Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Ditch the Mix: Best Vegan Vanilla Cake


Vegan Vanilla Cake

In my house, spring is cake season! Starting with my older son's birthday in March, and ending with my dog's birthday at the end of May, there is an occasion for a cake every three weeks. Hooray for cake!

However, even the most enthusiastic baker (i.e., ME) gets a little weary after the third or fourth cake. It's tempting then to just grab a box of cake mix and a container of frosting. I understand! It seems like the easiest solution: grab a box of mix, dump it into a bowl, beat it with some water, oil, eggs...but wait! 

This recipe takes approximately 45 seconds longer to pull together than a boxed mix, and it tastes so much better. It uses ingredients that you likely have right now in your own kitchen - nothing complicated or requiring a trip to a specialty store. This delicious vanilla cake is also vegan, much to the (pleasant) shock and surprise of my non-vegan family!

Pair this cake with my favourite 2-Ingredient Chocolate Frosting, and you've got yourself a quick and easy cake that's perfect for any celebration, made with items you already have in your own pantry. Perfection!



3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil (NOTE: I use grapeseed, but any mild tasting oil will do)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch round pans by greasing or spraying well. (SEE NOTE BELOW)
  • Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add water, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Gently stir in apple cider vinegar.
  • Spoon batter into cupcake tins or 9-inch round pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before frosting. Place one of the cakes on a plate or cake stand, bottom-side-up. Spread frosting over the cake surface; place second cake on top, right-side-up. Frost top of cake and sides, if desired.

NOTE: This can also be made into cupcakes; simply decrease baking time to 20 minutes. My 9-inch round pans are not very deep, and so I get 2 9-inch round cakes and about 6 cupcakes from this recipe. It's the best of both worlds!


Start with two 9-inch rounds (and maybe a few cupcakes).


Flip one layer over, and frost the bottom-side-up.


Set the other layer on top, right-side-up, and frost.


Slice. Eat. Repeat.



Want more easy and delicious cake ideas? Try Not-Just-Plain Vanilla CupcakesVa-Va-Va-Voom Velvet Cupcakes, or Pot of Gold Cupcakes and choose your own frosting adventure!




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