one bowl mocha cake

Do you ever just want a piece of cake? Like, right that minute?

I may bake a lot of things, but big beautiful cakes aren’t one of them. I am NOT a decorator. I can’t ice cookies or frost cakes to save my life but I CAN whip up an easy one-bowl, one-pan cake that doesn’t need more than a slather of homemade frosting.

one bowl mocha cake

For quick desserts like this, I love finding ways to make vegan treats.

One, because they come together super fast. Two, because that means we can have cake anytime and it doesn’t matter if I have eggs or butter or milk on hand. (This also means this is the perfect dessert when are ARE out of something and don’t have time to go to the store.)

Last minute party invite? Make this.

Late night snack attack? Make this.

Need something for an office get together the next day? Easy choice.

one bowl mocha cake

It really doesn’t get any easier than this cake. Stir everything up in one bowl, bake it, let it cool, frost it a little, and slice.

Believe me – if I can make this cake, anyone can.

one bowl mocha cake

One Bowl Mocha Cake

Next time you have a chocolate craving, whip up this quick and easy cake. Mixed in one bowl, no need for fancy decorating, and it's vegan! Can't get easier than that.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp instant espresso
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup safflower or canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk (dairy, almond, or coconut)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


for the cake
  1. In a large bowl, combine vanilla, vinegar, oil and water. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, instant espresso, salt, and baking soda, and mix until completely combined and no lumps remain.
  2. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 square pan.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
for the frosting
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan (or in the microwave using a microwave safe dish.) Stir in cocoa powder; this mix will form a thick paste.
  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to a medium size mixing bowl. With mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Once ingredients are incorporated, turn mixer to medium high speed and beat about 5 minutes, until frosting is smooth and creamy. Spread on top of the cooled cake.