2 Variations on Vegan Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? If you know someone, please reach out to them and force-feed them this recipe until they admit they love it. This recipe has a 86% success rate in converting non-believers. Vegans are often cheated of the fluffy, eggy texture of many baked goods, but this chocolate cake recipe is moist, fluffy, richly chocolatey and delicious. It is another recipe I have adapted from my Vegan friend Miyuki, but these are two versions with my own nerdy foodie twist on them. I made a blackberry chocolate cake and a salted caramel chocolate cake. I’ll include the recipes for the blackberry and caramel sauces for those interested.

The basic chocolate cake recipe is as follows:

3 cups white flour
2 cups sugar (I used half white sugar half raw brown sugar)
6 tbs cocoa (Hershey’s is fine)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
(What I added was)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (for a subtle kick, most people won’t even notice)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the vegan chocolate ganache:
1/3 cup “milk” of your choice (I used vanilla almond milk and it was a taste success!)
2 tbs Earth Balance
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees FARENHEIT cause this is an AMERICAN cake

First off, mix your dry ingredients together and make sure your baking soda doesn’t clump. Make a crevas in the middle and slowly mix in the wet ingredients. Make sure you mix this thoroughly, there should be no clumps! Pour the mix into two well-greased circular cake pans and bake for about 40 minutes.

While this is baking you can make the ganache (icing) which is totally my favorite part. You can get creative with this stuff, if I was making it for myself I would have added more cayenne and cinnamon so the outside packed a bit more heat than the sweeter cake inside. Or I might have added Frangelico or Grand Marnier for a boozier sauce, but since I was making this for a birthday, I kept it classic. Use a “double boiler” method to melt the Earth Balance and mix with the almond milk and chocolate chips. For those of you unfamiliar with double boiling this is where you heat water in a bigger sauce pan and put your ingredients into a smaller saucepan immersed in the hot water. This keeps your ingredients from burning and just melts them nicely together. Mix these up until they are smooth and let the ganache cool a bit before icing the cakes (they will have to cool as well.) Make sure it stays smooth by stirring it if it begins to solidify.

The caramel sauce I made was done with a double boiling method as well. That combined 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tbs Earth Balance, a tsp of salt, 3 tbs flour and 2 tbs almond milk. Mix the flour, salt and sugar together first so they don’t clump in the liquid. Then add the milk and Earth Balance and melt everything together. It should be smooth and taste almost butterscotchy. You can totally add whisky or Frangelico if you’re feeling saucy, it’s up to you. Caramel sauce should be monitored just like the chocolate sauce, let cool, mix if it gets stagnant.

The blackberry sauce is just regular blackberry preserves, heated until they turn into a thinner syrup and poured warm onto the cake once it has cooled. This sauce should be poured right after heating as it coagulates pretty easily.

After you pull the cakes out, let them cool somewhere other than the hot stove top. Once they are relatively room-temperature-ish, you can slice the tops off so they’re both flat. Put a plate over top of each one to flip them over. Give it a couple of good taps and slowly lift the cake tin off. If you greased them with furious abandon, as directed, they should slide out no problem and have a super elegant shape to them. Let each cake cool for about another minute before icing.

If you’re just making the basic vegan chocolate cake, you’re going to use the chocolate ganache on top of one of the cakes and then put the other cake on top and coat both of them. Or you can always just make two and pour ganache on each separately. Your ganache is your business, that’s what I always say.

If you’re choosing to make a cake with the caramel or blackberry sauce, pour that sauce onto the cake and spread evenly before you put on the chocolate ganache. The ganache covers everything with a super smooth finish, so it goes on last. For the caramel sauce, you’ll have a lot of it, so save about half to drizzle over the slices themselves later. After saucing your cake up, you can pour the chocolate ganache over, as evenly as possible. It should spread over smoothly and drip down the sides, so you shouldn’t have to spread it much (you should avoid spreading it as it could disturb the cake underneath.) It will look amazing, shiny, velvety and enticing; but it will taste even better. For the caramel cake, feel free to drizzle a bit on top for looks, and then coat the whole top with semi-fine rock salt. This concludes the most delicious vegan chocolate cake recipe you will ever experience. You’re welcome.

Vegan Peach Cobbler with Toasty Almond Cinnamon Streusel

It’s easy to end up with basketfuls of fruit in the Summertime and there are so many fun things to do with them, especially a pile of juicy peaches! My favorite, having grown up in Seattle among the blackberry bushes, is to make a cobbler. My mother always made a classic blackberry filling with a crispy, crunchy cinnamon streusel topping that was TO DIE FOR, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top. However, I wanted to do a more cakey variation since I has never experimented with the crust of the cakier cobblers. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my STREUSEL though, because it was always my favorite part, so I decided to make a cakey/streusel hybrid and DELICIOUSNESS ENSUED!

We used a basic cobbler recipe and turned it vegan by substituting Earth Balance for butter and vanilla almond milk for dairy milk. It turned out DELICIOUS but quite sweet due to the additional sugar from the sweetened milk and our peaches being much sweeter than sour. It is a good idea to taste your fruit before baking with it since the flavors can be so unique and sometimes need more or less sweetening. I have tweaked our recipe a bit to rid it of the excess sweetness and assure you this recipe is ripe with SUCCESS.

What you’ll need:

6 cups freshly sliced peaches (we added a spatter of shredded coconut to this which was really fucking delicious, you could also add berries or ginger GO CRAZY!)

1 cup of sugar for the fruit, 1 cup for the batter, 3 tbs for the streusel

1/2 cup water (we used the almond milk but it was a bit sweet, though if your fruit is more sour I say use it cause it’s delicious)

8 tbs Earth Balance for the pan, 2 tbs for the streusel

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (which is just regular flour mixed with 2 1/4  tsp baking powder and 3/4 tsp salt)

3 tbs flour for the streusel

2 tsp salt for the streusel

1 1/2 almond milk (we used vanilla but you can use plain)

1 1/4 tbs cinnamon for the steusel

4 tbs almond meal for the streusel (you can get this at Trader Joe’s for cheap)

4 tbs oats for the streusel


Heat your oven to 350 and set the cube of Earth Balance in your big ol casserole dish. Set your sliced peaches, sugar and water (or almond milk) in a saucepan until they boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes and set them aside. Put your butter boat in the oven to melt.

Now you can quickly make your streusel which is just equal parts flour and sugar (3 tbs each) with a good amount of cinnamon, some salt, 4 tbs almond meal, 4 tbs oats all mushed together with more Earth Balance. It should have a crumbly consistency and not stick too much, if it is still sticky you can add more flour and sugar. Set this aside for the topping.

Mix sugar & flour with milk very slowly to avoid clumps (you can add some cinnamon to this, it is up to you) and then pour it into the melted butter but don’t mix it in. Spoon the fruit and its syrup in by hand and just let it sit however it falls. Top with your delectable almond meal cinnamon oat streusel sprinkled generously and somewhat evenly. Bake for 30-45 minutes and show off to all your friends.

Goes great with a scoop of vanilla soy ice cream, or if you’re not vegan, a slice of brisket. Delicious!