Vegan Chocolate Cake is Not Just for Vegans

Vegan chocolate cake with berry jam and vanilla coconut glaze

This recipe is for my vegan lovers. My chocolate lovers. And my sourdough lovers.

Sourdough you say? Sourdough cake? Vegan chocolate cake? Sourdough vegan chocolate cake?! I know what you’re thinking – that sounds super hipster heady organic… and a little scary.

I say vegan because it’s just that. No eggs, no butter – all plant based ingredients. I say sourdough because that’s how I get it to rise with no eggs…sourdough starter. And a little baking soda and vinegar bubbly action.

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Vegan chocolate cake with berry jam and vanilla coconut glaze

I first found this recipe while leafing through The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. I’ve used Vegan Chocolate Cake recipes before but never with the addition of a sourdough starter. Whoa. This piqued my interest, for sure.

Hey there! This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I earn a commission. Note, I would never recommend something that I personally don’t use and love – that’s just silly. Also note, I would never accept payment to entice you to buy something from me, that’s a bribe. Enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

The beauty of this cake is that it is completely natural vegan. And it’s moist. Decadent. Indulgent. Rich with chocolate, coffee and cinnamon. I can promise you, unless you let on, no one will know it’s vegan. When we think of vegan food we think the exact opposite. Dry. Vegetable forward. Wholesome. Humble. Definitely not binge worthy. This my friend, is for the anti-vegan. Use this to convince your stubborn uncle that veganism can be quite delicious.

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Vegan chocolate cake with berry jam and vanilla coconut glaze

It’s so good, it’s got me thinking what other (baking) recipes I can convert into vegan. Maybe these Apple Cider Donuts? That will be an experiment for another day.

Start with a Starter

Now, you do have to have a sourdough starter going to get this recipe down. Or at least borrow some from a neighbor. I had actually left mine at my in-law’s beach house this summer which is two hours away (WAH). So I called up my friend and fellow culinary creative Elana and she left me a happy little container outside for my baking needs.

Vegan chocolate cake with berry jam and vanilla coconut glaze

Make sure you feed it about 12 hours ahead of time so it’s bubbly and happy and you’re ready to go. I personally don’t have a post about how to create a starter (yet) but here’s a great video on how to get started if you’d like to join the Sourdough Squad.

Once you’ve got that together, the recipe is super straight forward. You mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and bake. That’s it.

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CHEF TIP: Use good quality ingredients, especially for the chocolate. It goes without saying that if you use sh***y ingredients, your product will reflect that. I typically use organic when I can (especially the dairies) but don’t skimp on the cocoa powder. It’s truly worth it to spend the extra dollar or two to get the good stuff. END RANT.

Vegan chocolate cake with berry jam and vanilla coconut glaze

I filled my Vegan Chocolate Cake with a mix of Strawberry and Raspberry Jam and then topped it with a Vanilla Coconut Milk Glaze. Let it set and serve. I’d say with a glass of milk but then again, I’m not a very good vegan.


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Vegan chocolate cake with berry jam and vanilla coconut glaze

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Berry Jam and Vanilla Coconut Glaze

  • Author: Melissa-Smith
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 – 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 8″ or 9” round cake pan 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


A vegan cake that doesn’t taste vegan. Moist, decadent and delightful.


  • 1.5 ounces good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grain coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/8 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Coconut Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 23 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup berry jam



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare your baking pans with Pam spray and line the bottom with parchment. 
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl – the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, coffee and cinnamon. Whisk together.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the starter, coconut milk, vinegar, canola oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until just incorporated and no lumps. Do not over mix as you do not want to build gluten.
  5. Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Pop the cake out and chill.
  6. For the glaze, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
  7. When the cake is cool, cut in half horizontally and fill with jam. Pour the glaze over the top and let set before cutting, about 1.5 – 2 hours.


Once you combine the ingredients, make sure to use the batter straight away or it will start to activate outside of the oven. You want to get a nice reaction inside the oven, not outside!

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: dessert, chocolate dessert, vegan dessert, vegan cake, chocolate cake, coconut, sourdough, cake, moist, egg free cake

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