The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

August 19, 2019

This Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream is a healthier option to the decadent classic—Chocolate Cake! Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it’s also filled with an airy Cacao buttercream that when paired with this velvety vegan chocolate (cacao) buttercream, they all work amazingly together. A definite crowd-pleasing cake for any occasion, celebration, or ‘treat yo’ self day!

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Navitas Organics, but the content and opinions expressed are all based on my genuine love for this brand and are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands I love.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

It’s a new week and I couldn’t be more excited to share another recipe in collaboration with Navitas Organics. If you’ve been an avid follower of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you’re aware that I chose my collaborations with brands VERY carefully, because I want to ensure that they represent this blog’s mission in every way possible.

Honestly, I’d rather turn down a company that doesn’t coincide with what I stand for and of course I often already use that company’s product so that I can ensure that you’ll love it too.

With that being said, I’m a huge fan of Navitas Organics and often use so much of their products. Navtias Organics has so many great options when it comes to eating healthy and this powder is just ONE of the amazing flavors available.

In case you aren’t too familiar, Navitas Organics has an array of options which include Cacao, Goji Berries, Maca Powder, Superfood blends, Turmeric, Chia Seeds, Mulberry Berries, and so much!

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

In addition, they have Latte mixes, Powder Boosts, Power Snacks, and more.

Looking For Great Ideas to Incorporate Navitas’ Powders?

These No-Bake Cacao Date Loaded Energy Bars are loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients like Cacao, Cacao Butter, Dates, Chia Seeds, Cashew Nuts, Coconut Flakes, Pumpkin Seeds, and Maple Syrup. They make for an awesome packable snack, breakfast replacement, or even dessert if you’re into something healthy as a sweet treat. Full of bold flavor, chewy, and super easy to make. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

These Vegan Blueberry Acai Mini Muffins are a great healthy option for the entire family. Loaded with nutrient dense ingredients, these mini muffins are the perfect little bites for breakfast, brunch, a quick packable snack, or sweet treat after dinner. Moist, fluffy, made in just 1 bowl, and in 25 minutes.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

When it comes to this Vegan Cake, I can admit that I feel pretty proud with this one. Personally, cakes have always been a fear of mine because they require such great precision and technique and since I’m self-taught, that can often mean a ton of trials + errors.

And trust me—-that’s exactly what it was. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve practiced creating cakes and FAILED. Literally, I’ve made everything from lop-sided cakes to over thick buttercream to melted ‘wet-like’ buttercream to horrible layers and so much more. Haha.

But of course, practice makes perfect and while I’m not at perfect, I do feel that I’ve improved greatly from the beginning.

This Vegan Funfetti Cake + Vanilla Buttercream is a healthier option to your classic childhood favorite—funfetti!. Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it’s also loaded with sweet little rainbow sprinkles that when paired with this airy vegan vanilla buttercream, they all work amazingly together.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

OK, so I’m not a HUGE chocolate fan, however this cake had me at Hello. Haha.

My husband and I had such a blast eating this cake that it was ridiculous. Who knew that Chocolate could taste so good?

Well, who am I kidding? Chocolate is a fan favorite for many of you who follow us, so I couldn’t help but give you a few more delicious chocolate options.

These Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies are THE Best! Don’t believe me? Try them for yourself. More importantly, the use of applesauce (Yes, you read it right!) gives these cookies a nice chewiness, softness, + gooeyness that will leave you wanting just one more cookie (or maybe 2 or 3! Haha!). Super easy to make and whipped together in 20 short minutes.

These Mini Chocolate Brownie Bundt Cakes are the perfect sweet treat for Valentine’s Day!  They are incredibly moist, fluffy, and most certainly for the absolute chocolate lover. Packed and bursting with chocolate flavor, loaded with chocolate chips (for an extra dose of chocolate!) and fully covered with a delicious naturally flavored Rich Chocolate icing drizzle and cute heart sprinkles, these mini cakes are truly delectable and a crowd pleaser, indeed!

This Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola w/ Cranberries recipe is one of the most versatile quick fixes you’ll ever make! Made with gluten-free oats, coco powder, hazelnut flavor, spices and sprinkled with cranberries; this recipe is a great way to add a handful of nutrients to your day–whether as a cereal in the morning, snack in between, or to top almost anything for a hint of extra flavor. Super easy, entirely oil-free, gluten-free and vegan.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

These Oversized Crinkled Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies are the epitome of the best chocolate chip cookies ever! Unlike standard chocolate chip cookies, these large handheld favorites are full of sweet flavor from the nice balance of chocolate-y sweet and butterscotch charm, which work perfectly together. In addition, their crinkled look and thinly crisped bodies, make for a real obsession. 

Rest assured, you can always search ‘Chocolate’ in our search bar for the other amazing recipes that incorporate this decadent flavor.

Looking for a Healthier Sweetener Option?

The Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives + Substitutes list is all about finding better ways to enjoy your favorite sweets without compromising your healthy lifestyle. For those who follow a vegetarian and/or vegan lifestyle, this lists offers a few great ideas to incorporate healthy sweeteners into your diet.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

What is Cacao really? Cacao vs. Cocoa.

OK, so can we talk about Cacao for a sec? Did you know that Cacao AND Cocoa are the same thing?

I know. Insane. I was totally confused about this for a long time and honestly assumed that once was healthier than the other. However, it’s come to be determined that they are just used interchangeably.

Chocolate is actually made from Cacao beans (or seeds). It’s said that companies who use the term ‘Cacao’ are referring to the beans, pods, or ground up version of the beans. However, the term Cocoa is often referred to as the powdered version of it all (which is formed after the fat is pressed out of the bean).

Of course there’s a whole process that happens and you can find out more about that here.

However, be mindful that since Cocoa has the fat removed for it to be powder-like, it does make Cacao a greater option in terms of health benefits.

Cacao has a host of health benefits which include: antioxidant properties, heart-protective and anti-cancer properties, contains iron and tryptophan (which is an amino acid that helps the body make serotonin—a relaxing chemical).

So of course, it’s always best to go with a brand of Cacao that contains those nutrients and are premium to ensure that your body actually receives all of those boosters. Navitas Organics’ version of Cacao not only does that, but it’s so delicious as well! You can always purchase it on their site or through a large retailer like Amazon.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

Now, let’s dig right into this recipe, shall we?

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with vegan butter) AND line with parchment paper the following cake pans: THREE 6-inch round cake pans or THREE 8-inch cake pans (See Notes!).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Almond milk and Apple Cider Vinegar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, Cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and sea salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a whisk), add the Milk-ACV mixture and add the oil and vanilla. Mix for a minute or two before turning off the mixer and changing the attachment to a paddle.

On low speed, add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until well incorporated and batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes.

Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, spreading everything around for a perfect roundness.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick.

Once done, remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely. **NOTE: I often let my cakes cool for 30 minutes or until them are very cool when touched and then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely for another hour or so; this makes icing easier.**

To Make Vegan Chocolate Filling:

In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a paddle), beat the butter and shortening on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Turning the mixer on low, add the powered sugar (1/2 the amount), vanilla, and 1 Tbsp of Almond milk, mixing them together until well combined. Add in the melted chocolate and mix until well incorporated. Add the remaining powered sugar and mix until well combined. **NOTE: If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk (1 Tsp at a time); if it’s too thin, add additional powered sugar (1 Tbsp at a time). Lastly, add a pinch of sea salt to balance sweetness and Wallah!

To Make Vegan Chocolate (Cacao) Buttercream:

In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a paddle), beat the butter and shortening on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Turning the mixer on low, add the Cacao powder followed by the Almond milk. Slowly add the powered sugar (1/2 the amount) and vanilla, mixing them together until well combined. Add the remaining powered sugar and mix until well combined and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. **NOTE: If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk (1 Tsp at a time); if it’s too thin, add additional powered sugar (1 Tbsp at a time). Wallah!

Assembly:

Using a large knife (or cake slicer), slice a thin layer of cake off the tops of each cake to create a flat surface

Place first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with chocolate filling. Now, top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with the same filling. **NOTE: Repeat another step if using 3-layers.**

Once fully layered, add remaining filling (buttercream) atop cake and spread it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly. **NOTE: Adding a thin layer of buttercream around cake and chilling it for 30 minutes to 1 hour before adding remaining buttercream does the trick for an easier frosting of cake; this called a ‘crumb coat’.**

Once fully chilled, add Cacao buttercream and create small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip around the sides and top of cake. Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets. To be fancy, decorate with flowers or Chocolate Vegan Sprinkles, or whatever. Slice and enjoy!

