Keeping Vegan Chocolate Cake Moist with Vinegar

When baking specialty desserts such as vegan chocolate cake, it is often difficult to find ingredients that work as well as dairy. Keeping such desserts as cakes, fruit pies or assorted cookies in tact would usually require such ingredients as eggs and milk. Having to abstain from all animal products, a vegan does not have this luxury. Therefore, recipes for vegan baking need to rely on plant based ingredients such as vinegar. Vinegar, added to certain dessert recipes, can produce an animal-free, cruelty-free masterpiece.

Vinegar Instead of Eggs

Vinegar is made from a process that oxidizes or combines oxygen with ethanol. Ethanol is found in liquids such as wine, beer, fermented fruit juice, cider and many other beverages containing alcohol. Vinegar has been used as an excellent binding agent in baking for centuries. It has also been used to maintain the rich moisture-packed results that are often derived from eggs.

You Do Not Need Much

When baking with vinegar, measure one tablespoon to every one teaspoon of baking soda. The sour taste of the vinegar will displace when heated and the baked goods should have no residue.

The Best Type of Vinegar

It is recommend that the optimal vinegar to be used in baking is white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar. These seem to have the best results and mesh well with sweet baked items. Other vinegars could be too strong, resulting in vinegar residue in the product’s aroma and taste.


Below are some recipes for moist, vegan chocolate cake–using vinegar.

Depression Cake – actually named during America’s Great Depression for its limited, inexpensive ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4  cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder–be sure and check if any dairy has been added, including casein, an animal protein derived from milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 of a cup of canola oil
  • 1 tbsp of white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup of cold water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  Grease a round 8″ or 9″ cake pan (preferably non-aluminum)

3.  Mix the dry ingredients first, then make a crater in the center

4.  Pour the wet ingredients, one by one, into the crater while mixing. Do not overmix

5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes

6.  Let cool for about an hour

7.  Run a butter knife around the edge then gently pop out of the pan

8.  Cover with a vegan frosting or simply confectioner’s sugar



  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice
  • 1/2 cup mixed chopped nuts (this is optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cold water or soy milk (soy milk will make it creamier)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (non-pulp)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (white or apple cider)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2.  Grease a round 8″ or 9″ cake pan

3.  Mix the dry ingredients together

4.  Slowly mix liquids (with the exception of the vinegar) into the dry ingredients

5.  Add vinegar when the batter has no more lumps

6.  Bake right away as the vinegar left in the raw ingredients too long can potentially spoil it. Bake for about 25-30 minutes

7. Top with mint leaves and raspberries


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