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 (182 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. 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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