This Eggless Chocolate Cake is a simple and easy one bowl recipe. A delicious vegan chocolate cake made with whole wheat flour.
Unbelievably soft and spongy, this recipe will satisfy chocolate lovers and cake lovers alike.
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Not only does this cake taste good, it is also quite a bit healthier than your classic chocolate cake.
However, even though healthier ingredients are used, the cake still has a soft and moist texture, which means that yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.
This vegan recipe uses sunflower oil instead of butter. I have also shared an easy and delectable vegan cocoa frosting recipe which uses sunflower oil instead of butter. You could use any neutral tasting oil.
About this Chocolate Cake Recipe
Soft, moist and chocolaty, this cake makes a great base for various chocolate frostings and chocolate cake desserts. I have even made Black Forest Cake from this chocolate cake recipe.
In this basic version of the recipe, you can serve the cake plain or with chocolate frosting. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, it tastes better with the chocolate frosting!
This recipe may resemble the whacky cake, but it is not a whacky cake. In 2014, when I had developed and tested this recipe, I had not even a faint idea of the whacky cake or depression cake. In short I was unaware of its existence.
It is is now that I know about the whacky cake recipe. The recipe proportions for this chocolate cake is different from the proportions of the whacky cake. Moreover chilled cold water is used in the recipe unlike the whacky cake which helps in making the cake spongy.
Why this Recipe Works
Making an eggless cake is always a challenge as it can be hard to get that perfect cake consistency without using eggs. Making this eggless chocolate cake with whole wheat flour added another element to that challenge as this usually causes a cake or bread to be much denser than those made with all-purpose flour.
The secret to achieving the light and spongy consistency in this cake is the reaction between the baking soda and lemon juice. These two ingredients work together to cause the cake to rise perfectly and gives it the soft, moist texture that we’re looking for.
Ingredients You Will Need for Eggless Chocolate Cake
- Cocoa Powder: The most important ingredient effecting the flavor of the chocolate cake is the cocoa powder. It is important to use a good quality cocoa powder as this will effect the overall taste of the cake. Do not use dutch-process cocoa powder.
- Whole Wheat Flour: This cake does not have the denseness or heaviness which wheat flour cakes may have. It is too difficult to guess or believe that the cake is made from whole wheat flour if the texture is considered. It is incredibly light and soft. Though you will get a nutty wheat flour flavor in the cake. Use any good brand or good quality whole wheat flour.
- Baking Soda: The most important ingredient effecting the texture of the cake is the baking soda and it is important that it is fresh. If the baking soda is not fresh or past its shelf life, the cake will not rise. In the FAQ section below, I cover how to test the freshness of your baking soda.
- Lemon Juice: As explained earlier, the lemon juice is also crucial in causing the cake to rise properly. However, if you don’t have lemon juice, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used for the same effect.
- Oil: Do use oil which has neutral flavors. For all my cake recipes, I always use sunflower oil as it is bland, neutral and there is no after taste felt in the cake. Oil also helps in making the cake soft and moist.
FAQ and Tips to Make Eggless Chocolate Cake
Can all purpose flour be used?
Yes. You can easily add all-purpose flour in the recipe. Depending on the quality of flour, you can add slightly less water than what is mentioned in the recipe.
Can I double this recipe?
Yes, you can double this eggless chocolate cake recipe.
Can I skip baking soda?
No. Baking soda is the only leavening ingredient added in the recipe. So it cannot be skipped.
Can I add baking powder instead of baking soda?
No. Baking powder cannot be used instead of baking soda.
Can I bake this chocolate cake in a convection oven or in a microwave convection oven?
Yes. You can easily bake this eggless chocolate cake in a convection oven instead of a regular oven or an OTG. You can even bake this cake in a microwave convection oven. The timing will be less for convection ovens as they bake faster than an OTG or regular ovens.
Can I make this eggless chocolate cake in a pressure cooker?
Yes. You can make the chocolate cake in a cooker. In a pressure cooker the time taken will be less as compared to an oven. To see how a chocolate cake can be made in a pressure cooker, you can check either of these 2 detailed step by step recipes:
Can I add vanilla powder in all the cakes instead of vanilla extract?
Yes. Vanilla powder can be added instead of vanilla extract. You can even add vanilla essence instead of vanilla extract.
Why is my chocolate cake not spongy?
In this chocolate recipe, only one leavening ingredient is used. That leaving ingredient is baking soda. The reaction of baking soda with the lemon juice helps in making this eggless chocolate cake spongy and light. It is always better to check the freshness of baking soda before you proceed with the recipe. If the baking soda is not fresh or past its shelf life, the cake won’t rise.
