If you love a good vegan cream cheese frosting, you'll adore these easy, smooth and delicious vegan mascarpone frosting-topped chocolate sheet cake bars which are a firm favorite of mine as they have multiple tasty flavors.
I really recommend this treat if you love a good old sheet cake. It takes less than 30 minutes to make this recipe and after that short amount of time, you'll have a mouth-watering chocolate dessert.
I love to have this cake as a late supper time snack as it is super soft, fluffy and easy to eat, without having that dense texture that some chocolate cakes have. The frosting is light, airy and whipped to perfection. You've got to try this combination.
If you love cakes topped with frostings like this, be sure to check out my vegan carrot cake bars, vegan red velvet white chocolate sheet cake bars and vegan banana pudding poke cake recipes too. You'll appreciate them!
Why You Will Love This Cake
- The Best Frosting - This vegan frosting resembles non-vegan mascarpone frosting in terms of taste and texture. It also compliments the cake really well with its light and airy consistency. If you'd like to try another cake with a similar frosting, you should definitely give the vegan carrot cake with lemon curd recipe a try too.
- Quick & Easy - The recipe is very easy to follow and doesn't take long to make. You'll have a tasty cake ready for you to eat in no time at all!
- The Texture - This cake is one of the fluffiest chocolate cakes that I have ever made. The crumb is so soft and very similar in many ways to my vegan double chocolate mousse cake.
- Allergy Friendly & Plant Based - This vegan mascarpone sheet cake bars recipe is completely vegan and dairy free.
- Cocoa powder - Try to buy high quality cocoa powder if you can for a richer and more chocolatey flavor. Even though this is a small change, it makes such a big difference to the taste.
- Apple cider vinegar - This is one of the main ingredients for the vegan 'buttermilk' and helps to give the cake the great, light and fluffy texture that it has. In fact, without it, the texture of the cake would be completely different.
- Vegan cream cheese - Bring to room temperature before using this so that the frosting doesn't have any lumps in it. I love to use the vegan Oatly & Philadelphia brands.
- Vegan block butter - Avoid any vegan spreads or margarines. Dairy free block butter is thicker and makes better frosting.
- Lemon juice - As this recipe has a vegan 'mascarpone' frosting, a little lemon juice really helps to give it a cream 'cheesier' taste. You'll be really surprised by how accurate it actually is! I also used lemon juice in my vegan banana cream cheesecake and vegan salted caramel cheesecake recipes for the same reason. It makes a good difference to the flavor.
See recipe card for full information on individual ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- If you aren't keen on the 'mascarpone' theme of this cake, you can replace the frosting with a chocolate ganache topping instead. To make it, all you need to do is melt some vegan baking chocolate using the double-boiling (bain-marie) method. When it is smooth, add some vegan double cream. Make sure that you pour the chocolate over the cake while it is still inside the cake tin and then set inside the fridge. If you need more clarification on the ganache-making process, see: vegan carrot sheet cake.
- You can add extra toppings to this cake if you want that little bit extra. I often like to add chopped nuts such as, hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds but you can also add things like grated dairy free white chocolate and desiccated coconut. The possibilities are endless!
How To Make Vegan Mascarpone Chocolate Cake
For the full method, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1: Line a square cake tin with parchment paper.
2: Mix the dry chocolate cake ingredients inside a large bowl.
3: Add the wet ingredients and fold.
4: Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake the cake.
5: Let the cake cool.
6: Make the 'mascarpone' frosting.
7: Spread the frosting over the cake and serve.
Bring the frosting ingredients to room temperature - For example, if the vegan cream cheese is cold when you make the frosting, it can result in it being lumpy and unappetising. Remove the vegan cream cheese, vegan butter and coconut cream from the fridge at least 90 minutes before whipping up your frosting.
Fold the cake batter - Don't mix it as you are risking over-mixing the batter. Fold the cake batter gently and by doing that, you will have a better-textured cake. Just make sure that there aren't any pockets of flour left.
Making the 'mascarpone' frosting - Making the frosting is super simple and only takes a matter of minutes to whip up. All you need to do is cream together room temperature vegan cream cheese, vegan butter and coconut cream until smooth, then add in powdered sugar and lemon juice, beating until thick and creamy. I told you it was easy!
Mascarpone is a type of Italian cheese, known for its sweetness and creaminess. Unfortunately, mascarpone isn't vegan and therefore, that's why I've made is alternative recipe. My vegan mascarpone cream cheese frosting offers the ever so subtle 'cream-cheesy' taste of non-vegan cream cheese frosting while containing no animal products.
Store this cake at room temperature inside an airtight container for up to 4 days or inside the fridge for 4 days.
The main three ingredients that help to create the 'mascarpone' taste are vegan cream cheese, coconut cream and lemon juice.
More Vegan Chocolate Recipes
If you tried this Vegan Mascarpone Chocolate Sheet Cake Bars Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Vegan Mascarpone & Chocolate Sheet Cake Bars
For the chocolate cake:
- 175 g all-purpose flour
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 125 g brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 225 ml soy milk
- 1.25 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 90 ml vegetable oil
Dairy Free Mascarpone Frosting:
- 70 g vegan cream cheese room temperature
- 70 g vegan block butter room temperature
- 1.5 Tablespoons coconut cream can refrigerated overnight, you need the thick part on top
- 250 g powdered sugar sifted
- 0.5 teaspoons lemon juice
- Cocoa powder to taste
- Preheat oven to 177 Celsius (350F). Grease an 8-inch, square cake tin with vegan butter and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the chocolate cake batter:
- In a large bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
- Pour in the soy milk, apple cider vinegar and vegetable oil. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and don’t over-mix. Just make sure that all the pockets of flour are gone and that there are no lumps.
Bake the cake:
- Pour the chocolate cake batter into the lined tin and bake in the centre of your oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool inside the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Make the dairy free mascarpone frosting:
- Add the whisk attachment to your stand mixer. Cream together the vegan cream cheese, vegan butter and coconut cream on a high speed until it becomes creamy. The texture might be a little lumpy at this point due to the coconut.
- Switch to a medium speed and add the powdered sugar in increments. Once you’ve added all the powdered sugar and it is combined, add the lemon juice and beat one more time on a high speed for 5 minutes until creamy and any lumps should be gone.
Assemble the cake:
- Spread your vegan ‘mascarpone’ frosting over the chocolate cake. Smooth it out with a palette knife. Dust with a little cocoa powder. Slice and serve.
- If the vegan cream cheese is cold when you make the frosting, it can result in it being lumpy and unappetising. Remove the vegan cream cheese, vegan butter and coconut cream from the fridge to room temperature at least 90 minutes before whipping up your frosting.
- Don't mix the batter as you are risking over-mixing it. Fold the cake batter gently and by doing that, you will have a better-textured cake. Just make sure that there aren't any pockets of flour left.
- Making the frosting is super simple and only takes a matter of minutes to whip up. All you need to do is cream together room temperature vegan cream cheese, vegan butter and coconut cream until smooth, then add in powdered sugar and lemon juice, beating until thick and creamy. I told you it was easy!