vegan chocolate snack cake from

Olive Oil Chocolate Snack Cake (Vegan)

  • Author: Laura Bolton - Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 9-inch cake
  • Category: Baking, Dessert, Vegan
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American, Vegan,


for the chocolate snack cake:
1-1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour¹
2/3 cup (64g) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup (144g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (106g) (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1-1/3 cups coffee or water, at room-temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

for the vegan chocolate buttercream:
2 oz (55g) bittersweet chocolate (60-80% cacao),² chopped
1-1/2 cups (180g) confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted as needed
1/2 cup (113g) vegan butter,³ softened
1 Tbsp non-dairy milk³
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt
optional: sprinkles⁴ or nonpareils, for decorating


for the chocolate snack cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch (round or square) cake pan with parchment paper.⁵ Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and sugars, until combined. Add the olive oil, coffee and vanilla, and whisk until well combined. Drizzle the vinegar over the top. It should react, light and frothy, as you stir it into the batter, until just combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan. It will be fairly thin. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is gently puffed, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan, and invert the cake onto a baking rack (or transfer upright with the parchment paper) to cool completely.

for the vegan chocolate buttercream:
Melt the chopped chocolate, in the microwave or using a double-boiler. Set aside to cool.

In a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the powdered sugar and butter on low speed until the sugar is incorporated. Then turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Turn the mixer off, drizzle in the melted chocolate, milk, vanilla, and salt, and beat again on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add more milk as needed until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. It should be fluffy and spreadable, but hold its shape on the cake.

When the cake has cooled completely, use an offset spatula to spread on an even layer of the frosting, creating swirls and swoops with the spatula. Top with sprinkles. Enjoy!!


¹ I’m in the process of testing this cake with a cup-for-cup gluten free all-purpose flour blend. Will report back with my results!
² Most of the flavor of the buttercream comes from the chocolate, so use your best! The confectioners sugar in the frosting will balance out most of the bitterness in the chocolate, so a very dark, bittersweet chocolate works well.
³ I used Earth Balance (soy free) vegan butter to keep the frosting vegan to match the cake. However, you can use regular unsalted butter and cow’s milk or cream for a traditional buttercream as well.
⁴ These naturally colored sprinkles and white nonpareils are from India Tree.
⁵ If you’re using a 9-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with a parchment paper round. If you’re using a square 9-inch square cake pan, it’s easiest to create a parchment paper sling leaving a few inches of parchment paper on each side to lift the cake out of the pan once it is cool. You can also frost it and serve it right in the pan 🙂