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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vegan Chocolate cake bars with vegan ganache frosting – Eggless chocolate cake bars with ganache frosting

The other day during a casual round of kitchen cleaning, I noticed a few bars of dark cooking chocolate at the back of the cabinet. The last time I used it was for the cake pops. I was immediately tempted to use them up. Although there was no occasion what so ever and off late I have been reminding myself to limit my indulgences. But it was more the urge to bake rather than a craving for sweet tooth. I gave in. Egg and dairy free chocolate cake.

Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_stacked with cloth

Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting

In the past I have tried a vegan chocolate cake using vinegar which was quite good. But every time I see a new recipe for an eggfree chocolate cake, I am curious to try it out and compare it to my previous attempts. This time I have used coconut milk. I was initially skeptical that the cake would taste and smelly `coconutty`. But it didnt. I guess even if it did, it would have been fine. This cake has an intense chocolate flavour with a dense texture. I found it best to be enjoyed with a glass of milk or slightly warmed and with a scoop of vanilla icecream. The recipe can also be altered to use milk instead of water. I could also imagine that the cake would taste wonderful with a coconut based frosting or just dust with desiccated coconut and you have vegan lamingtons.

Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_with bowl

Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_coco sift
Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_whisk
Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_layer
Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_overflowing bowl
Vegan chocolate cake with vegan ganache frosting_backlit piece-2


Vegan chocolate cake bars with vegan ganache frosting – Eggless chocolate cake with ganache frosting

Cake Recipe adapted from Good housekeeping magazine May 2011 UK edition. Vegan ganache recipe adapted from here.
Yield - Makes about 8 cake bars of 2 inch x 4 inch

Things you need -

For the cake -

350 gms All purpose flour
50 gms unsweetened cocoa powder
30 gms semisweet cooking chocolate. I used 60% dark chocolate. Use dairy free for vegan version.
300 ml coconut milk
125 ml warm water
200 gms castor sugar
150 ml oil + 1 tsp for greasing the cake tin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

For the ganache

250 ml water
1 tbsp cornstarch
200 gms cooking chocolate, chopped. Use dairy free for vegan version.

For garnish

icing sugar or cocoa powder or desiccated coconut, optional

How I made it -

To make the cake -

1. Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius.
2. Whisk the coconut milk and warm water together and allow the mixture to cool down.
3. Melt the chocolate over a double boil or by placing a bowl of with chopped chocolate over boiling water ensuring that no water enters the chocolate. Keep stirring until the chocolate has melted. Switch off heat and allow chocolate to slightly cool down.
4. Grease an 8 inch cake tin with oil and line with parchment paper.
5. Sift together, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder in a bowl and keep aside.
6. Whisk the coconut milk-water mixture with sugar, vanilla extract, melted chocolate, oil until a smooth mixture is formed.
7. Add the sifted mixture to the liquid mixture until a smooth batter is formed. The batter is slightly thick and just about of pourable consistency.
8. Pour the cake batter into the cake tin and bake it at 180 deg Celsius for 30 mins or till a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
9. Take out the tin from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To Make the frosting

1. Whisk cornstarch with 2-3 tbsp water to form a paste and add it to the rest of the water. Heat the water and keep stirring frequently until the mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. This should happen pretty quick. It took me about 3-5 minutes.
2. Now add the chopped chocolate, switch off heat and stir continuously until all the chocolate has melted. You should now have a smooth ganache ready. Allow to cool down slightly.

To Assemble the cake bars

1. Invert the cake tin carefully to unmold the cake. Using a large knife or cake serrate, cut the cake in half horizontally. This might be slightly tricky. It helps to get the cake on a cake stand or at a height close to the eye level to do this. Use edible marker or a few tooth picks to get an even cut.
2. Take 3-4 tbsp of ganache and slightly spread it on one of the cake layers. Place the second layer on top of the ganache layer, such that the ganache is sandwiched between the cake.
3. Now pour the remaining ganache on the top and slightly spread it to distribute it evenly. Leave it for a few minutes and cut the cake into bars. Dust with powdered sugar or cocoa powder.

Notes -

You could also use any cake tin if you wish. A round one etc.
For best results
- do not skip the sifting of the flours.
- always bake in the centre tray of the oven and make sure the tin is in the middle of the tray.
- Do not open the oven while the cake is baking for the first 15-20 mins. Then just rotate the tin to ensure that the cake is evenly baked with a even surface.
If you are not particular about being dairy free, use 200 ml full fat or single cream for the ganache instead of cornstarch and water.


  1. That's a really good recipe post.

  2. I did this today for my son birthday it came out very well. Thanks for the recipe.. I will share this in my space shortly

  3. I'm intrigued and afraid of cornstarch ganache!

  4. How does the ganache set? Could I use it to cover a more traditional double layer cake?

    1. Sure. You use it to cover a cake. The ganache is slightly pourable. When refrigerated it will thicken and is then spreadable and can be used for piping etc. you also also play around with the quantity of cornstarch to alter the consistency , although be careful no to overuse cornstarch as it might lend a chalky taste.


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