This delicious vegan birthday cake recipe was kindly supported by our friends at Fancy Sprinkles. They make some of the most beautiful vegan sprinkles on planet Earth.
We set out on a mission to make the most delicious vegan birthday cake…and finally, here it is! We’re so happy to bring you this scrumptious, crowd-pleasing, foolproof, easy vegan cake recipe for a celebratory dessert made without a drop of cow’s milk, chicken eggs, or bug secretions.
This cake is 3 layers of moist vanilla cake with the most irresistible vanilla frosting layered in between. Perfection. It’s light and fluffy, and the frosting is rich and decadent. And friends, don’t worry. You don’t have to be a pastry chef or a crafting queen to bring this beautiful cake to life. This recipe makes it easy-as-pie!
Whether you want to make a special cake for someone you love, for a kiddo’s birthday party, or just for the heck-of-it, we’ve got your back with this tried-and-true recipe. It’s been tested and enjoyed by many—vegans and omnivores alike. Truthfully, you’d never know it’s vegan!
This 8-inch cake is perfect for a gathering and will serve at least 12 people, if not more because it’s rich. It doesn’t have to be just for birthdays, as it could really be served for any occasion. Heck, you don’t even need a special occasion, just make it for you and your family or friends if you feel like it!
For this recipe, all you need to do is prepare the batter and bake the cake layers.
Just keep in mind the size of the cake pans you use does matter, as it will impact how thick each layer will be. 8-inch pans like these are ideal! If you only have one cake pan, you can bake the three layers one at a time, just know that it will take significantly longer that way (instead of just 30 minutes, you’ll need to allow 90 minutes for baking). But hey—it also gives them time to cool!
While the cake layers are baking you can prepare the icing. Once the cakes are removed from the oven and completely cooled, you can frost, layer, and decorate them. Before you know it, your homemade vegan birthday cake will be ready to enjoy!
Birthday cakes are supposed to be fun, right? And I think we’d all agree that more color = more fun. So I invite you to do what I did. To turn your cake into a vegan confetti cake!
You can easily turn your traditional cake into a color-speckled confetti cake by mixing 1/4 cup of confetti sprinkles (like these vegan confetti sprinkles from Fancy Sprinkles) into your batter before pouring it into the cake pans to bake.
If you’re baking for a little one who loves unicorns, you could call this a “unicorn cake” and decorate it accordingly! Or… celebrating Pride? Call it a rainbow cake!
The more vegan sprinkles, the more fun and festive, in my opinion! But be forewarned, many sprinkles out there today are not vegan. Sprinkles are commonly colored with food dyes that are animal-derived. Plus, sprinkles are often coated with confectioner’s glaze derived from shellac.
According to our good friend Wikipedia, shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug. It’s commonly used as a glaze or varnish for food products (like baking sprinkles) and…wood? Yup. Wood varnish. Shellac gives that high-gloss to most sprinkles you see in the store.
And if that doesn’t weird you out, consider this.
It can take between 50 thousand and 300 thousand lac bugs to produce just 1 kilogram of resin, and when the resin is collected from the trees, squashed up lac bugs are too. The bugs are theoretically removed before the resin is sold for use in food products, but still. Yuck.
Here at World of Vegan we’re not into eating bug secretions that have been melted off of dead bugs (seriously—who comes up with these things?!). And that’s exactly why we were so thrilled to discover Fancy Sprinkles.
Fancy Sprinkles offers a huge array of 100% vegan sprinkles that are shellac-free. Not only that, but they are stunning! Vibrant colors, fun shapes, glossy finishes, creatively themed sprinkle mixes…you’d never know they’re vegan. Plus, they taste delicious!
Seriously, when I served up this cake to a group of friends, more than one commented about how good the sprinkles are. They have a delicate sweet vanilla flavor and don’t leave that nasty waxy residue on the roof of your mouth.
You can also check out our Guide to the Best Vegan Sprinkles for even more option!
