This Vegan Vanilla Snack Cake is so moist, delicious, & easy to make- you truly won't know it's vegan! Plus, this eggless & dairy-free vanilla cake is made with simple ingredients for the perfect cake for any occasion!
What is a snacking cake?
A snacking cake is usually a smaller informal cake baked in a square or loaf pan. They're not reserved for a special occasion and are truly meant to be enjoyed whenever the craving for cake hits!
Since it's a one-layer cake usually made with oil vs. butter, it truly is easier to make as there is not much assembling required.
For this vanilla cake, I did choose to use vegan buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles. However many snacking cakes are made without any frosting. The best part about snacking cakes is truly how versatile they are.
Cake & Frosting Ingredients:
- Pastry flour: Pastry flour has less protein than all-purpose flour and therefore leads to a cake with a lighter and more tender crumb.
- It can be swapped 1:1 with cake flour.
- If using all-purpose flour, I recommend swapping 2 Tablespoons of flour with 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch for every cup of flour. This trick leads to a cake with a similar texture!
- Oil: I am a big fan of using olive oil in this cake. However, if you don't like the flavor or texture of olive oil, you can use vegetable oil or even melted vegan butter.
- Vegan butter: We're using this in the frosting and my favorite brands to use are country crock plant butter or Earth Balance buttery sticks.
- Coconut cream: This is my *secret ingredient* to the fluffiest vegan frosting so don't skip it if you can. Coconut cream is the thick white part at the top of canned coconut milk and acts almost like a heavy cream in the frosting.
- If you don't have it, you can omit it or substitute it for 2 Tablespoons of plant-based whipping cream.
- Sprinkles: I used vegan sprinkles from sweetapolita! They have a ton of fun varieties and are delicious.
- Vanilla bean paste: This is always my preference as I find the flavor to be so much better than vanilla bean paste. My favorites are Heilala Vanilla Paste or Taylor & Colledge.
Steps to make vegan vanilla cake:
Luckily this cake can be made in one bowl and the batter only requires 9 ingredients!
First, make the vegan buttermilk by whisking together the plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar. Let it curdle for a few minutes to create the vegan buttermilk.
Then add in the remaining wet ingredients including the sugar, oil (or melted vegan butter), and vanilla. Whisk together until combined.
Next, add the pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl and combine into a batter. Make sure to add the party flour first and the other ingredients on top.
To mix, I like to start with a whisk and then switch to a spatula so the batter does not get over mixed. An overmixed batter can cause too much gluten to form and is the #1 reason you end up with a dense gummy cake.
Just remember- some lumps are totally okay as long as all the big streaks of flour are gone!
Add the batter to a parchment-lined 8 by 8-inch pan and spread it out evenly in the pan.
Then, add the cake to the oven and bake at 350F for 30-32 minutes.
How to make vegan vanilla frosting
Add the butter to a bowl or standing mixer and whip until smooth. Then, add in the coconut cream and vanilla bean paste and continue whipping for another minute.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar and whip until you have a smooth and fluffy frosting.
My absolute best trick for fluffy frosting? Keep whipping it for a few minutes after the powdered sugar is incorporated. The extra air from a few minutes of whipping the frosting seriously makes a huge difference!
Frosting the snack cake
Once the cake has cooled completely, it's time to add the frosting!
I like to drop the frosting onto the cake using a large cookie scoop and then use a cake-decorating spatula to swoop it evenly over the cake.
The final step? Sprinkles of course!
I used a few sprinkle mixes from sweetapolita and highly recommend their sprinkles! I also used their sprinkles in my vegan funfetti cake and they are great for baking with too.
FAQ & Tips:
Can I bake this cake in a different-sized pan?
You can bake this cake in a circular 9-inch pan for similar results.
This recipe can also be doubled and baked in a 9 by 13-inch pan if you want to make more cake. Please keep in mind, baking time may vary slightly in a different pan so I recommend checking on your cake at the 25-minute mark.
How do I store vanilla cake?
If unfrosted, the cooled cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for 24 hours.
If frosted, you can cover the cake and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
You can also slice it and store it in a closed container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Just defrost at room temperature for about 1 hour before enjoying!
You are going to love this Vegan Vanilla Snacking Cake with buttercream frosting! It's truly the perfect easy cake recipe to whip up any time.
More one-layer vegan cake recipes you will love:
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Vegan Vanilla Cake
Vanilla Cake Batter:
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup oil I used olive oil, melted vegan butter also works
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 ⅔ cups pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup vegan butter
- 2 Tablespoons coocnut cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar add more or less depending on preference
- 2 Tablespoons sprinkles optional, add more of desored
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8*8 inch square pan with parchment paper or grease the pan lightly. Set aside for later.
Make the vanilla cake batter:
- Add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to curdle.
- Next, add the sugar, oil, and vanilla to the bowl and whisk together. Then, add in the dry ingredients starting with the pastry flour and then adding the baking powder, salt, and baking soda on top.
- Mix into a thick batter. I recommend starting with a whisk and then switching to a spatula so the batter does not get overmixed.
- Pour the batter into the pan and add to the oven. Bake for 30-32 minutes or until cooked through.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then carefully move to a wire rack to finish cooling completely before frosting.
Make the frosting:
- Once the cake has cooled completely, make the vanilla buttercream. Add the butter to a bowl and use a standing mixer or electric mixer to whip for a minute or two until fluffy.
- Next, add in the coconut cream and vanilla bean paste and whip with the butter for another minute.
- Gradually mix in the powdered sugar until incorporated. Once all the powdered sugar has been mixed in, I recommend whipping the frosting for a few minutes longer to make it extra fluffy!
- Use a cookie scoop to add the frosting to the cake and then spread it out with a cake spatula. Top the cake with optional sprinkles. Then, slice into 9 evenly-sized pieces and serve!
- Please see the blog post for substitution ideas and more recipe tips!
- To make this cake with all-purpose flour swap 2 Tablespoons of flour for 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch. Pastry flour still works best, but this helps to make the cake lighter!
- This recipe can also be baked in a 9-inch circular pan or doubled and baked in a 9*13-inch pan.
- If unfrosted, the cooled cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for 24 hours.
- If frosted, you can cover the cake and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- You can also slice it and store it in a closed container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Just defrost at room temperature for about 1 hour before enjoying!
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