This strawberry vanilla chiffon cake is THE chiffon cake to make! The most delicate and moist fluffy eggless sponge cake full of sweet vanilla notes, and layered with an irresistible homemade vegan Swiss meringue buttercream, this chiffon layer cake is perfect for any occasion and all eaters!

Strawberry Vanilla Chiffon Cake (Eggless & Dairy Free!)

What is the difference between chiffon cake, sponge cake, and angel food cake?

If this is your first time making a chiffon cake, you might be wondering what the difference is between a chiffon cake, sponge cake and angel food cake. It’s actually quite interesting!

So a sponge cake is essentially the family of cakes that a chiffon cake and an angel food cake full under. They’re leavened with both artificial leavening agents (think your baking soda and baking powder) as well as egg whites (or in the case of our recipe, since it’s eggless, aquafaba- but more on that later). There are several different varieties of sponge cake, but the two we’ll focus on here are chiffon and angel food.

An angel food cake is actually oil-free and relies mostly on the artificial leavening agents, as well as the meringue, to create the rise. It’s super fluffy and light, but you also get a bit of a tang, thanks to the baking powder.

A chiffon cake is nearly the opposite of an angel food cake in how it achieves its rise. A chiffon cake actually does contain oil, making it super moist, and it also relies more so on the whipped meringue than the leavening agents to achieve its rise.

sliced vegan sponge cake

For our vanilla chiffon cake, we’re straying even more away from the traditional version, and making a chiffon layer cake instead, using a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream frosting! Trust me, this is about to be your go to cake recipe for all parties and celebrations!

Can you make vegan sponge cake?

Guess what? You absolutely can! Traditional sponge cakes call for egg whites, but for this vegan version, we’re using aquafaba! Don’t worry, it’s just like using egg whites, only entire vegan and eggless!

You’ll be shocked at how delicate, tender, and fluffy this vegan sponge cake is. You won’t even believe it’s vegan or eggless! And with this incredibly light and fluffy vegan Swiss meringue frosting, this vanilla strawberry chiffon cake would be perfect for any celebration: graduations, weddings, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or any holiday gathering!

slice of vegan chiffon cake

With a super delicate vanilla flavor throughout the chiffon cake, paired with the light texture of the crumb and the glossy fluffiness of the frosting, everyone will just love this cake, vegan or not!

What is aquafaba? I’m new to vegan baking!

If you’ve stumbled upon this strawberry vanilla chiffon cake recipe, and you’re not a vegan baker (nor have tried making a vegan baking recipe!), don’t worry. It’s honestly no more complicated than regular baking (and it actually might even be a bit easier!).

Because this is technically a vegan sponge cake, one of the main differences between a traditional chiffon cake recipe and a vegan one is the use of aquafaba.

Aquafaba is also called chickpea brine, and it’s the water that’s in your can of chickpeas! Most people just discard the water from the chickpeas, but it’s actually a wonderful 1:1 substitute for egg whites in traditional baking (more on that in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!). In fact, you can actually make your own aquafaba at home if using the chickpea brine from a can doesn’t sound good to you! I love this recipe by Lazy Cat Kitchen. She has wonderful tips for how to reduce the chickpea brine as well for use in several different recipes.

How to make a strawberry chiffon cake without eggs

Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics, let’s get to making this strawberry vanilla chiffon cake! As per all of my recipes, the full written instructions and ingredient measurements are found down below in the recipe card. However, we’re going to go over the basics here, along with visuals, to help give a better understanding.

I’m also providing a bunch of tips, FAQ’s, and troubleshooting tips in the following sections before the recipe card. If this is your first time making a chiffon cake, especially a vegan sponge cake, please read through the full post!

We’ve gone over what aquafaba is, but let’s discuss the other ingredients as well!

For this vanilla chiffon cake, you’ll need:

  • Aquafaba
  • Cream of tartar
  • Sugar
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Applesauce
  • Olive oil
  • Dairy free milk
  • Vanilla extract
vegan chiffon cake

We’ll go over the ingredients for the vegan Swiss meringue frosting in the next section. Trust me, that frosting alone truly makes this cake! I swear, it’s why this vegan sponge cake doesn’t taste vegan at all.

Now, to make this chiffon cake. We’re actually going to be baking this chiffon cake as a layer cake instead of a tubed cake. You’ll start by preparing your cake pans and preheating the oven. I always measure out all of my ingredients before beginning.

