Classic Vegan White Cake

MattieMattie  
 
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This Classic Vegan White Cake recipe is a simple way to make delectable light and fluffy vegan cakes. It features a touch of apple cider vinegar for a superior crumb and flavor depth and just the right amount of vanilla extract and lemon extract for a rich flavor. Its subtle vanilla notes won't compete for attention if you're interested in adapting it into more complex cakes.

Classic Vegan White Cake Recipe

¾ cup + 1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
 
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons cake flour (preferred) or all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons tapioca or arrowroot flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
 
¼ cup + 3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon lemon extract

1) Curdle the non-dairy milk

Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Lightly coat a 8 inch round cake pan with vegetable oil and dust it with flour, making sure to shake off any excess. In a small bowl, whisk together non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for at least 5 minutes so the mixture thickens. 

2) Whisk together the dry ingredients

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, tapioca flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. 

3) Whisk together the wet ingredients

In another medium mixing bowl whisk together sugar, vegetable oil, canola oil, vanilla extract, salt and lemon extract. Now whisk in the non-dairy milk mixture from Step 1 until well incorporated.

4) Mix the Vegan White Cake batter

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl containing the wet ingredients and whisk together until just incorporated and the lumps are eliminated.

5) Bake to perfection

Pour mixture into the cake pan. To eliminate air bubbles lift the cake pan about 2 inches off the counter and drop it onto the counter a couple times. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about an hour then transfer to a cake rack to cool completely before frosting. Store the cake in a covered container at room temperature for about 1 week or in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 6 months. Makes 1 layer, 8 inch round Classic Vegan White Cake.


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Friends,
I was looking for a white vegan cake recipe for a friend's wedding and happened on this recipe-- sounds like a winner. I will experiment with the original and modified recipes to see what works best for my purposes-- multi-layers.
HOWEVER, I noticed someone asking how to make a cake that rises more evenly across the top, without so much of a cake mound in the center. As the veganbaking.net owner stated, this problem is due to uneven heat in the oven. Here are three possible solutions to consider:
1. Place a large cake pan of boiling water at the bottom of the oven before you begin baking. The steam will help diminish hotspots and balance the temperature in the oven, resulting in more even rising. Be certain to keep at least 1/2" water in the pan throughout the baking process.
2. You can purchase special wraps that you soak in water, then place around the edge of the baking pan before it is placed in the oven. I purchased mine through a popular cake decorating supplier; they are long 2" wide silver and muslin fabric strips with absorbent padding between layers. Really helps.
3. If you are replacing your oven and love to bake, consider purchasing a convection oven, (one with an interior fan that distributes heat evenly), which is a great choice for bakers for a variety of reasons. Heat in the oven is so even that you won't have hotspots- places where your baked item is over or under-cooked. Cakes will bake much more evenly than in conventional ovens. You can also bake on all racks in the oven at the same time-- two shelves of cookies, cupcakes, potatoes, lentil loaves, etc...
These solutions may not completely eliminate the problem of uneven rising, but in my experience I have had little or nothing left to trim in order to have nice even layers. GOOD LUCK!!!

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Rating 
 
3.0

Tweaks

Hi there! I searched for a vegan spongecake recipe and really liked the look of this one. I specifically wanted a spongecake that could be used in a jellyroll-type recipe. (I also remember reading comments, so maybe the person who asked about jellyroll cake can be notified?) I took to heart the comments about the recipe being crumbly and cornbread-like. I made one, following the recipe, but keeping in mind I may have to tweak.

While the cake itself is a nice recipe, it didn't work for my purposes for two reasons: 1. the texture was in fact way too crumbly to work for a rolled cake. 2. the lemon flavor (possible it was the lemon plus the apple cider vinegar) was far too strong and didn't blend with the other flavors I combine in the rolled cake (tiramisu, for what it's worth).

I would like to suggest a few changes to anyone who wants a fluffier and less-crumbly cake.

(First, the ingredients list calls for coconut, but the instructions say canola. I used coconut.)

I know Mattie says that curdling of milks is a favorite technique, but I don't favor it myself. Here's what I changed in the recipe, and got something just about perfect for my tiramisu.

1. No apple cider vinegar. Just the 3/4 cup of soymilk (it worked better than almond milk for me).
2. Change lemon extract to almond extract. I also tend to go heavy on vanilla. I used a whole Tablespoon.
3. Use 2 1/2 Tbsp ground flax and about 8 Tbsp water, cooked for a very few minutes on medium heat, stovetop, and add to "whisk wet ingredients together" section. This fabulous egg substitute held the batter together very well (and added Omega 3s!).

The cake came out fluffy, spongy, yummy, and very neutral in flavor as compared to the slight but unmistakable tartness of the original.

