Vegan birthday cake topped with vanilla pastry cream and sprinkles

Vegan Birthday Cake

Course Dessert
Keyword cake, chocolate ganache, vanilla pastry cream, vegan cake, vegan ganache
Author Fran Costigan


  • 11 ounces that is 1 cup plus 6 tbsp soy, oat, or almond milk
  • 4 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar, remember this is not used all at once DIVIDED
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup vegan cane sugar, lightly ground lightly grind in a food processor, recommended
  • 1/3 cup finely ground coconut sugar or use 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 7 1/2 tbsp mild neutral-flavored vegetable oil such as sunflower or grapeseed
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350F. Oil 2 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment circles.

  2. Pour the milk into a small bowl. Add 3 ½ tsp of the vinegar and set aside for 5 or 6 minutes to clabber while you mix the dry ingredients. You are clabbering the milk to make a buttermilk substitute.

  3. Whisk, measure and sift together the dry ingredients through a strainer into a medium bowl.
  4. Stir the oil, vanilla and remaining 1 tsp of vinegar into the clabbered milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth. The batter should be pourable.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

  6. Bake on the center racks 25 t0 30 minutes, or until the cakes are risen, lightly golden, the sides are pulling away from the pans and a toothpick inserted into the middle is clean or holds just a few moist but not wet crumbs.

  7. Cool on a wire rack for 5 or so minutes before turning the cakes out of the pan. Carefully remove the papers from the bottom and allow to cool fully.
  8. When the layers are cool, spread each with a very thin coating of Ganache Glaze or go thick- this is up to you. If your layers have been refrigerated, the glaze will set immediately.

  9. When the ganache has set, spread about half the Vanilla Pastry Cream on the layer.
  10. Put the second layer, ganache side up on the cake. Press down lightly.
  11. Spread the rest of the cream over the top of the cake.
  12. Refrigerate before serving, with sprinkles or another garnish.

Recipe Notes

Vanilla Pastry Cream
Chocolate Ganache