The yummiest gluten-free vegan vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting! This entirely dairy-free and egg-free cake is super indulgent, fun to make, and even more fun to eat. You only need one bowl and around an hour to make it from start to finish!

Gluten-free vegan vanilla cake with cream cheese frostingg

Cake … I have a lot of wonderful things to say about it. First of all, it’s not something I can easily turn down. I love healthy eating, but for me, balance is a massive part of that: whole foods most of the time, and a good slice of cake here and there. It definitely takes a lot of discipline to not literally inhale my dinner if I know my favourite dessert is waiting for me.

Anyway, as I’m writing this, I’m in the process of getting in touch with my artistic side once again. And cakes are the ideal medium for that, also serving my endless love of food, baking, and fun colours. This vanilla cake is one of my recent creations that I just had to share with you – if you’re looking for a weekend baking project, I think you’ve just found a strong contender!

Slice of vegan vanilla cake on a plate

Your new favourite gluten-free vegan vanilla cake

Some people argue that vanilla’s boring. I can’t deny that there are more outrageous flavours out there, but boring?! I don’t think so. Simple cake flavours like vanilla, chocolate, lemon etc make a great blank canvas: now, you’re free to tweak it in line with your preferences, add more ingredients in, and, of course, go all out with the frosting.

Slice of vegan vanilla cake with bright pink frosting

This vanilla sponge has the perfect amount of sweetness and the texture is phenomenal, too. After all, another key characteristic of my vanilla cake is gluten-free. Baking with gluten-free flours is a tricky business, requiring a level of attentiveness that regular flour doesn’t always demand. You have to understand the properties of each flour involved in the mix to prevent a sponge that’s too dry, chewy, or undercooked.

Vegan cake with bright pink frosting

You can mix it in one bowl, bake, assemble, and you’re good to go! It will make an ideal base for any frosting of your choice. You won’t be able to get enough of it!

Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients for vegan vanilla cake

  • 2 cups plant based milk of your choice. Coconut or oat milk work best.
  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • Rice flour. This is quite a dense flour that will help the cake hold up nicely in structure.
  • Chickpea flour. A lighter flour that will add fluffiness without drying anything out. Don’t worry, the distinctive flavour of chickpeas will disappear throughout the baking process!
  • Xanthan gum.
  • Baking powder.
  • Baking soda.
  • Maple syrup. I don’t recommend using agave as it’s not as sweet.
  • Flax eggs, which you can easily make by combining ground flaxseed with water and setting aside for around 10 minutes.
  • Vailla extract.
  • Melted coconut oil.

Gluten-free vegan vanilla cake with pink frosting

How to make this vegan vanilla cake

First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F. Meanwhile, mix together the plant based milk and apple cider vinegar, setting aside to curdle for 10 minutes. At the same time, combine the flaxseeds and water for the flax egg and stand aside to soak.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the rice flour, chickpea flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and maple soda. Then, pour in the apple cider vinegar mixture, maple syrup, the flax egg, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Whisk until smooth.

Line the bottom of two 9-inch cake tins with parchment paper and divide the batter evenly between them. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Try not to test the cake too early because if you open the door the centre might sink. The cake layers are ready when golden brown and a toothpick test comes out clean.

Vegan vanilla cake with a dairy-free cream cheese frosting

Make sure to cool down fully before frosting. If you know that you will be in a rush, make the cakes the night before and store in an airtight container before you are ready to ice them.

Closeup of vegan cake with pink cream cheese frosting

The perfect cream cheese frosting

The best thing about this frosting is that it requires just 3 ingredients: vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, and icing sugar. You’ll end up with a fluffy and smooth texture, plus that classic sweetness that will make you want to eat it straight from the bowl. I always keep a little extra in the fridge just for that purpose! You can also use this frosting for cupcakes, brownies, and any other desserts of your choice.

Closeup of a vegan vanilla cake with bright pink frosting

Ingredients for vegan cream cheese frosting

  • Vegan butter. The stick kind works better than vegan butter from a tub. Also, make sure that it is slightly softened before using.
  • Vegan cream cheese.
  • Good-quality icing sugar.

