Creating the perfect vegan cake recipe was not easy. First of all, I’m very picky about my recipes and I only consider posting them if they’re knock-your-socks-off good. Which this is.
Secondly, I had a vision for this cake. I got this vision from the pristine white vanilla cakes I ate in Japan when I was a teenager. If you’ve ever been to Japan, you know they have pretty high standards when it comes to food.
And the cakes I had in Japan were some of the best I’ve ever had – so light and lovely you could eat the whole thing at once. They were on another level, and that’s the level I strove to achieve with my cake.
So after a few months testing recipes, a few near-wins and many total and absolute FLOPS (everything from “…this cake tastes like wood..” to “oh my gosh, why is my cake only half an inch tall?!!”) – I’m proud to share this truly wonderful GEM of a vegan cake recipe with you.
How To Make Vegan Vanilla Cake
Making this cake isn’t too hard as long as you follow the instructions.
- Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl
- Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl
- Whip the aquafaba until fluffy (don’t need to form peaks)
If you’re wondering what aquafaba is – it’s not a brand name, it’s the name given to the liquid from a can of chickpeas. I have a recipe for how to make aquafaba at home, which is what I often do when I want to make a large quantity of it to keep in the fridge.
FYI, I have had success with aquafaba from chickpeas, soybeans, and blackbeans. So use what you’ve got!
Want To Make A Vegan Cake… but Chocolate?
Thinking you’d like to make a vegan cake, but chocolate flavored? I have a recipe for that too!
Use my recipe for vegan chocolate cake.
Vegan Buttercream Frosting
I use coconut oil to make the frosting for this vanilla cake. It’s important to always use refined coconut oil if you don’t want to have any coconut taste in the end result. I like using coconut oil instead of vegan lard or vegan baking sticks because it’s less expensive, only has one ingredient (so easier to write a recipe that stays consistent for everyone), and especially in this cake, it adds no flavor or color, which is what we want!
There are two ways you can make the vegan buttercream frosting. The first way, as shown in these photos of the vanilla cake, is a more traditional frosting that’s fluffy but spreads more smoothly.
You can also make a whipped buttercream frosting, which is what I used in the chocolate cake recipe. Just add a teaspoon or two of water or plant based milk to the frosting once you have completed the normal recipe, and whip it in. It gives it that whipped texture that’s even lighter and fluffier.
How To Get Even More Vanilla Flavor In Your Cake
I used clear vanilla extract (also known as imitation vanilla extract) in this cake and in the frosting. It’s a clear liquid that won’t add color to your cake, for a very white cake, but since it’s imitation, it has less vanilla flavor.
My recommendation to add a more intense vanilla flavor is to add vanilla sugar. There are different kinds of vanilla sugar out there, but the one you want is basically like a superfine sugar (looks like powdered sugar) with vanilla bean seeds in it. You will be able to see the tiny dark vanilla seeds in the vanilla sugar as well as in the final cake (they won’t darken the overall color of the cake though). And they’ll add MUCH more vanilla flavor.
If you want to add vanilla sugar, I would simply add in about 1-2 teaspoons of it without making further adjustments to the other ingredients.
Here’s the vegan buttercream frosting recipe I used on this cake.
Vegan Vanilla Cake Recipe
If you have any questions about the recipe, let me know in the comments below.
Vegan Vanilla Cake
- 3 Tbsp aquafaba
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup oat milk
- 1 tsp distilled vinegar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (use clear imitation vanilla extract for a whiter cake)
- 1 2/3 cups cake flour
- 2 Tbsp potato starch
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
Vegan Vanilla Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 7" springform cake pan with parchment paper.
- Sift the dry ingredients 2x. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients.
- Whip aquafaba and cream of tartar until foamy.
- Stir aquafaba into the wet mix and then gently stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 50 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. (Vegan Buttercream Frosting)