Vegan Halloween Cake or Cupcakes (Vegan Chocolate Cake with Vegan Orange Buttercream Frosting)

Yield: 1-9×13″ cake or 24 cupcakes

This was a quickie I whipped up for the October pumpkin-painting meeting of the National Art Honor Society, fondly known as “Nozze,” which I sponsor at my school.

Though you wouldn’t necessarily know it from this photo, I actually have cake decorating experience. 🙂 But last Sunday night, before the meeting on Monday afternoon, I needed something sweet, vegan, black and orange, and ultra quick.

I simply adapted and doubled Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s and Terry Hope Romero’s recipe for Your Basic Chocolate Cupcakes, baked the batter in a sheet pan–even quicker than cupcakes, though cupcakes would be fine–and topped the cake with my go-to creamy vegan frosting dyed orange. A few brown-black sprinkles made for a festive presentation without a bit of fuss.

It must have been a hit, as there was scarcely a crumb left.

Happy Hallows Eve!


2 cups chocolate or chocolate lite soy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups self-rising flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13″ cake pan. In a small, non-reactive bowl, whisk together chocolate soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle. In a large bowl, combine next four ingredients. Whisk or stir in oil, vanilla and almond extract until completely incorporated. Then stir or whisk in chocolate soy milk mixture just until it is also completely incorporated. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, but check at 25. When a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool completely on a wire rack. Frost as desired. For a vegan Halloween cake, frost the cake as described below.


3 tablespoons vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Powdered sugar (start with approximately 3 cups)
Unsweetened soy milk (plain, vanilla or vanilla lite would be fine too) or soy creamer (start with approximately 2-3 tablespoons)
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 drops red food coloring
several drops yellow food coloring
Garnish: brown-black colored sprinkles

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together vegan butter and shortening. Add powdered sugar until a creamy-stiff mixture forms. Add soy milk a tablespoon at a time until a creamy consistency that holds soft peaks is reached (or until you achieve whatever consistency you prefer). Beat in food coloring until completely incorporated. Frost cake and garnish with a dusting of sprinkles.

Source: Slightly adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

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  1. Do you need self-rising flour, or is regular flour OK?

  2. You can always substitute each cup of self-rising flour with the following: 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt. Thanks for asking! It's just faster to use self-rising and I was in a hurry. 🙂

  3. these look yummy! and i love the festive orange frosting!

    also, thanks for adding me to your blogroll. and thanks for the comment. i definitely added the blooming platter to my links! 🙂

  4. It was my pleasure and thank you for including me on your super site!

    The cake is a crowd-pleaser…Glad it looked tasty because I had to photograph it quickly at school under florescent lighting. 🙁

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