Vegan Birthday Cake


5 from 385 votes
Jump to Recipe

Vegan Birthday Cake is a fluffy yellow cake filled with sprinkles and topped with a simple white frosting. Also known as a funfetti cake, this vegan cake is made in one bowl and is PERFECT to serve at events, parties, or even a fancy dessert! 

It’s no secret that I love a good vegan cake recipe. My favorites include a classic chocolate cake, strawberry cake, and this easy birthday cake. 

vegan birthday cake

When I think of what defines a classic birthday cake, it has to be one that is NOT chocolate. To me, a classic birthday cake is a yellow cake with or without sprinkles in it. Covered with vanilla frosting, this is a classic cake to serve at birthdays or parties!

I wanted to do a vegan birthday cake after rave reviews for my keto birthday cake

This cake has no butter, no milk, and no eggs, but you’d never tell. It’s so fluffy, moist, and with a light crumb! I volunteered to make this cake for a vegan friend’s birthday and NO one could tell- even non-vegans loved it!

Ingredients for a vegan birthday cake

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make a vegan funfetti cake. You can use either water or milk as both work well. For such a fancy looking cake, you’ll be surprised that no fancy kitchen mixers needed, and just ONE bowl.

vegan cake ingredients

  • All purpose flour– Sift the flour first, to ensure there are no clumps. You can also use gluten free all purpose flour
  • Sugar of choice– White sugar is preferred, but you can also use brown sugar or coconut sugar. The latter two will yield a slightly darker cake. 
  • Baking soda– Leavens the cake, and gives some rise. 
  • Salt– Brings out the sweetness of the cake. 
  • White vinegar– Works with the baking soda to give the cake the fluffy texture and rise. 
  • Vanilla extract– A must for any cake or dessert recipe. 
  • Oil– Any neutral flavored oil can be used. I recommend vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Water– To mix it all together. For extra flavor, you can use a plant. based milk instead. 
  • Funfetti Sprinkles– Optional, especially if you’d like a vegan confetti cake. Use vegan-friendly sprinkles, but be wary that they are likely to dissipate into the batter or stain it. 
  • Vanilla Frosting– I used a vanilla buttercream (dairy free) but if you have a preferred frosting, you can use that instead. 

How do you make a vegan birthday cake

Start by preparing your cake. For a layer cake, prepare two 8-inch pans and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Add your vinegar, oil, and vanilla extract, followed by your plant based milk, and mix until well combined. If using sprinkles, fold them through. Divide the cake batter between the two prepared pans. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes at 180C/350F. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, frost and layer them. 


Can I make this an oil free vegan cake?

Like my healthy chocolate cake, you can make this a fat free and oil free cake.

Substitute the oil for unsweetened applesauce, and check up on the cake at the 25-minute mark.

Can I make this cake sugar free?

Yes, if you’d like to make this a sugar free cake, you can replace the sugar with a sugar free substitute, like monk fruit sweetener or erythritol. 

If you use another calorie free sweetener, be sure it is suitable for baking (e.g. cup for cup baking stevia). 

What gluten free flour can I use? 

I’ve only tried this with Bob’s Gluten Free 1:1 Flour. I cannot vouch for homemade gluten free flour or other brands. 

vegan birthday cake recipe

Tips for the best vegan birthday cake

  • If you’d like an even softer cake, you can use cake flour. 
  • The cake must be cooled before frosting. If the cake is even remotely warm, there is a risk for the frosting to melt. 
  • Do not overbake the cakes, as they continue to cook in the pans as they cool down.
  • If possible, use springform baking pans, for the easy removal of the cakes. 

Storing and Freezing Birthday Cake

  • To store: Leftover cake must be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week. 
  • To freeze: You can freeze leftover birthday cake. Place in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 

vegan confetti cake

More Vegan Cake Recipes to try

vegan funfetti cake

Vegan Birthday Cake (Yellow cake!)

5 from 385 votes
This vegan birthday cake is so moist and fluffy, it's the perfect cake for holidays and parties! A yellow cake mix with sprinkles folded through and topped with a vanilla frosting. No milk, no eggs, and no butter!
Servings: 12 Slices
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 40 minutes



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add your flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and mix well. Add your vinegar, vanilla, and oil, then your water (or milk), and mix until fully incorporated. If using sprinkles, fold them through at the end.
  • Evenly distribute the batter amongst two the two cake pans. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out just clean.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pan for 20 minutes, before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
  • Once cool, frost and layer the cakes.


* White sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, or a sugar free substitute, like monk fruit sweetener or erythritol can be used. 
TO STORE: Leftover cake must be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 week. 
TO FREEZE: You can freeze leftover birthday cake. Place in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 


Serving: 1SliceCalories: 225kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSodium: 406mgPotassium: 33mgFiber: 1gCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 23g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

Never Miss a Recipe!
Subscribe to get my recipes directly to your inbox

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This cake was so simple to make and surprisingly moist and delicious!!! I used coconut sugar (a bit less than called for) and coconut milk. Can’t stress enough, SO good.

  2. 5 stars
    I have made dozens of cupcakes using this recipe and they are an absolute hit every time! I absolutely love the way they turn out. I bake them for 20-25 minutes and get perfect cupcakes every time!

  3. 5 stars
    Best cake I’ve ever tasted. Used unsweetened almond milk and vegan buttercream. Wow, everyone loved it. Moist and delicious.

  4. I made this cake for my 4yo birthday and it turned out PERFECTLY moist, fluffy, and delicious. All guests (non-vegans) were impressed and asked for the recipe. Thank you for creating my new go-to birthday cake!

  5. 5 stars
    This cake recipe is delicious! I bake all the time & this is by far one of the best I’ve made. Thank you!! I will definitely make this again.

  6. Made this today for Valentine’s Day . We stayed home because here in Dallas,Tx we are going thru a winter storm . This cake hit the spot for me sweet Valentine’s Day cravings. My kids loved it . I been looking for the best vanilla cake recipe for YEARS & I finally found my “go to” vanilla cake recipe. I am so glad I stumbled upon it. It had the most perfect crumb texture. It was so moist, yum! My absolute favorite thank you for sharing!

  7. With all of the “Can I make with gluten free flour, sugar free,” questions, one might have it easier if they just print out the recipe and eat the paper that the picture is on. LOL

  8. 5 stars
    I made this cake
    Thank you for giving such a beautiful description.The Information you have given is very useful.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this cake today and it turned out beautifully! Perfect texture! It was easy to frost and didn’t crumble. My go to recipe for cake now!

  10. Gorgeous! Your work is impressive. I’m going to check out your keto birthday cake and chocolate chip cookies!
    Thank you for all you do!

    1. 5 stars
      Oh this recipe is a DREAM! I’ve struggled for years to find a vegan plain cake recipe that wasn’t funny tasting or textured – this one has the most gorgeous crumb and is beautifully balanced in flavor – it’s absolutely perfect!

      Thank you SO much for sharing!!