If you like to do a bit of baking (like me), and also would like to make something for your friends/family for Christmas (like me), AND your friends/family have various food intolerances (like me), then not to worry!  I found this foolproof dairy and egg-free chocolate cake recipe which you can use for cupcakes too, and it’s easy enough to switch out other ingredients, should your gift-receivers be gluten-free or sugar-free.  I’ve made this recipe a fair few times now, and even the non-intolerant love it!  It’s light and delicious, and chocolate! Win!

Note:  If making cupcakes, test after they’ve been in the oven 30min, and then every 10min until the skewer comes out clean.  If using GF flour, the cakes may not rise like the original recipe.




Serves: 24

  • 5 1/4 cups (650g) sifted plain flour (or GF flour equivalent)
  • 3/4 cup (90g) dark cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons bicarb soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (660g) caster sugar  (or sugar-replacement equivalent)
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 3/4 cups (700ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla essence (organic if possible)



Preparation: 20min  ›  Cook: 1hour  ›  Ready in: 1hour 20min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour a 22x30cm baking tin.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, bicarb soda and salt. Add sugar and mix together.
  3. Add oil, water and vanilla essence and mix together thoroughly.
  4. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.




Then to ice the cake/cupcakes I use this recipe for Vegan Ganache.  Feel free to substitute the soymilk for any other dairy alternative, and I often use a dark chocolate Whittaker’s block broken up, instead of chocolate chips.  And then pop fresh strawberries (or sprinkles!) on top… Voilà!



Warning:  Extreme Summery Xmas may cause strawberries to sled off the cupcake-hills.  Best to place on top just before serving/gifting.

If you would like to package the cake/cupcakes up all gift-like, there’s a great place for cake boxes in St Johns, Auckland.


Happy Baking!!