Recipe by

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-Espresso Frosting

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-Espresso Frosting

Makes one (9- by 11-inch) sheet cake or one 8-inch double layer cake

For the cake:

⅔ cup pumpkin puree

¼ cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons sunflower seed oil

¾ cup maple syrup

½ cup coconut sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 cup cornstarch

1 cup cocoa powder

2 ¼ cups superfine almond flour

1 ¼ cups oat milk


For the frosting:

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

½ cup cocoa

1 tablespoon espresso powder (plus more for dusting, if desired)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional, for a kick)

5 tablespoons sunflower seed oil

3–4 tablespoons boiling water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 9- by 11-inch sheet cake pan or two 8-inch round pans.


In a large bowl, mix pumpkin puree, applesauce, vanilla, oil, and maple syrup. Add coconut sugar and mix well. Add dry ingredients, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Stir in oat milk. The batter should be just pourable, not too thin or thick, so adjust with more oat milk or almond flour as needed. Pour batter into the cake pan(s) and bake for 30–40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan(s) for an hour before frosting.


To make the frosting, whisk together confectioner’s sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, cinnamon, and cayenne, if using. Stir in sunflower seed oil, then 3 tablespoons boiling water, adding more water as needed, until you have a glossy, spreadable frosting. Frost the cake, dusting with more espresso powder if you like.

From Issue

No. 14 / Fall 2020

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