Checking the freshness of baking soda – Add about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a mixture of 1 tablespoon vinegar + 1 tablespoon of water. The solution should fizz and bubble. If the solution does not fizz and bubble, the baking soda is not active and fresh. So do not use it.
Can I add dry fruits or nuts in the chocolate cake?
Yes. Dry fruits and nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashews can be added in the cake batter. But before adding the dry fruits, mix them with a bit of flour, so that they do not settle down at the bottom of the cake while baking.
Can milk be added instead of water to the cake batter?
Yes. Milk (dairy or vegan milks like almond milk, cashew milk or soy milk) can be added instead of water. Make sure that the milk is cold and chilled.
Can I add honey instead of sugar?
No. Avoid adding honey. According to ayurveda, honey should not be heated as it becomes toxic. You can add jaggery, maple syrup, coconut sugar or palm sugar instead.
Can I use vinegar instead of lemon juice?
Yes. You can easily use vinegar instead of lemon juice. Use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Can I use eno (fruit salt) instead of baking soda?
Yes. You can use eno in this eggless chocolate recipe. So I would suggest to add about ½ to ⅔ teaspoon of eno in the eggless chocolate cake recipe.
How to make eggless chocolate cake
For ease of understanding, I have divided this post into 3 main parts
- Step 1 – Making the Batter
- Step 2 – Baking Eggless Chocolate Cake
- Step 3 – Making Vegan Chocolate Frosting for the Cake
- Step 4 – Icing the Eggless Chocolate Cake
Step 1 – Making the Batter
1. First grease a round baking pan of 7.5 inches diameter x 2 inches height with oil. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes.
2. Sieve 1 cup whole wheat flour (you can also use all-purpose flour) and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. Use good quality cocoa powder. Keep a plate or tray below the sieve.
3. Add a pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon baking soda.
4. Sieve the ingredients on to a plate.
5. Keep the sieved dry ingredients aside.
6. In another pan or bowl, take ¾ cup sugar. I have used raw unrefined cane sugar, however regular white sugar can also be used. Add 1 cup cold water. The water has to be cold and chilled.
7. Stir with a small whisk till the sugar dissolves.
8. Now add ¼ cup oil. I added sunflower oil. I would not suggest adding butter as a few readers did tell me that the butter solidifies and it becomes difficult to get it to a homogenous mixture.
9. Stir briskly so that everything is mixed well.
10. It should be a homogenous mixture.
11. Next add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir again. You could even use 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in place of lemon juice.
12. Now add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. You can also add chocolate extract or chocolate essence instead of vanilla.
13. Mix very well.
14. Add the sieved dry ingredients to the wet mixture.
15. Using a wired whisk, mix everything well.
16. There should be no lumps in the chocolate cake batter. The batter is slightly thin and not thick.
Step 2: Baking Chocolate Cake
17. Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
18. Tap the sides so that the extra air bubbles are let out.
19. Bake the eggless chocolate cake in a preheated oven for 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) for 35 to 40 mins. Since temperatures vary from oven to oven be sure to keep an eye on it. Do not open the oven door many times. Only open it after three-fourth of the baking is done.
For baking in a convection mode of a microwave oven, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius or 355 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Then bake the cake at 180 degrees celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 to 35 minutes.
20. For doneness check the cake with a bamboo skewer or toothpick. The bamboo skewer should come out clean. Once the eggless chocolate cake becomes warm or cools down, remove and place it on a wired rack. If the toothpick is sticky with the batter, then place the chocolate cake back in the oven and continue to bake for some more minutes. Before frosting, let the chocolate cake cool completely.
Step 3: Making Vegan Cocoa Frosting for the Cake
21. This frosting recipe makes for a thin frosting. Take 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, ¼ cup almond milk and ¼ cup raw sugar in a small saucepan. To make a slightly thick frosting, add 2 tablespoons almond milk. You could use any nut milk, vegan milk in place of almond milk.
22. Keep the pan on stove top and begin to heat on a low flame. Mix very well and stirring often heat the almond milk, so that the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil the almond milk, but just make it lightly hot enough to dissolve the sugar.
23. Keeping the heat to a low, when the almond milk is just lightly hot and after all the sugar has been dissolved, add 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.
24. With a small wired whisk mix and stir so that the cocoa powder gets mixed evenly.
25. The cocoa frosting is ready now. Switch off the flame.
Step 4: Icing the Eggless Chocolate Cake
26. While still hot, pour the frosting on the top and sides of the chocolate cake.
27. With an offset spatula or a silicon spatula spread the icing evenly all over on top and the sides of the cake. You can also slice the chocolate cake in half and spread frosting in the center and then on the top.
Usually I wrap a medium sized plate with aluminum foil and then place the cake on it. This makes the frosting work easier. Keep the chocolate cake covered in the fridge for the frosting to set for a couple of hours.
