Chocolate Vegan Cake Recipe, well tested!

So it seems that its fall again for sure...that deep rooted urge to stay home and bake delicious things, while warming my apartment with the glow of a hot oven. I find myself making this recipe weekly, and freezing slices for later.  Its originally a muffin recipe, but I am all about making it a dense cake...or cakes...I double the recipe (2 cakes are always better than one)

this recipe is from this site, I bracketed my inserts and variations!

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)

1 & 1/4 cup lightly packed shredded zucchini, skin left on (or equal amount of grated apple!)

1 & 1/4 cup almond milk

2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

3 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract ( or mint extract with great with zucchini and chocolate, or I replace the vanilla with cinnamon if adding apple instead)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I use cocoa nibs instead)

2/3 cup walnuts, chopped ( I leave them out, and add more chocolate!)

(set aside, two large bowls: one wet, one dry  &  two smaller bowls, one for vegan egg mix, and one for vegan buttamilk)

1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray muffin with oil or grease with Earth Balance.

2. Mix flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. Grate zucchini using a grater box (regular grate size). Set aside.

3. Mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar (or sub fresh lemon juice) in a small bowl and set aside. It will curdle, but this is the point as we’re making vegan buttermilk.

4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar).

5. Mix together the wet ingredients (flax egg, almond milk mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla) and then pour over dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and shredded zucchini.

6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin filling each tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes at 350F, or until muffins slowly spring back when touched. (I bake the cakes for about 30, test with a knife)  A toothpick should come out mostly clean. Cool in tin for 5 minutes. With a knife, loosen around the muffin edge and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.