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
4.69 stars (45 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 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 50 mins
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!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read my full disclosure here.

Posted In: , , , ,

you may also like:

Comments

  1. Only four stars because it’s still in the oven.  My daughter eats GF and dairy free and her son cannot have eggs.  Today is her birthday and I am hoping this cake can be shared by all.  With anticipation…I will hopefully revise my review to five stars.  I have never used these products before and this is a test run.  She will be so  delighted that I even tried.  

  2. Hey Nora! I want to make this cake for my birthday, do you think it would work divided into three 7-inch pans? Also, I want to use regular cake flour ( 7% protein) instead of GF flour and use maltitol or xylitol instead of sugar, would it be too risky? I can’t wait to try!

    1. It would probably work divided into 3 pans, but I don’t know how the other changes will go with cake flour and other sugar. It might not turn out, but maybe I’m wrong! Hope you enjoy it!

  3. I made this as a trial run tonight and it sunk in the middle. I did exactly as the recipe calls for except for the King Arthur brand.  Any idea why it would sink in the middle?

  4. First try at GF and egg free cake. Mine did not rise and is very heavy. Any suggestions of what I did wrong? I did use buttermilk instead of nut milk since my DIL is just allergic to eggs. 

    1. Buttermilk is much richer than almond or soy milk, so that may very well have made the cake not rise and be heavy. Try using a lighter milk for best results. Hope that helps!

  5. Hi! I live in India and we don’t have GF flour here.. anything else might work? Like tapioca starch or buckwheat or oat flour?? Thank you

  6. Hi Nora,

    My daughter made this recipe for me for Mother’s Day yesterday. I could not believe she made this from your website. She never cooks anything but she made cupcakes out of this recipe. They tasted just like regular cupcakes. It was so good. best Mother’s Day gift ever! 

  7. I was looking for a quick and easy base cake to make a gluten free vegan Tres Leches and this worked perfectly! I baked in a 9×13 for about 33 minutes. After it cooled I poked holes and added sweetened condensed coconut milk, evaporated coconut milk and Silk heavy cream and refrigerated. Turned out great

    1. That sounds really good, Stacey! What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing your review and comments!

  8. I am thinking of making this cake but instead of frosting I want to make a Drizzle toping out of my Black Apples (same process as making black garlic) soaked in Brandy. Is this cake (not the frosting) on the very sweet side? If so, can I safely reduce the sugar in it with out it getting too dry?

    1. How fun and interesting! The cake isn’t super sweet, at least to me. You might be able to reduce the sugar a bit, but I haven’t tested it to know for sure.

  9. Made this for a vegan GF friend and it’s my and my husbands FAVORITE cake! It beats every other regular cake recipe and its twice as easy as well!

    1. Sorry, all almond flour will not work. You could use all purpose flour in place of the gluten free though.

  10. I loved the cake! I make it for my birthday. It is the best cake I have ever had! Do you have a chocolate cake recipe? My dad loves chocolate so i want to make him a chocolate cake for his birthday.

    – Brighton

    1. Probably, but I’m not totally sure. You may want to reduce the baking powder a bit if using self raising flour.

  11. This is the most amazing recipe I have ever found! Thank you Nora!! I have used it to make blueberry muffing, peach upside down cake, cupcakes, and on and on. It it the perfect shortcake recipe as well. After years of many attempts to make vegan gluten free cake that tasted good, I found my “Unicorn” and I am over the moon happy!!!

    1. Wow, what a compliment! Thanks for loving the recipe. I’m amazed you have used it as a base for so many wonderful sounding recipes!

  12. I have made this vanilla cake a number of times for parties in a 9×13 pan and always frosted it. This time, I was trying to make a coffee cake for Easter (lots of food allergies in our family), so I decided to use this recipe along with a brown sugar and cinnamon crumble. I followed the normal coffee cake steps by putting half of the batter in the pan, layering in half of the crumble, then spreading the remaining batter and topping off with the rest of the crumble. I am happy to report that it turned out perfectly and my family was able to enjoy the result. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for sharing your review and comments! It’s good to know that the cake turned out this way! Thanks Katie!

  13. I made this cake and it was so delicious!  I put some in a 6 cupcake tray and the rest in a pan. The pan sunk a tiny bit in the middle but the cupcakes sunk a lot. Any idea what I should do different? I’m making this once more for a group! Thank you for this delicious recipe!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake! It should not be sinking like that, no. Make sure to use a quality gluten free mix that has xanthan gum added, such as King Arthur’s Cup for Cup, or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour. Also, perhaps try using fresh baking powder and make sure you are using the full amount. Hope that helps!

      1. You may want to clarify in your recipe which King Arthur GF flour you used… in the recipe it states “all purpose” but in a response to a comment you stated you used the “measure for measure”…. King Arthur makes both of these yet are very different. One has xanthan gum, the other does not… just throwing that out there because I just used the all purpose as stated and am afraid that it will not turn out…

        1. For this recipe, either actually works. I have used King Arthur Measure for Measure, the all purpose mix, as well as Bob’s Gluten Free 1:1 Flour. If the recipe requires a mix without or specifically with xanthan gum I will state that, like in my Gluten Free Chocolate Cake recipe. It should turn out fine, and I hope you enjoy the cake!

    1. Hi Dakota. Yes, this cake can be made into cupcakes! Cupcakes take much less time, so try baking about 20 minutes. I haven’t tested this cake as cupcakes, so I don’t have an exact time. I hope this helps!

  14. Tastes amazing but both times I’ve tried to make it, the parchment paper gets stuck and it collapses. I’ve tried greasing the paper too. Managed to get the paper off okay the second time, waited for it to cool and the cake still collapsed. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Might try with a flax egg next time.

    1. Are you using two pans, not just one? If you try to bake it in a pan that’s too small it will collapse because it can’t cook through all the way. Did you make any substitutions at all?

      1. I used two 8 inch pans and no substitutions. It’s so delicious that I want to try again but other than using a binding agent like flax I’m not sure what to do.

        1. I wonder if the problem is with the gluten free flour you are using, since they do vary a lot. I always use either King Arthur 1:1 Gluten Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1. What flour do you use?

    1. It will be too much batter for one 10 inch pan unfortunately, so I wouldn’t recommend it. It would need much longer to bake and I’m afraid it won’t turn out right.

  15. Hi, I made this cake and it was Amazing, everyone loved it. Will for sure use in the future. Thank you for the recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.