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 (242 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


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



  • 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!


  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. 


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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  1. Hi Nora,
    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.

    1. 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!

  2. 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?

    1. 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!

  3. Hi,
    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.
    Thank you,

    1. 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!

  4. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

  5. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. You are welcome! I’m thrilled the cake turned out perfect for you, and that everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing your terrific feedback!

  7. Hi Nora,

    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.

    1. 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.

  8. Hi Nora
    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? 🙏

    1. 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!

  9. 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!

    1. 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!

  10. 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?

    1. 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!

          1. 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!

          2. Hi Nora,

            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).

            Thank you.

          3. 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!

        1. 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?

      1. Great recipe!! I was wanting to make this for my daughters 1st bday smash cake. any recommendations on using a bit less sugar??

        1. 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!

  11. 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!

    1. 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!

  12. 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!!

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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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