Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake
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This is the most amazing vegan chocolate sheet cake! Fluffy, moist chocolate cake is baked in a half sheet pan and topped with an amazing buttery sweet icing. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.
I took inspiration for this vegan sheet cake from my beloved chocolate cake recipe. The cake itself is very similar, but it’s baked in a half sheet pan instead. It’s a simple recipe, made in 1 bowl, and unlike layer cakes that need ample time to cool and frost, sheet cake takes less time to cook and is ready to eat quicker.
But perhaps the best part is the simple cooked frosting that is poured over the cake while still warm. As the cake cools (and this doesn’t take long), the frosting hardens a bit and is completely irresistible.
Sometimes Texas style sheet cakes are sprinkled with chopped nuts, so this is an option as well. My kids don’t care for nuts in their desserts, so I left them out.
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What size pan do I need?
Sheet cakes are typically baked in a half sheet pan, which is a large rimmed baking sheet about 11 x 17 inches long, sometimes 12 x 18 inches or even 13 x 18 inches. Mine is 11 x 17 inches.
You could make the cake in a 9 by 13 inch cake pan if you really need to for a thicker cake and frosting. It will need to bake for 35-45 minutes though. And it won’t exactly be sheet cake.
Looking for more chocolate desserts?
Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake
- 1 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 11 x 17 inch sheet pan.
- Measure 1 cup soy milk and add the tablespoon of vinegar to it. Stir slightly and set aside to curdle.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine.
- To the bowl with the dry ingredients, pour in the milk/vinegar mixture, oil, applesauce and vanilla. With a hand mixer (you can skip the mixer and use a large spoon if you need to), mix on medium speed until well combined.
- Carefully add the cup of boiling hot water, and mix on low speed until combined. The batter will seem runny, but that is right. It is what makes this cake extra moist and delicious.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared sheet pan, and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and make the frosting.
- When the cake is done baking, make the frosting: In a medium pot, add the vegan butter, cocoa, soy milk and vanilla. Warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted and the mixture comes to a simmer. Immediately remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar, gradually, until the frosting is smooth.
- Pour the warm frosting over the still warm cake, spreading evenly with a spatula or spoon. Sprinkle with optional nuts, if using.
- Let the cake and frosting cool for at least 30 minutes if possible before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
- Gluten Free: This works pretty well with a gluten free flour mix, such as Bob's 1:1 Baking Flour, but do not try to sub almond flour, it will not work.
- While I love the cooked smooth frosting for sheet cake, you can also use the chocolate frosting from my vegan chocolate cake recipe if you'd like.
- This sheet cake is best made in an 11 by 17 inch sheet pan(or 12 x 18) but it can be made in a 9 by 13 inch cake pan if needed for a thicker cake. It will need 35-45 minutes to bake though.
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