Here’s what happened when I attempted to make a vegan Ina Garten chocolate cake.
Like many out there, I’m looking at ways to fill my spare time in isolation and baking is a comforting way to go. While I haven’t (yet) joined the banana bread bandwagon that’s running rampant on social media – I have been making CAKE.
To start, I revisited vegan Lemon Pound Cake. I first made that sugary goodness last Christmas and it was just begging to be made again. Despite being not at all healthy, it is insanely delicious and worth making a couple times a year as a special treat!
Alongside my lemon cake, I tried out a Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes recipe by the great Ina Garten. It’s the perfect pantry meal, using ingredients I always have on hand and is packed with both flavor and nutrients. I enjoyed the recipe so much, it got me poking around the Barefoot Contessa website to see what other tempting recipes I could find. What most caught my eye? A chocolate cake.
The only problem? I follow a plant-based diet and the eggs Ina calls for just wouldn’t do. I also thought goodness Kelly, you do not need another cake right now! But, after days of thinking about it – I determined yes I did need this cake in my life and set out to veganize it.
The Vegan Ina Garten Chocolate Cake
So I hit the kitchen to make a VEGAN Ina Garten chocolate cake. Truthfully? When it comes to baking, it’s quite easy to make a recipe dairy-free. And Ina’s recipe adapted quite nicely. All I had to do was swap out the dairy for plant-based ingredients and voila, I was in business!
Helping matters was the fact that the original recipe calls for vegetable oil instead of butter. That meant I only had to worry about swapping the eggs and buttermilk out for a vegan Ina Garten chocolate cake – two very easy substitutions.
Vegan Egg Substitution: Flax Seed Egg
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Flax Seed
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Water
Vegan Buttermilk Substitute
- 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
- 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar
With those two alterations in place, I got baking! Find the full recipe below for my vegan Ina Garten chocolate cake recipe adaptation as well as a vanilla buttercream frosting.
Vegan Ina Garten Chocolate Cake Recipe
A dairy-free adaptation of this original recipe from Ina Garten.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan buttermilk (1 cup non-dairy milk with 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice)
- 3 vegan eggs (3 tablespoons of ground flax seed combined with 8 tablespoons of water)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup hot fresh black coffee
- Preheat your over to 350 degrees.
- Mix together three vegan eggs and vegan buttermilk. Set aside while you assemble the dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sifting is a step people often overlook, but I find it really helps bring a lighter texture when baking.
- To your dry ingredients, add sugar and the wet ingredients — including your vegan eggs and buttermilk.
- Mix all ingredients together with a hand-held or Kitchen Aid mixer until your cake batter is creamy smooth.
- Grease two 8-inch round cake pans.
- Divide your cake batter into your two cake pans, as evenly as possible.
- Bake the cakes for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the chocolate cakes for at least 30 minutes in their pans. Then, remove the cakes carefully and allow to cool thoroughly on a cooling rack. (I’d recommend at least 2 hours of cooling time overall.)
- To frost the cake, start by smoothing frosting evenly over the top of one cake as a middle layer. Then, add the second cake on top and frost fully.
Vegan Buttercream Frosting
The frosting Ina Garten recommends with the original cake recipe sounds delicious, but I opted to go for my own classic vanilla frosting recipe instead. It’s much simpler and is always a crowd-pleaser!
- 3/4 cup Earth Balance Butter
- 3/4 cup Crisco or other vegetable shortening
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
- 4 Tbsp. of cocoa powder (If you prefer chocolate frosting)
Not the Prettiest – but It Is Delicious!
Well. While making this vegan Ina Garten chocolate cake recipe, I sadly discovered that my cake decorating skills are POOR!
Having never made a chocolate cake before, I didn’t consider that vanilla frosting could get messy with crumbs. Truthfully, this really annoyed me while frosting the cake and I felt like a totally failure looking at its appearance. It looked like a sad “cake-tastrophy” to me and I took pictures of it to document my personal shame with no thought whatsoever of actually posting them anywhere.
Then, I took a bit of the cake and all thoughts of failure went out the window. The vegan Ina Garten chocolate cake adaptation is ultimately DELICIOUS — and that’s what counts! It’s very light in texture and practically melts in your mouth. While my decorating skills need work, it’s truly one of the fluffiest cakes I’ve ever tasted and is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. Overall, a success!!
Thanks for reading this chapter in my baking adventures!
I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well. x
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