Chocolate Pantry Cake (that you wouldn’t guess was vegan)

This cake is great if you need to bake something and really don’t feel like going to the store, ’cause everything you need to make it is in your pantry. No eggs. No butter. It doesn’t contain any ingredients that require refrigeration (and consequently, the sucker is vegan to boot!).

It’s also great to make a few days in advance and let it sit – as Karen over at Tasty Oasis says in her original post (and which I tested), this tastes even better on day three or four. It gets richer in flavor and stays surprisingly moist.

This is a simple, somewhat airy, dark chocolate cake. It’s pretty good on its own, though I almost always prefer cake with frosting. But if you want to keep it vegan and/or you’re in a hurry and/or don’t have frosting ingredients lying around, then this is 100% A-Okay on its own. Dust a bit of powdered sugar on top, and you’re set.

Through my baking adventures of late, I’m discovering that I prefer denser cakes. I like ’em moist and sturdy. This is a more “fluffy” kind of cake; I’m sure because it doesn’t contain eggs or butter to weigh it down. So it’s good, but not my favorite. That being said, if I ever find myself needing to make a cake for a vegan in my life – holy crap, this is great.

Karen gives a thorough run-down on her blog, and as always, I encourage folks to have a look at the original post. What I’ll add, though, is that her recipe makes a lot of cake. A lot.

Since I was attending two separate events last weekend, I opted to make this into cupcakes. I ended up with 24 cupcakes plus enough left over batter to make a little loaf cake to spare (pictured above – I didn’t end up with pics of the cupcakes). It would likely be easy to half the recipe if you only needed 12-15 cupcakes or a thinner 9×13 sheet cake.

Chocolate Pantry Cake (aka The Only Chocolate Cake You Need from Tasty Oasis)

Grade: A- (based purely on personal cake-density preferences)

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups strong decaf coffee
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare your pan by coating thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray or line muffin tins with cups. If you expect to release the cakes in one piece to transfer to another platter (or make into a layer cake, etc),  line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. The cake can be a bit sticky.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together until well combined.

In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk all the wet ingredients together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then mix well with a wooden spoon. Easy peasy. A few lumps won’t be a problem, but try to get a smooth batter.

Using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Baking time will vary depending on the size of your cakes. Check the middle of your cake with a toothpick, and when it comes out clean or with crumbs, it is done. Bake one 9×13 pan for 30-35 minutes, bake two 9-inch round cakes side by side on the rack for 25-30 minutes, or bake each pan of 12 cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.

Transfer cake pan to wire rack and let cool completely.

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