This is an easy, basic chocolate cake recipe adapted from the Joy of Cooking that just happens to be vegan. I love this recipe because it uses ingredients I tend to have around, is very reliable, and isn’t too heavy. Here I made mini loafs in my favorite vintage pan, but you could use any pan you like–large loafs or cupcakes would be nice. I topped half with a crunchy cinnamon sugar crust, but left the other half bare and free of spice.

And of course you can skip the crunchy topping altogether and instead ice with your favorite frosting (vegan or dairy), or serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or vanilla yogurt and berries.

Vegan Chocolate Cake, Two Ways

1 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat pastry, unbleached, brown rice, or a combination)
1 cup turbinado or raw sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
 1 cup of water or almond milk
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of vinegar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (optional)
Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Add wet ingredients one by one and mix until combined.
Pour into a greased pan.
Onto half of the cake(s), sprinkle a light dusting of sugar followed with a pinch of cinnamon and salt.
Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes, then transfer onto a rack to cool.