Get your free 2 Day Vegan Meal Plan!

Classic Vanilla Birthday Cake, Vegan + Gluten-Free

We all know the best thing about birthdays…birthday cake!

My birthday is coming up on Monday so I decided to get a jumpstart on celebrating with a super sweet treat.  Today’s Vegan and Gluten-Free Classic Birthday Cake is a throwback to my childhood favorite, vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. It may sound boring but I promise it’s anything but! I added strawberry slices around the base for a little color and drizzled cacao nibs on top for some crunch.

The cake’s secret sugar-replacing ingredient is Madhava’s Organic Better Baking Blend. It acts just like sugar but has extra vanilla and (vegan) butter flavoring that helped the cake taste even more cakey (does that make sense? Trust me, it was yummy.)

Since I’m still having a love affair with my mini springform pans I decided to make a small triple layer cake. At this size the cake baked for 25 minutes. For a larger cake you’ll want to add a few minutes of baking time. I had leftover batter so I also made mini cupcakes which baked for 22 minutes.

Usually I default to my favorite coconut whipped cream for frosting but I decided to go all out with a traditional butter+sugar frosting. It’s super sweet, decadent and creamy- perfect for celebrations!

Here’s my frosting recipe:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • optional- 1-2 tbs non-dairy milk, added as needed to help blend

For the cupcakes I added a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to the frosting to make it chocolatey. Ok enough chatting, let’s get to the recipe!


4.7 from 3 reviews
Classic Birthday Cake, Vegan + Gluten-Free
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: vegan, gluten-free
Serves: 12
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup Madhava Better Baking Blend (see link above)
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • frosting (see above)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease baking dish(es) or muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Madhava Better Baking Blend.
  3. In a small bowl, combine coconut oil, applesauce, milk and vanilla. Add contents of small bowl to large and mix thoroughly.
  4. Spoon batter into baking dish or muffin tin.
  5. Bake for 20-27 minutes, depending on baking dish (see above for times).
  6. Let cool completely. Add frosting and enjoy!

ps- Madhava is running a sweepstakes to win a Blendtec blender plus tons of other goodies! Enter to win here.

pps- Does anyone else have birthday coming up? In the comments leave your favorite kind of birthday cake!


Pin Tweet Share

25 Responses to Classic Vanilla Birthday Cake, Vegan + Gluten-Free

  1. My mom’s bday is in 3 weeks my sisters and I are planning to give her a surprise party and I’m baking a cake and I will try to make this. Can I try a chocolate frosting instead of Vanilla frosting my mom loves chocolate.

    • Awesome! I made a 3 layer cake using mini 4″ springform pans with this recipe (plus a few cupcakes with the extra batter). You’ll probably want to double the recipe to make a regular size 3 layer cake! :)

  2. Bonjour!
    This looks wonderful! It’s exactly what I was looking for to help celebrate the birthday of a very, very special friend. Only problem is that I’m in Canada and I cannot seem to find Madhava Better Baking Blend…could you please suggest a substitute?! Thank you so much! :)

    • Yay, I hope your friend love the cake! Coconut sugar or regular sugar is a good substitute and should still make for a great cake!

  3. I’m from Puerto Rico and I can’t find the Madhava Better Baking Blend anywhere. What could work for this recipe as a substitute for the blend?

  4. Hii! This looks delish!! I will make this for my son’s first birthday. I wonder can I use honey instead of sugar??? ??

  5. I made this on Friday but made two 10inch cakes by doubling the recipe. I baked it for about 30 minutes but it was a little undercooked, probably could have done with longer but still tasted so good :) Mine had a sort of Apple Pie after taste which was different in a good way

  6. So pretty! What flour blend did you use for this? I have Bob’s Red Mill GF All-Purpose on hand, but have heard mixed reviews on it in cake. My birthday is coming up a week from today, and I’m CRAVING a good vanilla cake with some raspberries and chocolate! I’m also celebrating one year without gluten or eggs!

Leave a reply

Rate this recipe:  

Copyright © The Colorful Kitchen | Design by The Nectar Collective