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Slice of cake being lifted with a spatula

Vegan Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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5 from 146 reviews

  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 medium cake
  • Diet: Vegan


Making the Ultimate Vegan Vanilla Cake with a tender crumb, rich vegan buttercream frosting, and tons of pure vanilla flavor is easy enough for even the most novice home bakers! All you need is 10 simple ingredients and a reason to celebrate. 


  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4½ cups (540g) flour
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Serve with



  1. Preheat oven and prepare your pans. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 7 or 8” round cake pans with non-stick spray and parchment paper.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients. Combine the non-dairy milk, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate large mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine. 
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined. 
  5. Divide between cake pans. Carefully pour the cake batter between two to 7 or 8″ round cake pans greased and layered with parchment paper. We used 2 pans.
  6. Bake. Place the cake pans in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  7. Cool cakes. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cake pans. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  8. Prepare the vegan frosting. While the cakes cool to room temperature, prepare the vegan buttercream frosting.
  9. Frost and layer the cake. We like to layer the cake layers into a 2-layer cake but feel free to frost and layer the cakes as desired. We found this video very helpful when it comes to frosting a layered cake.
  10. Serve. Slice and serve the cake room temperature or lightly chilled. Enjoy! 


  • Storage: Once frosted, this vegan cake will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • Prep ahead: You can bake and cool the cake layers up to one month in advance and stash them in the freezer! To do so, bake and cool the cake layers as written. Make sure the cakes are completely cooled to the touch—if they are warm at all, they will develop freezer burn and negatively affect the cake’s texture once defrosted. Wrap the room-temperature cakes tightly and separately in plastic wrap, followed by a tight layer of aluminum foil, and freeze for up to one month. When ready to layer and frost, transfer the cakes to the refrigerator and thaw overnight (ideally about 12 hours).
  • Gluten-free: We have only tested this classic cake recipe using regular all-purpose flour, but the recipe may work with a gluten-free flour blend. If you try and have good results, please let us know in the comments! 
  • Sheet cake: If you’d like to bake this cake into a sheet cake, we’d recommend halving the recipe and baking in a greased 9×13 dish for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven