Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

Happy birthday to... Pick Up Limes! Officially 3 years old today!

We posted our first ever video on YouTube 3 years and 1 month ago, but it's been 3 years since PUL was officially registered as a business in the Netherlands. We really didn't know what we were getting ourselves into back then, and to say it's been an amazing adventure would be an understatement - and it's all been made possible by YOU.

We're grateful that each day, we're able to go to work at making plant-based recipes enjoyed by so many of you around the globe. Thank you for being open to give our recipes a try. Thank you for sharing the recipes with your loved ones. Thanks for your support. And thank YOU for letting us be part of the most incredible, kind, and supportive community on the whole of the World Wide Web.

To celebrate, we hope you'll join us enjoying this delicious, moist, and fluffy vegan chocolate cake! We've saved an extra large slice just for you ;)

Cheers to 3 years, and here's to many more!


Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

Recipe PDF

▸ ▹ Vegan, nut-free, soy-free

Servings: 12 Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 30 min Total Time: 60 min*


1 tsp (5 mL) coconut oil, melted

1 cup (240 mL) unsweetened plant-based milk

1 Tbsp (15 mL) white vinegar

2 cups (240 g) all purpose flour

1½ cups (315 g) granulated sugar

1 cup (100 g) cacao powder

2 tsp (8 g) baking powder

1½ tsp (6 g) baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup (240 mL) unsweetened applesauce

½ cup (120 mL) freshly brewed espresso

½ cup (120 mL) refined coconut oil, melted

½ Tbsp (8 mL) pure vanilla extract


1 cup (225 g) unsalted plant-based butter, softened**

½ cup (50 g) cacao powder

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar

¼ cup (60 mL) unsweetened plant-based milk

¼ cup (60 mL) dairy-free dark chocolate, melted






Mint leaves


  1. Grease two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans with oil and line the bottom with a cut-out round piece of parchment paper.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

  3. To a medium bowl, add the milk and vinegar, and give it a mix. You will see it starts to curdle, by doing this we are creating a vegan buttermilk.

  4. Place a sieve over a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients through it. Mix together, and then create a shallow well in the middle.

  5. Returning to the medium bowl, add all the remaining wet ingredients: espresso, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla. Mix together with the buttermilk.

  6. Add all the wet ingredients to the shallow well in dry ingredients and mix until everything is just combined, but make sure not to overmix.

  7. Divide the cake batter between the two cake pans (about 2 ¾ cups of the batter per pan) and then gently tap the pans on the counter a couple of times to level out the batter and to remove any air bubbles. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes, or until a thin wooden skewer comes out clean.

  8. Meanwhile, make the frosting. To a large bowl, add the butter, sift in the cacao powder, and add the vanilla, and mix with an electric or hand mixer until smooth and creamy.

  9. Alternate between adding sifted powdered sugar and plant-based milk to the bowl, until well combined.

  10. Using a spatula, fold in the melted chocolate, make sure to let it cool off a little bit before adding.

  11. Once your cakes are done baking, let them cool off for 10 minutes in the cake pan before transferring to a cooling rack to let them cool off completely.

  12. If you like, you can level your cakes with a serrated knife to create a flat surface for stacking the cakes on top of each other.

  13. Using a spatula or butter knife, spread out a thick layer of frosting on one of the cakes.

  14. Place the second cake on top and frost with the leftover frosting, you can even create a pattern if you like.

  15. Decorate the chocolate cake with berries of your choice and some mint leaves, and enjoy!


  1. * Does not include cooling time.

  2. ** You can also use hard (not spreadable) margarine instead of butter

  3. Storage: best if enjoyed immediately. The cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. But among friends and family, this cake won't last very long!

  4. Make ahead: the frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

  5. Variations: top the cake with any fruits of your choice, or add some nuts for example.


Did You Try This Recipe?

Let us know how it went! Comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #pickuplimes