Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you a perfectly fluffy, tender, sweet vanilla cake that’s vegan and gluten-free! Let’s bake!
This recipe is easy to make, requiring 1 bowl and 10 ingredients.
The base starts with vegan “buttermilk” made by mixing dairy-free milk and vinegar. Then add in applesauce for (oil-free!) moisture and natural sweetness and vanilla extract for that quintessential vanilla flavor. YUM.
For the dry ingredients, after much experimentation, we went with a mixture of almond flour, potato starch, and cornstarch. This combo totally nailed it! So stoked for that fluffy, crumbly texture.
Once your cake is baked, it’s time for frosting!
We included two options: one is coconut whipped cream and the other is classic vegan buttercream frosting. Both are delicious, but we were feeling classic vibes, so we went for the buttercream.
We hope you all LOVE this cake! It’s:
Easy to make
& SO delicious
This would make the perfect cake for holiday or special occasion celebrations. It’s delicious on its own but also pairs well with coconut whip, vegan buttercream (recipe below), or even chocolate frosting!
For more easy cakes, be sure to check out our Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, Gluten-Free Birthday Cake, Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake, Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes, and The Best Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers and happy baking, friend!
1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
- 1 2/3 cup dairy-free milk (we used boxed coconut milk // almond or rice would also work)
- 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups almond flour (not meal // we prefer Wellbee’s brand)
- 1 scant cup potato starch (not flour)
- 1/3 cup cornstarch (or you can try subbing arrowroot starch for grain-free)
- 1 1/3 cup organic cane sugar*
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
VEGAN BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (optional)
- 2 sticks vegan butter, softened (we prefer Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2-4 cups organic powdered sugar (sifted)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease two standard 8-inch round cake pans, one 9×13-inch, or three 6-inch round pans* (with vegan butter or coconut oil) and dust with gluten-free flour. Shake out excess and set aside.
- In a liquid measuring cup, measure out dairy-free milk and add vinegar. Let set a few minutes. Then add applesauce and vanilla. Whisk/stir to combine.
- Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated and no large lumps remain. The batter should be thick but pourable (see video). Add more almond flour if too wet or dairy-free milk if too thick.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans and bake on a center rack for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges and surface appear golden brown.
- Let cool 15 minutes in the cake pans. To remove from pans, run a dull knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cakes. Then place a plate or cooling rack on top and quickly invert. Let cool completely (preferably overnight or at least 6 hours on a wire rack) before frosting.
- Frost with coconut whipped cream and berries for a lighter application (see inspiration here), or frost generously with my 3-ingredient Vegan Buttercream Frosting (see below).
- Store cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze up to 1 month.
- FROSTING*: Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute. Then add vanilla and mix once more. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until a thick, spreadable frosting is formed. I found about 3 1/2 cups to be the appropriate amount per 1 full cake recipe.
- If too thick, the frosting will be too hard to spread (add 1/2 tsp almond milk at a time if too thick). If too thin, the frosting will slide off the cake. If too thin, continue adding powdered sugar until you get the right texture.
- Use immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature before frosting.
*To reduce sugar, each 1/4 cup of sugar be swapped with 1 packet (1/2 tsp) of powdered stevia. Or you could try subbing a mix of maple syrup and coconut sugar, but I haven’t tested it this way and can’t guarantee results.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the salt and without frosting.
*Prep time does not include cooling the cake.
*Recipe inspiration from The Vegan 8.
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