This is the only Vegan Vanilla Layer Cake recipe you’ll ever need because everyone loves it! It’s easy to make and delicious. It’s rich, fluffy and just sweet enough – just like a vanilla cake should be.
If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that food is more than calories. It provides satisfaction, pleasure, lasting memories and it brings people together. There’s an emotional connection when we eat certain foods and there’s a joy that it brings when you can share it with others. That is why I’m sharing this Vanilla Layer Cake with you today – to bring you joy!
I had wanted to share an easy vegan vanilla cake ever since I made a chocolate raspberry cake. Although that chocolate recipe is a HUGE hit on the blog, you all were still requesting a gluten-, dairy- and nut-free vanilla cake. How could I say no? Plus, I love fluffy vanilla cake!
But this cake is so much more than the taste and ease of throwing it all together. It’s about making a beautiful dessert that everyone can enjoy together.Wouldn’t this be great over Fourth of July with all those red & blue berries or for your next special occasion – anyone’s birthday cake coming up?
HOW DO YOU MAKE THE BEST VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE VANILLA CAKE?
- Use great ingredients & FOLLOW this recipe as is.
- Use a high quality vanilla extract, not artificial vanilla.
- To make this gluten-free, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Gluten-free Blend. It is the only gf blend I use based off of experimenting with so many other brands.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CAKES MOIST?
Vinegar! Contrary to what you may think, the acidity of this enhances the flavors and contributes to leavening and tenderness of this cake.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A CAKE LIGHT AND FLUFFY?
- Fluffiness comes from using the right amount of leavening agent (baking soda + vinegar); too much and the cake will collapse, too little and it will be dense.
- Using vinegar will also lighten the cake batter.
- If you head over to my German Chocolate Cake recipe you will see another way to get a moist and fluffy crumb using coffee.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHITE AND VANILLA CAKE
Vanilla cake is flavored with vanilla but a white cake typically means that the cake is whiter from using egg whites only (which we don’t do here) or aquafaba. I tried the latter a few times, but I’m still working on perfecting that one! When I get it, you’ll be the first to know.
A FEW TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT VEGAN GLUTEN FREE VANILLA CAKE
- Make sure your oven is baking at the right temperature because on over-baked cake can be dry and crumbly. An oven thermometer can help for accuracy.
- Don’t switch out the oil for butter. This vanilla cake recipe uses canola oil because it gives it the best possible taste while still preserving the soft, fluffy texture that you want. Using butter will actually likely make your cake more dense and dry. You can however, substitute another mild oil such as vegetable, safflower or grape-seed oil for the canola oil without issue.
- Measure the flour exactly or use a kitchen scale to weigh if needed. I like to scoop my flour with a spoon then add to my measuring cup then level. This way it’s not packed in there.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Stop mixing when everything is just combined.
- Make sure that your vanilla cake cools completely before frosting! If it’s warm at all, it’s likely to melt the frosting.
- If you’re just making the cake layers, you can store the cake on the counter tightly wrapped or sealed in an airtight container. If you’ve frosted the cake, I recommend storing them in the refrigerator and not sitting out for more than 2 hours.
CRAVING MORE CAKE RECIPES?
- Blueberry Banana Cake
- Red Velvet Cake
- Banana Bundt Cake
- Berry-filled Vanilla Cupcakes
- Crazy Good Vegan Carrot Cake
THIS CLASSIC VEGAN CAKE PAIRS FLUFFY VANILLA CAKE LAYERS WITH FRESH BERRIES AND A LIGHT VANILLA BUTTERCREAM. THE PERFECT CAKE FOR BIRTHDAYS, WEDDINGS, OR ANY OCCASION!
- 3 cups all purpose flour (or 1-1 gluten-free flour blend)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups non-dairy milk (such as flax, soy or rice)
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup white or apple-cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup shortening
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1-3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- 3 cups fresh berries (sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries)
- Vanilla Buttercream or Coconut Whipped Cream
To make the cake:
- preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 2 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk non-dairy milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Pour wet mixture into the dry and whisk just until combined.
- Fill each cake pan evenly with batter and bake for 30-35 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry). Rotate the cake pans halfway through baking time.
- Let cake cool completely before assembly.
To make buttercream:
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat shortening until smooth. Add powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk at a time as needed until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Increase speed to high and beat 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
To assemble the cake:
- Once the cakes are cooed, run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen and gently unmold the cake. Peel off parchment paper and carefully slice the dome part of the cake for even assembly.
- Place one cake on a serving plate. Spread a layer of frosting or whipped cream on top. Arrange half the berries on top then place the second cake on top of the first. Top with more frosting. Arrange berries on top of the cake and serve.
*Assemble the cake before serving to maintain the most freshness. You can also omit the middle layer of berries and simply top with them.