The first step is to whip the aquafaba into nearly stiff peaks. We don’t want stiff peaks, like when making vegan macarons, but they’re still a bit firmer than medium-stiff peaks, like when using egg whites. You’ll add the cream of tartar and a portion of the sugar to the meringue and whip until the almost stiff peaks are achieved. This process honestly takes me about 10-12 minutes in a stand mixer. Vegan meringue will always take a bit more time than using egg whites.

vegan meringue

Once you’ve made the meringue, set it aside and prepare to make the remaining cake batter. You’ll sift together the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and sea salt, then set aside. In a medium bowl, you’ll then combine the applesauce, oil, dairy free milk, and vanilla extract. Fold in the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until you achieve a thick cake batter.

Then we’ll combine the cake batter and meringue. Gently fold the batter into the meringue bowl until there are no more streaks of meringue. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so as to ensure that all of the meringue is combined. It will seem like a LOT of batter, but don’t worry! Pour the batter into your cake pans, and bake the cakes in the oven.

A note: the cakes will rise quite a bit, but don’t worry. They’ll settle back down. The most important part is that they don’t cave in and sink, which we’ll go over in the troubleshooting section.

Once your cakes are baked, we’ll let them fully cool before making the second best part of this chiffon cake recipe: the vegan Swiss meringue frosting!

The ultimate vegan Swiss meringue frosting

Okay, I’ve hyped this vegan Swiss meringue buttercream up quite a bit, but it’s really worth it. Trust me!

So, like many veganized recipes, we’ve had to make a few adjustments to a more traditional meringue buttercream. I thought that Swiss meringue frosting would be the easiest to veganize, so that’s the route I took! However, please note that if you’re used to making a traditional Swiss meringue buttercream, the process has been very simplified here. That being said, the taste is nearly identical (I had some non-vegan taste testers try the vegan version!), so I think you’ll be quite happy.

For the ingredients to this vegan Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, you’ll need:

  • Aquafaba
  • Vegan butter
  • Powdered/caster sugar
vegan swiss meringue buttercream

That’s it! Just 3 simple ingredients, and you’re ready to make the frosting. You’ll add the vegan butter to a stand mixer or large bowl with hand mixer, and cream the butter until fluffy. Add in the aquafaba and cream again. You’ll notice that the butter turns slightly whiter and gets REALLY fluffy. Then add in the powdered sugar, and continue creaming the frosting until it’s super voluminous and glossy.

Then you’ll frost your layer cake! I have several tips for frosting a chiffon layer cake in the recipe card instructions that will give you a better idea of how to frost this cake! You can use strawberries in between the layers for a super strawberry chiffon cake, or you can simply place the strawberries on top, as I did!

Recipe FAQ’s + Tips

  • Always make sure to measure and weigh out all of your ingredients before beginning. Because this is a slightly more complex vegan cake recipe than usual, it’s really important to make sure you have everything ready to go before beginning the cake baking process. This will ensure that you don’t miss anything!
  • On that note, weighing your ingredients will give you the more accurate measurements. I’ve been doing this for a while that I’ve learned when I say 1 cup of flour, it means different things to everyone. Some people scoop the flour, others spoon and level. You should always spoon and level, because scooping will yield way more flour than necessary. However, weighing your ingredients on a digital scale, especially the aquafaba, will give you the most accurate results. I got my digital scale on Amazon for just $10, and it works great!
  • Read through the instructions on how to make this chiffon cake before beginning. This is really just good baking practice, but for this vegan sponge cake in particular, it’s super helpful to know what steps are coming up next. The recipe card is found down below this post!
  • Prepare your cake pans properly. Most chiffon cakes ask that you don’t grease the pan. However, when making this recipe a few times, I found it’s actually better to grease the pan. The reason being is that aquafaba is stickier than egg whites, so in an ungreased pan, you’re going to have a hard time getting the cake out fo the pan (I know I did….and I accidentally destroyed a few cake layers in the process one time!). For this cake, I recommend lining the bottom with parchment paper and greasing the walls lightly with oil. You don’t want them to be over-greased but just a little bit so that the cake can still climb the walls of the cake pan but won’t create a sticky mess.
  • If you’re making your own aquafaba, make sure it’s fully cooled before beginning. This is especially true for the vegan Swiss meringue frosting!
  • When making your own aquafaba: you will need to properly reduce this chickpea brine so that it is very thick, like aquafaba from a can.
  • You can layer the middle layers of the cake with strawberries as well! I like to just decorate the top of this strawberry chiffon cake with strawberries, as I find it difficult to crumb coat cakes with fruit in the middle. However, if you’d prefer strawberries throughout, you can absolutely do so.
  • If you just want to make a vanilla chiffon cake: you can just omit the strawberries all together! To really amp up the vanilla flavor, add in 1 tsp vanilla bean paste to the vegan Swiss meringue frosting!
strawberry vanilla chiffon cake

Can I make this vegan sponge cake gluten free?