Slice of vegan vanilla cake with the cake in the background

That’s it!

How to make vegan cream cheese butter icing

Cut the butter into cubes and add to a large mixing bowl together with the cream cheese. Whisk together using a handheld electric mixer until fully combined.

Then, sift in 1 cup of the icing sugar and whisk to combine. Repeat with the rest of the sugar, adding it gradually and making sure there are as few lumps as possible.

Then, if you want to, you can add food colouring and recreate the pattern I made here. Trust me, the finished cake will hit differently! Start by adding a small amount of food colouring to the icing, whisking, and adding in between the layers, on top of the cake, and around the edges.

Then, add a little bit more food colouring, whisk, and use an icing spatula to add evenly-spaced specks of the darker icing. Repeat until you have created your desired number of ‘layers’ – I did around 4 in total. Reserve some of the original icing to add right at the end for a beautiful contrast!

Tips and tricks for the best vegan vanilla cake!

Vanilla cake with pink frosting on a plate

  • I would recommend weighing the ingredients. A kitchen scale can help a lot with the result and really amplify your home baking skills.
  • Make sure that the cake is fully cool before attempting to ice it! Skipping this step will always end in disaster.
  • Do not skip adding parchment paper to the cake tins because this will ensure that the layers don’t stick.

Gluten-free vegan vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting

Other vegan cake recipes you might love!

  • Lemon poppyseed cake
  • Carrot cake
  • Chocolate cake
  • Gingerbread cake with coconut frosting

Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite cake flavour? If you give this gluten-free vegan vanilla cake a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating.

Gluten-free vegan vanilla cake with cream cheese frostingg

Get the Recipe: Gluten-free Vegan Vanilla Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

You will love this gluten-free vegan vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting! It is light, fluffy, perfectly sweetened, and easy to make in just one bowl. Paired with the cream cheese frosting, it is a treat that's impossible to resist!

Ingredients

For the vanilla cake

  • 2 cups plant based milk
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 2/3 cups rice flour
  • 1 1/3 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 6 cups icing sugar

Equipment

  • Conventional oven
  • Mixing bowl x 3
  • 9-inch cake tins x 2
  • Hand-held electric mixer
  • Icing spatula

Instructions 

  • First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F. Meanwhile, mix together the plant based milk and apple cider vinegar, setting aside to curdle for 10 minutes. At the same time, combine the flaxseeds and water for the flax egg and stand aside to soak. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the rice flour, chickpea flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and maple soda. Then, pour in the apple cider vinegar mixture, maple syrup, the flax egg, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Whisk until smooth. 
  • Line the bottom of two 9-inch cake tins with parchment paper and divide the batter evenly between them. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Try not to test the cake too early because if you open the door the centre might sink. The cake layers are ready when golden brown and a toothpick test comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, make the frosting. Cut the butter into cubes and add to a large mixing bowl together with the cream cheese. Whisk together using a handheld electric mixer until fully combined.
  • Then, sift in 1 cup of the icing sugar and whisk to combine. Repeat with the rest of the sugar, adding it gradually and making sure there are as few lumps as possible
  • Make sure to allow the cake to cool down fully before frosting. If you know that you will be in a rush, make the cakes the night before and store in an airtight container before you are ready to ice them. You can also leave the icing in the fridge while the cake cools down.
  • If you want to, you can add food colouring to the icing and create a fun design. Start by adding a small amount of food colouring to the icing, whisking, and adding in between the layers, on top of the cake, and around the edges.
  • Next, add a little bit more food colouring, whisk, and use an icing spatula to add evenly-spaced specks of the darker icing. Repeat until you have created your desired number of 'layers' - I did around 4 in total. Reserve some of the original icing to add right at the end for a beautiful contrast!
Calories: 598kcal, Carbohydrates: 89g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Sodium: 276mg, Potassium: 239mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 58g, Vitamin A: 409IU, Calcium: 105mg, Iron: 1mg

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Gluten-free vegan vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting