With a moist and fluffy crumb and decadent vanilla flavors, you’ll fall head over heels for this Vegan Vanilla Cake recipe. It’s perfect for all kinds of occasions and no one will guess it’s vegan!

You won’t ever have to search for a vegan cake recipe again with my vanilla cake, Vegan Chocolate Cake, and Vegan Yellow Cake recipes in your back pocket.

vegan vanilla cake on a white plate, another piece in the background, showing fluffy texture and white frosting with sprinkles outside

Introducing the only vegan vanilla cake recipe you’ll ever need!

My Vegan Vanilla Cake is an extraordinary dessert that will ‘wow’ the vanilla lovers in your life. It’s moist and fluffy, has elegant vanilla flavors, and is paired with my Vanilla Vegan Frosting for just the right amount of sweetness.

With over 200 5-star reviews, this recipe is a proven favorite! Here’s what readers are saying:

“Love this cake recipe!! The best I’ve ever had!! The whole family loves it too.” – Melissa

“Absolutely amazing! Impressed all my non-vegan friends!!” – Brittany

“I have tried many cake recipes and this one is the best by far! It was perfect and the whole family loved it. I’m keeping this one. Thank you so much!” – Lauren

My favorite way to serve this moist vegan vanilla cake is with sprinkles on top, but you can use fresh fruit, vegan whipped cream, edible flowers, or any fun decorations you love. Bring it with you to the birthday party, bridal shower, or holiday party, and watch as everyone rushes to get a slice!

piece of cake being removed from cake platter

Why this is the best vegan vanilla cake

  • It’s the type of cake you dream about – This bakery-style vanilla cake has a wonderfully moist and fluffy crumb and an elegant vanilla flavor. The best part is that it’s made without eggs or dairy but you’d never know it!
  • Two secret ingredients – Aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) and cake flour are solely responsible for this cake’s delicate, fluffy texture. 
  • Perfect for any occasion – Decorate the cake with vegan buttercream frosting and sprinkles so it’s ready for birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, holidays, or any special occasion. You will also love my super easy Vegan Funfetti Cake for birthday parties!

How to make vegan vanilla cake

This is simply an overview with photos. For the complete, printable recipe, scroll down to the recipe card.

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease 2 8-inch round cake pans. Place a round of parchment paper on the bottom for easy removal of the cakes later.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-large bowl and set aside.

Make the vegan buttermilk by combining the milk and apple cider vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Stir a little, then set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the aquafaba and cream of tartar vigorously until foamy, about 2 minutes. You don’t need this in stiff peaks, just get it a bit fluffy and foamy. OR, you can vegan yogurt, which works just as well!

bowl with whipped foam and a whisk

Cream the softened vegan butter, canola oil, and sugar together in a large bowl until creamy. Next, add the aquafaba to the bowl along with the vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.

With your mixer on low speed, alternate between adding portions of the flour mixture and vegan buttermilk to the batter, mixing until just combined after each time.

Do not overmix the batter! The batter should be fairly smooth after everything has been incorporated. A few lumps left behind are okay.

Pour the batter into your prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.

Set the cakes aside to cool while you make the Vegan Buttercream Frosting, Chocolate Frosting, Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting or Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Or consider making this incredible Vegan Whipped Cream (that tastes like dairy whipped cream!) and serve with berries.

Frost the vanilla cake when the layers are completely cooled. Add some sprinkles on top for fun, then slice and serve!

decorated, frosted cake with white frosting and colorful sprinkles on white background

Frequently asked questions

I don’t have cake flour. What can I use instead?

Cake flour works the absolute best in this recipe but all purpose flour is fine, too. You can also make homemade cake flour by mixing all purpose flour and cornstarch together. Check out this Cake Flour Substitute Guide from Sally’s Baking Addiction to learn how it’s done.

Can it be made gluten free?

A quality gluten free flour mix, like Better Batter, will work as a substitute but just know that the cake will have a slightly different texture and it probably won’t be as fluffy and light.

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!

Like egg whites, it does amazing things when it’s whipped up, such as making vegan-friendly meringues, mousses, whipped cream, brownies, and more. It’s also a rockstar egg replacer in vegan baking, including this recipe. It gives the cake a fluffy and moist texture and a crisp white color (no brown bits from flaxseed eggs!).

To learn more about the magic of aquafaba, check out my guide, Aquafaba 101.

What can I use as a substitute for aquafaba?

I recently did some testing and discovered that the best substitute for aquafaba in this recipe is vegan yogurt! Use a higher protein/fat version that is unsweetened and unflavored for best results. You can also use 2 flax eggs, possibly JUST Egg or another egg replacer.

Can I make it in a different pan?

Sure. This recipe makes enough cake batter for a 9×13, 10, or 12-inch cake pan or a sheet pan. Remember to add an extra 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time when using a larger pan. Two 9-inch round pans work as well, but the cakes will be thinner.

How do you store vegan vanilla cake?

Wrap the baked and cooled cake layers in plastic wrap, then store them in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I recommend keeping the frosted cake in an airtight container, like a cake carrier, in the fridge or counter (it will get rather dry quickly in the fridge). You can also lightly wrap it with plastic wrap, but it may ruin your designs. At room temperature, it will last about 5 days.

fork taking a piece of cake from the plate

Want more incredible vegan cakes?

I love making vegan cake recipes that taste just as good, if not better than the usual dairy and egg filled versions! Make any of the following recipes and become a vegan cake connoisseur:

And you can find even MORE cakes here! Vegan Cake Recipes. Happy baking!

square image of a piece of vanilla cake on a white plate with some colorful sprinkles
4.91 stars (251 ratings)

Vegan Vanilla Cake

With a moist and fluffy crumb and decadent vanilla flavors, you’ll fall head over heels for this Vegan Vanilla Cake recipe. It’s perfect for all kinds of occasions and no one will guess it’s vegan!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Cooling time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 16 slices

Ingredients 
 

Dry ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Vegan buttermilk

Aquafaba (or sub 1/2 cup vegan yogurt)

The rest

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Frosting and sprinkles

Instructions 

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F place the rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans with oil or vegan butter. Place a round of parchment paper on the bottom for easy removal later.

Combine dry ingredients

  • In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Prepare vegan buttermilk

  • Combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Stir briefly, then set aside to curdle. This is your buttermilk.

Whip the aquafaba (or use yogurt instead)

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the aquafaba and cream of tartar vigorously until foamy, about 2 minutes. You don't have to whip it into stiff peaks, just get it a bit fluffy and foamy. Set aside.

Finish the cake batter

  • Cream fats and sugars: In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer (or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment), cream together the softened vegan butter, canola oil and sugar until creamy and well combined, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides as needed.
  • Add aquafaba and vanilla: Add the aquafaba mixture to the bowl with the creamed butter/oil/sugar, along with the vanilla extract. Mix until well combined, about 1 minute.
  • Add flour and buttermilk: Alternate adding the flour mixture and vegan buttermilk in 3 parts, mixing until just combined each time. The batter should be fairly smooth (a few lumps are okay), but do not over mix.

Bake, cool and frost

  • 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. These cakes come out pretty flat, so there is no need to slice off the top like some other recipes.
  • 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.
  • Frost with my Vegan Buttercream Frosting, Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Frosting or even vegan whipped cream and berries. Add some sprinkles for fun, if desired. Enjoy!

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. Or make your own cake flour.
  2. Gluten free? Try substituting a quality gluten free all purpose mix. I like Better Batter brand.
  3. Soy milk works best because of the protein and fat content, but you can use another milk if needed. Hemp, oat, cashew or almond all work quite well.
  4. If you can find it, unsweetened high fat or protein yogurt works well in place of the aquafaba. 
  5. For cupcakes, bake for 20-25 minutes until done and fill liners half full.
  6. For a 9×13 inch cake, bake for 40-50 minutes, until done. Two 9 inch round pans will work, but the cakes will be thinner. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 309IU | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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. This was the fluffiest vegan cake I’ve made to date! So good! I added blueberries and it was divine. The birthday boy loved it and there was only a tiny slice left. A great success! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I’m so glad the cake was a hit for the birthday! Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback and idea!

  2. This cake is amazing! My first vegan cake ever. I made it lemon for one of our B&B guests.Hands down one of the most moist cakes I’ve ever made! Love the whole process of aquafaba! Thanks! 

