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Grease and flour two 9” cake pans and line with parchment paper. It’s essential so that the cake doesn’t stick. If making an 8" cake, check the notes.
Heat oven to 350°F/180°C.
In a small bowl, add the apple cider vinegar and the soy milk together and stir to combine. It will curdle. Set aside.
Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Add milk mixture, oil and vanilla and the coffee water. Beat with an electric whisk on medium speed for about 2 minutes until everything is just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir one more time to ensure everything is incorporated.
Pour the batter equally into the cake pans and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour in the pan on a wire rack before removing from the pan and to the wire rack to cool completely.
Add the cocoa powder, vegan butter, 2 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, sea salt and half the vegan milk to the bowl of an electric stand mixer or a hand mixer. Start mixing it together at slow speed, gradually increasing speed until it’s very thick and smooth. Add the 1/2 cup of the extra powdered sugar at a time until it reaches your desired thickness and consistency. If needed, add in the other half of the milk about 1 tablespoon at a time.
Frost cakes and decorate. The frosting will set at room temperature. Enjoy!
Place 1 of the fully cooled cakes on a platter (or any plate wide enough) and dollop half of the frosting on top. Cover the top and the sides, distributing it equally. P
Place the remaining cake upside down on top of the frosted cake and spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides, blending the upper and lower portions of the sides as you go.
If you're using 3 layers, do the same, but split into thirds instead.
Decorate with some shaved chocolate or extra cocoa powder! The frosting sets at room temperature perfectly. Slice and enjoy!