This Vegan Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Cake is rich, chocolatey, moist and surprisingly easy to make. Plus it is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and eggless. Perfect if you need a healthy alternative to regular chocolate cake that still tastes indulgent.
The cake starts with two layers of chocolate cake, which are sandwiched together with generous layers of chocolate fudge frosting. I love to make the cake with two layers, but you can also halve the recipe to make a thinner, single layer cake. Both versions are delicious.
Vegan gluten-free chocolate fudge cake
I kept the chocolate cake and frosting vegan by using a few ingredient swaps. First, sweet potato holds the cake together instead of eggs. Second, I use a combination of baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda) and apple cider vinegar to give the cake some rise. Third, I use avocado in the chocolate fudge frosting to replace the need for butter.
The chocolate cake is also gluten-free thanks to buckwheat flour. I often use buckwheat flour as a wholesome alternative to all-purpose flour in gluten-free cake recipes. However, you can use all-purpose flour instead of buckwheat flour if you don’t need the cake to be gluten-free.
What is the difference between chocolate cake and chocolate fudge cake?
Regular chocolate cake has a light crumb, whereas chocolate fudge cake is richer and more dense in texture. Most chocolate fudge cakes will use a combination of butter and melted chocolate to get a fudgy texture.
However, in this vegan recipe, the sweet potato and some coconut oil give a fudgy texture. They also boost the cake with added nutrients and fiber.
How do you make a vegan cake moist?
Sweet potato keeps this vegan chocolate fudge cake super moist. It replaces the need for dairy ingredients like yogurt or sour cream, which are often used to keep chocolate cakes moist. The sweet potato also helps to bind the cake together and allows you to use less flour.
Ingredients for Vegan Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Cake
Sweet potato: Baked sweet potato flesh gives the chocolate cake its beautiful fudgy texture. I have included instructions on how to bake your sweet potatoes in the oven or the microwave in the recipe notes below.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil keeps the chocolate cake vegan and dairy-free. We also use it in the frosting to help it set with a soft and fudgy texture.
Raw sugar: I use raw sugar to sweeten the cake. You could use regular granulated sugar if you prefer.
Buckwheat flour: Using buckwheat flour in the cake keeps it gluten-free. You can use all-purpose flour instead if you don’t need the cake to be gluten-free.
Cocoa powder: I recommend Dutch processed cocoa powder for this recipe. It gives a smooth chocolate flavor. However, regular unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder will both also work.
Avocado: Ripe avocado flesh gives the chocolate fudge frosting a super creamy and rich texture without the need for butter. It also provides a boost of healthy fats.
Maple syrup: I use maple syrup to sweeten the frosting. Honey should also work well if you don’t mind a subtle honey flavor.
Vanilla extract: Vanilla adds depth of flavor to the cake and the frosting. I prefer vanilla extract over essence if you can get it.
Apple cider vinegar: Vinegar works with the bicarbonate of soda to give the cake some rise. The cake doesn’t rise a lot though, since it’s a dense and fudgy cake.
Bicarbonate of soda: Also known as baking soda or bicarb soda, bicarbonate of soda reacts with the vinegar to give the cake some lift.
Baking powder: Baking powder also helps to give the cake some lift.
Sea salt: I always add sea salt to chocolate recipes. It really does enhance the flavor of the cake and the frosting. I highly recommend that you include it.
Dark chocolate (optional): I love decorate the cake with grated dark chocolate, as you can see in the recipe photos. However, the cake is still looks beautiful without it. When I made the cake for the recipe video below, I didn’t add the grated chocolate.
More healthy cake and baking recipes
This Grain Free Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread tastes like rich chocolate cake and is one of my favorite cake-like breads.
For another easy cake, this Gluten Free Apple Cake is nut-free, egg-free and also made with buckwheat flour.
This Sweet Potato Bread is sweetly spiced and studded with chunks of chocolate. It’s similar to banana bread but made with mashed sweet potato.
You can find all of my cakes and breads on the Baking Recipes page.
Vegan Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe
For the cake
- 3 cups / 680g baked sweet potato flesh (see Note 1)
- 2/3 cup / 160ml / 140g coconut oil, softened
- 1 cup / 200g raw sugar
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 2 tbsp / 30ml vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup / 120ml / 120g water
- 1 1/2 cup / 180g buckwheat flour (see Note 2)
- 1/2 cup / 60g cocoa powder (see Note 3)
- 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda)
For the frosting
- 2 small ripe avocados (to give 10oz / 280g flesh)
- 1/2 cup / 60g cocoa powder (see Note 3)
- 1/2 cup / 120ml / 160g maple syrup
- 1/4 cup / 60ml / 54g coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine sea salt
For decoration (optional)
- Dark chocolate, grated or shaved
1Preheat your oven to 160°C fan-forced / 180°C / 350°F and line two 20 cm / 8 inch round cake tins with baking paper.
2Place the sweet potato flesh, coconut oil, sugar, vinegar, vanilla and water in a large mixing bowl. Blend with a hand blender until smooth. Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor.
3Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and fold through until just combined. Spoon the mixture evenly between the two lined cake tins, smoothing out the tops with the back of a spoon.
4Bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean. Cool slightly in the tins, then transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
5Once the cakes are completely cold, make the frosting. Place the avocado flesh and remaining frosting ingredients into a mixing bowl and blend with a hand blender until completely smooth. Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor.
6To assemble, place one cake upside down on a serving plate. Spread half of the frosting over the cake, taking it just shy of the edges. Place the second cake on top, the right way up. Press down gently so the frosting squishes out to the edges. Spread the remaining frosting on top. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. The frosting will firm up slightly in the fridge, which makes the cake easier to cut and serve.
1. Sweet potato – You will need about 3.3lb / 1.5kg raw weight sweet potatoes to get enough cooked flesh for this recipe. Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven or a microwave (see below for instructions), then extract the flesh to measure out.
Oven: Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, place on a baking tray and bake in a 180°C fan-forced / 200°C / 400°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the thickest part of each potato slides through easily.
Microwave: Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, place on a microwave safe plate and microwave for about 30 minutes or until soft, flipping the potatoes over half way. You want a knife inserted into the thickest part of each potato to slide through easily.
2. Flour – You can use all-purpose flour instead of buckwheat flour if you don’t need the cake to be gluten-free.
3. Cocoa powder – I like to use Dutch processed cocoa powder in this recipe for a smooth chocolate flavor. However, regular unsweetened cocoa powder and raw cacao powder will also work.
4. Storage – Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can freeze any leftovers and defrost in the fridge as needed.
5. Single layer cake – You can halve the recipe to make a thinner, single layer cake in one 20cm round cake tin.
Serving size: 1 slice
Energy: 1402kJ (335Cal)
Total Fat: 16.9g
Saturated Fat: 11.1g
Total Carbohydrate: 41.7g
Dietary Fibre: 4.4g