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This vegan chocolate pound cake is moist, soft, and packed with chocolate flavour. This is an easy recipe, made with simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry. If you love chocolate, you are going to love this 100% plant-based chocolate pound cake.
What is a vegan pound cake?
Originally, a pound cake is a recipe that dates back to the 1700s and it's called pound cake, because it was made with one pound each of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. While we tried to stay true to the taste and texture of the original recipe, our vegan chocolate pound cake doesn't contain any eggs, milk or dairy.
I made my first vegan pound cake with lemon flavour. I wanted to make the most basic plant-based version of pound cake to get the ratios right. But because our vegan lemon pound cake was so good, I had to make one with chocolate.
In Italy we eat this kind of pound cake for breakfast. We usually dip it in warm milk with a dash of coffee. We also eat it as a mid-afternoon snack at around 4:30 pm, either with coffee or tea.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Flour: you can use bread flour, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, spelt flour. My favourite one is bread flour.
- Plant milk: you can use milk made from soy, almond, rice, peas, or any other vegetable. My favourite one is organic unsweetened soy milk.
- Sugar: I use plain white sugar but you can use any other sugar of your liking.
- Cacao powder: unsweetened dutch processed cacao powder is best.
- Hot water: I use very hot water to melt the cacao powder. This will make the cake more moist.
- Sunflower oil: you can replace this with any other vegetable oil as long as it doesn't have a strong flavour. For example, I would not recommend olive oil or coconut oil as they leave behind a strong flavour.
- Dark chocolate chips: you can replace them with a dark chocolate bar chopped up in pieces. 70% and up dark chocolate content is best.
- Baking powder: to help the cake rise in the oven.
- Orange zest: this is optional, but I recommended. Grated orange zest add a beautiful orange aroma that really brings out the chocolate flavour even more. If you don't like the chocolate-orange combination, then you can replace it with the seeds of a vanilla bean, or with 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
To make this vegan chocolate plumcake you need a loaf pan that is 11" x 5" (30cm x 11cm) in size. Other than that, you'll need a bowl and a spatula.
How to scale this recipe?
This recipe is easy to scale. We calculated the scaling number for you. Pick the loaf pan size that you want to use for your cake, then multiply all the ingredients in our recipe box by the scaling number in this table. We used a 11 x 5 loaf pan.
|Loaf pan size in inches||Scaling number|
|8 x 4||0.58|
|8.5 x 4.5||0.70|
|9 x 4||0.65|
|9 x 5||0.82|
|10 x 5||0.91|
|11 x 5||1|
How to scale the cooking time?
The cooking time suggested in this recipe is for a loaf pan that is 11 x 5 inches. Depending on the size of your loaf pan, you might need to adjust temperature and cooking time.
Smaller loaf pan: if you use a smaller loaf pan (less than 11 x 5 inches), keep the same temperature but bake for shorter time. Always check with a toothpick if the cake is fully baked inside.
Bigger loaf pan: if you use a bigger loaf pan (more than 11 x 5 inches), you might need to reduce the temperature and increase the baking time. My advice is to bake at 170C / 338F for the first 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 160C / 320F until your cake is fully baked inside. Always check with a toothpick if the cake is fully baked inside.
How do I know if my cake is fully baked?
Depending on the type of oven, type of milk, and type of flour, your cake will take more or less time to cook than our pound cake. For this reason, when baking ANY cake, you should always check the core of the cake with a clean toothpick or skewer before you take your cake out of the oven.
To do that, just insert the toothpick or the skewer in the centre of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean and dry it means that you cake is ready. If the toothpick comes out wet, then bake for a few minutes longer, then check again.
- Do not eat this pound cake while warm: this vegan chocolate pound cake really is a lot more delicious if you let it cool down completely, and even better if you wait around 5 to 6 hours before eating it. The chocolate flavour will be a lot more intense, the cake will be sweeter, and the aroma of the orange and chocolate will blend together.
- Grease the loaf pan with oil: when you grease the loaf pan do not add flour because flour will colour the bottom and sides of the pound cake of a different, lighter brown colour, than the top part. That's not nice, you want the pound cake to be jet black!
- Do not stir too much: when you make vegan cake batters like this one you should not stir the cake batter too much because stirring will activate the gluten, and the activated gluten will make your cake heavier and gummier.
- Add the baking powder last: you want to it last and bake the cake immediately so that all the rising power of the baking powder is used while the cake is baking. This will make your pound cake taller, more beautiful and also lighter.
This vegan chocolate pound cake is perfect to prepare in advance and use throughout the week as a quick breakfast or mid-afternoon snack. It tastes even better if you let it sit around for several hours before eating it.
Store it at room temperature in a reusable plastic bag or air-tight container for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze it for up to 1 month, but before doing so, let it cool down completely. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then take out of the refrigerator and enjoy at room temperature.
Lemon plumcake with yogurt: if you are not a big fan of chocolate, then our vegan lemon plumcake is the best alternative. The yogurt gives it a moist, spongy consistency, and the lemon fills it up with a delicious citrus aroma.
Fitness pound cake: to make this vegan pound cake even healthier, use 100% whole-grain flour in the same quantity as in our recipe box. Then replace the sugar with unrefined coconut sugar and add a handful of walnuts in the batter before baking the cake. This one will give you slow-sustained energy and no sugar spikes.
For other simple and easy vegan Italian sweet recipes, check out:
Vegan Chocolate Pound Cake
- Loaf pan 11 inches x 5 inches (30cm x 11cm)
- 400 g (3 cups) bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 250 g (1.1 cups) soy milk or other plant milk
- 250 g (1.1 cups) water
- 200 g (1 cups) sugar
- 80 g (0.9 cups) cacao powder unsweetened
- 60 g (0.3 cups) sunflower oil or other vegetable oil
- 60 g (0.3 cups) dark chocolate chips
- 16 g (3.5 tsp) baking powder
- 1 orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 360F or 180C. Lightly grease your loaf pan with oil. In a small pot, bring the water to boil, then take off the heat, and add the cacao powder. Stir till the cacao is fully dissolved in the hot water and set aside.
- In a bowl, add soy milk, sugar, sunflower oil, grated orange zest, the melted cacao powder, and mix with a spatula.
- Sift in the flour and the baking powder and stir until all the ingredients are combined. Try to break some of the larger lumps with the spatula.
- Finally, add the dark chocolate chips and give it a quick stir. Transfer the cake batter in the pound cake form and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes. TIP: insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out dry, the cake is cooked. If it comes out wet, cook a few more minutes.
- Let the pound cake cool down for at least 3 hours before slicing it and eating it. This cake is best eaten 8 hours after it's made. Store in a reusable plastic bag so that it doesn't get dry.
Let us know in the comments below if you liked this recipe. Or take a picture and tag us on instagram @Italiaplantbased.