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.
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! 😉
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.
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.
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!
Want more Vegan Cake and Cupcake recipes?
Vegan Vanilla Cake
- 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
- 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 in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. 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.
- 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.
- Measure out 1/2 cup of the foamy aquafaba, and add it to the bowl with the creamed butter/oil/sugar, along with the vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- To the main bowl with the wet mixture with 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!
- Cake flour will make the cake much lighter with a fine crumb, but all purpose works fine if you can't find cake flour.
- May use any kind of unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as soy, almond, cashew, coconut or rice milk.
- 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.
- 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.
- You could make cupcakes with this recipe, if desired. They will need less baking time, 20-25 minutes.
- Calorie estimate is with 1/12th of the cake with Vanilla Vegan frosting.
This was my first time baking a vegan cake. I used my Wilton doll pan for a co-worker’s bridal shower. This recipe had everyone in disbelief that it was vegan! The texture was amazing. I used almond flavor instead of vanilla and it was delightful. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe and I can’t wait to bake more goodies from your awesome list.
Hi Donna. I’m thrilled that the cake was a hit for the bridal shower! Thank you for taking your time to share your fabulous feedback and review! Enjoy your journey through all of my recipes! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!
I’m wanting to make this into mini rainbow colored Bundt cakes. Should I use this recipe or the vanilla cupcake recipe? What’s the difference?
I think you would have good results with either recipe. This cake is a bit more delicate and lighter than the cupcakes and uses some different ingredients, but they’re fairly similar when compared side by side. Hope this helps!
I am going to try this recipe this week, but before I do, I wanted to ask if there should be any adjustments for high altitude? I’m at about 5k feet.
It’s hard to say because I haven’t made this at high altitude. However, you may need to make adjustments when it comes to the oven temp, baking times, and certain ingredients (like the liquids, sugar, and leavening agents). Sorry I couldn’t be more help!
I made this vanilla cake before for my daughter’s bday party (my daughter’s aunt/my sister in law is vegan) and it was a hit! Our husband’s family was shocked at how surprisingly moist it was for a vegan cake. I put fresh strawberries in between the layers and it was delicious. I’m planning on making these again but in cupcake form but making them ahead of time. Do these cupcakes freeze well? thanks in advance!
Hi Michelle. This cake freezes really well, and cupcakes should also freeze well. I’m glad the cake is a hit! Thanks for your great feedback and review!
When do you add in the :
softened vegan butter, canola oil and sugar
In step 4 you cream them together in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Hope that helps!
Question I’m using Monkfruit instead of cane sugar. How much sugar can I add to the cake batter? Any idea. My friend uses this sugar cause it’s low in sugar amount. And she’s also vegan. Any help would be awesome thank you
Sorry I have never attempted a cake with monkfruit so I’m really not sure. Maybe someone else can help if they’ve tried it.
Rachel, i use monkfruit too, and usually i put half of what it is indicated for sugar.
I use monk fruit replacement all the time in my baking. It’s usually the same amount as the recipe. However, I decrease my sugar for all recipes. Just my personal preference.
The best vegan cake recipe I’ve ever seen. I had never baked with aquafaba before, it makes all the difference for a fluffy vegan cake! Made it twice and came out perfect both times. Loved by both vegans and non vegans in my family. Thank you so much.
You are welcome! I’m thrilled the cake turned out perfect for you, and that everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing your terrific feedback!
Great recipe! The cake had a nice crumb and was very flavorful. Would it be okay to add maybe 1/2 tsp or 3/4 tsp of baking soda to the recipe? My cakes did not rise very much. My baking powder was fresh and I did not over mix the batter. I would like a little more rise to the cake.
Sure, you can try adding baking soda to help the cakes rise. Just be aware that it could leave a slight metallic aftertaste in the cake.
Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I love the flavour of this cake but I’m finding it comes out ‘crusty’. Like a good sour dough loaf lol. Would it be because I cooked it in one 7’’ pan? Can you please tell me what you think I’m doing wrong? 🙏
Hi Carol! So yes, it’s coming out that way because of cooking it all in one smaller pan. Which is making the outside overcook and turn crusty. When cooked in two 8 or 9 inch pans it gets cooked through more evenly, and doesn’t form a harder crust on the outside, it’s just soft all the way around. Hope that helps!
This has been my go-to vanilla cake recipe for the past year or so! I always get tons of compliments. I’d like to make a funfetti cake for a birthday this weekend. Any reason I should use your funfetti cake recipe over this one (+ sprinkles)? Thanks!
Not really, they are both great cake recipes! The funfetti one might be a bit easier to make is all, but this recipe is more moist I’d say. Thank you!
I love this recipe, and have used it a few times, it always creates beautiful and fluffy cakes.
