We had a little going-away potluck for a friend last week and I volunteered to be in charge of the sweets, which is most unlike me. It's not that I dislike baking. What I don't like is how nearly-impossible it is to salvage baking mistakes, whereas cooking mistakes can usually be turned around with a little improvisation.

Fortunately, this cake was super-easy and possibly idiot-proof (and also praised by omnivores who love them some rich, fatty cake). It mixes quickly, bakes up beautifully, and goes down easy. I can't take credit for the recipe--it's just a slightly bastardized version of the Moosewood Restaurant's Deep Chocolate Vegan Cake--but of course I changed a few little things. There's half the sugar, less oil, more cocoa, and tons of deliciousness. I also think it would be amazing with cinnamon and cayenne pepper, or banana, and definitely with peanut butter frosting.

Vegan chocolate cake.

Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake
3 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cold brewed coffee
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 9 X 13 cake pan--I used Spectrum spray with flour. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. In another bowl, combine coffee, oil, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth, using a hand mixer to pump some air into the batter. Add the vinegar and stir to combine. The vinegar and baking soda will start to react immediately, so pour the batter into your prepared pan quickly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean.

While it's baking, why not whip up some easy chocolate-raspberry topping?

Chocolate-Raspberry Topping
(I hate the word "topping," but this is neither frosting nor glaze.)
1 cup or more raspberry fruit spread
1 cup or more bittersweet chocolate chips
A few tablespoons of water

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, warm the raspberry spread over low heat with a little bit of water, stirring until it is smooth. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until melted and thoroughly combined.

What you do next is up to you. Maybe you just want to take the sauce and go be alone with it. You could pour it directly on the (slightly cooled) cake, where it will fill in any cracks and drip down the sides. You could also chill it so that it thickens up, and then apply it to the cake more like a frosting.

I can also tell you that leftover chocolate-raspberry topping is excellent on plain, slightly salty wheat crackers.


  1. Sarena Shasteen said...

    I am not a chocolate person, but that cake looks so good! My family loves chocolate cake...I think I will be making this one soon! Thanks for sharing the recipe!