Now that I’ve conquered my all-time favorite vegan chocolate frosting, we need cake to go with it! This super easy vegan vanilla cake is the FLUFFIEST and most perfectly tender cake for all occasions.
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Happppppy birthday to me happy birthday to meeeee! Ok, so maybe my birthday was technically two weeks ago, but I always make a cake for it and share the whole thing with my husband since his birthday is the day after mine and we usually do a joint celebration the weekend after.
This year, I was in Minneapolis for work and flew back on my birthday, enjoying a lovely pre-flight breakfast with my bosses and coworkers and even ate dessert at breakfast before I headed to the airport (BEST DAY). When I landed, I met a friend for tacos, margaritas, and a trip to the world’s largest music festival. We capped it all off a few days later with dinner with a few close friends and drink at our favorite bar across the street from our house. I think I rang in year 30 (!!) with a pretty good celebration!
Now, moving on to the CAKE! Each year I make something different and it always involves some form of chocolate. Last year it was a mint chip cake, a few years before it was a super chocolaty brownie version that was SO GOOD, and this year, it’s a classic vegan vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. To be honest, I love a good layer cake as much as the next person, but the whole leveling, frosting, crumb coating, etc. can be a PAIN and I just didn’t want to deal with it this year. Besides, slicing off a few squares of this vegan vanilla cake is so much easier when it isn’t in layer cake form and I can tell myself it’s ‘just a small slice’!
This homemade vanilla cake is super easy to make in an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square pan, no round cake pans or fancy frosting tools required. You can double the recipe and make a layer cake or a two layer square cake if you want, but this single layer version is just right for serving up to a crowd. I usually like to make people take a lot of my baking home with them, so this was super easy to slice up and force on people as they left our house after a cookout (lucky? I think so!).
The 411 on This Vegan Vanilla Cake:
- It doesn’t have any super weird ingredients! I hate when I can’t make a recipe without running to the store first, so these should all be things you have on hand.
- Super easy! Seriously, cake is one of the easiest things you can bake and as long as you’re following the recipe, you are going to have a slice of heaven in your hands in NO time.
- Fluffy and light without having a weird texture. I’ve tried a few vegan vanilla cake recipes and some of them are straight up WEIRD. Like, they are a strange shade of yellow and don’t taste that great kind of weird. I want to feed this to just about anyone and not have them say ‘ok what’s weird about this?’. They will think it’s made with butter and eggs, pinky promise.
- Easy to modify! Like I mentioned above, if you want to make it into a layer cake, great! Double the recipe and hop to it. If you want to add in a bit of lemon or another kind of flavorings, that works! I love that this cake is a super easy building block to another, more complicated cake.
FAQs About How to Make Vanilla Cake
Do I need to whisk the dry ingredients?
YES! If you don’t, you could end up with a chunky batter and accidentally bite into a clump of baking soda (yep, I’ve done it and it’s GROSS). I’m lazy and always just whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl to ‘sift’ them.
Can I substitute gluten-free flour?
No. I haven’t tested this with gluten free flour and can’t say, but I’m guessing that it won’t work if you sub in straight up GF flour blend for the AP flour in the recipe. I am testing out a GF cake, but for now, this one is going to stay gluten-filled.
Can I substitute coconut oil for olive oil?
Yes! The cake might come out tasting a bit more like coconut, but if you are ok with that, sub away!
Previous Vegan Cake Recipes on Heart of a Baker:
Apple Spice Cake with Coconut Cream Vegan Frosting
Banana Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter GanachePrint
Vegan Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 9 1x
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
The BEST vegan vanilla cake that is moist, fluffy, and SO perfect with chocolate frosting! This cake is so easy and comes together in less than an hour.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Rodelle vanilla paste
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 batch vegan chocolate frosting
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, soda, powder, and salt.
- Add the olive oil, vanilla paste, almond milk, and vinegar. Whisk until no lumps remain and batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting.
Inspired by All Recipes
Keywords: vegan vanilla cake, homemade vanilla cake, how to make vanilla cake
Totally making this recipe. My teenager LOVES white cake. I am vegan and he is not. This recipe looks like one he might never know the difference!
Heart of a Baker says
He will NEVER know! Hope he loves it, let me know!
I am not a vegan but this one is soooo attractive : keeper it is ! Thank you so much !
Heart of a Baker says
Thank you! It’s so good, so I hope you love it!
Tessa | Salted Plains says
This looks soooo good! I don’t think I would share with anyone. 🙂 I love Rodelle’s vanilla paste – it gives that extra special flavor!! xoxo
Heart of a Baker says
I had a REALLY hard time sharing! 🙂
So yummy! The flavor is awesome. I made these for a cookie exchange over the weekend. Thanks again Abby