The Best Vegan Vanilla Cake – Fluffy and moist, this is a must have cake for all kinds of occasions! The only vanilla cake recipe you’ll ever need, and it’s vegan.

looking down on vegan vanilla cake with sprinkles

This Vegan Vanilla Cake has been a long time coming. Ever since I posted my Vegan Chocolate Cake, I’ve been wanting to create the most perfect vanilla cake, too. After a couple of tries, and a few tweaks here and there, I’ve done it! Moist and fluffy, golden vanilla cake layers paired with my Vanilla Vegan Frosting. Vanilla lovers will swoon over this cake! You could also frost it with Chocolate Frosting, if you prefer.

P.S. If anyone wants a slice, I’ve drowning in cake over here so come on over! 😉

piece of vegan vanilla cake on a plate

What is Aquafaba and what purpose does it serve in baking?

Aquafaba is simply the liquid, or juice from a can of chickpeas. That’s it. Really.

It makes a great binder, similar to egg whites, and when you whip it, you can do amazing things, such as make meringues, fluffy mousses and more! I use it here in this Grain Free Granola, and in this Lemon Cake.

For this recipe, drain the liquid from a can of chickpeas, and pour it into a bowl. Whisk it for a minute or two, until it’s a bit foamy on top. It doesn’t have to have stiff peaks for this recipe, like it does for meringues. When it’s time to add it to the cake batter, measure out 1/2 cup.

I really enjoy using it for cake and cupcake recipes, because it makes them bake up so fluffy and moist, and there are no little brown bits from flaxseed eggs.

aquafaba for vegan vanilla cake

Tips on how to make the best Vegan Vanilla Cake:

  • Cake flour works the absolute best in the recipe if you can find it. The cake will have a fine crumb and be very light and fluffy, but all purpose flour does work, too.
  • To prepare your pans, please use a small circle of parchment paper and place it in the bottom. Then spray or grease the pans all over, including the sides. Trust me, I’ve had many cakes ruined by not properly preparing my pans!
  • Use both the vegan butter AND canola oil. This makes the cake super moist and fluffy, while giving it the best possible buttery flavor.
  • Make sure to cool the cakes COMPLETELY before frosting. If it’s warm at all, you will have a big melty mess on your hands. Trust me, I’ve been there… If I’m in a rush, I’ll put the cakes in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  • It’s best to store the cake in an airtight container, like a cake carrier. You can also lightly wrap it with plastic wrap, but it may ruin your designs.

2 pans with uncooked vegan vanilla cake

Tools that are helpful for making and decorating Vegan Vanilla Cake:

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer – My mom had actually bought one of these years ago, in hopes she would do more baking. Well, that didn’t really happen so I’m borrowing it. Oh wow, you guys, it’s amazing! You can also use a hand mixer.

2 8-inch Round Cake Pans

Icing Smoother – I recently got this little smoothing tool and I really like it.

Sprinkles, of course! If you want some really special, pretty sprinkles (that are safely vegan), check out Sweetapolita. They have such pretty ones!

vegan vanilla cake with sprinkles on a cake plate

Want more Vegan Cake and Cupcake recipes?

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Lemon Cake

Funfetti Vegan Cupcakes

Mint Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

close up of vegan vanilla cake

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piece of vegan vanilla cake on a plate
4.94 stars (178 ratings)

Vegan Vanilla Cake

The Best Vegan Vanilla Cake - Fluffy and moist, this is a must have cake for all kinds of occasions! The only vanilla cake recipe you'll ever need, and it's vegan.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour OR all purpose flour*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Recipe Vanilla Vegan Frosting

