The Best Vegan Birthday Cake Recipe

Looking for a quick and easy vegan birthday cake recipe? This moist, fluffy vanilla cake with chocolate frosting is for you!

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This vegan birthday cake recipe is made without milk or eggs, making it a delicious dairy-free treat. It’s a 2-layer frosted cake that comes together using common pantry ingredients. It’s perfect for any celebration. Just mix ingredients together, bake and let cool. Then, it’s time to decorate!

How to Make This Recipe Gluten-Free

To make this homemade vegan birthday cake recipe gluten-free, simply replace the all-purpose flour with gluten-free baking flour.

The Best Vegan Sprinkles

You can’t have a birthday cake without sprinkles! But unfortunately, not all brands are created equal. Keep an eye out for confectioner’s glaze, beeswax and gelatin on the ingredients list as these items are not vegan. Or, check out these vegan-certified sprinkles:

How to Make Vegan Birthday Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake: 

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cups refrigerated unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting: 

  • 1 cup dairy-free margarine, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (Don’t forget to check the label on your confectioners’ sugar. Some brands contain a non-vegan ingredient called bone char).
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Tools You’ll Need

Instructions

Step 1: Mix your batter

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk, sugar, oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla. Once combined, stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened.

Step 2: Bake the cake

Vegan Birthday Cake Batter in Cake PansJenna Urben for Taste of Home

Pour the batter into two 9-inch greased round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Editor’s Tip: Here’s how to adjust baking recipes to fit any pan.

Step 3: Let the cake cool

Once baked, remove cake from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pans and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 4: Decorate the cake

Vegan vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and sprinklesJenna Urben for Taste of Home

To make rich vegan chocolate frosting, start by beating softened dairy-free margarine. Add confectioners’ sugar, baking cocoa and vanilla extract and continue to beat until frosting is silky smooth. Frost the cake. This guide explains how to frost a cake the easy way.

Finally, it’s time to decorate to your heart’s desire! For inspiration, we have some cake decorating ideas, like adding a drip, using ombre frosting or (gasp) making a naked cake.

Vegan vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and sprinklesJenna Urben for Taste of Home

Vegan Birthday Cake FAQs

Learn how to prevent common cake mistakes with a few quick tips.

Why is my vegan cake so dense?

Make sure that you are measuring each ingredient properly and using fresh baking soda and powder. The cake has no eggs, so your leavening agents need to have oomph.

Why does my vegan cake fall apart?

Your cake may be crumbly or dry for a few reasons. The first reason could be over-baking. Be sure to watch your cake toward the end of baking and test it with a toothpick immediately. Your cake could also be falling apart because it didn’t get a chance to rest after coming out of the oven.

I’ve also found that a vegan cake may crumble if it’s sliced when cold. It’s best to cut the cake at room temperature.

How do I keep my vegan cake moist?

Keep your cake from drying out by storing it in an airtight container! Also, be sure to use softened dairy-free margarine and don’t overmix the batter before baking.

How do I store vegan birthday cake?

Leftover cake can be stored covered at room temperature for a few days, or covered in the fridge for up to a week. If you plan to keep the cake for longer than a week, cut it up and wrap individual slices in plastic before storing in the freezer.

Next, we recommend baking these vegan chocolate chip cookies with walnuts or our simple vegan chocolate cake!

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Jenna Urben
Jenna is a food blogger focused on sharing allergy-friendly recipes. Her favorite ingredients include sweet potatoes, chickpeas and squash.