This is our favorite vegan frosting recipe because it stays perfect at almost any temperature. Assuming you don’t live in a crazy-hot climate, you should be able to leave the cake out all day if you feel like it! Some vegan frosting recipes don’t sit well at room temperature, but this one is perfectly stable.
But if you are battling particularly hot temperatures, just pop the cake in the fridge and it will firm up. This frosting is made with vegan butter which, like any butter, is very firm when cold and can get soft and even melty in the heat. The same applies to this frosting!
And don’t worry, you can store this cake in the fridge for days and it won’t get too firm. In fact, it tastes absolutely delicious straight from the fridge!
Aside from the fact that this vegan frosting is super stable and won’t melt at your dinner party, it’s also likely to be the most delicious and authentic vegan frosting you’ll ever have! It really does taste just like conventional frosting. It’s sweet, buttery, creamy, and soooo tasty.
You can leave the frosting white as it is, or you can have a little bit of fun with it and use all-natural vegan food coloring. Many conventional food dyes aren’t vegan, and they’re usually filled with chemical ingredients.
There’s no need for that.
You can use all natural food coloring and natural food dyes to achieve beautiful colors in cooking and baking, without artificial ingredients.
Some basic ingredients that you can use for vegan food coloring to achieve your desired look are:
Yellow / Orange
Also, note that there are many vegan-friendly food dyes on the market as well! You’ll most likely find these in a large health food store or even online.
When adding food dyes to this icing recipe, I suggest whipping up the icing first. Then turn on the stand mixer on medium speed (or your handheld mixer) and add very small amounts of food coloring just a little bit at a time until you achieve the desired hue that you’re going for.
If adding food coloring elements makes your frosting too soft and liquidy, you can always add in more powdered sugar to firm it up!
This vegan birthday cake is the perfect base recipe for many cake variations. Feel free to play around with the recipe and customize it as you wish!
You can add some cocoa powder to the batter and/or the frosting for a decadent chocolate cake.
Switch out the icing for coconut whipped cream instead and add slices of strawberries in between the layers!
Add fresh blueberries into the cake batter or even the icing.
There are so many possibilities with a recipe like this that truly acts as a blank canvas.
Check out the most insanely delicious dairy-free ice cream cake that can be made in a short amount of time with your favorite flavors of store-bought vegan ice cream and a package of Oreos. We guarantee it’ll be a hit!
Alright, comrades. With that, you’re ready to tie up that apron and get to baking. Enjoy! This vegan birthday cake has such a nostalgic taste to it, and something about it is even reminiscent of the childhood classic Dunkaroos. Yep, it’s that good. (P.S. If you’re looking for another staple cake recipe for your kitchen, this basic vanilla sponge cake recipe is incredibly delicious!)
This vegan birthday cake recipe was developed by Kathy Chrzaszcz for WorldofVegan.com. Vegan cake photos by Michelle Cehn. Recipe and photographs copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved. Please note that this article contains affiliate links which means shopping through them helps lights on at World of Vegan. Many thanks to Fancy Sprinkles for making delicious vegan sprinkles, sponsoring this recipe, and supporting our work at World of Vegan!
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Recipe looks amazing but do you have any thoughts on how I could reduce the carb/sugar levels with this recipe for a keto vegan? Could any flour or sugar alternatives be used ?
This recipe hasn’t been tested with any alternatives so we can’t guarantee results, however, an all-purpose gluten-free flour would be your best bet. Unfortunately when it comes to baking, the sugar/flour ratio is very important, so we don’t recommend reducing or swapping the sugar. Let us know how it turns out if you try a gluten-free flour!
Thank you for sharing your recipe. Such a beautiful looking cake. I just wanted to ask if the flowers you topped on the cake are edible or non toxic and if so what kind are they? So pretty. Also, how do you measure/scoop your flour for the cake batter to ensure accuracy? Is the batter supposed to be thick or thin because 2 cups of milk to cups of flour seems like a high ration of liquid. Thank you! Such a pretty cake.
