Vegan This: Decadent Black & White Cake

Vegan This: Black & White Cake bite

Make this classic Black & White cake, and you’ll get rave reviews from vegans and non-vegans alike.

When bridal showers, birthdays and celebrations of all sorts roll around, there’s nothing that says “Let’s Celebrate (in style)” like Black & White cake. And, this regal dessert, as I discovered quite by accident, has many forms and flavors. The first version I created was white(ish) inside and black outside, compliments of a simple (accidental) ingredient omission—cocoa powder. So naturally, I had to try again. My second go at it, everything went smoothly (cocoa powder included) until, while putting the finishing touches on the frosting, the whole cake tumbled to the ground just minutes before it was due for serving at a party.

With crumbles left behind on the cake stand, I was able to resurrect some pieces, however, this time I lost the cake’s outer, gleaming white hue, as the (vegan) cream cheese frosting melded into the moist chocolate cake.With this mishap, I stumbled upon the creamiest, sweetest, moistest and unbelievably gluten free- and vegan– delight to date. While it tastes sinfully rich and creamy, each bite comes with a dose of vitamins A & E, magnesium, zinc, potassium and even fiber thanks to a secret (moistening) addition—pumpkin puree. So, if your sweet tooth craves chocolate and cake, you really can’t go wrong with this one. Forget an ingredient or send the cake flying in the air and you too might find a new spin on this classic cake.

Black & White Cake Inside Out

The Original – Black & White Cake
from Clinton Street Baking Company


• 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
• 1½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup pumpkin puree
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
• ½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
• 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ cup whole milk
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• ½ cup semisweet chocolate chunks (52–62% cacao)

The Vegan Version – Black & White (or just Black) Cake
Generously serves 8


• 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) vegan butter, softened (I used Earth Balance)
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• Egg substitute equivalent to 2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk (I mixed 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal with 7 tablespoons warm water)
• 1½ cups gluten free flour blend:
• (1/2 cup brown rice flour_
• (1/4 cup white rice flour)
• (1/4 cup sorghum flour)
• (1/4 cup potato starch flour)
• (1/4 cup minus 2 tablespoons tapioca flour)
• (2 tablespoons almond flour)
• (3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum)
• 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup pumpkin puree
• ½ cup buttermilk (easily make your own by mixing ½ cup dairy free milk, like homemade cashew nut milk, with ½ tablespoon white distilled vinegar; let sit for 10 minutes)
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 8 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened
• ½ stick (4 tablespoons) vegan butter, softened
• 4 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
• ½ cup dairy free milk (Mine was thin enough that I omitted the milk all together)

• ½ cup heavy cream (I used homemade cashew nut milk)
• 3 tablespoons light corn syrup (I used homemade cane juice by melting a few tablespoons of sugar in a pan on the stove top)
• 1 tablespoon vegan butter
• ½ cup semisweet, vegan chocolate chunks (52–62% cacao)

Black & White Cake Chocolate Glaze


Make the Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease (with vegan butter) and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the vegan butter and sugars. Add the egg substitute mixture, and combine. Whisk the gluten free flour blend and remaining dry ingredients together, in a separate bowl.
3. Whisk the pumpkin puree together with the buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl. Alternate mixing dry ingredients with the pumpkin mixture into the egg mixture. Start with dry and end with wet.
4. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool and unmold.

Make the Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the vegan cream cheese and butter together until soft. Add the sifted confectioners sugar, blending in 1 cup at a time. Add the dairy free milk slowly, as needed, and mix until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Make the Glaze
Heat the “cream,” corn syrup (or cane juice), and vegan butter in a saucepan until boiling. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate until it is completely melted, mixing gently with a rubber spatula until the glaze is smooth.

Assemble the Cake
Place 1 of the 2 cakes on a cake plate. Ice the top with 3 to 4 tablespoons frosting, and place the other cake on top. Then use a cake spatula to mask the top and sides until the cake is evenly frosted. Set it in the fridge for 10 minutes. Then, remove the cake from the fridge and pour the chocolate glaze over the center of the cake until the top is covered and the glaze runs over the sides, still showing some frosting. Let the glaze set and serve.

Whatever happens, enjoy!

Images: Jennifer Barckley

Jennifer Barckley

Jennifer currently resides in New York City where she covers eco fashion and beauty for EcoSalon.