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Vegan Vanilla Cake

This is the best Vegan Vanilla Cake for any occasion, from birthdays to holidays. Made with all-purpose flour, dairy-free milk, and pure vanilla extract, this is the only vegan cake recipe you need!

slice of vegan vanilla cake with colorful sprinkles on a white plate with a fork taking a bite

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If you’re looking for a festive, sweet, and dairy-free treat for your next celebration, this vegan vanilla cake is for you. This is my go-to cake recipe for birthdays, or any time my sweet tooth strikes.

It’s perfectly moist and tender despite being dairy-free and egg free. Plus, this stunning layer cake includes an easy vegan buttercream frosting recipe that you can use to decorate all of your favorite baked goods.

overhead of all of the ingredients for vegan vanilla cake: flour, milk, sugar, vinegar, vanilla

Ingredients

This cake is easy to make without any special equipment, just mixing bowls and elbow grease. There’s no butter, so you don’t need to cream anything with an electric mixer! Reminder: You can find the printable, detailed recipe in the recipe card below.

  • Flour. This recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
  • Baking soda and baking powder. These will lighten and leaven your cake as it bakes for an airy, spongey texture that doesn’t dry out.
  • Non-dairy milk. You can use any unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk for this recipe. I prefer oat milk for the neutral flavor.
  • Sugar. Choose organic sugar to make sure it’s vegan-friendly. Some sugar is processed with bone char.
  • Apple cider vinegar. This gives a bit of acid to the batter, which helps the baking powder activate as the cake cooks. It also adds tang, similar to buttermilk in other cake recipes. You can use white vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar.
  • Oil. Use a neutral-flavored oil like canola for this baking recipe.
  • Vanilla extract. This adds major birthday cake flavor!

Looking for chocolate? Try this moist vegan chocolate cake recipe!

steps to make vegan vanilla cake in a mixing bowl

Trying to go vegan? Sign up for our (FREE) Vegan Beginner’s Guide!

Decorating Ideas for Vegan Vanilla Cake

I like to decorate this vegan vanilla cake with a classic buttercream frosting. It’s dairy free, and every bit as creamy and buttery as regular buttercream frosting. Plus it’s way better than anything from a can!

You can also try this vegan cream cheese frosting or vegan chocolate frosting.

To decorate for a birthday celebration, my favorite sprinkles are Fancy Sprinkles. They have an entirely vegan line! For this cake, I used the Big Vegan Birthday sprinkles. (I also use their jimmies in my Vegan Funfetti Cake!)

Check out this tutorial on YouTube for how to frost and layer a cake. The tips have helped me tremendously.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. You can also freeze the cake for up to three months. To defrost, let the cake thaw on the counter to room temperature.

steps to cool vanilla cake and make buttercream frosting and decorate vegan layer cake

Can I Make Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes?

Yes! Simply follow the recipe as written. Divide the cake batter between lined cupcake wells (filling 3/4 of the way full) and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

slice of vegan vanilla cake in front of the whole cake on a cake stand in the background

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a comment and a ⭐ star review below!

Vegan Vanilla Cake

Karissa Besaw
Easy and fluffy vegan vanilla cake. This moist cake is perfect for a birthday or any occasion! This recipe calls for simple and easily accessible ingredients.
4.91 from 41 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 12 slices
Calories 631 kcal

Ingredients
  

Vanilla Cake

Buttercream Frosting

  • cup vegan butter softened (3 sticks of Earth Balance buttery sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 6 cups powdered sugar sifted

Instructions
 

Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans: Grease the pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the top of the parchment paper. I cut the parchment paper into a circle to fit into the bottom of the pan.
  • Mix together the oat milk and vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients: oil, vanilla, and oat milk mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. I use a whisk to reduce clumps and a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Pour or scoop the batter evenly into the pans.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck into the center of the cake.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing from the pans. After 15 minutes of cooling at room temperature, you can put the cake pans in the fridge to speed up the process.

Buttercream Frosting

  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the room temperature butter for about 2 minutes at medium speed. This step helps to aerate the butter and create a fluffy frosting.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk to start.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time at low speed until frosting is smooth.
  • Add more milk if the frosting is too thick, or more powdered sugar if too thin.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled (not even a little bit warm) you can frost it. On a cake platter, place one cake layer upside down so the bottom is now the top (this makes for a super even, flat-topped cake.) Spread some frosting evenly on top for the middle layer (I use about 1 to 1½ cup of frosting here.) Then place the second layer of cake on top (again, upside down so the flattest side is now the top.) Frost the top and outsides of the cake.
  • Add berries or sprinkles as decoration and serve!

Notes

  • You can use any unsweetened non-dairy milk for this recipe. I prefer oat milk for the neutral flavor.
  • White vinegar can be used in place of apple cider vinegar.
  • 9×13 cake: Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cupcakes: Fill cupcake liners up about ¾ of the way. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 631kcalCarbohydrates: 98gProtein: 4gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 287mgPotassium: 167mgFiber: 1gSugar: 72gVitamin A: 806IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 2mg
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