    1. Hi Kathy. The aquafaba is great! Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback! Sounds like a perfect cake for B&B guests! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  3. This is the perfect vegan vanilla cake! I doubled the recipe and measured out by weight and was able to fill four 7” round cake pans and had enough batter leftover to make 8 cupcakes. I had to bake the cakes for 50 mins total. The crumb is so soft and fluffy. The perfect amount of sweetness that will pair well with sliced strawberries and dairy free whip. Thanks for this amazing recipe! 

    1. I am so glad you love the cake, Jessica! Thank you for your great feedback! The strawberries and whip sound so good with the cake!

  4. Taste is yummy. Did add yellow food coloring and sprinkles.

    However, it is taking almost an hour for two 6” pans at 350°F. 🙁 

    1. Yes, the recipe is meant for two 8 or 9 inch pans, I don’t know that it will cook well in two 6 inch pans. It’s too much batter. I hope it still turned out.

      1. So would you increase the temperature to cook 6” pans? They were rather full. It took close to an hour for two 6” pans 2” deep. 

        1. I would use 3 6 inch pans, or cut the recipe in half instead. It’s just too much batter for two small pans.

  5. I usually love this recipe, but recently tried it twice with cake flour and just can’t get it to work… Using AP flour works for me though

    1. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out, Kendra. Cake flour is much lighter than AP flour, which can throw off the amount if you’re measuring by volume rather than weight (meaning you need a little more than 3 cups). If you haven’t yet, try weighing the cake flour with a kitchen scale for the most accurate measurements.

  6. I LOVE this recipe for my vegan niece but have been asked to make it for a friend with egg allergies. Will cow’s milk and actual butter still work with the aquafaba and can this cake be made early and frozen for a day, like traditional cakes?
    You’re awesome! Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Nikki. I’m sure using regular milk and butter would work, though I have not tested it. The whole cake freezes well, or you can simply bake the cake layers, wrap and freeze, then thaw and frost when you’re ready. Defrost the cake by placing it in the refrigerator overnight before you want to enjoy it. Hope that helps!

  7. I am planning to make this on Friday for my son’s birthday party – the reviews sound amazing! He wants it to be decorated with a truck piped on top, so I would like to make it a square shape instead of round, but still have two layers. Would this recipe translate well into 9″ square pans, or should I do a recipe and a half?

    1. Hi Courtney. Square pans are slightly larger than round pans, so yes, I would recommend making a recipe and a half to ensure you have enough batter. Happy baking!

  8. Hi can I replace the chickpea liquid with the liquid from a can of white bean??  Would it work the same??

    1. Hi Annie. 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!

  9. I’ve made this twice now and altered flavors a bit for friends bday requests. I am also gluten free, so I used king arthur’s baking flour, and my vegan butter of choice is miyoko’s unsalted. The first time I made this it was for a mint chocolate chip cake. I replaced the 1 tbsp vanilla extract with 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 peppermint extract… added some green coloring and some mini chocolate chips at the very end. None of our guests knew it was vegan or gluten free- the texture was light and fluffy. Amazing!

    The second time I made a strawberry puree and added that in at the same time as the vanilla extract for a strawberry vanilla cake. Also awesome.

    1. Hi Amanda. Sounds like you have made some fun cakes with this recipe! That is so great! Thank you for sharing your feedback and ideas! I’m glad the cakes have turned out great or you! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  10. Made this for my sons birthday.  The family said it was the best cake I’ve ever made!  I followed the recipe exactly.  I made 3 – 8 inch layers. Made recipe and a half.  Doubled the frosting recipe.  Colored some for writing and decorating.  A little left.  Perfect!  It was over the top amazingly good.

    1. Hi Lynn. I’m so glad the cake turned out wonderful! Happy birthday to your son! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful feedback!

  11. I was impressed with this cake! It was fluffy and moist. I am going to try it with cake flour and a better quality vegan butter and coconut oil. I used what I had on hand–AP flour, Country Crock olive oil baking sticks and canola oil. I thought it had a slightly oily taste, but the texture was very good. I would also try more vanilla. My non-vegan hubby said it was not too sweet and ate 2 pieces.

    1. Hi Jean. I’m glad you and your husband enjoyed the cake! Thank you for sharing your feedback and review!

  12. This is hands down the best cake recipe i have ever used! People RAVE when i make this cake! its moist and tender and has such a nice crumb to it, better than any cake vegan or otherwise!
    I’ve made it recipe exact as well as a variation with 2/3rd of the sugar switched with brown sugar and added cinnamon and it also worked great for a bit of a richer flavour!

