Simple Vegan Chocolate Cake



The Sunday Panics.

Do you get the Sunday Panics?  Let me describe the symptoms and you can tell me whether or not I’m a strangebird, or if you relate.  The Sunday Panics are most often characterized by:  afternoon over-caffeination, tremendous amounts of NOT quality time spent on Twitter, a kitchen full of dirty dishes, a lengthy and daunting weekly to-do list, a fair amount of brain worry, possible nail biting, an intense desire for take-out Chinese food, and low motivation coupled with nagging laziness guilt.

Do you ever get the Sunday Panics?

Yea…. me neither.   Of course not.

…except I totally do.


I’ve developed a cure for the Sunday Panics.

Movement! Up. Up.  UP!!  In the kitchen.  Make a super easy cake.  Definitely do the dishes.  Make the to-do list for the week, then set it aside to rest until Monday morning.  Write some greeting cards for friends.  Call your mama.  Enjoy cake during a several hour marathon of Grey’s Anatomy or Downton Abbey.  When all else fails… try bourbon in the shower and an early bedtime.  Give those Sunday Panics the boot!


This chocolate cake is a total godsend.

It’s designed to be made with ingredients you already have in your kitchen.  The Sunday Panics aren’t easy to combat… and a trip to the store is not going to calm our nerves.

If you have cocoa powder and vegetable oil… this cake is yours!

I added dark chocolate chunks and cocoa nibs because they were lingering in my pantry.  Lingering like chocolate always lingers.


Want to know a trick?  Grease a bundt pan with vegetable shortening and… instead of dusting it with flour, try cocoa powder!

When the cake comes out of the pan, there will be no white flour powder!  Just chocolate.  Just cake.


This is our everyday chocolate cake.

It’s always super comforting when we can turn what’s in our pantry into a warm, moist, flavorful chocolate treat without softening butter, cracking eggs, or running to the store.

This cake is a tool.  It combats the impulsive sweet tooth, the accidental grumpies, and the Sunday Panic.  Consider yourself armed.

vegan cake and leg candy

ps.  Real Life.

 Simple Vegan Chocolate Cake

makes 1 9-inch chocolate bundt cake

Print this Recipe!

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup warm coffee

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

small handful of chocolate chunks and/or cocoa nibs (optional)

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9-inch bundt pan with vegetable shortening and dust with cocoa powder.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chunks and cocoa nibs, if using.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  The batter will be relatively thick.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 3 days.  

271 thoughts on “Simple Vegan Chocolate Cake

  1. YES! I have stopped reading your posts as my wee baby is dairy intolerant and thus I can eat nothing you are making and it was making me cry [seriously], but now, NOW!I can! Am off to shops to buy cocoa, I may even skip there. Thanks!

    1. I still look at all of Joy’s recipes even though I am gluten-free and dairy-free. I’m still inspired by her writing, photos, and recipes – there are plenty of ways to substitute for dairy. And I also make her vegan soups on a monthly basis.

  2. The Sunday Panics a.k.a. Gloomy Sunday or – as I named it in German – ‘das Sonntagsloch’ (which I imagine as a vast black hole, sucking my energy and optimism), are very familiar symptoms to me. Thanks for sharing, it’s consolating not to be alone in it. The cake looks exactly like cake on sunday should look.

  3. YUM!!

    Do you think this has to have vegetable oil in it? Could I use coconut oil instead? Would that make it a weird texture?

  4. This looks so awesome and I love how you called it “simple”…Bundt cakes, vegan baking, and cakes from scratch don’t necessarily always tend to be so simple, but yours looks amazing and moist and rich and wonderful.

    And yes, I get the Sunday Panics, too!

  5. The Sunday Panics sound familiar – pretty much every week. It’s a good thing this post wasn’t up earlier today or I would have been absolutely forced to make this amazing-looking cake when I should have been productive!

    1. Too funny, that’s exactly what my mom always called them, so that’s what I call them now as well: The Sunday Night Blues!

  6. You are definitely not a strangebird, Joy. Those Sunday Panic symptoms sound vaguely familiar…
    AHHHHHHHH. Vegan chocolate cake. Exactly what I was looking for.

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