Recipes > Chocolate Ganache Cake | Dairy, Egg & Soy-Free

Chocolate Ganache Cake | Dairy, Egg & Soy Free


This rich and moist chocolate cake is a sure winner! No one will know that it also happens to be vegan-friendly.
  • Serves: 8 to 12
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Views: 55,786
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Cake

Making the Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup non-alkalized cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups coffee (or water)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp vinegar (apple cider or distilled white vinegar)


Preheat the oven to 350° F (175°C).

Prepare two 9″ × 2″ -inch non-stick cake pans by spraying them with non-stick spray and then lightly coating them with cocoa powder. *Note: This cake can easily be halved, if desired.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until evenly combined.

Combine the coffee, oil and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously to evenly combine. Add the vinegar and stir to blend well.

Spoon an equal portion of the batter into each of the prepared baking pans. Immediately transfer to the preheated oven.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.

Remove from the oven and place onto a wire cooling rack for about 10 to 15 minutes or until cooled slightly. Invert the cakes out onto the cooling rack, remove the pans and let cool completely before icing.

Step 2: Making the Ganache

Making the Ganache
  • 3/4 lb bittersweet chocolate (12 oz or approx. 2 cups) min. 54% cocoa mass
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk


While the cake layers are cooling, make the ganache.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place it into a heat-proof bowl.

Place the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately pour the hot milk over the chocolate, making sure that the it fully covers the chocolate. If necessary, shake the bowl a bit to distribute the milk over the chocolate. Allow to sit for a few minutes and then whisk for a couple of minutes or until very smooth.

Set aside while the cakes finish cooling.

Step 3: Decorating the Cake

Decorating the Cake


To assemble the cake, whisk the ganache. Note: It is best to ice the cake while the ganache is still soft and somewhat runny. Alternatively, the ganache can be cooled a bit longer, for about 30 minutes or so, and then it can be whipped to incorporate air into it. It can then be piped onto the cake using a pastry bag. This is good to do when using this ganache as a frosting for baked goods such as cupcakes.

If the ganache has firmed up a bit too much for icing, you can either vigorously whisk it or briefly place over simmering water to make it a bit more pliable.

If your cakes have baked into a dome shape, slice a bit off of the dome to make an even top.

Using an offset spatula, begin icing the cake by placing a large dollop of ganache in the center and spread it around evenly. Carefully place the second cake on top, crumb-side down.

If desired, you can do a crumb coat, but it’s not absolutely necessary for this cake.

To finish decorating, ice the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache and serve.

Chef's Notes

If doing a crumb coat, be sure you don’t refrigerate the bottom layer for more than a minute or two before putting on the second layer; otherwise, it will be too cold and the ganache might solidify.

This cake is great even when made a day in advance; just be sure to let it come to room temperature before serving.

Cake boards are sold in specialty baking shops, but you can easily make your own. Just cut out a sturdy piece of cardboard in the size you need and neatly cover it completely with foil.

For a step-by-step instructional video on how to decorate the cake, watch the last step of this Chocolate Cake recipe. Note that the video recipe shown is not a vegan-friendly recipe, so just go to the last step.


