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Simple Classic Vegan Layered Vanilla Cake

This post will go through the best frosting recipe for cake decorating and exactly how to make a layered vanilla cake perfect every time. 

layered vanilla cake

This vanilla cake is extremely soft and fluffy. And perfect cake for any celebration.

Check out my other easy layered cakes :

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake

The BEST Gluten Free Carrot Cake You’ll Ever Make – FACT

Best Recipe For Crepe Cake [Tiramisu Flavour] and it’s Vegan

layered vanilla cake

Why you’ll love this cake

  • Allergy Friendly – This cake is gluten free, nut free, soy free and vegan.
  • It’s super fluffy and moist
  • Easy to Make– The batter mixes up in just one large bowl with a whisk!

Expert Baking Tips

Although this layered vanilla cake recipe is super simple. Here are just a few expert tips I’d recommend:

  • Ensure your milk is at room temperature before pouring it into the dry ingredients, this will help prevent any lumps and flour pockets from forming.
  • Make sure to mix the milk and vinegar together prior to adding to the dry ingredients and let it sit for 5-10mins to slightly curdle. This will act as your vegan buttermilk.
  • I like to use caster sugar in my cakes – this is just a very refined sugar. So if you can’t find caster sugar I’d recommend using very refined granulated sugar.
Master the art of baking GF, DF & Vegan

Baking Free From 101

Ingredients list for this layered vanilla cake

Gluten Free Plain Flour – this is paired with xanthan gum to give more stability to the cake as gluten free cakes tend to crumble.

Plant Based Milk – I like to use oat milk but soya or almond will work will to. I would however, not recommend using coconut milk as it tends to soak up the moisture in cakes, resulting in a dry dense sponge.

Apple Cider Vinegar – This reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to help the cake rise, this can also be substituted for another acid like lemon juice.

Maple Syrup –  [AD] For this cake I used Maple From Canada which added a sweet subtle caramelized flavor to the sponge which paired beautifully with the vanilla.

The two layered vanilla cake recipe

Step by step instructions.

To start, begin making the sponge. You’ll need to combine your plant based milk and vinegar together. This will be our vegan buttermilk. 

Then in a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients, this includes, gluten free plain flour, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda. Mix this together to ensure there’s no lumps before adding the wet ingredients. 

Add in our olive oil to your vegan buttermilk mixture and give that a whisk. Then pour into the dry ingredients. 

Once that is fully mixed in you want to pour in your maple syrup and mix that until just combined – you don’t want to over mix this. Finally pour this into 2 x 6inch cake tins that have been greased and lined with greaseproof paper.

Bake that for 40-60mins, you can tell the sponges are baked when they are slightly golden in color and are springy to the touch. 

layered vanilla cake

If your sponges are not level when they come out of the oven, level it out with a serrated knife or cake leveler.

Now it’s time to make the vegan buttercream. 

How to make.white buttercream

The key to making your buttercream white rather than that off yellow colour is to beat the butter separately for 5 mins in a stand mixer until it becomes pale and fluffy.

Then add your icing sugar and beat that together again for 3-5mins until fluffy. You should feel that the buttercream is quite stiff at this stage so you’ll need to pour in your maple syrup and some plant based milk.

Assembling this easy layered vanilla cake

It’s now time to assemble. This is my really easy way to decorate a cake, thats effortless and yet looks professional.

Begin by layering a generous amount of buttercream onto the fist layer and then sandwiching it with the 2nd layer making sure to place it face down. – This will help to create a nice flat top.

layered vanilla cake

Then fully coat the cake in buttercream – this will lock in all the crumbs, and refrigerate for 30 mins. This is known as a crumb coat. Ice again with a second layer of buttercream for full coverage. You can also leave the cake with 1 coat of buttercream for a semi naked look.

Finally decorate with some white vegan chocolate mini eggs around the top, perfect.

layered vanilla cake

It’s now ready to enjoy and share with your family.

Non-vegan alternative

If you don’t want to make this cake vegan, simply substitute the plant-based milk for regular whole milk and the vegan butter for normal block butter – at room temperature for the frosting.

layered vanilla cake


What’s a good frosting for vanilla cake ?

