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Easy Vegan Chocolate Loaf Cake (Sugar Free and Gluten Free options)

Craving rich, moist, tender chocolate cake, but don’t want to deal with frosting or layers or basically any hassle at all??  This vegan chocolate loaf cake is the easiest and most delicious chocolate cake out there!  One bowl, one pan, and it only takes about 10 minutes of prep work!

Close up of the cake with a few slices cut, looking at it at an angle from the side

Important question – if a baked good is in loaf form, is it BREAD or is it CAKE?  Do we just get to decide what we feel like calling it and roll with that?  Like if I’m eating it for breakfast, it’s obviously bread, but after dinner it’s obviously cake?

I posed this same question in my similarly chocolatey and delicious Chocolate Zucchini Bread but I have not gotten enough people weighing in there, so please I must know what you think about this conundrum!  Society depends on it!!

Okay well this pressing question aside, this CAKE/BREAD is DELICIOUS.  It’s so simple, so quick, and the end result is addicting.  I like to fill mine with dark chocolate chips, but you can do a mix of any types of chips or nuts you want, really make it your own! 

Overhead shot of a few slices of cake falling away from the full loaf

How To Make It

Like I said above, this vegan chocolate loaf cake is easy easy easy.  Start by prepping two of your wet ingredients that need a couple extra minutes – one is the vegan buttermilk, one is the melted coconut oil.  Make sure you measure the coconut oil after it is melted, not before, and make sure to use liquid measuring cups!

And the vegan buttermilk just takes a couple minutes, too.  Haven’t done this before?  It’s so easy!  Basically you use non-dairy milk and mix it with a bit of apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice, and let it sit for a few minutes to curdle.  This gives it a thicker texture and keeps the end result extra moist and well formed.

While the buttermilk is curdling, grab a large bowl and mix together your gluten free (or all-purpose) flour, sugar (or see the Ingredients Needed section to learn how to make this sugar free!), cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Then add in the curdled vegan buttermilk, melted coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, vanilla extract, and HOT water.  It can be boiling, or just super duper hot, but don’t ignore that part, it’s important!

Lastly, add in whatever mix-ins you want.  Like I said, I use these vegan dark chocolate chips, but my other go-tos are these vegan semi-sweet mini chips, or these vegan semi-sweet chocolate chunks.  I also think this would work great with walnuts or any other nut you enjoy with chocolate!

Fully mixed batter still in a bowl
Uncooked batter in the pan with chocolate chips on top
Cooked cake cooling on a cooling rack
Bake time!

Pour the batter into a parchment lined 9×5 loaf pan, add some more chips to the top if your heart desires, and pop it into the oven.  Cook for 50-55 minutes, test for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center and making sure it comes out with just crumbs, not wet batter.  Don’t be fooled if you hit a chocolate chip!  When you remove the cake from the oven, place directly onto a cooling rack, so air circulates around the bottom of the pan as well.  Leave it in the pan for a few minutes, then carefully remove and place the cake (still in the parchment) onto the cooling rack to cool fully before cutting into.  Or cut into it sooner, but it will be a little less firmed up and may not cut into slices as cleanly.

Voila, vegan chocolate loaf cake!

Storage

After the cake has fully cooled, seal air-tight in plastic wrap or a large Tupperware, and keep at room temperature.  It will stay good around 3-5 days.

Close up of the cake cut into, showing the insides with melty chocolate chips

Pro Tips & Tools

Ingredients Needed

  • Non-dairy milk – any non-dairy milk should work here!  I usually use soy
  • Vinegar – apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice to curdle the non-dairy milk.
  • Coconut oil
  • Flour – Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Cocoa powder
  • Granulated sugar – If you are trying to cut back on your sugar intake, I love using this Monkfruit Sweetener in place of the granulated sugar.
  • Baking powder – I recommend using baking powder that has no added aluminum. This one is my go-to.
  • Salt
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Vanilla extract
  • HOT or BOILING water
  • Vegan chocolate chips – as I said above, here are the dark chocolate chips I used in these pics, and also here are other options I love: semi-sweet chocolate chunks and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
Farther back shot of cake slices falling onto one another from the side view

What To Bake Next

Close up of the cake with a few slices cut, looking at it at an angle from the side

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake (Sugar Free and Gluten Free options)

Craving rich, moist, tender chocolate cake, but don’t want to deal with frosting or layers or basically any hassle at all??  This cake is the easiest and most delicious chocolate cake out there!  One bowl, one pan, and it only takes about 10 minutes of prep work!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Birthday Party, Breakfast, Dessert, Lunch Box
Servings 10 slices

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 cups gluten free flour can sub all-purpose if desired. This links to my favorite store bought gluten free flour blend that works best with all of my recipes, or see “Ingredients Needed” section for further info.
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar *if you want a sugar free option, this links to my favorite sweetener, you can substitute it 1:1 in place of regular granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ heaping tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup HOT or BOILING water
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Start by making the vegan buttermilk by measuring out ¾ cup non-dairy milk, then mixing in the 2 tsp of vinegar.  Let it sit for a few minutes to curdle.  During this time you should also melt and measure out the coconut oil.
  • In a large bowl mix together the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Then add in the curdled vegan buttermilk, melted coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, vanilla extract, and HOT or boiling water.  Mix until fully combined, then add in the vegan chocolate chips and mix throughout.
  • Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan, add some extra chips on top if you want, then put into the oven.  Cook for 50-55 minutes, testing for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center and making sure it comes out with just crumbs, not wet batter.  When you remove the cake from the oven, place directly onto a cooling rack, so air circulates around the bottom of the pan as well.  Leave it in the pan for a few minutes, then carefully remove and place the cake (still in the parchment) onto the cooling rack to cool fully before cutting into.  Or cut into it sooner, but it will be a little less firmed up and may not cut into slices as cleanly.
  • Eat and enjoy!
Keyword chocolate cake, chocolate chip cake, double chocolate cake, loaf cake
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