Vegan vanilla cake made without eggs! A small cake made in a 6 inch pan, but easily doubled or quadrupled for any pan size. It’s a vegan birthday cake for any size party!
Vegan vanilla cake without eggs:
It turns out, if you make a vegan person vegan enchiladas and vegan chocolate cake, they're just going to want more vegan food. (If you're new here, I love butter and runny eggs, but my husband is a vegan).
It’s totally fine, though—I really don’t mind making all of my husband’s favorite cakes in a vegan version. And, as it turns out, we’ve had a lot of occasions where we have needed cake lately.
It could just be my imagination, but vegan baking is a lot easier than traditional baking. I don’t have to wait for butter and eggs to come to room temperature, and most of the recipes come together in just one bowl.
If all cakes were vegan, would I bake even more than I already do? (Most definitely).
Easy vegan birthday cake:
This cake is so quick to make! I had both the large vegan vanilla cake and the small batch version in the oven during the brief afternoon nap my son takes after lunch. The following day, I had both versions frosted and photographed before noon, even though my son chose to wake up from his nap an hour early. Maybe my baby smells cake in his crib, and I really can't blame him for waking up to that smell.
I know you’re going to ask, so I’ll mention that YES, you may stir sprinkles into the cake batter here, and make a vegan confetti cake! If you’ve had your eye on my mini funfetti cake, but have always wanted a version without eggs or dairy, today is your lucky day!
How to scale down a cake recipe:
Typically, when I scale down a cake recipe to a small 6 inch cake, the recipe divides in half easily. In the case of my vegan chocolate cake, the 6 inch and 9 inch version are the same recipe doubled. However, when it comes to this vegan vanilla cake, everything is doubled when scaling up—except for the vinegar!
For changing the cake size, the same instructions for most of my small cake recipes apply here:
-The recipe below is for one 6 inch small cake. Slice it in half and fill with buttercream to make it a layer cake as seen in the photos.
-If you double the recipe below, you'll get one 9 inch cake. However, be sure to only use 1 tablespoon of vinegar, not 4 teaspoons, if doubling. If you quadruple the recipe, you'll get two 9 inch layer cakes, just like a normal layer cake. Or, you can double it and bake two 6 inch small cakes for stacking higher.
Why do vegan cake recipes have vinegar?
I'm so glad you asked this question! You see, most regular non-vegan cake recipes contain a dairy product. Dairy products are acidic, and as such, they react with the leaveners in a recipe (the baking soda and baking powder). But since vegan cakes don't have dairy, we add a very small amount of vinegar to the cake batter to activate the baking soda. Cool, right?
Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake
Vegan vanilla birthday cake without eggs. Recipe doubles for a single layer 9" cake pan. Or, quadruple the recipe for a 2 layer 9" cake. If doubling the recipe, use just 1 tablespoon of vinegar instead of 4 teaspoons.
For the cake:
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- ⅓ cup milk alternative* (soy, almond, or coconut)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
For the vegan vanilla buttercream:
- 1 stick plant-based butter substitute
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- splash of milk alternative, to bring it together
- decorative sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350, and place an oven rack in the center position of the oven.
Spray one 6" cake pan with 2" sides with cooking spray, and then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and spray again.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, vanilla, oil, and vinegar.
Slowly pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients while whisking. Whisk until the cake batter is mostly lump-free, but try not to mix too much and make a dense cake batter.
Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake on the center rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
While the cake cools, make the frosting: beat together the softened 'butter' with the powdered sugar, vanilla, pinch of salt and splash of milk. Add extra milk if needed to bring it together.
Once the cake is cool, slice it in half horizontally. Place the bottom of the cake on a plate, and scoop ⅓ of the frosting on top. Spread the frosting almost to the edges. Place the remaining cake layer on top, and frost with the remaining frosting. If desired, portion some frosting into a bag fitted with an open star tip and decorate the cake with buttercream swirls and sprinkles.
*I tested this recipe with soy milk, almond milk in the refrigerated carton, and coconut milk in the carton. I do not recommend canned coconut milk because the consistency varies.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 733Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 486mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 1gSugar: 77gProtein: 3g
Might be a silly question but what brand of cooking spray do you use to grease your pans?
Christina Lane says
Not silly :) I use either a coconut oil spray from Trader Joe's or an avocado spray oil from Costco :)
I normally try to be pretty healthy and was going through cooking spray so fast so I bought a reusable spray bottle that I fill with avocado oil but the exception is for when I do layer cakes I ALWAYS use the pam baking spray bc that shit works SO well along with a parchment round in the bottom the cake basically removes itself lol. Not my recipe but just thought I’d share in case it helps.
This was excellent , so perfect thank you for the recipient
Made this for my son’s first birthday since he has dairy and egg allergies. It’s so simple and tastes amazing! Perfect for each of us to have a small slice!
Jacob Thomas says
This was such an easy-to-follow recipe. I made this to use up some frosting I had in the freezer, my girlfriend pretty much ate everything herself in about 20 minutes. I will definitely be using this again.
I was surprised I haven’t commented on this already but this is my FAVORITE vanilla cake recipe. It’s so easy and nothing even needs to be brought to room temp. Mine finished at 22 mins on the dot. I made this cake for the third time tonight this time for my sisters birthday and I doubled the recipe. I find that so many vanilla cake recipes have a ton of unnecessary ingredients and always use butter which tbh I’m not a fan of for cakes bc they come out more dry. This recipe tho is fool proof I stg and tastes SO good. I made it a few months back for my auntie who is veg (I’m mostly plant based myself) and ofc she loved it but my moms other friends who are big time meat eaters and think vegan food isn’t as good ate it not knowing it was vegan and were like “omg this is the best vanilla cake I’ve ever had”. Just thought you’d like to know how much me and the people who I’ve made it for LOVE your recipe :) thanks for sharing it with us!
How can you make this cake for someone who has to eat Gluten free?