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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Vegan Vanilla Cake
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Aquafaba (or sub 1/2 cup vegan yogurt)
- 1/2 cup aquafaba
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 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.
- 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.
- Gluten free? Try substituting a quality gluten free all purpose mix. I like Better Batter brand.
- 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.
- If you can find it, unsweetened high fat or protein yogurt works well in place of the aquafaba.
- For cupcakes, bake for 20-25 minutes until done and fill liners half full.
- 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.