This is my go-to vegan chocolate cake recipe, adapted over the years many times. This particular adaptation was served to over 100 people at my friend’s wedding. Using cherry jam and topped with fresh raspberries, this vegan cake make a beautiful, fun dessert for a crowd or for just two.
Chocolate Cherry Spiced Cake
½ cup cherry preserves
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup liquid coconut oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cherry flavor (or more vanilla)
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon each ground nutmeg, ground allspice, and ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 oz finely chopped dark chocolate (55-70%)(about one chocolate bar)
- Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare two 6-inch cake pans, or one 8×8 cake pan (round or square) with lightly oiled sides and parchment on the bottom.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cherry preserves, coconut milk, brown sugar, coconut oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, cherry flavor, and sea salt.
- In another large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and other spices.
- Pour dry mixture into liquid mixture, whisking until batter is mostly combined. Stir in chopped chocolate and stir well to incorporate. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
- For two 6-inch cake pans bake 27 minutes; for an 8×8 cake pan bake 40-45 minutes. For both, bake until edges pull away slightly, and/or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pan(s) and continue cooling on cooling racks.
Kitchen Notes: If you don’t like cherries, don’t despair. You could substitute another flavor of jam (just be mindful of seeds in blackberry jam and similar), but you could also use bananas or canned pumpkin instead of preserves.
This cherry version was specifically requested by a friend as their wedding cake! The bride requested no frosting, so the cake for the guests was served with fresh whipped cream and fresh raspberries. For the actual wedding cake in the photo above, I made a quick ganache by melting 3-ounces chocolate, a few Tablespoons coconut milk, and some vanilla extract together. I layered the two six-inch cakes together with ganache in the middle and on the top/sides. And more fresh raspberries for the bride!