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Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake

This vegan chocolate fudge cake is so simple to make and is dripping with the best ooey-gooey chocolatey topping of your dreams.

close up of fudge cake topped with strawberry and mint leaves with slice missing

If you’ve been wishing you could find a delectable chocolate vegan cake recipe, look no further. I’ve got you covered!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

You’ll love this cake because it’s…

  • Chocolatey
  • Easy to make
  • Moist
  • Perfectly sweet
  • Fresh
  • Surprisingly low-fat with only 1 gram per serving
  • Only 143 calories

This fudge cake is dairy-free

This hot fudge cake recipe is completely oil and dairy-free. It’s very simple to make and has only 143 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving.

sice of chocolate cake on white plate topped with strawberry

Believe it or not, the cake part has no sugar added at all. It’s the gooey fudgy frosting that adds sweetness to this fabulous vegan dessert.

How to make vegan fudge cake

A full list of ingredients, measurements, instructions, and a print button can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

This is such an interesting recipe that is going to keep you asking ‘can really be‘ the whole time you make it. But, rest assured, you’re going to be amazed!

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F.

Next, place the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl and whisk it together well.

Chocolate cake dry ingredients in stainless mixing bowl with whisk

Make sure to press out any clumps in the dry ingredients that you run into so that it’s nice and smooth.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla, and apple sauce. When it’s mixed together thoroughly, add it to the larger mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.

Chocolate cake batter in stainless mixing bowl with whisk

Okay, this is a warning. Do NOT taste the batter at this point. It is completely sugar-free and won’t taste great. Believe me, it will get better.

Now, spoon mixture into an 8″ silicone nonstick square pan. Since silicone pans are very flexible, you will need to use a baking sheet underneath for stability. Glass or metal pans lined with parchment paper also will work fine.

fudge cake batter in red silicone baking pan

In a clean bowl, combine the brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Gradually mix in the hot water using a whisk and blend thoroughly. Note: I use approximately 1 cup + 2 Tbsp of water.

Chocolate cake frosting mix in stainless mixing bowl with whisk

Pour evenly over the batter in pan. It will be thin and watery but will thicken up when baked. Trust me, just do it. It will be a frosting-like covering over the cake and is delicious!

chocoate fudge cake in baking pan

Bake on the center rack of the oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Ovens vary, so if your sauce isn’t quite thick enough, after 45 minutes, lower temp to 325°F and allow to cook 5-10 more minutes.

chocolate fudge cake in red baking pan dripping out

Remove from oven and allow to cool. If you leave the cake in the pan instead of dumping out, just spoon the gooey fudge over each serving.

vegan fudge cake overhead of slice on plate and pan with serving utensil

*Originally published September 28, 2016.

Follower’s video of making this cake

My friend, and fellow Food for Life instructor, Beth Perera, shared her experience making this recipe recently. Click on the pictures to see the process in action including her bubbly, fresh-out-of-the-oven Hot Fudge Cake. I love her excitement. Chocolate has the same effect on me!

Easy Vegan Chocolate Hot Fudge Cake. video
Click picture to see Beth’s video of watery consistency of fudge frosting before baking.
Easy Vegan Chocolate Hot Fudge Cake. video
Click the picture to see the video of cake fresh out of the oven.

Tips for making this cake

The topping is going to be very watery before it is baked, but don’t panic! As it bakes, it thickens up, and as it cools it thickens even more.

Per slice, this cake has calories 143, protein 3 grams, fat 1 gram.

Recipe adapted from Dr. Neal Barnard’s book, Breaking the Food Seduction.

fork full of fudge cake next to plate with slice

Your Questions Answered:

Q: Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

A: This recipe is not gluten-free, but this link to the Minimalist Baker will help adjust it for those that want to give it a try.

Q: What could I use to replace the sugar in the frosting?

A: Since there is no sugar at all used in the cake portion, the sweetness of the frosting is pretty important. If you would rather use a different sweetener than the brown sugar, I would suggest maybe 1 cup maple syrup. Date paste could also be tried at 1 cup as well.

