Over 25 amazing vegan cake recipes for all occasions! From birthdays, graduations, weddings, holidays and more, these vegan cakes are secretly eggless, dairy free, and some even gluten free! From classic vanilla cake to fun cakes like chocolate peanut butter cake and Oreo cake!
Vegan cakes for all occasions: birthdays, graduations, weddings, holidays, and more!
Making cakes is one of my absolute favorite things to do. From layer cakes to sheet cakes, and everything in between. Cakes are just the best (and it’s my favorite week on the Great British Bake Off!).
So today we’re talking about vegan cakes. And trust me, don’t be intimidated if this is your first time making a cake, vegan or not! Cakes are actually super fun to make, even layer cakes; plus vegan cakes are even easier than regular!
We’ve collected a few of our absolute favorite vegan cake recipes that are on the blog, and guess what?! All of these are dairy free, soy free, easily made refined sugar free, and have options for nut free and gluten free. We even have a whole section of gluten free vegan cakes that are just dedicated to being gluten free in the last section!
These cakes are perfect for birthdays, holidays, graduations, celebrations of any kind, and even a wedding cake (you know I’m using that recipe for my own wedding!). Let’s go over some vegan cake basics, and then we’ll share our faves!
What makes a vegan cake moist?
I honestly feel like vegan cakes are much easier to keep moist than regular cakes- maybe I’m biased, but applesauce and vegan butter do such a wonderful job! It might sound peculiar to use applesauce (or any fruit) in a cake recipe, but trust me: applesauce, you will not taste! This essentially replaces eggs/egg yolks from a traditional cake recipe.
Vegan butter is the second ingredient, but of course, any fat will help keep a cake moist! For our vegan chocolate cake, though it’s oil free, we’re using a decent amount of both applesauce and dairy free yogurt to replace it.
What vegan frosting should I use for a vegan cake?
We just love making eggless and dairy free cakes around here, so of course, we have a ton of dairy free vegan frosting recommendations as well.
If you’re looking for something a bit more fun, we have a delicious dairy free cream cheese frosting that’s paired with our banana cake below, and a wonderful vegan Swiss meringue frosting that we use for our vegan Chiffon cake. And for people that want to go the extra mile, we also give a recipe for a vegan white chocolate buttercream that’s just absolutely heavenly- used on our vegan ginger cake!
For those who want something super super easy- like store bought frosting- there are wonderful brands that offer completely vegan and dairy free frosting. Simple Mills is our favorite for vanilla and chocolate canned frostings.
In terms of vegan frosting ingredients, you’ll find that every frosting recipe is based with vegan butter and powdered sugar or powdered coconut sugar. We recommend Flora Plant Butter for our go-to vegan butter. It tastes just like regular butter, making it a great substitute if you’re making these cakes for anyone who isn’t entirely dairy free.
In terms of powdered sugar, this is a bit trickier. Some brands are partially vegan (meaning that part of their inventory is vegan while another part is not), and others are entirely vegan. Domino sugar, for instance, offers powdered sugar that’s vegan-friendly in the Northeast while not in other parts of the United States.
Do vegan cakes taste good?
You might have stumbled onto this post as a first time vegan cake baker (or even a first time cake baker in general!). One thing that I really love about the following recipes is that if you’re accustomed to the taste of more traditional cakes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. After one bite of any of these cakes, you’d never know that they’re vegan, dairy free, and even refined sugar free and gluten free if you’d like that! The only way you’d know is if you’re the one baking the cake 😉
You’ll never miss the lack of eggs and dairy in these vegan cake recipes.
Essential Vegan Cake Recipes
This is a tried and true Banana Diaries reader favorite. If you’ve been a reader since the beginning, then you know how popular this vegan vanilla cake has been, amongst vegans and non vegans! The cake is super tender and light, like a classic vanilla cake, and just full of sweet vanilla flavor. It’s definitely my most made cake recipe made, and if you’re new to cake baking, then definitely try this recipe out. We also have a gluten free option!
Along with the vanilla cake, our vegan chocolate cake is also a smash with readers and definitely a favorite! What’s different about this vegan cake recipe? Aside from tasting just like a classic chocolate cake, this chocolate cake is also entirely oil free!
This is probably my personal favorite vegan cake on the blog, but only because I’m a BIG fan of all things coconut. This coconut cake is super tender and fluffy, so easy to make, and topped with a toasted cream cheese coconut frosting that just sets this vegan cake apart from the rest. Definitely a family favorite as well!
If you’ve ever wondered if you could make a sponge cake vegan, the answer is yes, yes you can. And it comes out AMAZINGLY! This classic chiffon cake eggless and dairy free using aquafaba as the egg replacement. Topped with a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream that could honestly pass for the traditional version!
Another popular cake recipe to always have on hand is the classic vegan red velvet cake. Not quite chocolate, not quite vanilla, but always delicious, tender, and moist. With a slight hint of cocoa and super velvety texture thanks to the acidity in the cake, this vegan red velvet cake will be a favorite amongst everyone!
The final cake for our classics section is the marble cake…but made in a zebra pattern! Now you can make this vegan zebra cake as a more traditional marble cake, but I think the zebra pattern is just so fun. With layers of chocolate and vanilla cake, it’s the best of both worlds!
