in sight. Plus, it’s a great option if you need to bake a cake for someone who follows a vegan diet or is allergic to dairy and eggs.
MARGARET FOX’S VEGAN AMAZON CHOCOLATE CAKE (Adapted slightly from Food 52.)1
- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons neutral oil (like corn, canola, or vegetable)
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 1/8 cup almond meal (optional)
- Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180 c. Grease a 9-inch round cake tin and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Sift everything once to ensure there are no lumps.
- From the one cup of water, remove one tablespoon. Dissolve the instant coffee powder in this one tablespoon of water in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining water, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and coffee mixture.
- Pour the wet ingredients into dry and whisk well. If the batter is lumpy, whisk until smooth, or pour through a strainer in to a bowl and break up lumps.
- Fold in the 1/8 cup of almond meal, and mix well.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan. Tap the edge of the pan against the edge of the counter several times to pop air bubbles.
- Bake at 180 C for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed gently/toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool before removing from the pan and dusting with powdered sugar if desired.