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Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Vegan Chocolate Olive Oil Cake! This incredibly moist chocolate olive oil cake is perfect for brunch and dessert.
I’ve been in a cake mood lately. Maybe it’s because my kids are home with my this summer and I’m in a celebratory mood or maybe it’s because I recently perfected this decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake. While that chocolate cake recipe is best for birthday parties and big gatherings, I wanted to create something that I could share with friends over coffee.
A cake that isn’t too sweet, yet still rich enough to be called a cake. This chocolate olive oil cake fits the bill perfectly. As with my other Orange Olive Oil Cake, this cake is dairy and egg-free and gets most of it’s moistness from the olive oil. It’s a subtle richness that I absolutely love, especially paired with a good cup of coffee. Or, red wine. Trust me on this one for a fun dessert pairing!
Whether you plan on making this for brunch, for friends, or for a Tuesday by yourself with a good book 💕, this everyday cake is a keeper.
Here’s how to make it.
Here’s everything you need for this incredibly moist chocolate olive oil cake:
This recipe was tested with fancy extra-virgin olive oil, a Costco brand and a Trader Joe’s brand. You don’t need the fancy stuff! I could barely taste a difference between the cheaper olive oil and a more expensive extra virgin version.
I use Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe. There is a difference in cocoa powders and which type you use will matter in most baking recipes that call for baking soda or baking powder. Dutch-process cocoa powder is neutralized, which means it does not react with baking soda and needs to be used with baking powder instead.
Natural cocoa is the kind that I use in most my chocolate baking recipes and in this olive oil cake. Natural cocoa powder is more acidic, bitter in flavor and will combine well with baking soda to help give rise and lift to this cake. Hershey’s regular baking powder is natural cocoa powder. (PS- if you ever aren’t sure which cocoa to use in a recipe, err on natural).
Raw cacao powder is different as it’s processed from the cacoa bean (instead of roasted cocoa beans). You can use it in recipes, but it will affect the taste and I haven’t tried it in this chocolate olive oil cake recipe to guarantee success.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar with olive oil to combine. Add in the brewed coffee, vanilla and vinegar and whisk until smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
Pour into a well-greased loaf pan, then bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the cake pan.
What I love most about this cake is how easy it comes together! You don’t need a fancy stand mixer or special pans like other olive oil cake recipes. The color is also unreal– it’s almost black! Stunning and perfect for entertaining.
I considered and tried a few toppings like a chocolate glaze for more chocolate flavor but ultimately settled on a dusting of powdered sugar mostly for contrast in appearance. You don’t need it if you don’t have it, just makes the intense, rich chocolate color pop more.
You can also serve it on a platter with a few pieces of fruit, like strawberries or raspberries for another contrast of color. Either way, I know you are going to love this chocolate olive oil cake as much as we do!
Yup. You can bake with olive oil– and this is true not only for this cake recipe but for any cake if you run out of a more neutral oil.
Olive oil gives a slight flavor to the cake, but it’s outshined by the chocolate flavor in this cake recipe. I love the velvety richness that olive oil gives to cakes and highly recommend trying it.
I store wrapped or under a cake dome on the counter for 2-3 days. If it’s longer than that, then I’ll cut individual slices and freeze them.
Vegan Chocolate Olive Oil Cake! This incredibly moist chocolate olive oil cake is perfect for brunch and dessert. Delicious with coffee!
I don’t think you need the powdered sugar, but it does make it pretty!