A rich chocolate fudge cake, fluffy and dark, made healthy with pumpkin puree instead of eggs and oil. Super moist, egg-free and delicious. And it goes perfectly with my lush chocolate buttercream recipe.
This easy chocolate fudge cake makes a delicious two layer cake that is rich in flavor and dark in color. The texture is a cross between dense and cake-like with a tender crumb, and the deep chocolate flavor is amazing. I frosted it with a chocolate buttercream but my fudge frosting is also the perfect finish. Prefer vanilla? Try my fluffy vegan vanilla cake.
Why You'll Love this Cake
It tastes incredible. This cake doesn't taste healthy, it tastes like a decadent fudge cake. This is because some tricks that replace eggs and oil actually deepen the flavor and moisten the texture of the cake.
It's for all eaters. This cake is perfect for those who need a cake to be vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free or oil-free.
It's nourishing. The addition of veggie puree, and lack of processed oils made this cake a source of fiber and micro-nutrients. Not a ton, but present in a way they are not in a traditional cake.
- flour - all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour mix or oat flour
- cocoa powder - dutch processed is best here
- organic cane sugar
- baking powder
- baking soda
- dairy free milk + lemon juice - texture support
- pumpkin puree - the oil replacer
- unsweetened apple sauce - the primary egg replacer
- coffee (optional)
Steps to Make
It's easy to make this chocolate fudge cake in one bowl.
1. Begin by prepping pans and activating milk by adding lemon juice and preheating oven.
2. Mix wet ingredients together, and then add dry ingredients.
3. Pour the batter into cake pans and bake 30 minutes.
4. Let cool for a ten minutes in pans, then put cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Flour. I used all purpose flour here, but oat flour can be used, just use a bit more such as 2 cups. Gluten-free baking flour can also be used instead here.
Apple sauce. Apple sauce is the egg-replacer. Other egg-replacers are aquafaba, the liquid from a can of unsalted chickpeas, or flax seed eggs.
Healthy Swaps Explained
1. Eggs help the cake rise, so to add texture support I add lemon juice to the milk and let it curdle for a few minutes. This is basically a homemade buttermilk which creates a reaction with baking soda and helps the cake rise.
2. For the main egg replacer, I use unsweetened apple sauce in this cake, but could have also used aquafaba, the liquid from a can of unsalted chickpeas, or flax eggs as an egg replacer. All these options replace eggs beautifully in terms of texture and flavor.
3. Oil isn't the worst ingredient to consume but it is highly processed so I made this cake without oil, using unsweetened apple sauce or pumpkin puree instead. If you can't find pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree also works. I use organic canned for best texture. Be sure to use the brands that don't have any other ingredients besides the vegetable.
4. The recipe works perfectly using all purpose flour or a GF baking flour. I love Bob's Red Mills 1-to-1 baking flour, but their GF all purpose (red bag) works too. I have also used oat flour, just increasing the amount.
5. Coffee is the simple ingredient that replaces the dark chocolate that is often added to chocolate fudge cakes but which can turn the texture gluey. Coffee, from the chocolate family, enhances the flavor of chocolate.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
Can this Recipe Make Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes?
Yes, this recipe makes 12 cupcakes, baked at 350 F for 14 minutes.
What Size Cake Layer Does This Recipe Make?
This recipe fills two 6-inch cake pans, which is our favorite size. But if you want to use two 8-inch pans, just double the recipe. Alternatively, this recipe makes a deep cake using 1 (8-inch) square pan.
How Do You Know When Chocolate Fudge Cake is Cooked?
This chocolate fudge cake is done when the top is shiny and slightly cracked. The color will be nearly black depending on the dutch processed cocoa you use.
How to Store
Store this cake at room temperature, loosely covered and frosted. It will be okay for about 2 days before it will begin to dry out. You can also freeze the cake before frosting it for months.
Compare to a Mud Cake
Chocolate fudge cakes are typically darker and denser than the classic chocolate cake thanks to the addition of two types of chocolate - cocoa and chocolate chips.