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 2 round 8-inch cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper and spraying well with oil.
  • Make the Vegan Buttermilk: Combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir a little, then set aside.
  • Make the Aquafaba: Pour the liquid from a can of chickpeas into a small-medium bowl. Whisk well for a minute, until foamy and light. This acts similar to eggs. You can't taste it at all in the cake, don't worry! You will use 1/2 cup of this, and the liquid from 1 can is just perfect.
  • Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the softened vegan butter, canola oil and sugar until creamy and well combined.
  • Measure out 1/2 cup of the aquafaba, and add it to the bowl, along with the vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl,  whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Using the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and vegan buttermilk, mixing until just combined after each time. The batter should be fairly smooth (a few lumps are okay), but avoid over-mixing. 
  • Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, the surface looks and feels set, and a toothpick comes out mostly clean, with no wet batter.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then carefully invert them onto a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before frosting. You can place them in the refrigerator to speed the cooling process along if you need to.
  • Frost with my Vanilla Vegan Frosting or use the Chocolate Frosting from my Chocolate Cake Recipe. Add some sprinkles for fun, if desired. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  1. Cake flour will make the cake much lighter with a fine crumb, but all purpose works fine if you can't find cake flour.
  2. May use any kind of unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as soy, almond, cashew, coconut or rice milk.
  3. Earth balance brand of vegan butter is preferred. You can use another brand, but make sure you like the flavor of it, as it may come through in the cake.
  4. Aquafaba is simply the liquid from a can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans. It sounds weird, but when it's whipped up a bit it has many great uses! It works like eggs, eggwhites and can even be used to make vegan meringue! You can not taste it AT ALL.
  5. You could make cupcakes with this recipe, if desired. They will need less baking time, 20-25 minutes.
  6. Calorie estimate is with 1/12th of the cake with Vanilla Vegan frosting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg
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. LOVE this recipe! It literally is the BEST vegan vanilla cake that I have tried. Super greatful for finding this recipe. Made it several times and came out awesome every time, even when made as cupcakes.

    1. Hi Wanja. Your wonderful feedback makes me happy! Thank you for sharing! I’m glad you are loving the cake and having great success with it! I love this cake as well!

  2. This recipe is absolutely delicious. I made it with cake flour. I made this for my vegan daughter’s birthday. It tastes just like a birthday cake from the bakery which is exactly what I was looking for, very tender cake, slightly dense & perfect.

    1. Hi Liz. I’m glad the cake was just what you were looking for to help celebrate your daughter’s birthday! Thank you for sharing, and happy birthday to your daughter!

  3. I wanted poppyseed cake so I added a quarter cup of poppyseed to the batter. It’s very good! Frosted with vegan cream cheese frosting. I love your recipes! Thanks for being you!

    1. Hi Joan. Thanks for sharing your idea! I’m glad you love the cake and it turned out great for you! Thanks for your positive feedback, and I appreciate you using my recipes!

  4. Eager to try this recipe, however my son is allergic to chickpeas, do you know if a white bean liquid would work for the aquafaba?

    1. Hi Katy. I have not tried it with liquid from white beans, however, I think it would work! Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes for you!

  5. Hi Nora!

    I’m hoping to do this as a 10-inch cake with 4 layers. Do you think tripling the recipe would suffice or should I quadruple it? This cake is so delicious. Thank you!

    1. Hi Angelica. I have not tried a 4 layer cake myself, however, I think tripling the recipe would work. I think it will be fine stacked so tall, however again, I haven’t tried it myself. Let me know how it goes! Happy baking!

  6. When adding the whipped aquafaba to the mix, are you supposed to scoop a 1/2 cup of the whipped part only? I noticed that even though it’s whipped there’s still liquid in the bottom.of the bowl.

    1. Yes, scoop 1/2 cup of the whipped part. If you use some liquid as well that is totally fine. But the whipped part is best.

  7. This cake was delicious!!! It was loved by everyone! Beautiful recipe thank you.

    I made it fresh, but I’m wondering how it freezes?

    1. Hi Kim. You are welcome! I’m glad the cake was a hit! Yes, the whole cake freezes well. You can also individually wrap and freeze the cake layers, and frost before serving. To defrost, place the cake in the refrigerator overnight before you frost it. Hope that helps!

  8. Hi Nora,
    I made this cake with fresh whipping cream and strawberries, and it was so delicious!
    The only issue I had was it easily cracks, so the top layer fell apart when placed over the bottom layer Thai was topped with whipped cream and strawberries.  It’s it because of whipped cream instead of buttercream?  Please advise! 

        1. Hi Katie. Yes, you can bake this cake in a 9×13 pan. The recipe does not have to be doubled for this size pan. Happy cooking!

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