3 sticks unsalted vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance), at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
Equivalent of 5 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups Dutch-processed cocoa
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup soy buttermilk (mix 1 cup soy milk with 1 Tablespoon vinegar)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
1/4 cup of decorating sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
Make the chocolate batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer (or use hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add egg replacer, equivalent of one egg at a time, beating until each "egg" is completely incorporated before adding the next, and scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together the vegan buttermilk, water, and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to butter, beginning and ending with the flour and beating just until blended. Divide the batter into pans and even the tops; set aside.
Make the cocoa-spice sugar crust: In another small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger, and cloves. Sprinkle the surfaces of both batters with the decorating sugar. Sprinkle with the cocoa-sugar mixture, dividing evenly.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool completely, run a knife around the sides to release the breads and remove from pans.