This easy Vegan Vanilla Cake recipe creates a perfect buttery that’s soft and moist. If you love delicious vanilla flavor, this homemade cake is easy to make — there are only a few steps before it’s in the oven. Use the tips in this easy vegan vanilla cake to make a perfect buttery, soft, and moist vanilla cake. Add a few sprinkles, and this could be your favorite vegan birthday cake!
This Easy Vegan Vanilla Cake is a fun twist on my Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe. I decided we needed a vanilla version. Because what’s life without a little vanilla?
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Combining vegan butter and vegetable oil creates a buttery taste and a super moist crumb
- Using almond flour and cornstarch also creates a soft cake that holds together nicely too
- Alternating liquid and flour into the batter helps prevent the development of gluten, making this the best vegan vanilla cake ever!
How to Make Vegan Vanilla Cake
Forget vegan, this is absolutely the best ever vanilla cake! I always think making a homemade cake is better than a cake mix. Sure, you can find an accidentally-vegan vanilla cake mix much more easily these days, but making it from scratch is always best.
Step One: Beat Together Butter and Sugar
The first thing to do when making vegan vanilla cake recipes is to beat together the butter and the sugar. Sure, the butter makes the batter look more like a vegan yellow cake, but it’s worth it for the added flavor!
I use a stand mixer set to medium speed and I take my time with this first step, beating it between 2–3 minutes. This article explains why creaming butter and sugar together is important.
Step Two: Add Other Ingredients
Next, you’ll add the oil, almond flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Continue beating another minute, until this mixture is light and fluffy.
This is a vanilla cake with no eggs, so it might be surprising that we’re not adding ground flaxseed. I’m allowing the flour along with the cornstarch to do the work of creating structure in this cake.
You can see that the batter is starting to stick to the beaters now. That’s good. If you’re mixing with this a hand mixer, you should experience the same effect.
Then add the vinegar, vanilla extract and almond extract and then beat again to combine.
Step Three: Alternate Adding Flour and Water
Next, you will add both water and flour in alternating steps. Turn the mixer down to low speed and beginning with the flour, pour about a half cup in, followed by some of the water, and continue with that process, finishing with the flour.
Be sure to use a spatula to wipe down the sides of the bowl so you get an even batter.
Once you’ve added the flour, you don’t want to overmix, so just beat the dough for another 15–30 seconds to combine.
Step Four: Bake
Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake for approximately 35 minutes.
Parchment paper in the bottom of the pan will help this vegan vanilla cake come out of the pan without sticking. It always works!
Always let the cake cool for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. In fact, I set a timer when I remove cakes from the oven to help me remember. Then place a plate or wire rack on top of the pan and flip it. The cake should fall out of the pan and onto your plate or wire rack.
How to Tell When a Cake is Done
A vegan vanilla cake is similar to any other cake and when it’s baked for the allotted time, I look for four cues to let me know that the cake is done:
- Color — The edges of the crust are a golden brown
- Texture — When I press on the center of the cake, it springs back with a spongey response
- Edges — The edges of the cake have slightly pulled away from the pan
- Tester — A tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
How do I make a cake more moist?
There are several ways I’ve used to make this easy cake recipe moister: 1) A combination of vegan butter (Earth Balance) and supplementing that with oil helps create and maintain a nice, soft crumb. 2) This vegan vanilla cake includes almond flour because it adds both moisture and flavor. 3) Adding apple cider vinegar, combined with baking powder and baking soda, helps keep your cake fluffy!
What kind of flour should I use for a vegan cake recipe?
For a vegan cake recipe, I recommend all-purpose flour. We’ll also add cornstarch to simulate cake flour. I find it helps to create a lighter cake. I think you’ll agree!
What are vegan cakes made of?
First, let’s discuss what vegan cakes don’t have — such as eggs, milk, or butter. What’s left? There are plenty of plant-based ingredients that serve as substitutes to make the best vegan cakes. For example, vegan butter, plant-based milk, and egg replacers such as applesauce and ground flax.
How can I prevent the cake from sticking to the pans?
I recommend using parchment paper to help prevent the moist vanilla cake recipe from sticking to the pans. Here’s how I do it: spray the bottoms and sides of two round cake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Cut two rounds of parchment paper by tracing around the bottom of your cake pans. Place the parchment circles in the bottoms of sprayed cake pans. Then spray over the top of the parchment paper.
You can use this vegan vanilla cake batter to make cupcakes! I recommend adding papers to a muffin tin and then pouring the cake batter into each paper about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 24–26 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes turn slightly golden.
You can also insert a tester to make sure it comes out clean. Then allow them to cool and frost with your favorite icing.
Whether cake or cupcakes, I think this recipe would make a perfect vegan birthday cake with sprinkles on top!
Vegan Vanilla Cake Frosting
What frosting you use matters, but there are a couple of steps you’ll want to take first. When you’re making the best cake recipe, you want the finished product to look amazing!
- Let the Cakes Cool Completely — Don’t frost cakes until they’re completely cooled.
- Level the Cakes — if the baked cakes look uneven or puffy in the middle, use a serrated knife and carefully slice off that domed part of the cake in the middle. Be sure and save those vegan butter cake scraps because they’re delicious too! Just be careful not to shave off too much because you can upset the structure of the cake if you’re not careful.
- Frosting Options — You can make a “naked” cake (where there is frosting in between the layers and on the top, but not on the sides). Or you can frost the sides as well.
- Filling Options — you can also think about some different filling options, such as fruit or jam. For this Vegan Coconut Cake, I made a cashew cream filling between the layers and it was delicious!
Here are some great frosting ideas for this vegan vanilla cake:
- This Vegan Vanilla Frosting is what I used in the photos. It’s delicious!
- If you love chocolate, this Vegan Chocolate Frosting is fabulous!
- For an interesting twist, try this amazing Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting!
My Amazon Picks for this Recipe
More Vegan Cakes
Check out my Raspberry Coconut Cake recipe. It’s a go-to favorite, especially for birthdays! Or how about my vegan Chunky Monkey Cake? It’s made with bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate, my favorite flavors!
You can’t go wrong with this amazing Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe. It’s an easy recipe that yields the perfect bite time and time again. Another ultimate in cake is this Vegan Pound Cake Recipe that can be served with some tasty Blueberry Sauce or a Strawberry Puree on top!
Easy Vegan Vanilla 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 paddle attachment (or using 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, vanilla and almond extracts 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.
- 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.
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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 vegan vanilla cake post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.