Vegan Chocolate Cake

Last night my friends and I had a dinner party. It was a very spur of the moment thing and we selected a few choice recipes, gathered up ingredients, and went crazy in the kitchen. Our impressive menu:
– baked string cheese bites with a breadcrumb crust, served with marinara sauce
– mixed greens salad tossed in ginger-shiitake dressing
– crescent rolls
– tri-color farfalle in vodka sauce with sauteed broccoli, spinach, and peas
– chocolate cake

I found the string cheese appetizer on Pinterest, but unfortunately, our rendition of it looked nothing like the picture online 😦 Also, crescent rolls are unbelievably delicious.

Anyways, my dessert contribution was a moist, rich chocolate cake suited to my friend’s dietary restrictions (she doesn’t eat egg, but after some quick online searching, I found a vegan recipe and went for it; see Eggless Red Velvet Cupcakes). It baked up like a dream – mix up the (quick and painless!) batter, pour it in the pan, throw it in the oven for half an hour, take it out and let it cool while you frantically prepare dinner, then enjoy each bite of it after dinner with a cold glass of milk. Perfect, really.

Everybody couldn’t believe this recipe was vegan because it was so incredibly moist and flavorful! I added a teaspoon of espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor, and it worked wonders. I’m definitely making this many more times! Recipe after the cut.

Vegan Chocolate Cake
adapted from Padhu’s Kitchen

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 c warm water (*I microwaved a cup for about 20 seconds and it was fine)
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, sieve the dry ingredients together (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt). Incorporate the sugar and espresso powder.

Add the wet ingredients – warm water, vinegar, vanilla, and oil. Mix together well using a spoon or a whisk.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a fork or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool. Then frost it, or sprinkle it with powdered sugar like I did. Slice up and serve!

I used a 8×8 pan, but I’m sure this recipe would also work in 2 9′ round cake pans for a layer cake, or a rectangular 13×9 baking pan. Just make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.

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