Rich, moist, and very chocolatey, this quick and easy one-bowl chocolate cake is dairy-free, egg free, and vegan. It's a great no-fuss recipe for a weeknight dessert!
Why this recipe works
- Rich, moist, and fluffy chocolate cake made in one bowl, and you don't need a mixer
- This cake is egg-free, dairy-free, and suitable for those on a vegan diet
- Great served plain or dusted with powdered sugar
Oil & Vinegar Cake. That's what my family calls this chocolate cake.
That's because it's...uhm...a chocolate cake with vinegar and oil. And other good stuff, I assure you! With no eggs or butter required (and no mixer), this one-bowl chocolate cake is so easy to throw together that I make it on a weekday when I want to treat the family.
The original chocolate cake recipe is from the Los Angeles Times Food Section, dated February 7, 1991. Yes, it's been a family favorite that long.
What you need
This eggless chocolate cake recipe uses basic ingredients that are probably in your pantry right now. You'll need the standards: flour, sugar, baking soda (not baking powder!), canola oil, vanilla, and salt.
However, there's an ingredient you may not expect: white vinegar. This is what reacts with the baking soda to leaven the cake. A no-egg cake recipe works because the vinegar lightens the batter and the canola oil adds moisture. This is a dairy-free chocolate cake and is vegan to boot.
I've upped the ante by using dark chocolate cocoa powder and espresso powder to give this cake an intense chocolate flavor. Feel free to substitute regular cocoa powder and/or omit the espresso powder if you prefer.
How to make a chocolate cake without eggs
Step 1: Whisk the dry ingredients
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt (photo 1). For best results, use a sifter to remove any lumps from the flour and cocoa powder.
Step 2: Stir in the wet ingredients
Add the canola oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour in the boiling water and stir until the batter is smooth (photo 2).
Step 3: Bake the cake
Bake at 350˚F for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (photo 3).
Questions asked and answered
Here are some questions that you might have...
No! The flavor is dominated by the chocolate. Using dark chocolate cocoa powder and espresso powder will intensify this flavor even more.
Sure! You can experiment with flavors for the oil, keeping in mind the effect will be subtle. Different vinegars will have different acidities, so while the flavor may or may not be altered much, the amount the cake rises can be affected.
With no animal based ingredients, this chocolate cake can be considered vegan.
Pro Tip: Vary the cake recipe to fit your needs
A great thing about this one-bowl chocolate cake recipe is that it's easily very versatile. Scale it down by half and bake it in a 6-inch round cake pan for a smaller version. Want cupcakes instead? Make chocolate cupcakes baked in a standard muffin pan instead.
This same chocolate cake recipe (scaled down by four) is how you make a quick Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake. That's right, a single serving cake cooked in the microwave in 2 minutes. How cool is that!
Cake makes any day special
This yummy chocolate cake is rich, moist, and very chocolatey, and really only needs a dusting of powdered sugar to finish it. A no-fuss weekday dessert, we generally just serve the cake right from the pan.
It's quick and easy to make chocolate cake at home, especially one that uses no eggs and is dairy-free. Banish the box mix, and make today a special day with chocolate cake!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Remember, even though these recipes use dark chocolate, you can generally substitute the chocolate type of your choice. Go ahead and use your favorites!
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One-Bowl Eggless Chocolate Cake (Dairy-Free)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder, see Recipe Notes
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional, see Recipe Notes
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar, or cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup water, boiling
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Spray a 9- x 9-inch inch baking pan with baking spray and set aside. If you'll be serving the cake out of the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper. For best results, use a sifter to remove the lumps from the flour and cocoa powder.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the canola oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour in the boiling water and stir until the batter is smooth.
- Transfer the cake batter into the prepared pan, and tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to shake out any bubbles.
- Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. If you prefer to serve the cake out of the pan, allow it to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Transfer to a platter before serving.
- Dust the cake with powdered sugar, then serve and enjoy!