Unfortunately, I have not tested this recipe with a gluten free 1:1 baking flour, as I was really focusing on getting the texture just right for a vegan chiffon cake. However, you can still try this recipe with gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill. I just cannot guarantee the results of this chiffon cake as gluten free.

Do I need a stand mixer to make the aquafaba get stiff peaks?

No you don’t necessarily need a stand mixer, but I will say it helps! Before I got a stand mixer, I spent so much time with a hand mixer whipping aquafaba. It definitely will take you more time, but you can achieve the same results.

If I’m not vegan, can I just make this a regular vanilla chiffon cake?

So unfortunately, as I’m a vegan baker, I don’t work with egg whites. I’ve provided the ratio of aquafaba to egg whites in the recipe card. However, I haven’t personally tried this, so I can’t speak to the result. If you’re up for the challenge, I honestly say make this vegan sponge cake as is, and you’ll be absolutely floored by the results. You won’t even know this strawberry chiffon cake is vegan. However, if you’re really hesitant about using aquafaba, then I would suggest trying another chiffon cake recipe (don’t worry, my feelings won’t be hurt haha!).

Can I use a fluted pan if I don’t want to make a chiffon layer cake?

You absolutely can, but I think you’ll achieve better results using layer cake pans. I’ve tried this before with a fluted pan and personally, I think it just works better as a layer cake! This recipe is super delicate, more so than a more traditional chiffon cake, so it’s slightly trickier to make a fluted chiffon cake version from this recipe. Don’t worry though: we are working on a vegan angel food cake!

chiffon cake

Chiffon cake troubleshooting

Nothing is more frustrating than a failed recipe, trust me, I know! I will say that chiffon cakes are a bit of a learning curve at first, especially if you haven’t ever made one before. So, I wanted to go over a few issues that have arisen in my own process while creating this vanilla chiffon cake recipe, and hopefully they’ll give you a better understanding should something go wrong (but hopefully they’ll just help you prevent anything from going wrong!).

Sinking cakes

A sunken chiffon cake can happen for a few reasons. Either the meringue wasn’t whipped enough, it was whipped too much (but that’s quite hard to do with aquafaba!), or the oven temperature was too high or too lower.

For the meringue not achieve nearly stiff peaks, you simply need to whip the mixture more. If this is your first time making meringue, or vegan meringue, I suggest checking out this article that includes a video on the stages of meringue! The other issue that might arise is that the oven was too high or too low. Your oven temperature should be 325F. I’ve learned that my oven is sometimes slightly off, so I use an oven thermometer to make sure my oven is the proper temperature.

Gluey cake texture

Like a sinking cake, this can happen for a few reasons. Your aquafaba wasn’t chilled or you used too much flour! This sounds counterintuitive, as many American chiffon cake recipes (it did originate apparently in America!) call for room temperature egg whites, but chilled aquafaba will yield much sturdier air bubbles, which will prevent your chiffon cake from sinking and creating a gluey texture. This is super important if you’re making your own aquafaba. Make sure that the aquafaba is chilled before making your meringue!

Another issue that arises, especially if you don’t weigh your ingredients, is using too much flour. Too much flour will always result in a glue-like texture. Be sure to weigh your ingredients precisely. If you’re not using a digital kitchen scale, then please be sure to spoon and level your flour!

slice of chiffon cake

You are just going to wow everyone when you make this vegan version of a strawberry vanilla chiffon cake! I’m willing to even bet that no one will know this chiffon cake is vegan! If you make this secretly vegan sponge cake, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below, as this helps others find the recipe!

As always, I absolutely love to see your creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there!

Happy Chiffon Cake Baking!

