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!

Vegan vanilla cake with white frosting and strawberries. This vegan vanilla cake is pure perfection. It's light, fluffy, and moist - with just the right amount of vanilla flavor. Top it off with my vegan buttercream frosting for a cake that's straight from heaven. #vegancake #veganvanillacake #veganwhitecake #vegancakewithstrawberries #veganbirthdaycake #bestvegancake #vegancakerecipe #veganfrosting #vegandesserts
Vegan vanilla cake with white frosting and strawberries, top down view. This vegan vanilla cake is pure perfection. It's light, fluffy, and moist - with just the right amount of vanilla flavor. Top it off with my vegan buttercream frosting for a cake that's straight from heaven. #vegancake #veganvanillacake #veganwhitecake #vegancakewithstrawberries #veganbirthdaycake #bestvegancake #vegancakerecipe #veganfrosting #vegandesserts
A white vegan vanilla cake with white frosting topped with a strawberry. This vegan vanilla cake is pure perfection. It's light, fluffy, and moist - with just the right amount of vanilla flavor. Top it off with my vegan buttercream frosting for a cake that's straight from heaven. #vegancake #veganvanillacake #veganwhitecake #vegancakewithstrawberries #veganbirthdaycake #bestvegancake #vegancakerecipe #veganfrosting #vegandesserts

Want To Make A Vegan Cake… but Chocolate?

A vegan chocolate cake with chocolate frosting made from whipped coconut oil. A fork has taken a piece of the fluffy chocolate cake out and looks delicious.

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.

White vegan vanilla cake with white vanilla frosting and strawberries. This vegan vanilla cake is pure perfection. It's light, fluffy, and moist - with just the right amount of vanilla flavor. Top it off with my vegan buttercream frosting for a cake that's straight from heaven. #vegancake #veganvanillacake #veganwhitecake #vegancakewithstrawberries #veganbirthdaycake #bestvegancake #vegancakerecipe #veganfrosting #vegandesserts

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.

vegan white cake - vegan vanilla cake made from a fluffy spongecake with white frosting and a strawberry. This vegan vanilla cake is pure perfection. It's light, fluffy, and moist - with just the right amount of vanilla flavor. Top it off with my vegan buttercream frosting for a cake that's straight from heaven. #vegancake #veganvanillacake #veganwhitecake #vegancakewithstrawberries #veganbirthdaycake #bestvegancake #vegancakerecipe #veganfrosting #vegandesserts

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.

A white vegan vanilla cake slice with white frosting and strawberry.

Vegan Vanilla Cake

The perfect vegan white cake. It's light, fluffy, moist, with a hint of vanilla.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Additional Time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings 12 slices
Calories 199 kcal

Ingredients

Wet Mix

  • 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)

Dry Mix

  • 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

Instructions

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)

Video

Course: Dessert, Vegan Desserts
Cuisine: American, European, Japanese

Nutrition

Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
the BEST vegan vanilla cake. This vegan vanilla cake is pure perfection. It's light, fluffy, and moist - with just the right amount of vanilla flavor. Top it off with my vegan buttercream frosting for a cake that's straight from heaven. #vegancake #veganvanillacake #veganwhitecake #vegancakewithstrawberries #veganbirthdaycake #bestvegancake #vegancakerecipe #veganfrosting #vegandesserts

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9 Comments

  1. Haley D Williams on April 8, 2020

    5 stars
    Oh my! this sure looks amazing! I love that it is vegan! Love your photos too!

    Reply
  2. Ashley on April 8, 2020

    5 stars
    Wow!! This is beautiful!

    Reply
  3. Anita on April 8, 2020

    5 stars
    The cake is totally moist and tender and indistinguishable from a regular non-vegan cake. This will be the cake to bake for my vegan friends. 🙂

    Reply
  4. HANNAH HEALY on April 8, 2020

    5 stars
    Wow! This looks absolutely amazingly light, rich and fluffy! I love that you use aquafaba to fluff it up! yum!

    Reply
  5. Paula Montenegro on April 8, 2020

    5 stars
    I only made one vegan chocolate cake and was amazed at how great it was. I can’t wait to try this recipe! It looks amazing and I bet is delicious!

    Reply
  6. Tara on April 8, 2020

    5 stars
    Made this for a vegan friend and it was a hit — thanks!

    Reply
  7. Pam on May 9, 2020

    5 stars
    This cake turned out absolutely amazing! I put your chocolate buttercream frosting on it to make a choc & vanilla vegan cake for my son’s birthday. Everyone loved it!!

    Reply
  8. Serena on April 24, 2021

    5 stars
    100% would make this again! I added a mix of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries to the top and added some in the middle layer of frosting, it was to die for!

    Reply
    • Shannon Hakala on April 24, 2021

      That sounds delicious, Serena. I need to try doing that next time, too!

      Reply

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About the Author

Shannon Hakala

Recipe Creator

I'm Shan and I love sharing tasty & easy vegan recipes!

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