This is the only vegan funfetti cake recipe that you’ll need! This tender and sweet vanilla cake is full of colorful rainbow sprinkles and topped with a rich vegan buttercream frosting for the best vegan birthday cake!
When it comes to vegan birthday cakes, you just need all the sprinkles.
And with this ultra tender and moist vegan funfetti cake, you’ll be sure to please a crowd. All you need is one bowl, 9 ingredients, and some patience while this cake bakes (trust me, the aroma that will be coming from your kitchen will be very hard to resist!).
The Best Homemade Vegan Birthday Cake
You are just going to love this homemade vegan funfetti cake for a few reasons.
I’ve had not one, not two, not three, but four random taste testers confirm that this is the best funfetti cake they’ve ever had…period.
Yes, vegan or not! Of course, this birthday cake is vegan, but not all of my taste testers subscribe to a vegan diet, so this made me extra excited.
The homemade vegan funfetti cake is:
Moist & fall-off-the-fork tender
Rich with sweet and buttery notes of vanilla
Sprinkled with pops of all natural plant based color
Light & fluffy
Undetectably allergy friendly for those that need dairy free, egg free, easily gluten free, and nut free
Trust me when I say, this is truly the only birthday cake recipe you’ll need. Make this once, and you’ll get requests from just about every single family member, friend, and colleague.
You also only need one bowl, and you can easily make this funfetti cake by hand or by stand mixer.
How to make vegan funfetti cake
Making an amazing vegan birthday cake comes down to the process. Of course, you’ll need some key ingredients, but this vegan funfetti cake is made with all natural and simple ingredients.
For this vegan cake, you’ll need:
- Cake flour: you can also use all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour. Just make sure to see the section below on how to still reach that tender texture
- Sugar or coconut sugar: if using coconut sugar, the color will be slightly darker, but still beautiful!
- Leavening agents
- Dairy free milk with apple cider vinegar: this creates a vegan buttermilk.
- Vegan butter: the true way to get that traditional funfetti flavor!
- Unsweetened applesauce: instead of going through the process of making aquafaba “eggs,” you can simply use applesauce!
- Vanilla extract: the recipe card says 2 tablespoons and YES, you really need that much!
- Vegan sprinkles: I’ve used homemade vegan sprinkles for this (which I talk about down below! and store-bought. If you don’t want to go the homemade route for your homemade funfetti cake, you can use store bought vegan sprinkles!
A note about sprinkles: many sprinkles are not vegan; if you do follow a vegan diet specifically, please ensure that the sprinkles that you’re using are indeed plant based.
The cake batter
Now let’s talk about the process. The full recipe is found down below in the recipe card. However, here are some tips on making the cake batter:
- Whisk the dry ingredients. Be sure to use a whisk here, as this will ensure that the leavening agents are evenly distributed throughout the flour.
- Use room temperature ingredients. When adding in the wet ingredients, make sure that they are room temperature. Room temperature wet ingredients will make sure that your vegan cake doesn’t turn out gummy!
- Don’t over mix the batter! Once all the wet ingredients are combined into the wet, add in the sprinkles and gently fold together just enough to evenly distribute.
- Add in the sprinkles last. Especially if you’re making homemade vegan sprinkles. This will make sure that the sprinkles don’t start to run their color into the batter before it’s even in the oven!
- You can use a stand mixer or mix by hand. Either or works! I have directions for both down below.
- You can make a two-tier 8″ cake or a three-tier 6″ cake. I loveeeee three tiered cakes, but decided to go with two for this one 🙂
The vegan buttercream frosting
Making an American vegan buttercream frosting is actually not hard at all. It’s just like making a traditional buttercream frosting!
To do this, you’ll simply beat the vegan butter until whipped.
Then sift in the already sifted powdered sugar into the vegan butter while you beat. You can use a stand mixer for this or a hand mixer. Either works!
Once the buttercream is fluffy, smooth and creamy, frost your vegan funfetti cake!
You can reserve some extra frosting if you’d like to do some fun designs, and definitely add some sprinkles on top, as this signals to everyone that this is a rainbow cake (not just your average cake!).
How to make homemade cake flour
If you’re a cake connoisseur like me (jk, I’m not Paul Hollywood, but I do love a good cake), then you know that cake flour is essential for making a tender and moist cake.
Now, if you only have all purpose flour or even if you want to make this a vegan gluten free funfetti cake and use 1:1 gluten free baking flour, you can still reach that desired tender cake texture.
To do this, simply add in an additional teaspoon of arrowroot powder or cornstarch, and whisk it into the flour. By adding this powder, it magically transform your cake from a good birthday cake to a fantastic birthday cake.
Homemade vegan sprinkles recipe
For this vegan birthday cake, I decided to go with making my own homemade vegan sprinkles.
I found Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery’s homemade sprinkles recipe and absolutely loved it. It’s just water or aquafaba and powdered sugar.
For the colors, I used beet powder for red, turmeric powder for yellow, matcha powder for green, a plant-based blue food dye from Whole Foods for blue, beet + turmeric powder for orange, and beet + the blue food dye for purple.
To achieve the desired colors, always start with a little color and work your way up.
Now, making your own vegan sprinkles is a bit of a process, so if your making this vegan funfetti cake for a really special occasion, totally worth it.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making homemade vegan sprinkles, there are many plant based sprinkles on the market that are great! I really love the 365 Brands vegan sprinkles for their fun pastel colors.
Vegan Cake FAQ’s + Tips
Can I use gluten-free 1:1 flour or oat flour?
