A light, soft, and flavourful vegan vanilla cake using a single bowl method. This is a very flexible recipe, with a number of options to suit you – full substitutions in the post!
Is there anything more lovely than a classic vanilla cake? Dressed with seasonal berries and edible flowers it’s the epitome of pretty!
A riff on our one-bowl vegan chocolate snacking cake, this vegan vanilla cake recipe is perfect any time of year, especially in summer when you want to bake quickly to avoid the heat. Using the one-bowl method, simply stir together the dry ingredients, quickly mix in the wet ingredients by hand, and bake for 30 minutes.
Once the cake has cooled, whip up a batch of our vegan vanilla buttercream, garnish it with fresh berries, and ta da! A stunner of a dessert for your mid-summer table.
Ingredient List For Vegan Vanilla Cake:
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- cane sugar
- sea salt
- neutral tasting oil (melted coconut, light olive oil, canola, vegetable, safflower, peanut, or any other you have on hand)
- apple cider vinegar
Make This Vegan Vanilla Cake Step-By-Step:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and line an 8-inch (20-cm) round or square cake tin with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and sea salt.
- Add the oil, water, vinegar, and vanilla to the bowl and stir until just combined. A few streaks of flour in the mixture are fine and will yield a more tender crumb. Over mixing can lead to a more dense and tougher crumb.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden and springs back lightly when touched.
- Cool the cake for 5 to 10 minutes on a wire rack before turning out of the pan to cool completely, about 2 to 3 hours. Once cool, decorate as you like!
Notes & Substitutions For Making This Recipe:
- Yield – This recipe makes one 8-inch (20-cm) round or square vegan vanilla cake. Double or triple the recipe to make a layer cake.
- Whole Grain Substitution – To make a whole grain version of this cake, substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose. Pastry flour will yield a more tender and moist crumb than regular whole wheat flour.
- Water Substitute – Substitute almond milk, or any another plant-based milk, for the water if you prefer. Milk adds richness, and can lend to a more pleasant texture in the mouth.
- Vinegar Replacement – If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand you can substitute white vinegar or lemon juice. The acid in the vinegar is needed to activate the baking soda and powder, giving the cake lift without using eggs.
- How To Store This Cake – An un-iced cake will last on the counter, covered or wrapped, for up to 4 days. A cake with icing on it should be stored in the fridge, and is good for up to 4 days.
- How To Freeze – Vegan vanilla cakes freeze well! Simply bake and cool, then wrap tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store cakes in the freezer for up to one month.
- How To Thaw A Frozen Cake – To thaw a frozen cake, remove it from the freezer and place it, fully wrapped, in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw. Proceed with icing or decorating.
- Other Ways To Use This Recipe – This recipe is also great to use for a trifle, or to bake into cupcakes!
Alternative Flavour Suggestions
Vegan vanilla cake is a great backdrop for various flavour additions! To take your cake to the next level try:
- Adding lemon zest for some brightness and zing.
- Swapping in almond extract for vanilla.
- Grating in some orange zest and adding ½ to 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom.
- Making a flavoured simple syrup and use it as a cake soak. Brush a thin layer of cooled syrup over the top of your cooled cake before icing. Use this recipe for hibiscus simple syrup as a guideline, replacing the hibiscus and cinnamon with any other flavours you like, such as Earl grey tea, honey, or fresh berries. Strain any solids from the syrup after it’s cool before using.
- Baking a vegan Victoria sandwich cake! Bake two vegan vanilla cakes, then make this small-batch raspberry rhubarb jam, and a batch of vegan vanilla buttercream. Assemble as a double layer cake, with jam and buttercream in the middle, and a dusting of powdered sugar on top, for a vegan twist on the British classic!
More Vegan Dessert Recipes You Might Like:
Vegan Vanilla Cake
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 8-inch (20-cm) round or square cake pan
- Parchment paper
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Wire rack
- 1-½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup natural cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 5 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil
- 1 cup water, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1-½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and line an 8-inch (20-cm) round or square cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium-large. Mix well.
- Add the oil, water, vinegar, and vanilla to the flour mixture and stir until the mixture is just combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden and springs back when lightly touched.
- Cool the cake for 5 to 10 minutes on a wire rack before turning out of the pan to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
If you make this recipe, let us know by tagging @baked_theblog + #bakedtheblog on Instagram! We love to feel like we’re in the kitchen with you.