Perfect Vegan Birthday Cake Recipes
Remember the classic yellow cake from the box with chocolate frosting? That’s what inspired this secretly eggless and dairy free birthday cake! But how do we make a vegan yellow cake? By swapping in applesauce for the yolks and using turmeric powder to slightly color the cake yellow. It’s the ultimate vegan birthday cake for any classic cake lover!
A classic that never gets old, this vegan funfetti cake tastes like the childhood favorite that comes from the box. Only we’re using much better ingredients, and the even the sprinkles are vegan! If you want a vegan birthday cake that absolutely anyone would smile over, it’s this rainbow filled funfetti cake!
Harry Potter’s birthday is officially July 30th, so if you’re an HP fan, then definitely make this cake for any witch or wizard in your family! The recipe includes step by step instructions on how to decorate the cake just like Hagrid did from the first movie.
Do you remember in Sleeping Beauty when the fairies tried to make Aurora’s 16th birthday cake? That’s what inspired this vegan masterpiece! Except unlike the movie, this Sleeping Beauty cake is entirely eggless and dairy free. Perfect for any Disney Princess lover’s birthday!
If there are any Halloween lovers having a birthday or Jack Skellington fans, then you definitely need to check out this amazing Nightmare Before Christmas-themed birthday cake. The Jack Skellington figurine is made from dairy free molding chocolate!
Any Elsa and Anna lovers? Then this vegan version of Disney’s Frozen is the perfect cake to celebrate a birthday with! The characters are made from vegan fondant and based off of the second movie in the series. Super fun to make and easily made gluten free as well!
For those who love cookies, brownies, and cake, and can’t decide which one to have for their birthday, the brownie cookie dough cake solves that issue! This vegan birthday cake is layered with a super fudgy brownie cake, cookie dough frosting in between and all coated in a rich and decadent chocolate buttercream. The perfect birthday cake for the cookie and brownie obsessed!
Special Occasion Cake Ideas
For spring holidays and get togethers, this raspberry lemon cake is so refreshing and light, anyone would just love a slice! With a zesty vegan and eggless lemon cake and raspberry frosting, this zingy cake is perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, graduations, and more!
Around the holidays, we tend to get more decadent. So why not try a vegan white chocolate cake?! If you love white chocolate, then you’re going to flip for this dairy free version. And we even have a whole cake tutorial video on how to decorate the cake for the festivities!
My grandpa’s absolute favorite cake was a Black Forest cake, and my grandma would always make it for him for his birthday. I decided to veganize her version, and let me tell you, it was such a success with my family. A super rich vegan chocolate cake layered with cherries and a homemade dairy free coconut whipped cream. It’s the perfect cake for special occasions!
If you’re like me, then you’re planning on making your own wedding cake, and entirely vegan. This whole wedding cake recipe post walks you through how to do it, from planning the servings to estimating cost, and how to assemble a vegan wedding cake in tiers!
A Yule Log Cake, or Bûche De Noël, is a classic Christmas and holiday dessert, and now we can finally make it vegan! With a completely eggless chocolate Swiss roll cake and vegan meringue mushrooms, this Yule Log Cake is the perfect Christmas treat to make for families with both vegan and non-vegan eaters! Check out the video tutorial on YouTube for more as well!
For the Christmas obsessed, we can now go all out with this super festive and fun Christmas tree cake! With vegan buttercream Christmas tree cones, this is the perfect holiday cake for parties and family dinners around the holidays.
If you’re approaching Halloween, then this Reese’s peanut butter cup-inspired vegan peanut butter cake is the perfect way to use up your vegan Halloween candy. With layers of peanut butter frosting in between fudgy and rich vegan chocolate cake, this dairy free cake is even decorated with vegan peanut butter cups!
Gluten Free Vegan Cake Recipes
This vegan strawberry cake is made entirely from oat flour, so it’s naturally gluten free and just so tender and soft. Using strawberry puree, you’ll just love how fresh and light this easy strawberry cake tastes. Finished with a creamy strawberry buttercream!
If you’re a carrot cake lover, then this amazingly easy carrot cake is for you! Entirely eggless, dairy free, and gluten free, this vegan carrot cake is full of spice and freshly grated carrots. Just one bowl, and approved by all eaters, vegan and non vegan! The creamy dairy free cream cheese totally makes this cake too!
Perfect for the winter holidays, this vegan ginger cake is like a gingerbread cookie in cake form! With a creamy vegan white chocolate buttercream frosting, this ginger cake is undetectably gluten free and eggless.
The best of both worlds: delicious crushed chocolate creme cookies in every bite of super soft and tender cake! With an amazingly dairy free cookies n’ cream buttercream frosting, absolutely no one will be able to tell that this Oreo cake is both vegan and gluten free!
If layer cakes aren’t your thing, then definitely give this one bowl easy vegan chocolate sheet cake a try. Once again, we’re using oat flour, but you can also swap in gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill’s in the blue bag. So quick and easy to make, and the vegan chocolate buttercream is just heavenly!
From my new cookbook, Baked With Love, this gluten free vegan blueberry lemon cake is THE cake to make if you have any vegan baking skeptics. It’s fully of fresh lemon zest and blueberries, and absolutely no one will be able to detect that it’s gluten free and dairy free. Perfect for birthdays, spring holidays, and more!