The Best Vegan Vanilla Cake (Keeps Moist for 5 Days!)
The ultimate vegan vanilla cake that’s incredibly tender, moist, and decadently sweet- yet, you’d never know it’s vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and healthier! Absolutely everyone loves this vanilla cake recipe, vegan or not. Just 9 ingredients for the perfect vegan cake for any birthday, graduation, wedding, or holiday!
Get ready for the best vegan vanilla cake recipe that you won’t even know is vegan. This vegan vanilla cake is the ultimate vanilla cake. Period. Full stop. You don’t need another recipe. It’s great as a birthday cake, graduation cake, wedding cake, or just any anytime treat! And it’s the best vegan cake recipe I’ve ever made in general.
It’s so incredibly fluffy and moist, you’ll be hard-pressed to determine that this cake is indeed vegan, eggless, and dairy free (and gluten free too if you need that!). Plus, this cake is incredibly soft, fluffy, “buttery,” and packed with vanilla flavor that leaves you with a far from boring healthier vegan dessert.
This is honestly the best vanilla cake I’ve ever had, vegan or not, and I just know you’ll feel the same way. That’s why this cake recipe is absolutely going into my next cookbook.
You can use classic vegan vanilla buttercream or my easy vegan chocolate buttercream (which is next level delicious on this vegan chocolate cake). The even better part is that this vegan cake is just as easy as making a cake mix from the box. But when you can have the best vanilla cake ever , why even buy the mix?!
Vegan vanilla cake ingredients
You’ll be shocked at how simple the ingredients to this vanilla cake are. And guess what? It’s just 9 ingredients!
For the cake:
- All Purpose Flour or gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour: either works here! For gluten-free flour, make sure that it is 1-to-1 and not all-purpose. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur. Before adding the flour to the bowl, just make sure to sift it!
- Sugar: you can use coconut sugar or granulated sugar. Just keep in mind that your cakes will be slightly tanner in color when using coconut sugar. Still just as delicious!
- Vegan Butter or Coconut Oil: I use salted vegan butter- if you’re using unsalted vegan butter or coconut oil, make sure to add in a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
- Unsweetened Applesauce: this basically acts as the “egg” that you’d typically find in other vanilla cakes. I also sometimes use dairy free yogurt (Forager Project is my favorite for this!). You can also swap in ground flax seed if desired, but the best results will be with dairy free yogurt or applesauce. Check out my whole guide for more on what vegan egg replacements to use in cakes!
- Vegan Buttermilk (made from scratch): just simply combine your favorite coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk, or nut milk (or dairy free milk!) with a little apple cider vinegar.
- Vanilla Extract: you’re going to need a lot of vanilla in here, but trust me, it’ll be worth it. This is the best vanilla cake recipe from scratch because of the vanilla. Literally makes it taste like you’re eating a Georgetown Cupcake vanilla cupcake (which is where I used to work in college!)! It’s amazing!
- Leavening agents: this is just your average baking soda and baking powder! Please make sure that the baking powder hasn’t gone bad or was stored improperly. This is crucial for making sure our cakes rise properly. To make sure your baking powder is still good, check out how to test it!
For the vegan buttercream:
I go over how to make the ultimate vegan buttercream in the sections below. Trust me, I have people that have never tried dairy free frosting in their lives, and they’re saying it’s the best frosting they’ve ever eaten.
The trick to incredibly moist vegan cakes: vegan buttermilk
I feel like this is such an underrated trick, and I talk about it a bit in my Vegan Baking 101 guide. I also now have an entire guide on how to make vegan buttermilk that will help you choose which dairy free milk to use!
If you’ve ever had a normal vanilla cake, then you’ll know that incredibly sweet yet ever so subtle tang that comes along with a fluffy and moist cake. That’s from the buttermilk. It also helps to give rise to the cake without drying it out.
So since buttermilk isn’t vegan, we’ll have to make our own- but don’t worry it’s so simple!
All you’ll need to do is combine your chosen dairy free milk with a little apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 5-7 minutes so that it can slightly curdle. Then use it in your recipe as you would regular buttermilk!
Overview: how to make a vegan vanilla cake
For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.
A part of what makes this vegan cake the best vanilla cake in the history of vanilla cakes is that it’s incredibly easy to make.
I’ve now tested this cake with two different methods so please read on, and for specifics, follow the recipe card below. This is a general overview of the directions, and the full written instructions and measurements are found down below in the recipe card.
- The first method is without a stand mixer. For years I did all of my baking without a stand mixer. I even created, tested, and retested over 110 vegan dessert recipes for my cookbook without a stand mixer so please know that anything you can do with a stand mixer, you can do without! I’m proof! You’ll simply need a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer or a whisk.
- The second method is with a stand mixer. After I got my stand mixer, I actually much prefer this method. It’s just so easy to be hands off and allow consistent results each time!
Before we begin, make sure that you’ve prepared your vegan “buttermilk.” Simply whisk or mix together the nut milk and the apple cider vinegar and set aside. It’s also a good idea to fully weigh out all of your ingredients before beginning. This makes the whole process so much smoother and helps ensures you don’t miss anything.
Then preheat the oven to 350F and grease three cake pans (you can use either 6″ or 8″ cake pans) with olive or coconut oil, along with parchment paper. Now let’s make the cake batter:
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: This is your flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Then set aside.