    1. Hi Morgan. What wonderful things to read about my vanilla cake recipe! Thank you of sharing your wonderful feedback! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  13. Quick question, can you freeze this cake? I’ve made it before and love it but I wanted to make it for a party in advance so I wanted to know if it would do well frozen and then thawed out. Thank you! 

    1. Hi Raquel. I’m so glad you love the cake! Yes, the whole cake freezes well. You can also individually wrap and freeze the cake layers. To defrost, place the cake in the refrigerator overnight before you want to enjoy it. Hope that helps!

  14. Wow! This cake is incredible! I’m a terrible cake baker and I’ve actually found vegan recipes to be easier for me lol. The texture is really awesome and light and crumbly. Honestly I might make this as my go to cake recipe now. My only question is about the aqua faba – I did whisk it but it deflated pretty quickly. Does it need to be for me? I whisked it again before I poured it into the batter at which point it deflated almost immediately in the bowl. 

    1. Hi Christina! I’m glad you enjoyed the cake, thank you for the feedback! The aquababa in this recipe really just needs to get a little foamy, it doesn’t need to have stiff peaks like meringue. What you are describing sounds completely normal.

  15. Made this for my son’s birthday. Used coconut milk and coconut oil throughout. Decorated with shredded coconut and non dairy chocolate. It was a hit! Should have doubled the recipe and skipped on the store bought cake as everyone wanted a piece of the vegan cake, even non vegan guests.

    Awsome cake!

    1. What wonderful words to hear about my vanilla cake! Thank you of sharing your great feedback! I’m so glad the cake was a hit! Happy birthday to your son!

  16. Made this for.my son’s birthday and it was a hit!!!

    Used coconut milk and coconut oil throughout recipe. I decorated the outside with coconut flakes and dairy free chocolate. Sooo good and easy too! One of his friends asked me to make one for her birthday next month.

  17. This cake is so light and fluffy and delicious! I find vegan cakes usually have a distinct flavour compared to “regular” cakes but this was really subtle. The only issue is that it didn’t hold its shape and crumbled when you cut a slice. Any advice? I will definitely be making it again

    1. It should hold it’s shape well when you slice it, I’ve never had that problem before. Did you cut it straight from the fridge, very cold? I find cakes crumble this way pretty easily. Did you make any substitutions at all? Or over bake the cakes, making them dry out? Those would be the things to check on next time around. Thank you, glad you did enjoy it though!

  18. Hi! I have a question about the amount of aquafaba. Is 1/2 cup measured from the liquid or whipped aquafaba? 

    Do you : 

    1. measure 1/2 cup of the “liquid” aquafaba, whip and add ALL
     of that into the batter. 

    OR

    2. Whip up all of the liquid and THEN measure 1/2 cup of the “whipped” aquafaba? 

    Thank you!

    1. Whip the aquafaba first (until it’s foamy and light), then measure 1/2 cup. All of the liquid from 1 can of chickpeas should be enough.

  19. I got so many compliments on this cake and vanilla frosting! It was so moist, and tasted like the most delicious cakes I had before becoming vegan.  Thank you!

  20. Hi Nora!

    If I’m allergic to aquafaba, what can I use as a replacement? How many eggs/flax eggs would this be equivalent to?

    1. Hi Ashley. Applesauce is the best replacement because of its light texture and ability to keep the cake moist. 2 flax eggs could also be used, but they won’t fluff up the cake much.

  21. Hi Nora!
    This cake sounds delicious!
    I’m thinking about reducing sugar since I do not like overly sweet.  How much sugar can be reduced?

  22. Made this for my cousins birthday (Carved it into Hello kitty while it was frozen!) my non-vegan family said it was “outstanding” ^-^ compliments don’t come often from them, so this will be my vanilla go to from now on!

    Thank you!

  23. Can you bake this as a Bundt cake? If so, for how long and at what temperature? I love your vegan chocolate cake recipe so I am excited to try the vanilla! 

    1. I think you could, but I’ve never tried it. I’m guessing it will take 50 minutes or so, but check it often after 40 minutes. Same temp!

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