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Vegan Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

  • Author: Joscelyn Abreu
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x


This cake is incredibly moist and delicious, whether you’re vegan or not! Just sub regular milk and butter for a non-dairy version. Gluten-free vanilla cake recipe also included! Makes one 8-inch three layer cake or 2 dozen cupcakes.



Vegan Vanilla Cake: (gluten-free version below)

  • 2 cups almond milk or other non-dairy milk (can also use regular milk if not vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup avocado oil, melted refined coconut oil, or other neutral tasting cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean, optional
  • vegetable shortening or coconut oil, for pans
  • parchment paper
  • fresh strawberry slices
  • strawberry buttercream
  • cream cheese glaze, optional
  • fresh strawberries for decorating, optional

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake:

Strawberry buttercream: (Vegan vanilla buttercream here)

Optional Cream Cheese Glaze: (As seen in last photo. White Chocolate version here)

  • 8 oz. vegan cream cheese (or regular cream cheese if not vegan)
  • 1/4 cup coconut syrup, maple syrup, or other sweetener of choice, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons melted dairy-free butter
  • almond milk, if needed to thin the glaze



  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine milk with vinegar and set aside to sour.
  2. Grease two (for thicker layers) or three (for thinner layers) 8-inch pans and line the bottom with a parchment paper circle, cut to fit the pan, and then grease the parchment paper circle. I don’t recommend skipping this step or your cakes could stick to the bottom of the pan. Set pans aside. Alternatively, you can line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients—flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt until well combined.
  4. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour milk with a whisk or mixer and beat just until blended and smooth. Don’t over-beat.
  5. Evenly distribute the cake batter into the three pans and place onto the middle rack in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cake/cupcakes will be pretty light in color. More or less time may be needed depending on your oven.
  6. Let cakes cool for several minutes in the pan before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool thoroughly. Cakes are the easiest to frost when they are wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen overnight.
  7. To decorate, place on cake layer upside down on a decorative stand or plate. To keep the plate clean, you can tuck strips of parchment paper under the cake to catch the frosting.
  8. Use an offset spatula to spread the buttercream evenly across cake layer. Top with berry slices, then another layer of cake. Repeat steps with remaining layers.
  9. Frost the top and sides of layered cake with remaining buttercream. Chill cake in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes and go around the cake with a straight edge scraper to get a clean and smooth look.
  10. Top with optional glaze and decorate with fresh strawberries. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.


  1. Beat butter and shortening until smooth. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternately with the tablespoons of milk and beat until incorporated. Add strawberry powder and vanilla and continue to beat until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add more or less strawberry powder to taste.

Optional Glaze:

  1. Beat cream cheese, sweetener, and butter together until smooth. If needed, thin with a little almond milk to get a pourable consistency.


*Vegan butter is usually salted, so it adds a bit of salty flavor to this buttercream. If you can find unsalted vegan butter, use that instead. For less salty flavor, use more shortening in the place of the salted butter.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Dessert, Vegan, Dairy-Free