Fluffy, moist, and sweet - this vegan vanilla cake is guaranteed to satisfy any craving. Made without dairy or eggs, my secret ingredient for richness and rise is a touch of yogurt combined with a vegan 'buttermilk' mixture. Easy to whip together, this cake bakes up light yet dense with plenty of vanilla flavor.
Frosted with a creamy vegan buttercream, even non-vegans won't believe how decadent it tastes. Keep reading for the simple recipe and tips for baking up the perfect spongy, vanilla-filled layers.
With a texture similar to classic milk-based cakes, this vegan dessert will be your new go-to treat for everything from birthdays to bake sales. Trust me, no one will know the difference!
💚Reasons You'll Love This Vegan Cake
💚This is a wonderfully fluffy, but tender vegan cake with a light crumb. It's 100% dairy-free and can be made gluten-free by swapping your favorite gluten-free flour for the cake flour.
💚This cake makes a gorgeous birthday cake or even a bridal or baby shower cake.
💚You only need simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand to make this cake. No crazy ingredients here!
💚You can use this recipe to make vegan vanilla cupcakes too!
🛒Ingredients & Tips
- Cake Flour: I recommend cake flour for the best results. However, if you don't have cake flour on hand, all-purpose flour will do. If you happen to have cornstarch on hand you can make your own cake flour by measuring out the desired amount of all-purpose flour. For every cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace them with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift the mixture several times to ensure the cornstarch is evenly distributed throughout the flour.
- Soy Milk: I recommend using soy milk. It has the highest protein content of all the plant-based milks, and is the ideal candidate for vegan baking. Having said that, I've made many vegan cakes using almond milk and oat milk, and they still came out fine!
- Distilled White Vinegar: I recommend plain old white vinegar for this recipe. Other vinegars will work, but they will add a yellow tinge to the cake.
- Granulated Sugar: Plain granulated sugar is what works best in this recipe.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is the ideal leavening agent for vegan vanilla cake because it reacts with the acidic ingredients in the batter (the vinegar and yogurt), to help the cake rise and become light and fluffy during baking.
- Salt: A small amount of salt helps enhance all the flavors and it also contributes to the cakes light and fluffy crumb.
- Vegan Yogurt: The best vegan yogurt to use for this cake would be a plain or vanilla-flavored vegan yogurt. Almond-based, coconut-based and soy-based yogurts will all work.
- Vegetable Oil: The best vegetable oils for vegan baking, such as this cake recipe, are those with neutral flavors and high smoke points, like canola, sunflower, grapeseed, or safflower oil.
- Vanilla: A good quality vanilla extract will really improve the flavor of this cake.
👨🍳How To Make Perfect Vegan Vanilla Cake
- Step 1 - Preheat Oven & Prepare Pans: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the cake pans with a round of parchment paper.
- Step 2 - Make The Vegan Buttermilk: In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and white vinegar. Stir well and set aside for about 5-10 minutes to allow it to curdle. This creates your vegan buttermilk, which will act as an egg substitute.
- Step 3 - Combine The Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Step 4 - Combine The Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, mix together your vegan buttermilk, vegan yogurt, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
- Step 5 - Combine Wet & Dry Ingredients: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Step 6 - Pour Cake Batter Into Pans: Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
- Step 7 - Bake Cakes: in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Step 8 - Let Cakes Cool: Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Step 9 - Frost The Cake: Frost your vegan vanilla cake with vegan buttercream frosting or, if you prefer this vegan cream cheese frosting. Below you'll find some helpful tips for how to frost a cake.
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before you start mixing the batter. This includes the soy milk, vegan yogurt, and vegetable oil. Room temperature ingredients emulsify more easily, which will give you a smoother batter and a more evenly baked cake.
🍰How To Decorate A Cake
- Allow your vegan vanilla cake to cool completely before decorating to prevent the frosting from melting.
- Level the cake layers if necessary to create a flat surface for frosting. You can use a serrated knife or a cake leveler for this.
- Apply a thin layer of frosting, called a crumb coat, to seal in any crumbs and create a smooth base for the final layer of frosting. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes to set the crumb coat.
- Once the crumb coat is set, apply a thicker layer of frosting to the cake, starting with the top and then moving to the sides. Use an offset spatula or a bench scraper to smooth the frosting evenly.
- Get creative with decorating! You can use piping bags and tips to pipe frosting in various designs. Fresh fruit, edible flowers, chocolate shavings, or sprinkles can also add color and texture to your cake.
- If you want to get really professional, you can use a turntable to make frosting and decorating easier. A turntable allows you to rotate the cake while you frost it, ensuring even coverage.
- Practice makes perfect! Don't worry if your first attempts at decorating aren't perfect. With practice and patience, you'll improve your skills over time.
- Have fun and don't be afraid to experiment with different decorating techniques and designs.
Once the cake has completely cooled, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store the wrapped cake in an airtight container in fridge for 3-4 days.
After the cake has cooled completely, wrap it tightly with several layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped cake in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. The cake should stay fresh in the freezer for 2-3 months. When you're ready to eat the cake, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
🙋Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make this cake gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend in place of the cake flour. Make sure to choose a gluten-free flour blend specifically formulated for baking cakes for the best results.
For the best results, I recommend using cake flour, but the recipe will still work with all-purpose flour. To turn all-purpose flour into cake flour, measure out the desired amount of all-purpose flour. For every cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace them with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift the mixture several times to ensure the cornstarch is evenly distributed throughout the flour.
Yes, you can use a 9-inch cake pan instead of an 8-inch pan, but there are a few adjustments you'll need to make. Since a 9-inch pan has a larger diameter, the batter will be spread out more thinly, resulting in a shorter baking time. Keep an eye on the cake as it bakes and start checking for doneness a few minutes earlier than the recipe suggests. Additionally, the cake may be slightly thinner than if baked in an 8-inch pan.
Yes, you can definitely make cupcakes out of this recipe! Simply line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill each liner about two-thirds full with the cake batter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, you can frost the cupcakes with the vegan buttercream frosting.
Craving More Easy Vegan Cake Recipes?
Vegan Vanilla Cake
- 1 cup soy milk or any non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegan yogurt plain or vanilla flavored
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- 1 recipe vegan buttercream frosting
- ¼ cup vegan sprinkles
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the cake pans with a round of parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and white vinegar. Stir well and set aside for about 5-10 minutes to allow it to curdle. This creates your vegan buttermilk, which will act as an egg substitute.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, mix together the vegan buttermilk, vegan yogurt, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.