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 (211 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 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 slices


  • 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!



  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.


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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  1. Hi! I’m making this for the first time for my daughter’s BDAY! If I use a two 9″ pans, how does it change the recipe? TIA

    1. The cake layers will be a bit thinner when baked in larger pans and you may want to keep an eye on them just in case they bake a bit faster. Other than that, the recipe remains the same. Happy baking!

  2. There is a huge flaw in this recipe. The batter tastes too good and I can’t stop eating it. 😂 I’ve been making this recipe for many years now with different variations and it’s always perfect. My favorite was when I added poppyseeds to the batter, filled it with a cherry compote, and frosted it with buttercream tinted pink with cherry juice. This year my son requested a caramel apple cake so I’m adding Penzey’s baking spice to the batter, filling with an apple spice compote, frosting with caramel buttercream, and drizzling with homemade date caramel sauce.

    1. LOL! Hi Kinara! I sure love learning about all the different varieties you have tried with this recipe! They sound amazing! Thank you for sharing your ideas, and your fabulous review! Happy cooking!

  3. My son is allergic to dairy but not eggs. If I used eggs and not the aquafaba, do I use 2 eggs? Also, do I beat them fluffy first or do I just use them as is and mix them in with the butter/oil/sugar?

    1. Yes, 2 eggs should be fine. I of course haven’t tested this with real eggs but you shouldn’t need to beat them fluffy first. Beat them into the batter when you would normally add the aquafaba (step 5 – after creaming the butter/oil/sugar).

  4. Can’t wait to make this! Can I use vanilla bean instead of the extract? Would love to have the speckles of the vanilla bean showing 🙂 Thanks!

    1. That would be so elegant, Elizabeth! You can absolutely use a vanilla bean but I still recommend using at least 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract. You could also use vanilla bean paste instead of the extract/bean. That way, you get the vanilla flavor AND the speckles. Happy baking!

  5. Making this cake for my wife’s birthday as she is allergic to eggs. My cake isn’t out of the oven yet, but I already know it’s a winner. I have never seen a vegan cake batter this fluffy! It looks and acts exactly like the batter I use with an egg-based meringue. And it tastes good pre-bake too. I’m so impressed!

    1. Hi Caroline. I’m thrilled to hear you are loving the cake so far! Thanks for your amazing feedback and review! Happy birthday to your wife!

    1. Hi Monica. Overmixing the batter will knock the air out, which will result in dense cake that isn’t fluffy. It’s important to very gently mix the ingredients together on low speed until the batter is smooth and no dry flour remains (some lumps left behind are okay!). I hope this helps!

  6. Your vanilla birthday cake is my families ultimate favorite for my sons parties every year I make it . I recommend it . It’s so easy and don’t have to go to bakeries and spend tons of money

    1. Hi Holly. I am so happy to hear this is your son’s birthday cake! How fun! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! Happy baking!

  7. Love this recipe. I have been using it for several years as the base for my daughters birthday cake. She is 30 and still wants this cake for her celebration. For the past 2 years I have been using your lemon curd as a filling and I make a blueberry frosting. she says this is here favorite. Thank you for a great one!

    1. Hi Marcie. Your chosen combination of cake and flavors sounds out of this world! I’m so glad you are loving the cake recipe! Thank you for your wonderful review and great cake idea! Happy baking!

  8. Hi Nora!

    I made a half batch of your recipe because I was doing a vanilla and chocolate layer cake. I didn’t have a can of chickpeas for aquafaba so I subbed it with flax egg instead. My half recipe came out really greasy and did not rise at all. I double checked and I did halve all the ingredients. Could you help me troubleshoot this please 🙁

    1. It’s hard to know exactly what went wrong without being there but it sounds like too much oil was used in the batter OR the dry ingredients weren’t measured accurately, your butter was too soft/melted, and/or the butter/oil/sugar wasn’t creamed long enough. Aquafaba is also very important for the cake’s fluffiness, too.

    2. Hi Carrie, a very good tip for baking is to follow the recipe exactly before changing anything. Baking is definitely more of a science, so when you swap 1 ingredient for another, or change amounts of ingredients, it is no longer the authors recipe and now your own experiment lol. So if you start with original recipe to see how it’s supposed to turn out.. than you can slowly tweak things to your liking. And sometimes those tweaks will work and sometimes they won’t. Happy baking ☺️

  9. I’m shocked at how amazing this cake turned out. It’s delicious. The color is perfect. The texture is perfect. The recommended baking time was spot on. Thank you so much for creating this recipe. I hope it has made you a millionaire.

  10. I made cupcakes with this recipe. I used lemon juice instead of Apple Cider Vinegar. Olive oil instead of canola oil.
    These came out beautiful. This lady has a chocolate cake to die for also.

  11. Hi Nora! If I do not use aquafaba (chickpea allergy), what is the measurement equivalent to in eggs? We usually use Bob Mills egg replacer. Thank you!

    1. Hi Salma. The sheet cake should take around 45-55 minutes to bake, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the middle. Happy baking!

  12. We love your recipes and both the best vegan chocolate cake and the strawberry cake are our family’s favourites. I made this recipe for our granddaughter’s birthday party. I was confused by the instructions as they say to use 1/2 the aquafaba but there’s no indication on what to do with the rest, so I added it all. Did I miss something? Thank you and keep up the great work!

    1. I’m thrilled you loved the cake! You only use 1/2 cup of the foamy aquafaba, NOT the entire can’s worth. Any extras can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 🙂

    1. Hi Joe. Many of my cakes do freeze well, including this one! Make sure they are completely cooled, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. You could also wrap in aluminum foil for extra protection. Freeze them until ready to frost. Defrost cake to room temperature before frosting. It is recommended that cakes be frozen no more than 3 months for optimal flavor. Have fun, and happy cooking!

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