Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Cake with Avocado & Coconut

My husband and I were recently invited to celebrate our friend’s birthday with a BBQ in the park. This friend and his family had recently adopted a vegan lifestyle, so I wanted to bring something that the birthday boy could enjoy. What better offering than a Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake!

The sprinkles definitely help in the case of this vegan chocolate cake

Before this, I didn’t really know what vegan meant. It wasn’t until I started researching recipes did I understand the gravity of the situation. Vegans do not consume any animal products at all. No milk or cream (fine). No eggs (ok…). And no butter (sacre bleu!!). Not to be deterred, I pressed on and came across this blog with a recipe for the best ever Vegan Chocolate Cake. I was inspired by the blog’s author as she isn’t vegan herself, but enjoys the challenge of cooking vegan recipes so delicious, that even kids love her vegan alternatives.

I learned quite a lot in making this cake. Most dark chocolate is vegan (just check the ingredients don’t make any reference to milk). Rainbow sprinkles are also vegan. And you really don’t need butter or eggs to make a cake.

This recipe uses a ripe avocado, olive oil and coconut milk as the liquid binder. The result? It looks amazing enough. But the taste? I regretfully couldn’t even bring myself to eat it, because present at the birthday BBQ was a full animal fat black forest cake that I couldn’t take my eyes off. But those who were game enough to sample this vegan chocolate cake seemed to enjoy it. Especially the birthday boy. Fait accompli! I CAN bake without butter.

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Avocado & Coconut

Ingredients

  • 90 grams good-quality vegan chocolate
  • 2/3 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 190g cups all-purpose flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 90g packed dark brown sugar
  • 60g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (don’t use virgin or light)
  • 1/2 large very ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy, coconut, or almond milk (I used coconut milk in this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (or finely chopped vegan chocolate)
  • For the vegan ganache

  • 220g vegan chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (lite or full-fat), plus more if necessary

Method

  1. Butter a 12-cup bundt cake pan with whatever oil you have on hand (I used olive oil). Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Place the 90g of vegan chocolate and freshly brewed coffee in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, both sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.
  4. In a separate large bowl, beat together mashed avocado, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth. Whisk in cooled chocolate and your milk of choice. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the vegan chocolate chips. Your cake batter should be pretty thick. If it’s too thick, add in an extra tablespoon or two of your chosen milk.
  5. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and smooth top. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until tester inserted into centre comes out almost clean, with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool in pan an hour on a wire rack before flipping over and transferring to wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  6. To make vegan chocolate ganache

  7. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add in coconut milk and chopped chocolate. Watch carefully and whisk until chocolate is completely melted. If you want a thinner ganache, add in more coconut milk. Let stand for a few minutes then immediately spoon ganache over cake. Top ganache with sprinkles and enjoy!