  • Lisa S
    Lisa S
    What a wonderful recipe! My cake came out perfect - it was simple to prepare and absolutely delicious! Thanks so much Dawn!
  • Alexis C
    Alexis C
    This was an amazing cake. Came out perfect. For the other round pan I used 3 small 5 oz ramicans instead.
  • Vincent  P
    Vincent P
    Hello, will rice milk, or almond milk work nicely as a substitute for the coconut milk?
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Vincent and thanks for your question. Indeed, you can substitute rice milk or almond milk for the coconut milk in this recipe. Note that almond milk might give the cake a more nutty flavor which is nice as well. Thanks again for learning with Rouxbe! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Gloria W
    Gloria W
    Has this cake been a success with soy milk perhaps? I have a full one in he fridge. :)
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Gloria! You can use soy but it helps to add fat. This recipe from the amazing Fran Costigan is a good example. Scroll to the ganache part and you can use that here.
  • Tawana R
    Tawana R
    Does this need to be refrigerated
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Tawana, If you are serving it on the same day, it is fine out. If you are going to store it, put it in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before serving it. Lauren
  • Vanessa N
    Vanessa N
    Can melted coconut oil be used in place of vegetable oil?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Vanessa. Yes, you can definitely make that swap 1:1. Lauren
  • Leticia A
    Leticia A
    Wow! I made this. It came out perfect! I'm blown away that it tastes just like chocolate! My teenage sons loved it! I topped it wth red raspberries just for a nice so many compilments because it actually looked like it came from a bakery! I could not believe I made this with my own hands! Thank you for builidng my confidence with my little non professional skills.
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Leticia! That makes us so happy to hear! You are working hard and you should be confident. Hooray for delicious, home-cooked food! Lauren
  • Matthew H
    Matthew H
    Ganache came out a bit runny was afraid to put in fridge as I didn’t want to pipe it on. Poured it on instead and set whole cake in fridge for a few minutes to set . Came out pretty wonderful! Thanks for the recipe.
  • Fran C Rouxbe Staff
    Fran C
    Matthew, I'm glad you liked the ganache as a glaze. It needs to be a bit on the liquid side in order to pour. You can refrigerate the glaze to help it set. If it becomes too firm, just warm it over a water bath. Testing a small amount in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes will allow you to know the final consistency. Then adjust as needed with more liquid or more melted chocolate. Congratulations on your wonderful cake., Fran
  • Hannah F
    Hannah F
    I am very surprised by the amount of sugar used. Could I limit or substitute some of the sugar so that when I make it the cake will be "less" guilt-free? I've heard of using sweet potatoes instead of sugar, I think, (I think from FOK), is that a possibility? Could I make a date paste to use plus a quarter of the sugar (1/2 cup) that the recipe calls for?
  • Fran C Rouxbe Staff
    Fran C
    Hi Hannah, This cake is based on an iconic recipe that was created during the Depression and became known as the accidentally vegan chocolate cake. It is also seen as the Wacky Cake, Craters of the Moon Cake too. Baking soda and vinegar were used to replace eggs and leaven the cake. In terms of making the kinds of adjustments you list, each of those swaps will take considerable testing. Date You could cut the recipe in half and make a single layer with 25% less granulated sugar, then see what you think. Add a fruit paste or sweet potato is going to change the formula quite a lot, meaning the consistency of the batter, baking time, and final result. I suggest too, that you look for a different chocolate cake, one that uses less sweetener such as the Chocolate Cake to Live For in the Essential Vegan Desserts Course. Do let us know how your tests work out. Fran
  • Barbara M
    Barbara M
    Maybe a silly question...but are you using regular ground coffee or instant?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello, Barbara- thanks for writing. In this case, you can use brewed or instant. Totally your preference. Let is know how it turns out for you! Cheers, Char
  • Rebecca H
    Rebecca H
    The only "vegetable" oil in my supermarket is soy-based. For someone who is soy-intolerant : would safflower, sunflower or canola oil work well in this recipe?
  • Rebecca H
    Rebecca H
    Would coconut oil (melted) be a good substitute for the "vegetable" (soy-based) oil?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello, Rebecca: I will answer both of your questions here. 1- yes, any of those oils would work for you. 2- Coconut oil would work very well. However, coconut oil has a very distinctive flavor, so you may want to blend it with one of the aforementioned oils in your question until you reach the portion needed. In this case, 1/3 cup of each oil. Great question. Good luck with the recipe. Cheers, Char
  • Sonia M
    Sonia M
    I assume sugar = granulated white sugar; could I use brown sugar or coconut sugar here? For full fat coconut milk: does that mean a can of coconut milk? I feel like that would contribute too much coconut taste though. I saw almond milk in a previous comment, so may substitute with that.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Sonia: two part answer here. As for the sugar, you can use brown sugar, however, it may have an impact on the taste, texture and flavor of the finished cake. Also, the molasses in brown sugar retains moisture--so your end cake may be softer and denser. Full-fat coconut milk has the perfect viscosity for this recipe. You could use almond milk, but would be adding less (about 3/4 of a cup). The full-fat coconut milk does not affect the taste of the cake. On occasion, I have used a 1:1 ratio of full-fat coconut milk to almond milk (half-caup each). Hope this helps. Happy baking and let us know how the cake turns out for you. Cheers, Char
  • Sonia M
    Sonia M
    Hi everyone, Just wanted to share that i just made this with bob red mill's gluten-free 1:1 baking flour (I try to avoid gluten as it gives me a tummy ache) and the cake still turned out nice and moist!! Obviously I haven't made the original so cant do a side by side comparison - but I was happy with mine and would recommend to anyone who wants a GF option :)
  • Laura J
    Laura J
    Hi Does full fat coconut milk in this recipe mean canned coconut milk or use canned coconut cream?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Laura: You would want to look for canned, full fat coconut milk. They are two different products. The cans are 16 ounces in size, you can freeze the remaining for another recipe. Let us know how your dessert turns out! Cheers! Char

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