- Cream together the vegan butter and sugar: Your vegan butter should be lighter in color than when you started. This is a good sign that the sugar has emulsified into the butter and created air pockets that help the cake to rise. Then we’ll add in the remaining wet ingredients and making everything together.
- Once the wet ingredients are combined, add in the flour in increments: You’ll alternate between the vegan buttermilk and flour mixture, mixing gently or on low-medium speed until just combined.
- Pour the cake batter into your prepared cake pans and bake! You can use 8″ round cake pans, 6″ cake pans, or even do a 7″ if you have it 🙂 Bake until a toothpick comes out clean or by using the bounce back test.
How to make a vegan vanilla buttercream frosting
Making a vegan buttercream frosting is actually quite easy. I have a full recipe post with all of my best tips for making vegan buttercream. However, let’s go over the basics here!
You’ll need only a few ingredients: vegan butter, vanilla, a nut or coconut milk, and organic powdered sugar.
Make sure that your vegan butter is softened, basically at room temperature like you would make a normal buttercream frosting.
- Add the butter to a large bowl and cream it using a hand mixer.
- Then add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and continue to beat until it becomes a thick buttercream.
- Add in the vanilla extract here, as well as any needed coconut or almond milk to make it to the desired thickness you’d like.
Then frost your beautiful healthy vegan cake!
You can leave the sides completely naked, fully frost them, or go for the slightly exposed look that I did, and you won’t even need a frosting knife! Just simply add a little bit of frosting to the knife and essentially, you’re gently “scraping” the frosting alongside the edges of your vegan vanilla cake.
How to decorate a cake:
I’ve been getting really into different pipings and designs on cakes lately, as well as learning to get that really smooth look to frosting using a cake turntable and bench scraper.
For frosting between the layers: I recommend using about 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup if you’re doing a 6″ cake, like I did. If you’re making an 8″ vegan vanilla cake, use about 3/4 cup!
However, I also love the nice swoops that a spoon creates, along with my ever favorite decoration: flowers!
For a quick tutorial on how to decorate a cake with flowers, check out Olive & Artisan’s article. You can also pipe buttercream flowers onto your cake as well!
For cake decorating, I highly recommend purchasing a cake turntable for ease of frosting. This helps both in-between and on the outsides of the cake layers.
A bench scraper is also helpful as well for getting a really smooth exterior. I use a 9″ bench scraper from Wilton Cakes, as my cakes tend to be quite tall. Another great tool is an offset spatula. This is really helpful for the tops of the cakes, and getting that crisp clean edge. Aubree’s Cakery Bakery has a wonderful tutorial on how to get those really crisp edges on TikTok! And I show how I decorate this vegan vanilla cake on my Instagram here!
Any leftover frosting you can color or leave as is, and pipe onto the sides and top of your cake for fun decoration- sort of like how I did my homemade vegan wedding cake!
Vegan Cake Tips & Troubleshooting
I want to make sure that you’re getting the best vegan cake every single time, so let’s go over some common technical issues! First, I want to give a few baking tips that will help ensure you get stellar cake results every time. Then we’ll go over some specific troubleshooting FAQ’s for further help.
- Make sure to line your cake pans and preheat the oven before beginning: Once the buttermilk combines with the baking soda and baking powder, the chemical reaction occurs that gives the vanilla cake its lift. There’s a short window of time that you have to capitalize that by getting your cakes in the oven. That’s why it’s so important that you make sure your cakes are lined and the oven is preheated before even beginning to measure out ingredients. To line the cake pans, I lightly grease them and cut a round piece of parchment paper to be placed at the base of the pan.
- Weighing the ingredients will give you a more accurate bake than using cups: With cup measurements, some people scoop the flour rather than spoon and level. This will lead to weigh more flour than you actually need. Even spooning and leveling the flour isn’t as precise! The best bet to ensure that this vegan vanilla cake turns out just like my results each time is to use the weighted measurements given in the recipe card below!
- Make sure your baking powder and baking soda aren’t expired: Baking powder only lasts about 6 months. To check if your baking powder and soda still work, here’s a great article on how!
- Fully cool your cakes before making the vegan buttercream: I don’t even start the buttercream process until I know that my cakes are cool to the touch. And another note, if you’re baking just two layers and torting the cakes, please make sure that the cakes are fully cooled for that part as well!
- Chill the cake between the crumb coat and the final layer of buttercream: This ensures that the frosting doesn’t start to buck at the sides.
- For clean cake slices: Be sure to check out this awesome article from King Arthur Flour on how to properly slice a cake! One thing I always make sure to do is to wipe the knife clean between each slice.
- Use vegan cream cheese frosting for a fun twist! I love my vanilla buttercream, but every once in a while, cream cheese frosting is really lovely.
Why is my vegan cake dense?
This happens for a few reasons. Sometimes, if your ingredients aren’t room temperature (i.e. something is very cold and something is very hot), it will throw off the texture in the cake and cause it to be gummy rather than fluffy and moist.
The easiest fix is: patience! Make sure that you’re allowing all of your ingredients to come to room temperature.
Another reason this can happen is if you don’t sift your flour. Make sure that you do this! Otherwise, you’ll end up with a gummy mess!
Why did my cake collapse?
It’s natural for cakes to slightly sink after baking, but if it completely collapsed in the middle, this could be due to a few reasons. Sometimes, our ovens aren’t actually the temperature that they say they are, and that can yield an unevenly baked cake.
Another reason could be because the dry ingredients weren’t properly whisked together or that the batter was under-mixed in general.
Be sure to read through all of the directions before beginning!
Can I use this vanilla cake for cupcakes?
We actually have an entire vegan vanilla cupcake recipe that’s based off of this cake recipe!
Can I bake this cake recipe as a sheet cake?
We now have an entirely vegan vanilla sheet cake recipe based off of this one 🙂 It will give you all of the proper measurements and baking times! I also have a small 6″ vanilla cake recipe based off of this if you just want a small one layer cake 🙂
Can I make this vegan cake ahead of time?
Yes! I recommend making the vanilla cake part up to a day ahead and storing it wrapped in an airtight container or with plastic wrap at room temperature.
Chelsweets also has a great article on how to freeze cake layers and use them at a later date. Definitely check that article out!.
Then when you’re ready to make finish the cake, prepare the frosting and serve.
Any leftovers you have can be sliced and then stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Additionally, you can freeze the cake, and let it thaw in the fridge for 4 hours when you’re ready to enjoy again!
You can also leave this cake at room temperature for up to a day if covered and stored in an airtight container.
I just know you’re going to love this homemade vanilla cake recipe as much as I do. I mean, it really is the best vanilla cake recipe in the world!
Say goodbye to cake mixes, because you’ll never go back to store-bought with a recipe this good and this easy 😉
I hope you absolutely love this vegan vanilla cake! It’s truly one of my family’s favorites and is always requested for a birthday or celebration (but you can just make a cake for the heck of it!).
Let me know how your vegan vanilla cake went by leaving a comment down below, as well as a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others may find this recipe!
I look forward to seeing how you decorate them on Instagram and Pinterest!
Happy Baking, my loves!
Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!
Watch how to make a vegan vanilla cake:
If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!Print
Best Ever Vegan Vanilla Cake The Best Vegan Vanilla Cake (Keeps Moist for 5 Days!)
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 35
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 18 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
The ultimate vegan vanilla cake that’s incredibly fluffy, moist, and decadently sweet- yet, you’d never know it’s vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and healthier! Just 9 ingredients for the perfect vegan cake for any birthday, graduation, wedding, or holiday!
Vegan Vanilla Cake:
- 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) vegan buttermilk
- 3 2/3 cup (450 g) all-purpose flour (or gluten free 1:1 baking flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 cup (350 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (220 g) salted vegan butter (I recommend Miyoko’s or Flora Plant butter), room temperature
- 1 cup (240 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature*
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, 2 tablespoons!!)
- Optional (but recommended): 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
- 2 cups salted vegan butter, room temperature
- 4 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2–4 tbsp unsweetened dairy free milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease three 6″ cake pans with cooking oil, and line them with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Prepare the vegan buttermilk. Combine the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar, and set aside to sit for 5-6 minutes. You can weigh and measure the remaining ingredients during this time.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Make the batter: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl with hand mixer, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Then add in the applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix again on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides and at the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in about half of the dry mixture, along with half of the vegan buttermilk, and mix on medium speed until just combined. Add in the remaining dry mixture and vegan buttermilk, and mix on medium speed until there are just no more dry streaks. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as well as the sides.
- Divide the batter between the three cake pans evenly, and bake for 35 minutes in 6″ cake pans, or until the toothpick comes out clean. (for three 8″ cake pans, bake for 27-30)
- Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely (there is absolutely no warmth to the touch!), then you can prepare your buttercream.
- When ready to frost the cakes, add vegan butter to a large bowl or stand mixer and cream for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a thick buttercream.
- Add in vanilla and 2-4 tablespoons of coconut/almond milk and continue to beat until desired texture.
- Frost cake and enjoy!
Make sure that you add in a tablespoon of arrowroot powder or cornstarch if using gluten free flour. This will give the flour more like a cake flour texture when baked- very tender and moist!
If you use coconut sugar, your cake will be slightly tanner in color- but still delicious!!
Applesauce substitute: If you’re having a hard time finding applesauce in stores, you can also swap in your favorite dairy free unsweetened yogurt instead. You’ll use an equal amount. Please make sure that the yogurt has come to room temperature.
Be sure to read the full post for all of my tips and suggestions!
For a vegan vanilla cake made with just oat flour, check out my vegan gluten free vanilla cake recipe.
- Serving Size: 1 slices
- Calories: 394
- Sugar: 52.7 g
- Sodium: 148.1 mg
- Fat: 8.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 77.9 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 3.7 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: vegan vanilla cake, gluten free vegan vanilla cake, healthy vegan cake, healthy vanilla cake, best ever vanilla cake
Hi! Have you tried freezing these cakes at all? Wanting to make ahead, freeze, then thaw and decorate a few days later. Wondering if the texture will stay the same. Thanks!
Hi Zoe! I haven’t tried freezing them before, but I have heard you can freeze the layers before dirty icing the cake, you just need to let the layers thaw a bit before frosting! If you don’t want to freeze them, you could easily make these cakes the day before you want to decorate them without freezing, and they’ll be perfect!
Hey, is there any way I can sub the regular flour for almond flour? or coconut flour? Really appreciate all these wonderful and diverse recipes 🙂
Hi Tiffany! Aw you’re so sweet- thank you for the kind words 🙂 for the recipe, I haven’t subbed in almond and coconut flour yet, but I have tried this Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour (NOT the GF flour in the red bag, this one is in a blue bag- TOTALLY different results!), and it worked perfectly!
I just made this recipe and it absolutely slaps. I love it! It is super dense but in a good way and it’s really good and vanilla-y. I iced it with choc-banana icing and it was really delicious. Super moist and great texture. My family loved it, (my aunty on a zoom call said it looked great but she couldn’t have any because you know, isolation things). This is a perfect vegan cake and one of the only ones without granulated sugar, so good!
Aw my goodness I am just so happy to hear it!! Thank you so much for such a wonderful review, and I’m so happy to hear you loved it! ENJOY!
Thank you for the recipe! I love baking but haven’t been vegan baking for long and I was disappointed with how things were turning out without eggs. This is the first time I’ve tried applesauce in a recipe as a replacement and it came out beautifully.
Aw I am just so happy to hear it!!! Thank you so much! Enjoy! 🙂
First of all, these photos are absolutely stunning! And secondly, this cake is AWESOME! I find a lot of vanilla cakes to be wayyyyy too sweet, but this one has the perfect balance that really allows that vanilla flavor to come through 🙂
You are truly too sweet, thank you so much!! I appreciate your kind words 🙂 Enjoy!
The recipe looks amazing! I was just wondering if I could substitute the applesauce for vegan yogurt as I have no applesauce on hand? Thank you!
Hi Chloe! So sorry for the delay! Vegan yogurt will work just fine in this recipe as a substitute (1:1 ratio 🙂 ). Enjoy!
If I wanted to use regular butter for the butter cream, would you recommend salted or unsalted?
Hi Lauren! You can use unsalted 🙂
I made this cake yesterday with some chopped peaches mixed in for a summer treat and it was wonderful! I used yogurt in place of the coconut oil and it still came out tender and fluffy. The cake was delicately sweet and the vanilla flavor definitely came through – exactly what I was looking for in a vanilla cake recipe. Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to make it again.
My goodness, this is just truly lovely to hear!! Thank you so much for the sweet words and the rating!! Also love that you used fresh peaches!! What a genius idea!
Too TOO beautiful I just can’t!! Definitely baking one of your cakes this weekend. Now I have another question along with the “what do you do with all the food” one: what camera do you use? And how do you get the beautiful pour shots such as when pouring maple syrup on your pancakes? Thanks again, Britt!
Aw thank you!! That means the world to me 🙂 I use the canon mark 5d! And lotssss of practice haha!! There are great tutorials online!
Thank you so much for your replies, Britt! I’ve read the Canon mark 5d is the best indeed, but pricey as well! Who knows, when I’m done with school and ready to take my own level up a notch, I might upgrade! 😉 Thanks for being the best inspiration, I truly look up to you everyday! xx
This looks amazing!! I tried using flaxegg as a egg replacement but had black specks throughouut and excited to try this instead. I was wondering can you use this recipe to make a 2 layer 8/9″ cake instead?
Aw I’m so happy!! Yes, so a flaxseed will have some specks because it’s not a puree like applesauce! I recommend using applesauce if you can, but then again, if you don’t mind the look, the taste will still be amazing! You can absolutely make a 2 layer 8″ cake out of it! The bake time will be a bit different- I would start looking at how it’s browning (look for a light gold color) around the 30 minute mark, and use a toothpick to test!
Would it work if I decreased the sugar in the cake? Maybe 3/4 cup? And how would the cake ingredient measurements be if I wanted to make an 8 inch triple layer? I don’t have 6 inch pans. Thanks.
Hi Jody! You can safely decrease the sugar in the cake to 1 cup, but any less might alter the taste drastically. No need to adjust for 8″! You’ll be able to fill the cake pans just fine! The cakes will just take about 5 minutes longer to bake, but check them after 27 minutes to see how they’re doing!
Ok sounds great, thank you! I’ll let u know how it turns out!
Unfortunately, the result was a flop. I baked in 3 8- inch cake pans. They came out flat, like really thick pancakes. Underneath, in the bottom of each cake there are numerous holes. Not sure what I should do with these now. Don’t even know if making frosting is worth it.
Hi Jody- I’m so sorry to hear this!! Do you mind walking me through what you did (any ingredient swaps, were the ingredients room temperature, were the leavening agents stored in a cool place/not expired, etc)? I’ve tested it countless times in both 8″ and 6″ cake pans, but it sounds like there was something wrong with the baking powder if it didn’t rise. Again, I’m so sorry this happened!
Hi! This recipe looks great and I can’t wait to make it for my Mom’s birthday!
I have a couple questions, first could I replace maple syrup for some of the sugar? And secondly, I only have sweetened mylk in my house… so how much should I reduce the sugar content by?
Thanks so much! I can’t wait to eat this 🙂
Aw that’s so wonderful!!! I hope she loves!! So I wouldn’t recommend using maple syrup in lieu of sugar, as it will throw off the wet to dry ratio. However, you can reduce the sugar to account for the sweetened mylk to 1 cup sugar!
I hope you all love! And happy early birthday to your mom! 🙂
Hi, do you think I could use oat flour in place of the all purpose flour? Thanks 🙂
Hi Tessa!! I’m actually working on testing out cakes with oat flour 🙂 Stay tuned! This one I haven’t quite nailed down the texture, but I’m working on it! For now, I recommend using gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill (blue bag, not red!) or King Arthur!
Hi!! Would these work as cupcakes? If so, what baking time would you recommend?
Hi Kat!! Aw you are too sweet, thank you!! So I actually have a vanilla cupcakes recipe that’s based off of this 🙂 You can find that here: https://thebananadiaries.com/best-vegan-vanilla-cupcakes/ Enjoy!!
Ah perfect!! Thanks so much!! I see you mentioned you can sub vegan yogurt for apple sauce 1-1 for this recipe. Can I do the same for the cupcakes? 🙂
Yes you can!!! 🙂
I made this cake for my daughter who has many allergies( dairy, eggs, wheat, all nuts including coconut,
and sesame. Iused casava flour and soy milk. Everything else was the same. The cake tastes pretty good but it’s a little chewy. Not sure what I did wrong. I also didnt use arrowroot because I wasnt sure if I needed it for casava flour. My kid gets so excited at birthday parties because there is cake but she can never have any its heart breaking, so I’m trying to find a good recipe so I can make them for her.
Hi Ronald! Oh I’m so sorry to hear that about your daughter- my little cousin is the same way, which is why I started making the GF recipes for her! I would definitely add in the arrowroot next time, that will help with the cassava flour texture! I’ve also noticed that for whatever reason, cassava flour seems to be slightly different across certain brands. I use Bob’s Red Mill, or Anthony’s Goods, and those seem to yield the best texture. Can your daughter consume oats at all? If so, you can swap out 1/2 cup oat flour for the cassava and see if that helps with the chewiness (it should!). Otherwise, if she can have a GF 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill, that will also work!
Hi there!! I want to make this for my sister’s birthday but I wan to add in some vegan chocolate chips for a chocolate chip cake. Do you think that would change the texture or baking time? I can’t to try this after reading the reviews seeing how wonderful it turned out for everyone! 🙂
Aw thank you so much!! It shouldn’t change the bake time too much, if at all (sounds like a wonderful addition!). I would just check the doneness with a toothpick or with the bounce-back test nearing the end of the designated bake time! I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Is there any healthy sub for powdered sugar? I try to stay away from refined sugars altogether
Hi Heidi! You can use coconut sugar that you turn into a form of powdered sugar (by pulsing it for about 15-20 seconds in your food processor). However, that will give the frosting a caramel color. As long as you’re okay with that, then it’s a wonderful substitute!
Hi, can’t wait to make this. Just want to check as think I’ve had a problem when using US recipes ( I’m from uk). Is your temperature 350F fan? Or just a normal oven, think this conversion keeps messing up my bakes lol, thanks!
Hi Olivia! I apologize for the delay in my response!! Yes, it’s a fan oven (convection in the US, but fan in the UK!). I hope that helps!
Hi there !
Can I use soy milk instead of nut/coconuts milk for the buttermilk?
The frosting is truly unbelievable. I’m normally not a frosting person, but I couldn’t get enough of this frosting. I sliced up a ripe banana and put the slices in the batter and baked them into the cake which was delicious too. Thank you so much for an amazing and easy to follow recipe!
Aw I’m so happy to hear it!! LOVE the banana idea 🙂 Thank you so much for this review! Enjoy!
This cake came out very dense and very sweet.
Hi Melissa! So sorry to hear about the dense-ness! Did you by chance scoop the cup into the flour? And were you using room temperature wet ingredients?
Soooo delicous! I made this cake as a tester for my one year old’s birthday party on Sat – and I will definitely be using this recipe for the big day, Moist, and sooo yum.
Aw so glad to hear it!! Thank you so much for trying it, and happiest first birthday to your little one!!
Can I use regular milk and butter to sub for non dairy products? I’m allergic to eggs and wheat, but not dairy. Seems impossible to find appropriate recipes! Thanks in advance!
Yes you can! I have not personally tested this, but I know other readers have had great success with this.
Hi there! This recipe looks amazing, I’ve often had a hard time making a vegan and gluten free vanilla cake, so hoping this works well for me!
Just wondering if there is anything else I can swap the apple sauce for? Could I possible use 1:1 ratio using vegetable oil?
Many thanks 🙂
Hi Maddy! I hope you love this recipe! 🙂 So for the best result, I would not recommend swapping applesauce- applesauce will give you that really moist and tender texture without being gummy. Flaxseed sometimes just doesn’t add enough moisture. For the vegetable oil, you can absolutely use that!
I hope you love it!
Is it possible to use paleo all-purpose flour? If so would I still need to add in arrowroot since it already has it?
Hi Erica! Definitely still use arrowroot, as that helps the flour to create a really tender texture. What Paleo all-purpose flour are you using? I have only tried this with cassava flour!
This is a lovely recipe. Would love to try my first vegan cake!
We’re in lockdown here in Melbourne, Australia and I had already planned to make this cake for my birthday but was worried as i used 2/3 of the recipe and made a two layer cake as we can’t have more than one person over. Well it worked out amazingly! Best cake I have ever made. Infact I may have had a piece for breakfast this morning. Thank you for putting together a recipe that is not only super easy to follow, but tastes great as well 🙂
Aw my goodness!! This is so wonderful to hear!! Happy Birthday to you, and so glad you loved it 🙂 Thank you so much for this review, and enjoy!!
What do you think the bake time difference would be if I did a two layer 9” cake?
Hi Stephanie! I would start checking on it using the oven light at around 35 minutes. It should be between 37-42 minutes bake time!
A friend made this for me, and I can honestly say that this is THE BEST vegan cake I have EVER had the pleasure of eating. The cake was so moist, and stay that way for several days. It was not overly sweet, which made the flavors come out as you ate it. I will never be using another cake recipe after this!
Aw my goodness!! This is so wonderful to read, thank you so much!!! ENJOY! 🙂 And thanks for coming back here to review it!
Hi, I am making this cake this weekend for a friend who is vegan, gluten free, and nut free. I plan on using the Bob Mills GF 1:1 flour but was curious if I need to let the batter rest for 15-30 mins in the fridge to allow the ingredients to moist? Thanks and excited to try out this recipe!
Hi Lisa! If you’re using the Bobs Red Mill GF 1:1 (in the blue bag!), you’re good to put the batter directly into the cake pans to bake! However, if you typically allow your cakes to rest, you can let it set in the fridge for 5 minutes! You just don’t want to miss the window of the baking soda reacting with the vegan buttermilk to create that rise! 🙂 Enjoy!
Could I replace the applesauce with eggs? How many?
Hi Brittany! Nice name 🙂 (I spell it “Brittany” too ha!). So I haven’t personally tested this with eggs, but I know that several readers have and said they were successful with it. The recommended ratio is for every 1/3 cup applesauce, use 1 egg. I hope that helps!
Amazing cake! Would this also work with cake flour?
Wow thank you for responding so quickly. Yay can’t wait to make it again! I am a huge fan of yours and all your recipes! I always learn so much and enjoy your beautiful photos. 🙂
You are so sweet, wow!! Thank you so much for being here 🙂 Enjoy, and looking forward to hearing what other recipes you try! 🙂
You mentioned you could do a sheet cake instead…: what size pan and how long would I cook it?
Yes, you can! I recommend 9×13″ 🙂 It will take about 30-35 minutes, but start looking at how it’s doing after about 25- all ovens are slightly different!
Are we supposed to use arrowroot only when making it glutenfriee? 🙂
Yes, that is correct! 🙂
This is a lovely recipe. I made this for Easter. Thank you so much!
I’m so so happy you loved it!! Happy belated Easter and enjoy! 🙂
This cake is DELICIOUS!!!!! best cake I’ve ever had, even from before I was vegan. The texture is amazing. I’ve had a seriously hard time baking a vegan cake I loved the taste AND texture of. This cake checks all the boxes! And my child’s non vegan friend was shocked to discover it was vegan and wanted to Know the secret of the buttercream! You won’t revert making this cake. Follow the directions though. I weighed everything.
This is just so wonderful!! Thank you so much, Jeanine!! It looked like such an awesome cake 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to review the recipe, and enjoy!!
Hi, I’m eager to try this recipe out. Can I use cake flour instead of the regular one noted in the recipe?
Yes you can! If you’re using the gram measurements, you’re fine to use it as is- if you’re using the US cup measurements, add in 2 tbsp of cake flour per cup of AP flour! 🙂
Please can you tell me how much batter I would need for a 12″ size cake,
Hi Leo! Quick question- are you trying to make a three layer 12″ cake? And how tall would you want to make the layers? Standard size is about 1″- if that’s the case, you can double the batter!
This cake is amazing! I added about 4 teaspoons of baking powder to the apple sauce to give it a light fluffy texture !
So happy to hear it!! This is wonderful! Thank you for the review and for giving it a go 🙂 Enjoy!
I just made this cake for my great niece’s 2nd birthday.this recipe is super easy to follow and switch up. I did the applesauce this time and loved it. I think next time I will try the yogurt to see if I can get a more white looking vanilla. Since this was for a birthday I added sprinkles to it to make it a funfetti type cake and baked it in 2 8 in square pans. Because this is a denser cake, it took about 40-45 min to bake, which is normal. I added ground freeze dried strawberries to the frosting which gave it a wonderful strawberry flavor. I love this buttercream recipe. I let it go in my KitchenAid for 10 minutes to get a nice, light, fluffy texture. And I actually carved this cake into a bus. This made for a great wheels on the bus cake for my birthday girl and my non vegan family loved the cake and the frosting.
This is so wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for being so thorough in your review, what great tips you provided!! Love the strawberry buttercream idea 🙂 YUM! Enjoy, and thank you again!
Hey Britt! My Birthday is next weekend and I’ve been searing high and low for a V/GF/SF cake recipe… I came across yours and I’m really excited to make it! Your intro paragraph at the top states refined sugar free, but your ingredients call for granulated sugar. Since granulated sugar is refined, I’m confused. Am I missing something? I’m also curious which 1:1 flour replacement you used. Thanks in advance for your help!
Oops! Typo! … I’ve been *searching* high and low. Not searing lol
Oh, I’m so excited for you to try this recipe! I made the gluten free version for my birthday this past month, and it was wonderful 🙂 I’m wondering if you’re somehow seeing an older description of the cake? When I originally created it, it was all refined sugar free, now I use granulated sugar, BUT you can use either coconut sugar OR granulated sugar for the actual cake! I hope that helps! For GF flour, I use King Arthur measure-for-measure flour (the one with xanthan gum- NOT their AP gluten free flour!)- it works like a charm! I also use the weighted measurements too! Enjoy, and happy early birthday!
Hi Britt! I’ve tried this recipe about 3 times and feel like I’m doing something wrong. The flavor is great but it is kind of gummy. I’ve never made a vanilla GF vegan cake so maybe that’s just the nature of the cake? I would love any help because I’m determined to get this right!
Here’s what I’ve done.
– used oat milk (per the directions on your site)
– added 1 tbsp ACV (you don’t have a specific amount to add to the milk on this page/recipe)
– using Earth Balance (soy free blend)
– Bob’s 1-1 w/cornstarch per your suggestion.
– cane sugar
I’m following the mixing instructions as written. Would LOVE to hear any suggestions to get this right! I need the cake to be vegan, GF, nut free, soy free. Thank you!
I’m SO sorry this is happening for you! Sometimes Bob’s Red Mill can be a bit finicky- I’ve sort of been wondering if they’ve changed their recipe in their 1:1 flour because it hasn’t been baking as consistently for me either, so I’ve switched to King Arthur measure-for-measure. I recently used the King Arthur for a birthday cake for a friend, and it came out wonderfully! Another reason for a gummy texture could be over mixing- it’s okay if you have a few clumps in the batter! It will help your cake to rise better! Also, are your baking powder and baking soda fresh? Expired ones of either of those can lead to gumminess!
I really want to make this. Can I divide the batter between two 8 in cake pans instead of 3??
Hi Anna! Yes, you absolutely can! The baking time will be a bit more though!
Amazingly delicious cake, I have made it three time thus far. Amazing website and video, quick and easy to follow. Most of all, you are amazing. There is something about you, the calm and kind energy you exude from within!
Aw my goodness!! You’re so sweet!! Thank you for these words, you just made my day 🙂 Enjoy, and thank you for being here!!
Oh my gosh! this cake is SOOOOOOOOO good. I was eating it with no frosting it was so damn good. It’s perfectly fluffy and moist! Such a winner! How long after taking it out of the fridge will it go back to that amazing fluffiness?
thank you for sharing!!!
Oh I’m so happy to hear it!! Seriously, it’s my all time favorite cake recipe, I make it all the time for family and friends!! Enjoy! For the fridge, I would say, if your fridge isn’t too cold, it’ll be about 30 minutes 🙂
Hi i just baked 2 half pan size and would like to know if i frost it today will it stay fresh snd moist until Saturday
I am taking it to get together for eggless crowd.
So question is can i frost it and then refrigerate it? For soft results??
Hi Bina! Wonderful! Yes, you can frost it today once the cakes are cooled, then store it in the fridge until the frosting is set and hard. Then you might want to wrap it in plastic wrap or a cake box to keep it moist!
Thank you so much it looks great
Soft and fluffy
This recipe looks amazing! Just wondering if it would work OK in a bundt tin?
Hi Anna! Thank you so much! I have not tried it as a bundt cake, but I imagine it would, yes! You’ll just have to bake it for much longer!
In the video you use 1 cup of vegan butter for the icing but in the ingredient list you have 2 cups.
Is it 2 cups for the icing?
Yes, I would use 2 cups because I like to decorate the cake with extra frosting! I hope that helps!
Yes just want to be sure. Making this for Thanksgiving. Thanks
Oh wonderful!! That’s awesome! Can’t wait to hear how it comes 🙂 If you’re serving a big crowd too, you can make it as a sheet cake! I have a whole post on that too!https://thebananadiaries.com/easy-vanilla-sheet-cake-recipe/ Enjoy!
I made this for my friends bday! I always make a cake as my gift for friends. I mirrored you ingredients to a T and the consistency was perfect! Flavor 10 out of 10. She is the only vegan in the group so finding a vegan recipe that everyone enjoys can be hard! Not with this! Highly recommend!
Omgsh this is so wonderful!! Thank you so much for leaving this review!! So so happy everyone loved it 🙂 Enjoy!!
Hello! I’m excited to bake this cake. Before I do I was wondering, how long will it last at on the counter at room temperature? Thanks!!
Hi Megan! I would recommend leaving the cake out no longer than 2 hours or so, because vegan butter is very soft, even at room temperature, and won’t necessarily hold up well after a while. It’s best to keep it in the fridge afterwards!
Hi, is there any way I can make this cake lemon flavour. I’m a cake maker and have been asked to make a gluten free, vegan lemon cake. TIA Sheila
Hi Sheila! I actually have a gluten free vegan lemon cake already 🙂 You can check it out here! https://thebananadiaries.com/vegan-lemon-cake-with-raspberry-buttercream/ However, if you wanted to make this one into a lemon cake, you can add 2 tsp of lemon extract, and swap in lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar for the vegan buttermilk. A tablespoon or two of fresh lemon zest would work as well!
This recipe was amazing. I made it for my daughter’s 1st birthday smash cake. I did tweek it though. I cut the recipe in half to make two, 6″ layers. I used coconut oil instead of butter and I did not do the creaming method. I just gave it a mix. I also used gluten free flour and did not add the arrowroot. I was not sure it would work, but it was the best gluten free cake I’ve made and I’m a professional baker and gluten free for 13 years. So thank you for this absolutely delicious recipe. I owe you one!
Omgsh!! This is wonderful!! First of all, happy first birthday to your baby!! How sweet! Thank you so much for trusting me with your ingredients and time 🙂 So glad to hear you all loved it! Thank you for coming back to review! Enjoy!
Love this recipe and cant wait to try it for my lil ones birthday next month! Wanna do a trial run and was wondering if I could scale down the measurement and layers? If I just wanted to make it in a 8 inch dish what adjustments would need to be made? Can’t wait to try it! 🙂
Oh how wonderful!! Absolutely, you an do that! To just fill an 8″ cake pan (just as one layer) the measurements would be:
1/3 cup (100 mL) vegan buttermilk
1 1/4 cup (150 g) all-purpose flour (or gluten free 1:1 baking flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch)
2/3 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup (115 g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75 g) salted vegan butter (I recommend Miyoko’s or Flora Plant butter), room temperature
1/3 cup (80 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature*
2/3 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, 2 tablespoons!!)
Optional (but recommended): 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
2/3 cup (150 g) salted vegan butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup (213 g) organic powdered sugar
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
2–4 tbsp unsweetened dairy free milk
Made this cake vegan and gluten free. I added a raspberry palais to cut the sweetness of the icing. As well, I add lemon zeste in the icing. It turned out really good. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Aw that sounds just wonderful!! Love the sound of the raspberry Palais 🙂 Enjoy, and thanks for the review!
So soft! So fluffy! So easy!! Make it!!!
So happy to hear this!! Thank you for your kind words 🙂 Enjoy!
Hi! I am making this cake for my neighbor who is a diabetic. I am thinking of replacing the granulated sugar with Stevia in the Raw, do you think that would work? Thanks!!
Hi Nora! So I’ve had mixed experiences using zero sugar sweeteners in my recipes. The best one I’ve tried is granulated allulose, but even then I thought it was a bit too different. I’ve never baked with stevia in the raw, so maybe if you’ve found it to work in the past and it’s granulated, it might work, but I can’t guarantee anything! I’m so sorry!
Brittany I have been a professional pastry chef for over 30 years and doing vegan for 27 I must say this cake structurally is perfect I don’t really find too many recipes online but when I saw your video I thought I would give it a try I am very happy with the results I used applesauce and all the traditional ingredients there isn’t too many great vegan vanilla cakes out of there this one hit it out of the park
Oh my goodness!! You made my WEEK!! Thank you so much for this, you have no idea how much this means to me! This recipe is my pride and joy, literally, I’ve been through so many rounds of it to just be a great vanilla cake (vegan or not) and I’m just so grateful to hear you agree!! Thanks so much for these words, and enjoy!!
Can the frosting be made a day in advance?
Absolutely! Just allow it to sit at room temp for a little then just do a minute of fluffing with the hand mixer 🙂
OMG!!!! How much is a cup of butter, how on earth do you measure that!
Hi Tania! It will say so on the packaging, but 1 cup of butter is 226 g. I hope that helps!
I’m not a baker, whatsoever, but I decided I wanted to make my son’s cake for his 2nd birthday. He is allergic to dairy and eggs so I searched and found this recipe. I was so excited to try it. I did a trial run this evening but didn’t make it past the cake as I found it had a very unpleasant taste. I know that it’s 100% because of the vegan butter I used. The cake basically tasted like the butter (with a hint of delicious cake). I’m going to try it again with a different vegan butter. The one I used was salted with a coconut oil base. My son is also allergic to cashews so that limits some options.
My question is: do you think I’d get a better/more natural taste if I used an unsalted vegan butter that doesn’t have a coconut oil base? I honestly don’t know if it’s the coconut oil base or that fact that it’s salted. But that specific butter is definitely the problem. I appreciate your input. I’m eager to try this again!
Hi Chiara! First, I love your name 🙂 One of my best friends from childhood’s name is Chiara! I’m so sorry to hear about the flavor! It’s definitely the vegan butter- a high quality vegan butter is super important here because vegan butters do have a strong taste! Did you happen to use Earth balance? I recommend Miyoko’s unsalted if you can find it- otherwise, Violife is also good! I’ve stopped using Earth Balance, even though it’s nut free and coconut free for allergies- I just really don’t like the taste of it! Miyoko’s though, uses cultures to create the flavor, and I find it’s an overall better flavor profile when used in baking! I hope that helps!
I am making this recipe. My ingredients were all room temperature and measured because it was the first time making it – so I was meticulous about doing everything as listed. The batter is very thick. Is it supposed to be so? There isn’t any mention of this. Can you comment, please? Thank you.
Hi Gwen! The batter is thick, but not so thick that it’s not pourable! If yours is, the baking powder might just be activating quite quickly which can sometimes happen and produce a thick batter. But it still should bake alright! My only other note would be if you used cups vs a scale- then there might have been too much flour, but I’m guessing this might have been baking powder thickening up the batter!
I do NOT recommend using all coconut sugar with this recipe!! It didn’t taste like a vanilla cake- more like a caramel cake. It was far too sweet & dense for my liking and I think the ground vanilla added an odd flavor as well. I will try it next time using a lower amount of cane sugar and omit the vanilla powder.