Love in the Form of Vegan Chocolate Cake

Don’t turn away now, just because you see the words “vegan” paired with “chocolate cake” in a recipe title. You won’t think twice about the lack of dairy in this delectable treat after tasting it – trust us on this one. It’s perfect for vegan friends, vegan-friendly friends, and friends that probably shouldn’t be told this cake is vegan before offering them a piece. I get it though – some of us have dietary restrictions, and all of us have preferences – but this cake put a smile on just about anyone’s face.  For your non-vegan friends, you can top it with some honeycomb to add some crunch!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

I researched high and low for the best recipe and found this showstopper on Half Baked Harvest. Thanks to the Blue Diamond almond milk, it’s moist and rich without being overwhelming (it stacks well too!) so you get that lovely, layered presentation. The chocolate ganache frosting is perfect, and I love the way the golden honeycomb candy really brings everything together with a subtle, yet spectacular crunch.

While I use almond milk for the cake, we’re going to need something with a higher fat content for the ganache. A can of full-fat coconut milk is just the thing – this is a healthy fat too, so don’t turn away now. Heat it to a gentle boil and then pour it over the chocolate. The maple syrup gives it a silky shine (as well as an extra kick of sweetness).

Vegan Chocolate Cake

If it seems a little too liquid when you’re done, just throw it in the fridge for a few minutes. The coconut oil is sensitive to temperature changes, but the flavor won’t be affected in the slightest!

How classic is this cake? And chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Mmmmm……

Vegan Chocolate Cake

The color and shine from the coconut oil really makes this cake shine like no other, and the golden topping sort of makes this whole presentation a real show-stopper. It’s perfect for parties. If you’d like, feel free to tell your non-vegan friends that it’s “just a chocolate cake,” and see their surprise once you tell them it’s vegan.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Now bring on the crunch. This honeycomb candy is seriously amazing. It adds color and crunch to take this cake to another level. You can either add it ahead of time like I did here, or invite your guests to add it by the handful to their own slices (and if you are hosting someone who doesn’t eat animal products of any kind, give them the heads up that the candy does have a little bit of honey in it – they can always skip the candy, the cake is fabulous enough all on its own).

I’ve included the recipe for the honeycomb candy here. If you’re new to candy making, you can check out my post from two days ago for a slightly more in-depth break down of how to get it just right.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Vegan Chocolate Cake

I mean, really. It’s like love on a platter.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Chocolate Cake With Honeycomb

By TheSweetNerd  

May 18, 2017

  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • 25 mins

    25 mins

    50 mins

Ingredients

Honeycomb

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup corn syrup

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons baking soda

Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 cups almond or coconut milk, at room temperature

2/3 cup melted coconut oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups organic sugar or coconut sugar

Chocolate filling

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup almond or cashew butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Ganache

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup canned full fat coconut milk

2-4 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

Honeycomb

1Prep a bowl that has about 2 inches cold water and place inside sink. Also, have your baking soda and spatula near the sink too. These are your prepped items so that when your honeycomb is hot and ready to go, so are you!

2In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sugar and give it a shake so it lays flat in the pan. Add corn syrup, honey, and water, so all of the sugar has been moistened, but do not stir. Turn the heat to medium high, and watch closely as the sugar starts to dissolve and the ingredients start to meld together.

3Cook the mixture to 300ºF, which should take about 5–10 minutes depending on the strength of your stove, then remove the pan from the heat and immediately go to your sink. Place the hot saucepan into the bowl of the water. Then, drop in the baking soda into the 300ºF candy and stir with a spatula for about 5 seconds, and once it has stopped foaming up, immediately pour the mixture onto the parchment paper or a presprayed pan. Let cool for 1 hour until hardened, then whack the honeycomb with a knife to break into pieces.

4Note: Honeycomb will keep for 3–4 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

Cake

1Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two round, 8 or 9-inch cake pans with coconut oil and line with parchment paper.

2In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

3In another bowl, add the apple cider vinegar to the milk and beat until it's frothy. Whisk in the melted coconut oil, vanilla, and sugar. Add about a third of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix them together (you can use a spatula, whisk, or a hand mixer on the lowest setting). Add another third, keep mixing for a few moments, and then add the final third. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix the cake batter. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 20-25 or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cook completely.

Chocolate filling

1Add all the ingredients to a bender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stick in the fridge until ready to frost the cake.

Ganache

1Stir the coconut milk and maple syrup together in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Pour this mixture over the chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring every 15 minutes or so until the chocolate has thickened into a spreadable frosting.

Assembly

1Remove the cakes from their pans. Place one onto your cake stand or plate. Spread the creamy filling over the cake layer. Gently place the other cake layer over it. Spread the ganache over the entire cake and around the sides. Transfer to a refrigerator to set for an hour. Slice and EAT!

00:00

Vegan Chocolate Cake

6 Comments

  • Kendall
    2 weeks ago

    My sister is vegan and I’m heading in that direction too so this is so exciting to see! Just one note from her, honey is considered not okay for most vegans because it’s a by product of bees. A great vegan alternative for the honeycomb would be agave!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      1 week ago

      Thanks Kendall. Great suggestion on the agave comment!

  • Lorna Soonhee
    6 days ago

    Love vegan options as I don’t keep a lot of dairy in my house. And that honeycomb candy, might just skip the cake and go directly to making the candy. LOL

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 days ago

      I hear ya with non-dairy and lactose intolerant products! And, guess what? The bonus part of this recipe is that it is delicious!

  • I love experimenting with vegan cakes! Chocolate is always a winner 🙂

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      5 days ago

      I am just learning to work with coconut oils, almond milk, and other vegan friendly options so I am rather a rookie. But, I love the taste of this cake, so the proof is in the pudding – vegan friendly ingredients make some rather delish cakes!

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