Hi! Great questions 🙂 I used flowers I had on hand, but we didn’t eat them. We took them off upon serving. But you can definitely use edible flowers, that would be even more fun! You can really decorate this however you’d like. For the flour, scoop the flour into the measuring cup and then level it with your finger or a knife, and that should be golden! The batter for these is on the liquidy side, definitely pourable. Happy baking! – Michelle
Hi! After creaming the sugar and “butter” I added the soy milk/apple cider vinegar mixture, and it all curdled up like cottage cheese with some liquid. It was a bit shocking, but I ended up moving forward and added the flour. Cakes came
Out fine but rise too much (maybe 1 inch each). Can’t imagine what it would have been like if I used 3 pans! Has this ever happened to you? I’m
Wondering if it’s the butter I used or the soy milk (whole foods unsweetened). Either way. Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Josh, glad the cake turned out well for you! The rising has more to do with the baking soda and baking powder you used, but rising 1 inch seems to be on track with how much the average cake rises. If you prefer the cake to be more flat on top you can shave off the dome before decorating 🙂
Is a cup 250 ml? Thanks a lot
I believe it’s technically 236.59 mL but 250 is typically used as the round number 🙂
This came out so well, it will be my go-to vegan cake recipe going forward! I made it three layers which was fun, but I’ll experiment with two layers next time.
Hi Elen. Can I substitute coconut milk for soy milk? I wonder if it will sour probably. Thanks.
That should work just fine! If you give it a try, please do report back and let us know how it went!
Hello! I am so excited for this recipe! I just tried this step: In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, and vanilla using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer.
The mix gets split, what am I doing wrong? 🙁
Hi Elen! What do you mean by “the mix gets split”? Not sure I understand. Hope I can help and that you love the cake!! 🙂
So delicious and easy, I made this for valentines day and I can’t wait to make it again for a birthday. Thank you!
I have 2 “9” inch pans and one “10” inch. I’m looking to make three layers the top being double layer 9 and bottom just one frosted layer like a base. This recipe says it’s for “8” inch. Should I double the recipe or do you have any suggestions?
Hey Jayde! You can use different pan sizes it will just result in a thinner or thicker cake, and you will need to adjust the cooking time slightly (test with a toothpick to see when it’s done). If I were you and wanted to do a three layer cake, I’d bake the first two 9″ cakes and save 1/3 of the batter for the last layer, and I’d cook that once the first ones are done (reuse one of the 9″ pans). I actually only have one pan so I have to do a lot of separate bakes!
Thanks for this I always wanted to try making homemade vegan cake and way better for birthdays if it’s made with love ❤️
My kids are obsessed with this cake recipe! I’m so lucky they love having a homemade cake made so they can add all the decorations 🙂 You have to try this birtdhay cake!
Made this for my wide’s b-day! We loved it!!!
The best birthday cake in the world!! Not only is it the prettiest vegan cake I’ve ever seen, but everything about it screams joyful and yummy. I love rainbow sprinkles so much and now I can have as many as I want on vegan ice cream or cake – yay! I love how helpful this recipe is – so much information on how to make frosting, vegan sprinkles and how to customize and naturally color your cake/frosting. I learned a lot. So happy to have a go-to favorite birthday cake recipe. I never have to worry again 😀
This is my go-to birthday cake! I make it several times a year and have fun mixing up the frosting colors, add-ins, and decorations. One year I even made my husband a vegan Dungeons and Dragons cake—LOL!
I just can’t even with this recipe!!!!! I am drooling! It’s almost too pretty to eat (but definitely going to devour this at my next celebratory event)!
Cake is one of those things that I absolutely love to eat and have always wanted to attempt to make yet have been intimidated by. No more! This recipe is so easy to follow and I might just have to make my own birthday cake next year, when I can hopefully gather with others to share!