This best blue velvet cake recipe is topped with a creamy vegan buttercream frosting. Blue velvet cake recipes are made from a buttermilk cake batter with cocoa flavor. Sometimes referred to as a blue suede cake, the beautiful blue color comes from all-natural ingredients (no artificial food coloring). If you love a surprisingly colorful cake, this recipe is for you!
Add creamy vegan vanilla frosting on top with sprinkles for a festive vegan birthday cake.
Wouldn’t it be perfect to make your next Birthday cake blue? Or how about a Blue Velvet Wedding Cake? Whether Blue Birthday Cakes or wedding cakes, this cake is gorgeous! Besides, I love the surprise factor when serving colorful cakes, such as this vegan red velvet cake!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using cocoa extract instead of cocoa powder helps bring at the natural blue color and the smooth cocoa flavor.
- Creaming the fat and the sugar makes a tender cake that will bring you back for slice after slice.
- Natural food coloring means this cake isn’t infused with chemical food coloring.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Vegan butter — For storebought, I use Earth Balance butter sticks (not spreadable tub margarine). For homemade, I make this vegan butter recipe.
- Granulated sugar
- Vegetable oil
- Almond flour — If you don’t have almond flour, you can leave this out, but it adds moisture to the cake.
- Baking soda + Baking powder
- Apple cider vinegar — Vinegar interacts with the baking soda to create a light vegan cake. You can substitute white vinegar.
- Cocoa extract — I can find this at my local grocery store in the baking aisle. You can substitute 2–3 tablespoons of natural cocoa powder (dutch-processed is not recommended) if you can’t find it. This will alter the color of the finished cake, and so you’ll want to add some natural food coloring gel to achieve a blue color.
- Flour — I recommend all-purpose flour for a soft and tender cake, or you can use whole wheat pastry flour (not the same thing as whole wheat flour)
- Blue matcha powder — This is a natural food coloring. See the link in the recipe card for the brand I recommend.
- Frosting — I recommend using either this Vegan Buttercream Vanilla Frosting or this Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting.
- Optional: Natural Food Coloring Gel (for even bluer cake)
How to Make Blue Velvet Cake
- Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the oil, almond flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the vinegar, vanilla, and cocoa extract, and mix again until smooth and creamy.
- Add the flour in alternating steps with the water. Then mix in the blue matcha powder until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 30 – 33 minutes until the edges are golden and the cake is set.
- Cool cakes for 10 minutes and then invert them onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide for this recipe:
Step One: Cream Butter and Sugar
Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl. Set your mixer to medium speed and take your time with this first step, beating it between 2 to 3 minutes.
Step Two: Add Ingredients
Add the following to the creamed butter: oil, almond flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then, beat for another minute or so, until light and fluffy.
The batter is sticking to the beaters now which is good.
Step Three: Add Vinegar & Cocoa
Next, add the vinegar and cocoa extract, and beat on medium-low speed to combine.
Step Four: Alternate Flour and Water
Next, add both water and flour in steps. Turn the mixer down to low speed. Beginning with the flour, pour about a half cup in, followed by some of the water. Repeat this, finishing with the flour.
Step Five: Add Blue Coloring
Of course, most blue cake recipes use food coloring. However, I used the magic blue matcha powder, otherwise referred to as Blue Butterfly Pea Powder. It’s a natural ingredient, which is appealing.
Add the pea powder to the batter and stir, and the cake batter will transform into a stunning shade of blue.
Making Blue Cake
I was committed to coloring this cake blue without tons of unnatural food coloring.
These are the two tricks I used:
- I used cocoa extract instead of cocoa powder (because cocoa powder is dark it was hard to get a beautiful blue color without adding a lot of food coloring).
- Using a natural blue matcha powder created a nice hue.
You’ll notice the batter is a more vibrant blue than the baked cake. If you want the finished cake to be a more vibrant color, I recommend adding natural food coloring gel to the batter.
Create a gorgeous marbled look by swirling the color throughout the batter.
Here are some fun ways to make this cake:
- Blue Sheet Cake — Use a 9×13 pan and bake it for an additional 10–15 minutes. Use a tester inserted in the center to test for doneness.
- Pretty Blue Velvet Cake Pops — Use my Vegan Cake Balls recipe as a guide to transforming this into cake balls. I think dipping these in vegan white chocolate and adding colorful sprinkles would be stunning.
- Blue Velvet Cupcakes — Pour the batter into prepared muffin tins and ake for 20–25 minutes. Top with your favorite icing and sprinkles.
Use these tips and tricks to make this cake perfect every time:
- Check for doneness beginning at around 30 minutes. Insert a tester into the center of the cake — it should come out clean to indicate that the cake is done
- Sometimes cakes don’t bake evenly. Use a long, serrated knife to trim the domed top off each cake to create a more even surface.
What does blue velvet cake taste like?
A Blue velvet cake has the same amazing taste as its red velvet counterpart. It’s a moist cake made with cocoa flavoring and mild acidic notes (thanks to vinegar). Blue food coloring is used to create a gorgeous blue cake concealed beneath a sweet cream cheese frosting!
Blue Velvet vs Red Velvet Cake
There are similarities between a blue velvet and a red velvet cake. The red velvet cake originated in the Great Depression when people had to be inventive with their dessert recipes because of the lack of ingredients. Creative cooks added beats to their cake for color.
Both cakes are moist cakes with a slight cocoa flavor. I love this story on the origins of the Red Velvet Cake.
More Vegan Cakes
This blue velvet cake is amazing. Here are even more vegan cakes to try!
Best Blue Velvet Cake Recipe
- 1/2 cup vegan butter , softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa extract
- 2 cups cold water
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons blue matcha powder
- Optional: Vegan Buttercream Vanilla Frosting
- Optional: Natural Food Coloring Gel (for even bluer cake)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Coat 2, 8 or 9- inch round cake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Cut parchment paper into two 8 or 9- inch circles. Place the round parchment paper in the bottom of the pans. Spray papers with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) mix the butter and sugar together on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes. Add in the oil, almond flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Continue mixing for an additional minute until smooth and combined. Add vinegar, cocoa extract, and mix again until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary to mix the batter evenly.
- Turn the mixer to low speed. In alternating steps add the flour and water, beginning with the flour. Continue mixing an additional 30 seconds, until combined and smooth. Add the matcha powder and mix again until just combined.
- Pour half the batter into each of the prepared pans.
- Bake for 30 – 33 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the center of the cake is set. Insert a toothpick in the center should come out clean.
- If using a 9 X 13 cake pan, bake for approximately 40 – 45 minutes
- Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto wire racks and cool completely before frosting.
- While the cakes are cooling, prepare your frosting. Above is a link to Vegan Vanilla Frosting which works perfectly on this cake!
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.