This Easy Vanilla Vegan Gluten Free Cake is made in 1 bowl and requires only 8 ingredients. It’s fluffy, moist, tender and bursting with vanilla flavor. Plus there is no added oil to the cake itself!

Close up of a slice of vanilla cake being removed from the cake

After creating the most perfect vegan vanilla cake, I wanted to help my gluten-free friends by baking a version they could enjoy. Of course, it works quite well to simply replace the all purpose flour in the original recipe with a quality gluten free flour mix, but this cake recipe was created from the start to be gluten free. 

You’ll want to dig into slice after slice of this fluffy, tender, and moist cake. You can’t even tell that it’s gluten-free or vegan! I’ve had plenty of dry gluten free vegan cakes, so I wanted to avoid that outcome at all costs.

All you need to make this cake is 1 bowl and 8 ingredients. Even without any oil, dairy, or gluten, this dessert is exceptionally delicious! It’s beautifully decorated with my simple vanilla frosting and sprinkles, or use my chocolate frosting if you’d prefer! I’ve included a very simple vanilla icing recipe as well.

The magic of almond flour

Aside from being 100% gluten and dairy-free, this cake is also oil-free! Most cake recipes contain vegan butter or oil to enhance moisture. Instead, this recipe calls for almond flour.

The ground almonds are loaded with natural fats and oils, creating desserts that are rich, moist, and full of healthy fats. Unfortunately, there is not a good substitute for it in this particular recipe. Without it, the cake will taste gummy, low fat and dry.

Make sure to use almond flour (blanched is preferred, fine texture) and not almond meal in this gluten-free cake recipe. Almond meal will completely change the texture.

Close up of a slice of white cake with sprinkles on top on a white plate

Ingredients Needed

  • Almond flour – Provides fat and richness in oil-free cakes. Without it, the cake will taste gummy and fat-free. There is no substitute for it here.
  • Gluten-free all-purpose flour – This will stabilize the cake and help it keep a consistent texture. You can replace this with all purpose flour when you don’t need the cake to be gluten free.
  • Sugar – Use coconut sugar if you prefer.
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Almond milk – Use any plant-based milk you prefer.
  • Apple cider vinegar – To help the cake rise and bake evenly.
  • Vanilla – In addition to vanilla extract, you can scrape out the inside of a vanilla bean to add natural flavor and beautiful black specks throughout the cake.
Fork taking a bite out of a big slice of white cake on a plate

How to make Vegan Gluten Free Cake

Preheat the oven and prepare the pans: Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease 2 8-inch round cake pans. Cut out 2 round pieces of parchment paper and place them on the bottom of the pans for easy removal.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Next, pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir well but do not over mix. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re done, remove the cake from the pans and let them cool completely. 

How to decorate the cake

My 4-ingredient simple vanilla frosting is probably the best tasting option for the cake! It’s rich, buttery and smooth. One batch will cover the entire cake and satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Or you can make the simple vanilla icing I’ve included in the recipe. It only has 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, and if you really needed to you could leave it out. For the simple icing, you can mix all of the ingredients in just one bowl. If the frosting is too runny, stir in more powdered sugar, and if it’s too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency. 

Check out my Cashew Vanilla Frosting if you’re looking for a low sugar and oil free frosting.

This is an easy cake icing that can be made in just 5 minutes. Therefore, it’s perfect when you’re in a rush or just need something simple! You can always create an extra fun design with colorful sprinkles, shredded coconut, or crushed Oreo cookies.

Can I use this recipe to make cupcakes?

Of course! Make the cake batter using the same instructions. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

You should end up with 18 to 24 cupcakes using this recipe. To decorate, swirl the vanilla frosting on top using a piping bag or simply spread it on with a butter knife.

Close up of a slice of white cake with a fork taking a bite

How to store

The cakes can be baked well ahead of time and are even freezer-friendly! Wrap them in plastic and either freeze for up to 3 months, refrigerate for 5 days, or keep them at room temperature for 2 days.

Make the frosting up to 1 to 2 weeks ahead of time and store it in a sealed container in the fridge. It will firm up as it sits in the fridge, so let it sit on the kitchen counter for around 30 minutes before frosting the cake.

Leftovers are best stored covered in the refrigerator. Leftover cake should stay fresh and moist for around 3 days.

Want more vegan cakes?

Close up of a slice of vanilla cake with sprinkles on top being removed
4.78 stars (62 ratings)

Easy Vanilla Vegan Gluten Free Cake

My Easy Vanilla Vegan Gluten Free Cake is made in 1 bowl and requires only 8 ingredients. It’s fluffy, moist, tender and bursting with vanilla flavor. Plus there is no added oil to the cake itself!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients 
 

Vegan Gluten Free Cake

Simple Vanilla Icing

  • 2 tablespoons softened vegan butter OR omit and use more almond milk for oil free
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • sprinkles, optional for serving

Instructions 

  • Preheat to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 2 8-inch round pans. I also put a round parchment paper piece in the bottom for easy removal.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then add the almond milk, vinegar and vanilla. Stir well but do not over mix. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.
  • Make the icing: Place the softened vegan butter, powdered sugar, almond milk and vanilla in a bowl and mix on low, then high until creamy and smooth. Add more milk or powdered sugar as needed to make a spreadable frosting.
  • Frost the cake as desired and top with optional sprinkles. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. For the frosting, you may also use vegan shortening instead of vegan butter. Or leave it out completely if needed but you will need to add a bit more milk.
  2. May also bake the cake in a 9×13 inch pan, but it will take longer to bake, about 40-45 minutes. Check the middle with a toothpick to make sure it’s cooked through.
  3. I used King Arthur Gluten Free Flour mix which worked great. Bob’s Red Mill also works. Almond flour is essential here since there is no added oil, so don’t try replacing it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Recipe looks great wondered if you have any recommendations to lower the sugar was thinking to replace the 3/4 cup with equal parts apple sauce and decrease the milk so it’s not too thin….. can you share your thoughts please

    1. You can try that, it’s hard for me to know exactly how it will turn out without testing it myself. I have not made a lower sugar version of the cake.

  2. Hi Nora, thank you for your recipe! I make my own blend of GF flour with rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch and this recipe works great. I’d like to alter the recipe to be able to stay moist for as long as possible – I am wondering if you *wanted* to add oil for “insurance” how much would you add and how much milk to remove?

  3. What else could I substitute the gf flour mix with? Potato starch? Cake flour? I’m not put off by using gluten just trying to be mindful of highly processed ingredients. Thanks

    1. You could use cake flour or all purpose flour if you want. Not potato starch though. Hope that helps and you enjoy the cake!

  4. Hi Nora,

    I made your cake but it was gummy in the middle. What did I do wrong? When I checked to see if it was done, the knife came out clean so I took it out of the oven. It looked beautiful from the outside, but not at all in the inside (like your picture.). Do you think there was not enough flour? Or somehow it was too wet inside? I don’t know. But I love your cake in the picture. I really need to find a cake receipe that is fat free, gluten free, vegan (no eggs). Yours fit the bill but still having troubles. Please advice me. Thanks so very much!

    1. Hi there, I wonder if you included the almond flour? You say you need a cake that is fat free, but this recipe is definitely NOT fat free, so keep that in mind. It has 2 cups of almond flour, about 9 grams of fat per serving. If you did include almond flour and follow the recipe exactly, what kind of gluten free flour did you use? That can make a difference in the outcome of the cake. It sounds like there was too much moisture for some reason, if it was gummy.

      1. Hi Nora,

        Thanks for your response. I didn’t mean fat free, I really meant vegan free (no butter or oil substitutes.). I did use Almond flour.
        Last night I made it again and it was GREAT!!!! Everyone loved it!!!! (It wasn’t gummy!!!)

        What I did was pack the flour in really good in the measuring cup. I really pressed down on the flour to get all the air pockets out. And I think that gave me more flour so the cake was fluffy, moist and well cooked. I think I also put a very tiny bit of less milk.

        I’m so happy with the results! Thank you so much! I can wait to try more of your recipes.
        I hope you might have a vegan, gluten free pancake recipe?

        1. I’m so glad, and thanks for clarifying! I just wanted to make sure you didn’t need an actually fat free cake. 🙂 That makes sense. I’m so happy it worked well. I should work on a vegan gluten free pancake recipe, I don’t currently have one. But many people use my Vegan Pancakes recipe and sub gluten free flour. It works quite well.

  5. I used flaked (skinless) almonds ground to a paste in a nut grinder and then forced through a sieve (re-grinding anything that didn’t go through). Almond flour is expensive here. It worked really well and the cake was delicious.

  6. I made this cake following the recipe. I was worried it would work. It rose reasonably well. I frosted it with a chocolate glaze and the cake disappeared. People loved it. It doesn’t have the same texture as a standard cake but it was moist and delicious.

  7. Hello, thank you for the recipe! It’s delicious and fluffy. My son’s birthday is tomorrow and he has a wheat and egg allergy, thanks to your recipe he’ll have his cake:-)

      1. Hello from Sydney, Australia. I’m keen to try the vanilla cake for a friend’s birthday but when I reduced the size to 8 serves (small) the recipe didn’t change the size of the cake pans. Can you possibly help? I’m worried about ending up with 2 pancakes in 8” pans!

        1. Yes, the technology that allows you to change serving sizes cannot change everything. If you cut the recipe in half as you did, just use 1 8-inch cake pan instead of 2.

      2. Hi Nora,

        I need to make a vegan, sugar free & gluten free cake. Can i use this recipe and replace sugar with monk fruit sweetner?

  8. Very excited to bake this for my daughter’s second birthday! If I wanted to make it into a chocolate cake could I just add some cocoa powder?? Thank you xx

    1. I haven’t tried a chocolate version of this particular recipe, but yes I bet you could replace a little of the flour with cocoa powder, maybe 1/2 cup. Hope you enjoy it!

    2. Hello I was wandering if I can use the Easy Vanilla Vegan Gluten Free Cake with the Gluten Free vegan chocolate Cake together make a Marble cake.

      Thank you.

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