My mother would like a coffee flavoured cake for her birthday, and I was hoping to use this as a base. Do you have any recommendations on the best way to adjust this recipe?
I’m glad you have enjoyed this recipe! A coffee flavored cake sounds wonderful, I do think you could adjust this recipe. I might try adding a little instant coffee maybe? And then use an espresso flavored buttercream (veganized). I’m not sure exactly, but I might try it myself one day soon!
Thanks so much for the advice, appreciate it.
Can’t wait to try out our this receipt!! Can be used as a sheet cake?
Hi Monica. I haven’t made it as a sheet cake, however, I think it should fit fine in that size pan. I suggest baking it for about 20 minutes. Hope this helps. Let me know how it works for you! Thanks!
Can i use applesauce to replace aquafaba? I’d like to make this for my kids but they are allergic to peas as well.
BTW, your chocolate cake recipe is absolutely wonderful. I’ve made it numerous times for my kids (with multiple food allergies).
Hi Rona. I’m glad you all are loving the chocolate cake! You could use applesauce here if needed, but it won’t create the same fluffy texture as aquafaba. It will work though! Hope this helps!
Sorry, I was also wondering:
– How tall is this cake, approx.?
– If I was to make a three layer cake, would it work to make 1.5x the recipe and divide between three tins?
Hi! I want to use three 6×2” pans for a smash cake. Would I double? And how would I adjust bake time?
No need to double the recipe. Just bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Great recipe!! I was wanting to make this for my daughters 1st bday smash cake. any recommendations on using a bit less sugar??
Hi Kayla. Others have commented that a bit less sugar worked, however, keep in mind that if you cut it too much it will affect the structure of the cake. Wishing. your daughter a happy 1st birthday!
When making cupcakes from this recipe they always sink in the middle. I didn’t over mix the batter or overfill the tin, do you have any tips? Taste amazing still!
Hi Emily. I’m not sure why your cupcakes are sinking, but here are a few things to think about. Are you making any substitutions? Are you measuring your flour accurately (as well as all other ingredients)? Too little flour will cause cakes to fall. Are you baking them long enough, or taking them out too soon? This particular cake comes out pretty much flat most of the time, but shouldn’t sink in the middle. Hope this helps!
Hi Nora, Love your recipes! My question is is the 1/2 cup of aquafaba before or after it is whipped? I made this recipe into cupcakes and the taste was amazing, but the cupcakes always sunk slightly after rising well at first. I wondered if I measured the aquafaba incorrectly (I measured after whipping). I tried filling the cupcakes more, less, and they never kept their peak after rising. Also, wondering if it would help to whip the aquafaba more, into soft or stiff peaks instead of just until foamy. These are the best tasting vegan vanilla cupcakes I’ve tasted so I really want to get them to stop sinking. Any thoughts would be appreciated!!
Hi Maria. Measure the aquafaba AFTER whisking it until light and foamy (you only want the whipped part). Also, there are a number of other reasons that could be causing the cupcakes to sink, like an oven that’s too hot, opening the oven door, overworked batter, or expired baking powder. I hope this helps!
The flavor of this cake is WONDERFUL, however it ALWAYS sinks in the middle. I was reading various comments and replies……so you measure a half cup of the foamy aquafaba????? Since you are not folding in the “foam”, wouldn’t it be easier just to see how much that weighs and require that weight of the aquafaba or the amount in fractions of cups or tablespoons??? I think this is very confusing as written, and I did not get from the instructions that one was supposed to use only the foam.
This is not meant to be scathing or mean-spirited in any way, just an observation.
Hi Suzanne, thank you for the feedback. That is correct, you will whisk the aquafaba until it’s foamy, then scoop out 1/2 cup of it to add to the other ingredients (in step 5). I have never weighed the aquafaba, nor do I think it’s necessary. Step 3 and 5 of the instructions is where I specify that you will only use 1/2 cup of it. I’m sorry you found the instructions confusing on this one, I will do some thinking about if I can make it clearer. That said, if you only use 1/2 cup of the foamy aquafaba (instead of the whole amount) the cakes should not sink as much, but I do find most vegan cakes sink a little bit in the middle, but they should still taste light, fluffy and moist. Hope that helps.
My husband made the vanilla cake and I made your chocolate frosting. So good!!!
Sounds like fun! I’m happy you loved the cake! Thank you for sharing!
Where is the video?
Find the vegan vanilla cake recipe at noracooks.com. Scroll down past the first picture, and you should see the video. I hope this helps.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
This cake was delicious!!! It was loved by everyone! Beautiful recipe thank you.
I made it fresh, but I’m wondering how it freezes?
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!
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!
Can you use this recipe for cupcakes as well?
Hi Erika. Yes, the recipe works for cupcakes and will make about 24. Enjoy!
Would it be the same recipe if making a 9×13 cake?
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!