Vegan Date Cake

This gluten-free, vegan date cake is chocolaty, moist, and delicious. This chocolate date cake is rich and decadent so it’s perfect for those extra special occasions that call for an indulgent yet nutrient-dense treat. It’s refined sugar free, dairy free, and egg free, so it’s ideal if you’re accommodating guests with multiple dietary restrictions.

Main ingredients and substitutions

This refined sugar-free chocolate cake is sweetened with date paste and doesn’t contain any white sugar. Date paste is easy to make – all you need are dates, some boiling water, and a blender or food processor. See my date paste recipe for exact instructions.

I used gluten-free oat flour in this recipe which I make at home by filling my food processor with rolled oats and processing them for a couple of minutes until it reaches a flour consistency. You can find oat flour at many grocery stores or purchase it online if you’d rather save that step. Or you can substitute gluten-free all purpose flour if you prefer.

This recipe calls for a flax egg, which is simple to make and works well as a vegan egg substitute. To make a flax egg, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of cold water, then let the mixture thicken in the fridge for 10 minutes. 

This cake gets its chocolate flavor from unsweetened cocoa powder. Any type of unsweetened cocoa powder will work well in this recipe. Dutch process cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder are the two main types you’ll find in grocery stores and either will work in this recipe.

Extra virgin olive oil give this cake a rich texture and warm flavor. You can substitute any other oil you prefer. Avocado oil or melted coconut oil are good alternatives.

Vanilla extract adds a lovely aroma and flavor to this cake. Be sure to use pure vanilla extract as opposed to artificial vanilla flavor if possible because the difference is definitely noticeable.

A large slice of chocolate cake on a white plate with a stainless steel fork.

Storage and freezing

You can store this chocolate date cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to six months. Then defrost it at room temperature before serving.

Two frosting options for this chocolate cake

I’ve included two different frosting options that pair well with this chocolate cake. The first is a nut-free version that turned out delicious. It has a bold, chocolate flavor and just the right amount of sweetness – perfect for dark chocolate lovers.

The second frosting is a vegan chocolate buttercream that turned out rich and creamy, it’s hard to believe it doesn’t contain any refined sugar or dairy. I used soaked and blended cashews to give this frosting a buttery consistency and richness. Cashews are commonly used in vegan cooking and are a wonderful plant-based ingredient that, when soaked and blended, mimic the textures and flavors of butter, cream, and other dairy products.

A big slice of cake with frosting on a plate.

More gluten-free, vegan dessert recipes

A large slice of chocolate cake on a white plate with a stainless steel fork.
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Vegan Date Cake

This gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan date cake is rich, decadent, and perfect for special occasions. This chocolate date cake is sweetened with date paste and doesn't contain any added sugar.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 361kcal

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients

For The Nut-Free Frosting:

  • 2 cups date paste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or substitute your preferred oil)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

For The Cake:

  • 2 cups date paste
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or substitute your preferred oil)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 flax egg (to make a flax egg mix one tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of cold water, then let the mixture thicken in the fridge for 10 minutes)
  • 3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

For The Nut-Free Frosting:

  • Add the date paste, olive oil, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt to a saucepan.
  • Warm on low heat while stirring occasionally until the ingredients are well incorporated and heated through.
  • Remove from heat, let the frosting cool off a bit, then refrigerate for at least one hour before frosting the cake.

For The Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the date paste, olive oil, flax egg and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Add the cocoa powder and salt and stir again.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the oat flour and baking powder together, then add those dry ingredients to the wet and stir once more.
  • Divide the batter in half and spread the batter evenly into two well greased 9 inch round baking pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes.
  • Wait until the cake has cooled completely before frosting.

Notes

  • Store this vegan date cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or freeze it for up to six months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 576mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg

Alternate frosting option: vegan chocolate buttercream

If you’re craving something even richer and creamier, top this vegan date cake with this indulgent vegan chocolate buttercream instead of the nut-free frosting. Both frosting options are delicious so you can’t go wrong.

Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This vegan chocolate buttercream frosting turned out creamy and delicious.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 99kcal

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soaked cashews (soak cashews in 1 cup of boiling water for 1 hour, then discard the liquid and rinse)
  • 1 cup date paste (see my date paste recipe for instructions)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  • Add the soaked cashews and water to a food processor or blender and process/blend until smooth (approximately 3 minutes).
  • Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, date paste and salt and process blend for another couple of minutes until smooth and airy.
  • Refrigerate for at least two hours before frosting the cake.
  • Makes 2 1/2 cups of vegan chocolate buttercream frosting.

Nutrition

Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg