This is the ultimate vegan birthday cake recipe!! Made with a secretly eggless yellow cake and topped with a decadent dairy free chocolate buttercream, this vegan birthday cake tastes just like the classic yellow cake mix! Make it gluten free as needed!
Vegan Yellow Cake:
- 1 1/4 cups (300 grams) unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with coconut/almond milk)
- 3 2/3 cups (460 grams) organic flour or gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, sifted (do NOT skip- add in 1 tsp arrowroot powder if using gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, see Note)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1–2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/4 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) salted Flora Plant Butter (vegan butter), room temperature
- 3/4 cup (190 grams) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease three 8″ 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, baking soda, and turmeric.
- 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 cake pans evenly, and bake for 27-30 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- 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 chocolate buttercream.
- Prepare the chocolate buttercream: make the chocolate buttercream according to the directions in the post.
- Assemble the cake: on a cake stand or a cake turntable, spoon about 1/3-1/2 cup of frosting onto the first layer. Use an offset spatula to smooth the frosting to the edges. Then place the second layer on top and repeat. Place the third layer on top and frost the outside of the cake, creating a crumb coat. You can either smooth the edges even more after chilling the crumb coat layer, or you can make swoops in the frosting. Decorate with sprinkles and serve! Enjoy!
- Storage: store any leftover cake wrapped in parchment paper and tinfoil, and in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.
Gluten free: you can use gluten free 1:1 baking flour here as needed.
Making a 6″ layer cake: if you don’t have 8″ cake pans, you can use 6″ cake pans. Keep in mind that the cakes will be thicker, so they’ll need longer to bake. Alternatively, you can also use two 9″ cake pans.
Refined sugar free: you can use coconut sugar in place of granulated sugar.
Yellow coloring: if you don’t like turmeric, you can also use a vegan yellow liquid dye, such as the one by Whole Foods 365. They also use turmeric as the ingredient, I believe, but you won’t taste it at all. You shouldn’t taste the turmeric in this cake anyways, as there is such a small amount.
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