I have tested this cake with gluten-free 1:1 all purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour. Both work wonderfully here. I have not tested this specific recipe with oat flour.
However, I have recently tested my chocolate cupcakes using all oat flour and they came out wonderfully. I will be testing this recipe as well! My inclination is to say yes but I can’t guarantee the results!
Can I use ground flaxseed in place of applesauce?
Your cake won’t be as moist if you do this. I recommend sticking with the applesauce, as it will yield the best texture and taste. Sometimes, flaxseed leaves a bit of aftertaste in baked goods. To ensure that your vegan funfetti cake tastes like a true out-of-the-box (only better) funfetti cake, use applesauce.
How do I assemble a layer cake?
Don’t worry that this cake is multi-layers. Making a two, three, or even four layer cake is actually quite simple and easy!
You can use these recommended tools for making a layer cake:
- Cake turntable
- Offset spatula
- Bench scraper
- Parchment paper
But you really just just need a cake stand and some patience. I do love the the offset spatula and the bench scraper, as that helps to achieve a really smooth outside edge. However, you can also do swoops like I did! To do this, simply use the back of a spoon.
For the middle layers of frosting, I use about 1/2 cup of frosting per layer. That seems generous, but I do love a really frosted cake!
Then I use the remaining frosting to frost the outside of the cake.
The really important item to note about making a layer cake is that you need all layers to be fully cool so that the frosting doesn’t melt. This ensures that your cake layers won’t slip and slide onto the floor!
Now for some final funfetti cake tips:
- Always remember to sift your flour and powdered sugar. This will ensure that the cake batter won’t bake too gummy, which is especially an issue for vegan cakes. By sifting the flour, you’ll ensure that your vegan funfetti cake will be perfectly tender!
- You can use cake flour, all purpose flour, or 1:1 gluten free baking flour. If using either of the latter two, please make sure to add in 1 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch, as this will help achieve that tender cake texture.
- Double check your leavening agents to make sure that they’ve been stored properly or that they aren’t expired.
- Vegan sprinkles: we’ve gone over that you can use homemade vegan sprinkles here, but you can also use store bought as well. The ones I’ve used in the photos are from WholeFoods. However, Sweetapolita and Go Supernatural both have wonderful vegan sprinkles. India tree also sells some vegan colored sugar sprinkles.
- Have fun with the decorations! You can reserve some leftover frosting and pipe it on the top, as I’ve done, as well as gently pressing sprinkles up the top of the cake sides.
I hope you love this vegan funfetti cake as much as I do! I think anything with a rainbow of colors is sure to brighten anyone’s day 🙂
If you make this recipe, be sure to let me know how it went down below in the comments section, as well as giving it a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others can see it!
Happy funfetti baking!
More healthy vegan cake recipes you’ll love:
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The ULTIMATE Vegan Funfetti Cake
This is the only vegan funfetti cake recipe that you’ll need! An incredibly tender and sweet vanilla base sprinkled with homemade vegan rainbow sprinkles and topped with a rich vegan buttercream frosting for the best birthday cake!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 16 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Vegan Funfetti Cake:
- 3 1/4 cups cake flour, all-purpose flour or gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, sifted (do NOT skip- add in 1 tsp arrowroot powder if using all-purpose flour or gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, see Note)
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar (see Note)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature with 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 1/3 cup vegan butter, softened (stand mixer method) or melted (by hand method)
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan sprinkles or homemade vegan sprinkles
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2–4 tbsp dairy free milk
- extra sprinkles for decorating
By hand version:
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease two 8″ cake pans with olive or coconut oil and 1 tsp flour per pan. This recipe will also work with three 6″ cake pans.
- Add apple cider vinegar to unsweetened dairy free milk and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.
- Add in dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar mixture, coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla together. Mix just enough to combine, but be sure to not over-mix. The flour mixture should be completely integrated.
- Fold in the vegan sprinkles.
- Divid the batter evenly into the cake pans.
- Place cake pans into the oven and bake for 27-30 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. The tops of the cake should be just starting to turn lightly golden.
- Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a drying rack to cool completely before frosting.
Stand mixer version:
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease three 6″ or 8″ cake pans with olive or coconut oil.
- Add apple cider vinegar to unsweetened coconut/almond milk and set aside.
- Whisk together just the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Next, you’ll cream together the softened vegan butter and sugar until the sugar dissolves into the butter about 3 minutes. I used the flat beater paddle. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Then add in the unsweetened applesauce and vanilla, and continue to beat again on medium-low speed, then increasing it to medium speed until combine, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Gradually add in half of the flour mixture, followed half of the vegan buttermilk, and continue beating until the entire flour mixture and the buttermilk are in the batter. Beat until the dry ingredients are just incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Mix in the sprinkles.
- Divide the batter evenly into the cake pans.
- Place cake pans into the oven and bake for 22-24 minutes (for 6″) or 27-30 minutes (for 8″), or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a drying rack to cool completely before frosting.
Vegan Vanilla Buttercream:
- Once the cakes are completely cool, add vegan butter to a large bowl and beat together with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Beat until whipped and fluffy.
- 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 dairy free milk and continue to beat until desired texture.
- Frost cake and decorate with additional sprinkles. Enjoy!
- Store any leftovers at room temperature covered for up to 4 days. Additionally, you can store the cake in the fridge, but it will start to dry out if not covered completely.
Keywords: vegan funfetti cake, vegan birthday cake, homemade funfetti cake, vegan rainbow cake, homemade vegan sprinkles