More classic vegan cakes you’ll love:

Best Vegan Vanilla Cake

Amazing Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Red Velvet Cake

Easy Vegan Lemon Cake

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake

Vegan Zebra Cake (Marble Cake)

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Strawberry Vanilla Chiffon Cake (Eggless & Dairy Free!)
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sliced vegan sponge cake

Easy Strawberry Vanilla Chiffon Cake Recipe (Eggless)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This strawberry vanilla chiffon cake is THE chiffon cake to make! The most delicate and moist fluffy eggless sponge cake full of sweet vanilla notes, and layered with an irresistible homemade vegan Swiss meringue buttercream, this chiffon layer cake is perfect for any occasion and all eaters!


Ingredients

Scale

Chiffon Cake:

  • 150 grams unsalted aquafaba, chilled
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 1/3 cup (267 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 1/4 cups (281 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (190 grams) dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (128 grams) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (95 grams) olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (107 grams) unsalted aquafaba, chilled
  • 2 cups (224 grams) vegan confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

 


Instructions

  1. Measure and weigh out all ingredients before beginning. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease and line three 6″ cake pans with oil and parchment paper, including the walls of the pans. Set aside.
  2. Make the stiff peaked aquafaba: In a stand mixer with whisk attachment or in a large bowl and hand mixer, beat the aquafaba and cream of tartar on medium speed until it starts to foam, about 3 minutes. Add in 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar, and continue beating on medium-high speed to high speed until you achieve nearly stiff peaks. This process takes me about 10-12 minutes with a stand mixer. You don’t want the peaks to droop at all. Usually when I’ve beaten the mixture enough, I actually still need 2-3 more minutes, bringing me to 10-12 minutes. Once you’ve achieved nearly stiff peaks, set the bowl aside.
  3. Make the cake batter: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, use a whisk to combine the dairy free milk, unsweetened applesauce, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour mixture, and continue to whisk just until the dry has incorporated into the wet ingredients. Pour the cake batter into the large bowl containing the aquafaba mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the batter into the aquafaba, mixing until there are just no more white steaks of aquafaba. Be careful not to deflate the stiff peaks too much by over mixing. 
  4. Bake the cakes: divide the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans, Place the cake pans into the oven and bake the cakes for 30-32 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. The cakes will look lightly golden on top. When you remove them from the oven, allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. The cakes will slightly sink, but that’s okay. As long as they’re not caving into the middle, you’re fine! Once the cakes have cooled in the pans for a few minutes, you can carefully transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before making the vegan Swiss meringue frosting. Please keep in mind that the cakes will be delicate- more so than a vegan vanilla cake. Please handle with care!
  5. Make the vegan Swiss meringue buttercream: once your cakes have fully cooled, you can begin to make your frosting. If you’d prefer to make a vegan vanilla buttercream in lieu of a Swiss meringue buttercream, you may do so! To start: in a stand mixer or large bowl and hand mixer, cream the vegan butter for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add in aquafaba, and continue creaming until the mixture begins to whiten and turn even fluffier. Then add in the powdered sugar, and continue creaming the mixture until smooth and slightly glossy.
  6. Assemble the chiffon cake: use the frosting immediately for the cake. Use about 2/3 of the frosting to layer the cake, and crumb coat the edges. Then use the remaining frosting to create the final coating. It’s easiest to chill the cake for 20-30 minutes in between the crumb coat and the final frosting layer. You can also place the frosting into the fridge to keep cold while the cake is chilling. Top with sliced strawberries and serve!
  7.  Storage: store any leftovers sliced and in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Notes

Aquafaba: this is a vegan version of a classic chiffon cake, so aquafaba, or chickpea brine, is a replacement for egg whites. Typically 2 tbsp of aquafaba equals 1 egg white, but if you’re looking for a chiffon cake using egg whites, I would suggest a different recipe (I’m so sorry for the inconvenience!)! For this recipe, I used chickpea brine from a can, but you can make your own aquafaba; this will just take more time. 

To make your own aquafaba: I recommend this recipe by Lazy Cat Kitchen

I have not tried this recipe with gluten free 1:1 baking flour yet. However, I will update the recipe if/when I do. If you feel like trying it, you can leave a comment down below as to how it went!

If you don’t want to use a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream: you can also make a vegan vanilla buttercream

Keywords: easy chiffon cake, strawberry chiffon cake, vegan sponge cake, vegan angel food cake, chiffon cake