Skip to content

One Bowl Chocolate Cake (Vegan – cake only)

The calendar officially says August, and though we’re still swimming in the warmth of summer, many folks are commenting about August signaling the end of summer.  Of course, we’re all greeted with back-to-school displays in every store.  None of this would have fazed me in CA, where we take great weather for granted.  But as a current midwesterner, warm days are elusively fleeting and every second is to be sweetly savored.

One Bowl Chocolate Layer Cake

It’s like so many other things in life.  In the blink of an eye, we’ve somehow lived in MN for five years already.  Before I could catch my breath, my oldest has reached fourth grade and is every bit the almost-tween.  My youngest is counting down the months before his 5th birthday.  Thank goodness it is still many months away.  But I know it will be here in a flash.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

The days are long, but the years are short.  The person who penned that quote was wisely insightful.  Sometimes as we go through the daily grind, each day can feel so long.  Yet somehow, the years flash by in a couple of heartbeats.

one bowl chocolate layer cake 2

Yes, time is intangible.  It’s why we stay out at the lakes and parks as long as we can, even if that means being exhausted the next day.  It’s the reason we let the kids set up their tent inside and sleep in it, even if that means they’ll be staying up chatting until way too late.  It’s why I hold my preschooler’s hand through the jogger stroller top as I run, even if it makes for a silly-looking run.  And, it’s the reason I let ’em have cake for breakfast once in awhile.

Chocolate Layer Cake

This One-Bowl Chocolate Cake seriously uses only one bowl, so you’re not spending time washing dishes.  It’s the easiest homemade chocolate cake I’ve ever made.  The result is a superbly moist, soft cake that is perfect for a layered any-occasion cake.  A deliciously easy graduation, birthday, holiday, anyday cake.  The cake is lighter than my favorite Double Chocolate Cake, as this one does not require the use of eggs (thus, it is vegan!)

One Bowl Chocolate Birthday Cake

I used a chocolate and sour cream ganache frosting from Not Without Salt, which turned out sooo rich, decadent, and slightly tangy.  The tang balances out the sweet perfectly, and I was loving up every last bit of frosting from the bowl.  The frosting is not vegan, so if you need to, use your own favorite vegan frosting to lather up this yummy chocolate cake with.

Chocolate Layer Cake with Sliced of Strawberry

This particular cake is best eaten within a day.  I found that if it sits in fridge longer, it started to lose some of its first-day moistness, possibly because of the eggless recipe.  The thick chocolate ganache frosting is a different story.  The frosting keeps really well in fridge, and only needs a bit of warming up to be stir/frost ready.

Looking for a fun way to enjoy chocolate cake for a kid’s party? Check out my chocolate cake pops!

Here’s to easy homemade chocolate cakes, lots of frosting, and breathing in every single summer day. Enjoy!

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Chocolate Layer Cake with Sliced of Strawberry

One Bowl Chocolate Cake (Vegan - cake part only)

5 from 1 vote
This vegan chocolate cake is the easiest recipe, with only one bowl used for mixing. The chocolate ganache frosting can be easily substituted for your own favorite frosting.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: Amy Dong


For the Cake:

For the Frosting:

  • 5 cups bittersweet chocolate chunks
  • 3 cups whole sour cream
  • 1 ⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp table salt


Make the Chocolate Frosting:

  • Melt bittersweet chocolate in a heavy medium saucepan (I use All Clad) over the lowest heat setting. Stir constantly until chocolate is just melted through. Turn heat off and stir in sour cream until mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in powdered sugar and salt, mixing until completely incorporated. Add more sugar if needed. Set frosting aside at room temp and allow it to "firm up" to a good consistency for spreading.

Make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle position. Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment on bottom, and grease generously on parchment and sides of pans.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry cake ingredients, whisking to incorporate well. Add oil, lemon juice, vanilla, and coffee to the same bowl. Stir until just combined. Divide cake batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans.
  • Bake 17-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out almost clean, with a few tiny moist crumbs attached. Top should spring back gently when pressed. Cool cakes in pans to room temp. Carefully remove cooled cakes and frost as desired.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 1092kcal | Carbohydrates: 137g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 586mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 8mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Method: Bake

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Not Without Salt

Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Sara Dolan

    Can I make this vanilla cake by removing the cocoa powder? looks yummy!

      • chewoutloud

      Sara, I’ve never tried this without the cocoa powder, so I can’t provide a definite answer…if you do try it, let me know how it turns out, as I’d love to know 🙂

    • Chaska

    Bit late to the party but do you think I could replace the lemon juice with apple cider vinegar (ACV)? I find I like the complexity it brings to chocolate cakes flavour wise, and I rarely have fresh lemons or bottled lemon juice on hand, but always have ACV in the cupboard. I think It should active the bi-carb the same way, certainly makes it fizz if you drop them in a cup together. What do you think?

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, I think that would work. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Svenja Maschke

    Hello 🙂
    I’ve used your recipe once before and everybody loved it!
    Question: can I substitute the flour for a nut flour? Like almond flour or hazelnut flour?
    Greetings from Vienna, Austria

      • chewoutloud

      Thank you, Svenja! As for the flour, I am not sure how it would turn out if you subbed the whole amount, but perhaps part/part would be ok. I think part wheat flour would work, but I have yet to bake with nut flours. Let me know how it works! 🙂

    • Vivian

    For this recipe how many cupcake can i made out of?

      • chewoutloud

      Should make approx. 24 cupcakes 🙂

    • ALee

    I have a chocolate cake recipe that I usually use but I had a vegan over for dinner for I made this cake for dessert. It is better than my recipe. Everyone loved it and had seconds and thirds. I did use a vegan butter frosting. Very nice recipe.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, so happy to hear it! Thanks for coming over 🙂

    • peri

    I made the cake with a vegan frosting and it was great! It was light, chocolatey and fluffy, and everyone loved it. It was also super easy to make.

      • peri

      Also, everyone seems to be hung up on the fact that it’s not vegan because of the sour cream in the frosting, but um…..heard of tofutti? It’s really not that hard to modify the recipe to make it completely vegan. Haters just gotta hate.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay! So glad you liked it 🙂

    • Petunia

    So, It’s not vegan, and you need two bowls (one for the cake, one for the frosting), and 3 pans. The cake looks nice, but I’ll admit the title is a bit confusing here :/

      • chewoutloud

      One bowl for mixing everything, rather than the separate mixing bowls you would normally see. One single pan could be used for a sheet cake or one bundt pan instead, and adjust baking time. Thanks and sorry for any confusion, Petunia 🙂

    • Steve Navarra

    Sour cream? This cake isn’t Veg*n; maybe VEGETARIAN, but not Veg*n. Sorry to be a jerk, but…

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, just the cake part, as was written in the post 🙂 Glad you stopped by, Steve!

      • Sandra

      I’m vegan, and have vegan sour cream in my fridge as we speak, look it up 🙂 so yes this cake is vegan!!!

        • Sandra

        Or can be 🙂

Get our free email series: 5 Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less

Plus our newest recipes each week