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Vegan Yellow Cake

Fluffy, moist, and so much vanilla flavor. Better than a box mix and with minimal ingredients. Plus, it's vegan! You're going to love this recipe.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword baking, cake, vegan
Prep Time - 30 mins
Cook Time - 33 mins
Total Time - 1 hr 5 mins
Servings - 12

Equipment

  • 2 8" cake pans, or 9" cake pans Size depends on preferred height of layers

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or 1:1 GF baking flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk (I used oat milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (room temp softened)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used clear)
  • 3/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from chickpea can)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (helps whip aquafaba)

Vegan Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan butter (room temperature softened)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (or 1/2 cup butter)
  • 5-6 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I use oat milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (I use clear)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar

Meringue Frosting Flowers

  • See blog post for recipe

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil or grease 2 8" cake pans (or 9" pans). Cut out a round of parchment paper to line the bottom of the cake pan. Dust with flour to coat the inside of the pans and tap out any remaining flour that isn't sticking. You want a light coat of flour for the batter to cling to as it rises to ensure an even rise and no "dome" in the center.
  • Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Double sift for best results.
  • In a large mixing bowl whip the butter until smooth and no chunks are visible. Scrape the sides and whip again. Mix in the milk, oil, and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the aquafaba and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. See blog images for an example.
  • Mix the dry ingredients, not the aquafaba yet, into the wet ingredients. Start with 2 cups of the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Add the remaining dry ingredients and fold them in until no dry is visible. It will be thick but don't overmix.
  • Fold the whipped aquafaba into the batter. Don't mix. Fold by scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl up and then through the aquafaba. The goal is to keep as much of the fluffy aquafaba still fluffy and aerated. This will help your cake stay light.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Jiggle the pans a little to spread to the sides.
  • Bake on the center rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes for 8" pans and 25-30 minutes for 9" pans. An inserted toothpick or cake tester will come out clean. Allow to cook on a wire rack in the cake pans for 15 minutes before removing.
  • Remove the baked caked by placing a wire rack on top of an individual cake pan and flipping. The cake should come out of the pan. Remove the parchment paper. Use a wire rack on the bottom of the cake and flip again to get the cake with the top up. Repeat with the other pan. Allow to cool to room temperate before frosting or wrapping to freeze.
  • Frost, decorate, and enjoy!

Buttercream Frosting

  • Whip the butter and shortening (or all butter if preferred), scrap sides and whip again. Make sure there are no chunks of butter. Mix in the milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix in 1 cup of powered sugar at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. A softer frosting is easier to get on a cake but it might squish out in the center creating a bubble along the edge of the cake. I prefer a more firm frosting at least for the center to help support the weight of the layers.
  • When I frost a cake a don't like to cut my layers to make then flat. It's wasted cake and almost a guarantee for crumbs in the frosting. Instead I'll put frosting on top of the bottom layer, flip the top layer so that the "top" is facing the bottom layer, and then your flat cake bottom is the top of the cake. You don't get that perfectly horizontal frosting layer in the middle, but no one will notice. A flat cake top just looks nice.

Notes

I always freeze my baked cake layers days in advance to frosting. Freezing allows you to handle the layers easily and you don't have to worry about them breaking. If you do freeze your layers make sure that they are wrapped in plastic wrap well so that they don't take on any freezer taste. Also, freeze them on a flat surface so that they don't warp which makes frosting more difficult. I freeze mine in a size bigger cake pan or on a baking sheet. I've even used puzzle boxes. 
It takes roughly 2-3 hours for frozen layers to thaw. I frost my cake while it's frozen, it also helps to not have crumbs in the frosting, and then let it sit out on the cake stand until cutting time.