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  • Writer's pictureChef Kelly Unger

Dark Chocolate Cake (P.S. it's vegan too)

This is my go-to chocolate cake. If I didn't tell you it is vegan, I promise you wouldn't know. I've included my icing recipe as well. You can use dairy butter for this, as I usually do. This cake is so rich and moist that if you put chocolate chips on top before you bake it, it doesn't even need icing. Here's a tip though, the coffee should be relatively hot and fresh and should be added last, after the other liquids are incorporated. And once the coffee is added, mix quickly but don't overmix and get it right into the oven. The liquid in the coffee is now enough liquid to cause a chemical reaction with the baking soda. Once the baking soda starts fizzing, it created the rise in the cake. So capture that rising action by getting into the oven PDQ, so your cake will be nice and fluffy. Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Cake

Yields one 9x13 pan or 2 - 9” rounds. Works best as 9x13. Cake is so moist it is hard to remove from the pans.

1 ¾ cups flour (I use Castle Valley Mill stone ground whole wheat)

1 ¾ cups sugar

¾ cup dark cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup canned coconut milk

½ cup grapeseed oil (can use other vegetable oil but grapeseed is best)

2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh hot coffee + 1 tablespoon for frosting if using

Optional: chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Add all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. Add all of the wet ingredients – except the coffee – to a large measuring cup with a pour spout and stir to combine. Using a whisk, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk gently to combine. Add coffee and stir until just incorporated. Do not overmix.

Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

Yields enough icing for a 9” round or 2 loaf pans. Double recipe for generous amount on a 9x13.

8 tablespoons butter, vegan or dairy (= 1 stick or 4 ozs), softened

1 heaping cup powdered sugar

2 heaping tablespoons dark cocoa powder

1 tablespoon coffee, coconut water, milk of choice or flavored liquor of choice

½ teaspoon vanilla

Using a bowl with high sides and a hand mixer, beat the butter for a few seconds to soften. Add the remaining ingredients and mix slowly until well combined. This ratio of ingredients will give you a very creamy icing. If you want more fluffy icing, add more powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want.

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