Q: What pan size should I use?

A: I use an 8″ square baking pan, but you could also opt for a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

Q: What is the difference between chocolate cake and fudge cake?

A: Chocolate cake is usually a little lighter and has thick icing that is made separately and added after cooking. Fudge cake tends to be denser, and the fudgy topping is cooked with the cake and thickens into a spoonable frosting.

Q: Does chocolate fudge cake need to be refrigerated?

A: Yes, it is best to refrigerate the leftover cake. Cover it well or place it in an airtight container. It will keep up to a week in the refrigerator and reheats well.

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Other great desserts

sice of chocolate cake on white plate topped with strawberry

Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This vegan chocolate fudge cake is so simple to make and is dripping with the best ooey-gooey chocolatey topping of your dreams.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F.
  2. Next, place the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl and whisk it together well.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla, and apple sauce. When it’s mixed together thoroughly, add it to the larger mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Okay, this is a warning. Do NOT taste the batter at this point. It is completely sugar-free and won’t taste great. Believe me, it will get better.
  4. Now, spoon the mixture into an 8″ silicone nonstick square pan. Since silicone pans are very flexible, you will need to use a baking sheet underneath for stability. Glass or metal pans lined with parchment paper also will work fine.
  5. In a clean bowl, combine the brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Gradually mix in the hot water using a whisk and blend thoroughly. Note: I use approximately 1 cup + 2 Tbsp of water.
  6. Pour evenly over batter in pan. It will be thin and watery but will thicken up when baked. Trust me, just do it. It will be a frosting-like covering over the cake and is delicious!
  7. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Ovens vary, so if your sauce isn’t quite thick enough, after 45 minutes, lower temp to 325°F and allow to cook 5-10 more minutes.
  8. Allow to cook and serve warm. If you leave the cake in the pan instead of dumping out, just spoon the gooey fudge over each serving.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 1gCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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John

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

I made this today and had nice cream on top YUM!!! Will this freeze ok because this is something we would eat over a 2-3 week time Thanks John keep up the good recipes

Terri Edwards

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Hi John- I'm so glad you liked the Fudge Cake! It should freeze just fine. I would say just defrost it in the refrigerator overnight.

LouAnn

Friday 2nd of October 2020

Could I sub date paste for all of that brown sugar??

Terri Edwards

Friday 2nd of October 2020

Hi LouAnn- Since there is no sugar at all used in the cake portion, the sweetness of the frosting is pretty important. If you would rather use a different sweetener than the brown sugar, I would suggest maybe 1 cup maple syrup. Date paste could also be tried at 1 cup as well.

Laura

Friday 29th of March 2019

curious, if anyone has ever tried this with date sugar instead of brown sugar as a plant based alternative.?

Terri Edwards

Thursday 6th of February 2020

I haven't tried this with date paste but think it would work just fine. Let us know if you give it a try!

BAnkasq

Thursday 6th of February 2020

That would be very interesting. I wonder if anybody tried it with date paste as well.

Drenda

Wednesday 5th of September 2018

Sliced a couple of strawberries to throw on top and threw it in my husbands lunch box ...next day he told me as I was packing his lunch ...’that chocolate stuff you sent yesterday was goooodddd’ ....?? and he didn’t even realize it was a ‘healthy’ dessert!!!! ? SCORE!!!!! ?‍♀️

Terri Edwards

Thursday 6th of February 2020

Ha! Now, that's the kind of report I like to hear! LOVE it! Thanks for sharing!

Bridget

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

Made this tonight! Was great, I used a 7x11 glass pan with parchment Baked 35 minutes. I did use a little more than a cup of water but next time will use a little less than a cup of water for a thicker sauce. Could only be made better with some homemade vegan ice cream. Then you got chocolate sauce for both. Quick recipe to put together.

EatPlant-Based.com

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

So glad to hear that you liked it. Homemade vegan ice cream is an excellent idea, because it would be fabulous with the fudgy sauce!