You can use a dome-shaped bowl to cover the cake. Make sure there is enough space between the cake and the bowl which you are using for covering the cake.
The frosting will set after some hours. I kept it in the fridge overnight.
28. The next day, I topped the cake with some cacao shavings. You can even add sprinkles or sliced nuts. You can also sift some icing sugar and cocoa powder on the cake. This step is optional.
29. The eggless chocolate cake is ready to be served. Let me know in comments who wants it !!!
A Few More Eggless Cake Recipes for you
This recipe post from the archives has been republished and updated on 17 May 2020.
Many of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.
Moist Chocolate Cake (Eggless, Vegan & Whole Wheat)
This is a soft, moist and light eggless chocolate cake made with whole wheat flour and without eggs. The recipe is vegan too. The cake is soft and moist and can be used as a base cake for various chocolate frostings.
Servings (change the number to scale):12 pieces
(1 CUP = 250 ML)
For Eggless Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup whole wheat flour – levelled or 120 grams (you can use all-purpose flour also)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- ¾ cup raw sugar or 150 grams sugar ( i have used unrefined cane sugar, regular white sugar can also be used)
- 1 cup cold water, 250 ml
- ¼ cup sunflower oil 62.5 ml, or any neutral tasting oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or or vanilla powder or vanilla essence
For the Cocoa Frosting
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil or any neutral tasting oil
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ cup almond milk or any nut milk
- ¼ cup unrefined raw sugar or white sugar
For making Chocolate Cake Batter
Sieve whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda in a plate. Use good quality cocoa powder.
In another pan or bowl, take the raw sugar.
Add the cold water and stir so that the sugar dissolves.
Now add the sunflower oil. Stir briskly so that everything is mixed well and you get a homogenous mixture.
Next add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir well again.
Add the sieved dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Using a wired whisk, mix everything well.
There should be no lumps in the cake batter. The batter is slightly thin and not thick.
Pour the chocolate cake batter in the prepared cake pan.
Baking Eggless Chocolate Cake
Tap the sides of the cake pan so that the extra air bubbles are let out.
Bake the chocolate cake in a preheated oven for 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) for 35 to 40 mins. Since temperatures vary from oven to oven, do keep a check.
For baking in a convection mode of microwave oven, preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes. Then bake the cake at 180 degrees celsius (356 degree Fahrenheit) for 30 to 35 minutes.
For doneness check the cake with a bamboo skewer or toothpick. The skewer or toothpick should come out clean. Once the chocolate cake becomes warm or cools down, remove it gently from the pan and place it on a wired rack.
If the toothpick is sticky, then place the cake back in the oven and continue to bake for some more minutes. Before frosting let the chocolate cake cool completely.
Making Frosting for the Cake
Take the sunflower oil, almond milk and sugar in a small saucepan.
Keep the saucepan on a low heat and stirring often mix till the sugar is dissolved. Then add the cocoa powder. On a low heat stir and mix till all the cocoa powder is dissolved. Switch off the flame.
Icing the Chocolate Cake
While still hot, pour the frosting on the chocolate cake on the top and sides of the cake. Spread it evenly with an offset spatula. You can also slice the chocolate cake in halve and spread frosting in the center and then on the top.
Usually I wrap a medium sized plate with aluminium foil and then keep the cake on it. This make the frosting work easier.
Keep the chocolate cake covered in the fridge for the frosting to set for a couple of hours. You can use a dome shaped bowl to cover the cake. Make sure the there is enough space between the cake and the bowl which you are using for covering the cake.
The frosting will set after some hours.
Next day, top the cake with some chocolate shavings or cacao shavings. You can also sprinkle some dry fruits or sprinkles. Some icing sugar and cocoa powder can also be sifted on the chocolate cake. This step is optional.
Slice and serve the eggless chocolate cake.
- For Lemon Juice: Instead of lemon juice, add same quantity of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- For Baking Soda: You can use ½ to ⅔ teaspoon eno instead of baking soda.
- For Baking Powder: You cannot use baking powder instead of baking soda.
- For Whole Wheat Flour: Replace with the same amount of purpose flour (maida) or pastry flour.
- For Almond Milk: Instead of almond milk, you can use any nut milk, vegan milk. You can even add dairy milk.
- For Sunflower Oil: Instead of sunflower oil use any neutral tasting oil in the cake batter.
- Cocoa Powder: Use the regular cocoa powder which is non-alkalized. Do not use dutch-process cocoa powder.
- In the frosting, you can use dairy butter or vegan butter instead of sunflower oil.
- For a thick frosting, add less almond milk.
Moist Chocolate Cake (Eggless, Vegan & Whole Wheat)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 158 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Vitamin E 2mg13%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 5µg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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