I’ve found a classic buttercream goes really well with this cake. It is also really simple and quick to whip up. If however, you had more time to hand a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream would also be perfect.

I have also flavored my buttercream for this cake with maple syrup which added a beautiful sweet caramelised flavor.

Can you use this recipe for a vegan vanilla bundt cake ?

Yes absolutely that would be lovely. This recipe would fit a 9” bundt tin perfectly.

How do you make a vegan cake rise ?

Without eggs, making a cake rise can be difficult. However, adding an acid like apple cider vinegar with baking soda creates a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide. This makes the baked products rise in the oven and results in a fluffy, moist texture.

What’s a good vegan buttermilk replacement ?

The vegan buttermilk in this recipe is a combination of plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar. However, if you don’t have apple cider vinegar or any other vinegar. Then lemon juice is another great acid that will react in the same way.

Storing and freezing

Where to store cakes ?

Once this cake is iced, store it in an air tight container to keep the cake moist. If however, you have not yet iced and assembled the cakes. You can freeze the cakes for up to 2 months. Just make sure to properly wrap them in cling film/plastic wrap.

Make sure to tag me @whiskmefree on Instagram and leave a review below if you follow this moist layered vanilla cake recipe. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!

The White Vegan Cake Recipe :

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5 from 2 votes

Vegan Layered Vanilla Cake

This is my foolproof recipe to creating a layered vanilla cake perfect every time. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten Free
Keyword vegan
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8


  • 2 6 inch cake tins
  • Electric whisk/stand mixer


  • 310 ml Plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 90 ml Olive Oil
  • 290 g Maple sugar
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 360 g Gluten Free flour
  • 3 tbsp Golden Maple Syrup

Vegan Buttercream

  • 200 g Vegan Butter
  • 400 g Maple Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 3 tbsp Plant-based milk


  • Vegan white chocolate mini eggs


Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 180°c and grease and line your cake tins with grease proof paper. Set aside while you make the batter.
  • Start by combining the plant-based milk and vinegar together to make your 'buttermilk'. Let this stand for 5-10 mins.
    310 ml Plant-based milk, 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • In a separate bowl mix together your flour, Xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar. Making sure there's no lumps.
    290 g Maple sugar, 1 tsp Xanthan Gum, 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder, 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda, 360 g Gluten Free flour
  • Then add the oil into the buttermilk and pour into the dry ingredients.
    90 ml Olive Oil
  • Once combined pour in the maple syrup and whisk into the batter.
    3 tbsp Golden Maple Syrup
  • Evenly distribute the batter into your cake tins and bake for 40-60 mins. The sponge should be golden in colour and springy to the touch.

Vegan Buttercream

  • As the cake cools begin making the vegan buttercream. For this begin creaming your vegan butter until pale then add the icing sugar and beat together for 3-5mins.
    200 g Vegan Butter, 400 g Maple Icing Sugar
  • Add the milk and maple syrup and beat for a further 2mins until pale and fluffy.
    1 tbsp Maple Syrup, 3 tbsp Plant-based milk


  • If your sponges are not level, level the tops of the cakes first before layering to prevent your cake being lopsided. You can use a special cake leveller for this or just a serrated knife.
  • Once the cakes are levelled. We will start with a crumb coat. This is when we cover the cake in buttercream just to seal any gaps and lock in all the crumbs to prevent them being scattered across the cake.
  • To begin first spread a generous amount the vegan buttercream on top of the first cake layer. Then top with the 2nd cake layer face down. And spread the vegan buttercream across the the top and sides of the cake, making sure it's completely covered.
  • Place the cake in the fridge for 30mins – 1hr until set [it will be 'set' when you touch the buttercream and no buttercream sticks to your finger]
  • It is now time for our final coat. For this will be covering the entire cake in a second layer of the vegan buttercream.
  • Once the cake is covered, go around the cake with an offset spatula or spoon and create little swirls and rustic flicks in the buttercream.
  • Finally decorate with white chocolate mini eggs across the top of the cake to create a boarder. Perfect.
    Vegan white chocolate mini eggs
  • It's now time to show off this masterpiece to your guests and enjoy with your friends and family.

Please leave me a star review below 🙂

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© Leena. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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