Bon Appetite!

 

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you choose to make this Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream
The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream

Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream 

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic all purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1/2 cup Super fine cake flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsps Cacao Powder (I use Navitas Organics)

To Make Vegan Chocolate Filling:

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter spread  (I use Earths Balance)
  • 1/4 cup organic vegetable shortening  (I use Spectrum Organics)
  • 2-3 cups organic powered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Vegan chocolate chips, melted (I use Enjoy Life Products)
  • 1-2 Tbsps Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • pinch of sea salt

For Chocolate (Cacao) Buttercream:

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter spread  (I use Earths Balance)
  • 1/4 cup organic vegetable shortening  (I use Spectrum Organics)
  • 2-3 cups organic powered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Cacao powder, sifted (I use Navitas Organics)
  • 1/4 cup Almond milk Almond milk
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with vegan butter) AND line with parchment paper the following cake pans: THREE 6-inch round cake pans or THREE 8-inch cake pans (See Notes!).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the Almond milk and Apple Cider Vinegar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, Cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and sea salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a whisk), add the Milk-ACV mixture and add the oil and vanilla. Mix for a minute or two before turning off the mixer and changing the attachment to a paddle.
  • On low speed, add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until well incorporated and batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, spreading everything around for a perfect roundness.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick.
  • Once done, remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely. **NOTE: I often let my cakes cool for 30 minutes or until them are very cool when touched and then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely for another hour or so; this makes icing easier.**

To Make Vegan Chocolate Filling:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a paddle), beat the butter and shortening on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Turning the mixer on low, add the powered sugar (1/2 the amount), vanilla, and 1 Tbsp of Almond milk, mixing them together until well combined. Add in the melted chocolate and mix until well incorporated. Add the remaining powered sugar and mix until well combined. **NOTE: If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk (1 Tsp at a time); if it’s too thin, add additional powered sugar (1 Tbsp at a time). Lastly, add a pinch of sea salt to balance sweetness and Wallah!

To Make Vegan Chocolate (Cacao) Buttercream:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a paddle), beat the butter and shortening on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Turning the mixer on low, add the Cacao powder followed by the Almond milk. Slowly add the powered sugar (1/2 the amount) and vanilla, mixing them together until well combined. Add the remaining powered sugar and mix until well combined and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. **NOTE: If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk (1 Tsp at a time); if it’s too thin, add additional powered sugar (1 Tbsp at a time). Wallah!

Assembly:

  • Using a large knife (or cake slicer), slice a thin layer of cake off the tops of each cake to create a flat surface
  • Place first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with chocolate filling. Now, top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with the same filling. **NOTE: Repeat another step if using 3-layers.**
  • Once fully layered, add remaining filling (buttercream) atop cake and spread it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly. **NOTE: Adding a thin layer of buttercream around cake and chilling it for 30 minutes to 1 hour before adding remaining buttercream does the trick for an easier frosting of cake; this called a ‘crumb coat’.**
  • Once fully chilled, add Cacao buttercream and create small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip around the sides and top of cake. Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets. To be fancy, decorate with flowers or Chocolate Vegan Sprinkles, or whatever. Slice and enjoy!
  • Bon Appetite!

Tips & Tricks

FLOUR: If you don’t have cake flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead. 
LAYERS: For THREE 6-inch layer cake, just DOUBLE the ingredient measurements; for THREE 8-inch layer cake or TWO 9-inch layer cake, just TRIPLE the ingredient measurements.
STORAGE: Keep cake tightly wrapped using plastic wrap and refrigerated for about 1 week.
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES: This recipe yields about 30 cupcakes. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean.
OIL: Instead of vegetable oil, you can also use Coconut oil, if preferred.
CACAO POWDER: To purchase Cacao Powder from Navitas Organics, visit link here.

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The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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  1. What a stunning looking cake. I have used that brand of cacao powder. It works well in so many recipes.

  2. This is such a wonderful recipe and tastes so amazing! I made it for a vegan friend and she absolutely loved it. Thanks so much!

  3. This is one of the most beautiful cakes that I have ever seen! It not only looks delicious but it looks like a piece of art. What a great treat for the Fall!

  4. Omgosh this recipe is going into my staple vegan cake collection! Can’t wait for everyone to try it! Thanks for sharing 🙂