Three layer Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake topped with fresh raspberries and blackberries
4.72 from 101 votes

1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

A 1-bowl vegan gluten-free vanilla cake that's perfectly tender, fluffy, and sweet! Delicious frosted or unfrosted and SO easy to make! 10 ingredients and 1 bowl required.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 (slices)
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 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)


  • 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)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease two standard 8-inch round cake pans, one 9x13-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.

  2. 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.
  3. 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. Add more almond flour if too wet or dairy-free milk if too thick.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Store cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze up to 1 month.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Use immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature before frosting.


*If altering batch size, please note that the number of pans and frosting instructions are based on how the original recipe is written. Adjust accordingly.
*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.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 10 Slices)