Some people use the term mud cake to describe a chocolate fudge cake but that is inaccurate as a chocolate fudge cake definitely has a more cake-like texture than does a mud cake which is made with pudding.
What is the Difference Between Devils Food Cake and Chocolate Fudge Cake?
Chocolate fudge cakes are typically made with dutch processed cocoa, while devil's food cakes use unsweetened cocoa.
Is This A Healthy Chocolate Fudge Cake?
The healthy ingredients include pumpkin puree, milk, aquafaba and lemon juice. The neutral or unhealthy ingredients include flour and sugar. Overall this cake has more protein, fiber and essential minerals than the classic chocolate cake recipe does. And it does not have any processed oils.
What is the Best Oven Temperature ?
I use 350 F for most of my baking, and I use a counter oven. I also test my temperature regularly using an inexpensive oven thermometer I bought online. My oven's 350 F setting is typically around 355 F so I keep an eye on my recipes and test them with a toothpick about 30 seconds before baking time is up. Even so, for this cake, my 6-inch rounds are always done exactly at 30 minutes. So this is a very forgiving cake recipe.
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Chocolate Fudge Cake
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free baking flour or 2 cups of oat flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder use dutch processed for darker color
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon coffee instant granules or brewed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dairy free milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree or sweet potato puree
- 3 tablespoon unsweetened apple sauce or aquafaba or a flaxseed egg
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder dutch processed cocoa for darker color
- 1 stick vegan butter or ½ cup of butter
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5-7 tablespoon dairy free milk
- 6-inch round cake pan This recipe fills 2 (6-inch) round layer pans.
- 8-inch square pan Double this recipe to use 2 (8-inch) rounds pans
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Coat the inside of two (6-inch round) cake pans or 1 (8-inch square) pan with butter and dust with cocoa powder. Or double the recipe to use 2 (8-inch round) pans.Or line cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
- Activate your milk by adding lemon juice to it and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- To the large mixing bowl, add in the curdled milk, veggie puree, apple sauce and vanilla.1 cup dairy free milk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree, 3 tablespoon unsweetened apple sauce, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To another bowl, add the flour/cocoa mixture, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Or add to a strainer to use one bowl.1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup organic cane sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Combine the dry and wet mixtures, and mix until combined, but don't overmix.
- Add coffee if using. Pour the batter evenly into prepared cake pans.1 tablespoon coffee
- Bake 2 (6 inch round) cakes for 30 minutes. Bake 1 (8-inch square) pan for 35 minutes. Bake cupcakes for 18 minutes. Or until tester comes out clean for all of them.
- Flatten warm cakes with a spatula or use flattening bands if you want flat layers.
- Let cool for a ten minutes in pans, then put cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vegan butter, vanilla extract and 5 tablespoon of the milk to a large mixing bowl. If butter is cold, microwave it for 10 seconds to soften.4 cups organic powdered sugar, 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 stick vegan butter, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 5-7 tablespoon dairy free milk
- Use a hand-mixer or an electric mixer to combine. Add an additional 2 tablespoon of milk if you need to to create a creamy consistency. You can add more or less milk, but be careful, it can turn too liquidy very fast.
- Add frosting to a frosting bag with your chosen tip.
Assemble the cake
- Frost cakes or cupcakes
- To store cakes or cupcakes in the freezer for a month, pack them unfrosted in a sealed container.Once frosted, the cake or cupcakes are fine at room temperature for about 3 days and then they begin to dry out.
Hi! Looks delicious - can I substitute white whole wheat, oat, or spelt flour for the all purpose?
The recipe indicates you can use oat flour, just use a bit more. I use 2 cups in this recipe instead of all purpose. I haven't tried white whole wheat or spelt. I assume you can if those flours can replace all purpose in general.
Hi, can I use Bobs red mill gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour?
Yes! Bob 1 to 1 GF baking flour is perfect for this recipe!
This cake is THE cake for me! I love fudgy cakes, but I can't have eggs. The pumpkin is GENIUS.
Thank you for your feedback!