With simple pantry staples, a no-fuss method, and the most tender texture, this just-sweet-enough cake is simply delicious. It’s perfect for egg-free and dairy-free baking, and for anyone just looking for a reliable, delicious Vanilla Cake.
Easy Vanilla Cake
I have long wanted to make an easy Vanilla Cake in the style of my Easy Chocolate Cake—where you don’t need a mixer or to cream butter, you simply stir together the most basic of ingredients into a tender, fluffy cake. Ta-da! It’s finally here!
The beauty of this cake is that it works for anyone who needs to bake without eggs or dairy, and it’s also just a reliable, easy cake. I love that this is made with pantry staples that I usually have on hand, tastes just like the real deal, and doesn’t need a stand mixer or hand mixer. Just use a large mixing bowl and a whisk!
We love this vegan cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (with vegan alternatives, as needed), but you can use any frosting you prefer. It’s perfect for a Smash Cake, as a birthday cake, for Easter, Valentine’s Day, or really any special day.
This cake can even be made ahead of time and stuck into the fridge of freezer. It’s so versatile.
Contents hide 1 Easy Vanilla Cake 2 Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here! 3 Vegan Vanilla Cake 4 Ingredients You Need 5 Step-by-Step Instructions 6 How to Store 7 Best Tips for Success 8 Related Recipes 9 Easy Vanilla Cake (Vegan)
Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here!
Sign up for our email updates to get tips and ideas sent to your inbox.
Vegan Vanilla Cake
Whenever I post a recipe, I am immediately asked how to make it without eggs and dairy, so I figured it would just be easier to start without those ingredients for this. I love that this is more accessible for more families. And it can even be made without gluten, if needed, by using a cup-for-cup style of gluten-free baking mix like the one from King Arthur Flour.
Ingredients You Need
Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to have on hand, plus anything for your desired frosting recipe, so you know what to pick up from the store.
- All-purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour): Using either of these flours ensures the cake is tender and moist.
- Sugar: I use a modest amount of sugar here to make sure the cake tastes like cake, but the flavor isn’t super sweet. (The amount of sugar in this recipe is 2/3 or more less than other similar cake recipes.) You could use coconut sugar if you prefer. Look for a fine grain of coconut sugar to ensure it blends in the same as granulated sugar.
- Baking soda: Fresh, active baking soda ensures the cake bakes through and rises properly. (You won’t need baking powder, just baking soda.)
- Vegetable oil (like canola oil or avocado oil): A neutral oil adds fat and moisture to the cake. You can use unsalted melted butter (if you don’t need the cake to be vegan) or coconut oil, if you prefer.
- White vinegar: You need this acid to react with the baking soda and help the cake to rise and hold together. Do not skip this ingredient.
- Pure vanilla extract: This adds that classic vanilla flavor we all love.
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (using vegan cream cheese and vegan butter, as needed) or another preferred frosting.
Below is an overview of the process of making this simple layer cake so you know what to expect. Go to the end of this post for the specific amounts and timing.
- Preheat the oven and grease two 6-inch cake pans. Line with a round of parchment paper to further prevent sticking. Add the ingredients, both wet and dry ingredients, to a medium bowl and whisk gently to combine into a smooth mixture. Divide the cake batter between the prepared pans.
- Bake, then let the cake rounds cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans. Let cool completely on the wire rack.
- To frost, place one cake onto a cake stand or plate. Add ⅓ of the frosting to the top of the cake. Spread to the edges.
- Top with the second layer and the remaining frosting, then spread over the top and the sides. Add sprinkles if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which vegan frostings work best with this cake?
You can use vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to make any vegan cream cheese frosting you prefer. My favorites include Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, Strawberry Frosting, or classic Cream Cheese Frosting. Or use a favorite vegan buttercream.
What can I use instead of eggs for vanilla cake?
This cake is made without eggs, so it’s a perfect and easy egg-free vanilla cake.
Why is my vegan cake gummy?
The key to the texture of this vegan vanilla cake is fresh, active baking soda and the acid in the white vinegar. The texture will not be gummy if you use those two ingredients.
How to Store
Store leftovers in the fridge, tightly wrapped or in an airtight container. You can also freeze slices for future enjoyment. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap (wrapping slices on small paper plates makes this easy) and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.
You can make the cakes the day before you plan to serve. Let cool fully, then place on two separate plates and wrap well with plastic wrap. Store at room temperature. Frost just before serving if possible.
Best Tips for Success
- Frost with Quick Chocolate Frosting, Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, or Strawberry Frosting. You could also use classic Cream Cheese Frosting. Use nondairy cream cheese and vegan butter as substitution as needed.
- To make this in a 9-inch cake pan, use just one pan and bake for 16-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Be sure to grease the pan well to ensure it doesn’t stick. Double the recipe to make a two layer 9-inch cake.
- To bake as cupcakes, use ¼ cup batter in each standard size muffin cup (greased well with nonstick spray) and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Gluten-free: Use cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend in place of the wheat flour.
- Try to avoid overbaking to ensure the cake is moist and doesn’t crumble too much.