Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

This is the ultimate egg-free, vegan and easily gluten-free Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake to celebrate Easter. It’s rich, chocolatey, easy to make and fun to smash.

If you are looking for a fun, delicious and super-chocolatey cake to make for Easter this year, then this smashed egg cake is perfect for you. It is made of two rich and chocolatey sponge cakes, filled with cream cheese buttercream all decorated with more chocolate eggs, mini eggs and sprinkles. It’s naturally vegan and easily gluten-free, making it great to serve to everyone.

A Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake on a plate
A Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake on a plate

Why will I love this chocolate cake?

This is the best cake this time of year:

  • Chocolatey, fudgy and moist
  • Cake-y yet brownie-like dense
  • Made with more wholesome and lighter ingredients
  • Easy to make in one-bowl
  • Egg-free, dairy-free and fully vegan
  • Easily gluten-free and nut-free
  • A real showstopper
  • Great to make for friends and family
  • Easy to make ahead of time

If you already love this smashed Easter cake, then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

The full ingredient list is found in the recipe card, with my favourite brands and products below.

For the sponge cakes:

  • Plant-based milk: you can use any dairy-free milk like oat, almond, soya or coconut (from the carton).
  • Apple cider vinegar: this reacts with the milk to create a buttermilk which binds the cake.
  • Light olive oil: this adds moisture, fat and a rich, fudgy texture to the cake. I love the flavour of light olive oil in baking but you can use sunflower oil for a milder flavour. Or, melted and cooled coconut oil should work too.
  • Applesauce: this is great for adding moisture, some natural sweetness and binding abilities to this egg-free cake. We don’t need ant egg replacers as the applesauce does all the work. You can similar swap this well mashed ripe banana.
  • Caster sugar: this adds sweetness to the cake. Caster sugar is better as it’s finer and mixes seamlessly into the batter. You can use coconut sugar, if you prefer, although the colour will be darker.
  • Plain flour: or you can use your preferred 1:1 gluten-free flour that contains a binder or thickener like xanthan gum.
  • Cocoa powder: this adds the chocolatey-goodness to the cake. Here, cocoa powder is better than cacao powder as it’s more acidic so reacts more strongly with the raising gents to create a better rise and texture. Make sure it’s 100% cocoa.
  • Raising agents and salt: for rise and flavour.
  • Hot coffee: this is so important when making this cake and may come as a surprise to you. Rather than adding the hot coffee with the other wet ingredients, we pour this into the batter at the very end. It allows the cocoa powder to bloom, creating a really rich flavour and moist texture. This adds a subtle flavour, it’s not overpowering at all, but you can use decaf if you prefer.

As for the filling and topping:

  • Vegan butter: make sure this is softened to room temperature for the best and smoothest frosting. This is the block-style butter and my favourite is Flora Plant-Based or Naturli.
  • Vegan cream cheese: I like a cream cheese-style buttercream as it’s less sweet and rich. The cream cheese adds tang and makes it really smooth. I use the NUSH or Violife cream cheese in the UK or the Crematta from Julienne Bruno if I am feeling fancy.
  • Icing sugar: also called powdered sugar, this adds the sweetness to the buttercream.
  • Plant-based milk: to thin out the frosting.
  • Vanilla essence: for flavour.
  • Chocolate mini eggs: these are the dark chocolate mini eggs from Divine which are so cute. I left some in the blue wrappers and some without. You can use other small chocolate eggs, too.
  • Chocolate Easter egg: I used the Divine 70% dark chocolate egg for on top of this cake and it works so well. To slice the egg in half, run a sharp knife under warm water and wipe dry. Carefully score the egg where you’d like it to cut and then apply gentle pressure with the warm knife, allowing the chocolate to melt and you’ll be able to slice through.

Is this gluten-free and nut-free?

This cake is easily gluten-free, as long as you use gluten-free plain flour (make sure it contains xanthan gum to help bind the cakes, or add some yourself). To keep this nut-free, check that all of your ingredients do not contain nuts like the butter, cream cheese, milk and chocolate.

How do I make this?

This cake is easy to make in one bowl:

  • Whisk together the milk and apple cider vinegar: and leave for 5 minutes to curdle.
  • Now whisk in the other wet ingredients: not the coffee.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: and behind to whisk.
  • Halfway through, pour in the hot coffee: and whisk to a smooth, rich batter.
  • Divide equally between the two tins: and bake until risen and spongey.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the tins: then remove from the tins to cool fully on a wire rack.
  • Slice off the tops of the cakes if they have domed: so you have two flatter cakes.
  • Whip together the ingredients for the frosting: till light and fluffy.
  • Spread half the frosting over one cake: and smooth over, adding some chopped chocolate, if you like.
  • Top with the second cake: and spread over more frosting.
  • Decorate with Easter eggs and mini eggs: as you like.
  • Slice and serve: with tea, coffee or a glass of dairy-free milk.

How long will this cake last?

Once make, keep this cake for 2-3 days in a sealed container in the fridge. You can freeze the sponge cakes for 1 month, wrapped well, and allow to defrost before decorating.

A fork in a slice of Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake
Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake

What other chocolate cakes and recipes can I make for Easter?

If you are looking for more Easter-filled ideas, how about my:

A cut up Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake

Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake

Yield: 10-12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This is the ultimate egg-free, vegan and easily gluten-free Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake to celebrate Easter. It’s rich, chocolatey, easy to make and fun to smash.


For the Cake Sponges:

  • 180ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 80ml light olive oil
  • 150g applesauce
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour (or gluten-free plain flour)
  • 65g cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 150ml hot coffee

For the Buttercream:

  • 50g vegan butter, softened
  • 20g vegan cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp plant-based milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

For Filling and Decorating:

  • Dark Chocolate Easter Egg
  • Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs
  • Chopped chocolate
  • Sprinkles


  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180ºC and line and grease two 8-inch round cake tins with parchment paper.
  2. Into a large mixing bowl: whisk the milk and apple cider vinegar and leave for 5 minutes to curdle. Now add in the olive oil, applesauce and caster sugar and whisk till smooth. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and add the salt. Begin to whisk the batter and then pour in the hot coffee, while stirring, and continue to mix until you reach a smooth, rich chocolate batter.
  3. Divide the batter equally between two tins and smooth over the tops. Place in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, until risen and springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then carefully remove from the tins to cool fully on a wire rack. Once cool, slice the tops off the cakes if they have domed, so you have a flat cake surface.
  5. To make the buttercream: beat together the butter and cream cheese using an electric handheld whisk or a freestanding mixer. Once soft, gradually beat in the icing sugar, plant milk and vanilla. Once fully incorporated, continue to beat for 1-2 minutes, until it’s really fluffy and light.
  6. To assemble the cake: place once cake on a serving plate and spread over half of the buttercream. Make a small indent in the middle and fill with chopped chocolate and sprinkles. Place on the second cake and top with the rest of the buttercream.
  7. To cut the Easter Egg in half: use a sharp, warmed knife (run the knife under hot water and wipe dry) to apply gentle pressure around the circumference of the egg, allowing the heat of the knife to melt the chocolate. Be patient and then break apart.
  8. To decorate: add a few mini eggs on the cake and place the upside-down easter egg on top. Sprinkle over some extra chocolate and sprinkles.
  9. Serve straight away or keep in the fridge, covered well, for 2-3 days. you can freeze the unfrosted cake for up to 1 month, wrapped well, and allow to defrost before frosting.

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Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Cake so please leave a comment below and a star review above. If you do make this cake, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With Easter egg cake love x

  1. Stef says:

    Is there a way to make it without coffee, kid friendly?

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