So, I think the biggest problem with vegan desserts is the texture – the lack of egg and butter results in hockey puck pastry. But my vegan friend Danny swore that this cake was good, so I decided to give it a try. The cake is easy enough, and the vinegar and baking soda actually give the cake a decent lift and texture. I think the cake needs more chocolate flavor, but I didn’t bother with the glaze, so I think that would really help it. This recipe is a keeper, if you have any of those annoying vegans in your life.
1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water or coffee
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 pound semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Equipment: 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan, 2-cup measuring cup, double boiler
- Preheat the oven to 375º.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda, salt, and sugar directly into the cake pan.
- In the measuring cup, measure and mix together the oil, cold water or coffee, and vanilla.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the baking pan and mix the batter with a whisk. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly.
- There will be pale swirls in the batter as the baking soda and vinegar react. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and set aside to cool.
- To make the optional glaze, melt the chocolate in a double boiler, microwave oven, or reset the oven to 300º and melt the chocolate in the oven for about 15 minutes in a small ovenproof bowl or heavy skillet.
- Stir the hot water and vanilla into the melted chocolate until smooth.
- Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake.
- Refrigerate the glazed cake for at least 30 minutes