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Rating 
 
5.0

LOVE.

I've loved this recipe long time. Have it bookmarked. But it used to be slightly different, with flax seeds? Is there any way to get that recipe back? It was *perfect*
Thank you so much.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Perfect

This cake is just perfect. I baked for about 25 minutes, and the texture is just the right balance of springy and slightly dense. It is not a fluffy cake, but it makes for easy handling and frosting. I used a rounded teaspoon of the ground flaxseed. I made it for a friend's birthday tonight and am so glad it turned out well. I will update once I've tasted the finished product. :) Thank you!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Terrific Cake

My granddaughter recently went Vegan, and requested a vegan cake for her 17th birthday. This recipe looked simple enough, but I had little hope that it would even be edible.. I tasted the batter before I baked it, and I could not have told it was vegan, but I still had my doubts. I made two separate recipes for the layers, and they came from the oven looking better than my regular cakes. Made a vegan chocolate frosting as she requested. I warned everyone that it was my first attempt at vegan baking, and not to expect too much

Oh my gosh. This cake is incredible.....moist and flavorful. Everyone agreed that it is a winner! Most important, the birthday girl loved it. I will definitely make this my "go to" cake for her.

She loves pancakes, and I used this recipe as the basis for a pancake batter, and they were delicious. Light and fluffy....so good we non vegans had them for breakfast this morning

Thanks for making my vegan adventure so rewarding.

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Rating 
 
2.0

Good, but wouldn't make again.

This cake tastes like cornbread. It has the consistency of cornbread (fluffy, moist and dense), looks like it (is yellow from the flax and canola oil, not white) and it somehow tastes like it too (maybe from the flax). It had mostly good reviews so that's why I tried it and I usually don't write reviews on recipes unless I feel I should warn other unsuspecting bakers who stay up all night like myself at the last minute to make a cake. I mean it would be edible, but not good. I'm going to have to remake the cake. And I tripled the recipe....blaahhhhh. I should have listened to the other reviewers that said it tasted like cornbread, because it totally does. Sorry for the not so good review. Good job for posting a vegan cake recipe though.

Owner's reply

Thanks for the honest feedback Micheill! I'm going to revisit this recipe and see if I can make any improvements. I'll update the recipe accordingly if I find anything. The yellowness is caused by all-purpose flour going through a slight oxidation during baking. This oxidation is probably also lending some "baked" savory flavors that some might describe as "corny". I actually prefer this flavor in cakes but some people do not. This is one of the reasons why cake flour remains white after baking; it's bleached so it's not susceptible to oxidation and, hence, color changes during heat exposure. Hope you eventually found a vegan cake recipe that worked for you!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Easy, pretty, fluffy! And Soda Cake mix discovery!

I made this and no one would be able to tell it is vegan. It is light and fluffy, very quick to make. Easy to cut, easy to frost. Would be easy to do a layer cake if two were made. Again, another recipe I will recommend to all my friends and have posted a link to it from my web site.
http://www.veganaugusta.com/desserts/
Most importantly, your wonderful information on the science of baking led to a discovery. I had been using the long standing box mix/can of soda recipe in some vegan outreach and while I love the concentrated sweetness, I know some prefer fluffy. And they are sticky so they were hard to frost and you could not do a layer cake using a box and 10 or 12 oz of soda. So following your sage advice, I dropped it to 8 oz and made the batter more like biscuit dough and BINGO!!! Fluffy cake!! So I posted a two method approach to the box and soda cake and will be offering both versions to people to try and reduce animal product consumption. Thanks so much for your great information!!! (both methods at the same dessert link above)

Owner's reply

So happy that this cake recipe led to another cake discovery Newcindy! Thanks for sharing!

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Rating 
 
5.0

wedding cake base

What a brilliant recipe! I am making the wedding cake for a close friend and I've been baking al sorts of white cakes to find the best. And this is my winner! It's fluffy, yet not crumbly, flavourful (I used lemon instead of almond extract), easy to cut in half - perfect really. Thanks for that recipe!

Owner's reply

That's awesome that you had such great results with this cake recipe Karin! So excited that it's finding its way into a wedding cake! I wouldn't complain if you shared a picture of the final cake haha;) I'd love to see it!

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Rating 
 
4.0

Nice! Tips on even rising?

This cake is very tasty and airy! It came out a little dry for me, but possibly I baked it a bit too long. I made half a two-layer cake by cutting one layer in half and stacking it with a creamed coconut frosting (http://www.adventures-in-cooking.com/2012/03/thai-tea-cake-with-creamed-coconut.html with vegan margarine instead of butter). One question I have is: how do I prevent the cake from rising mainly in the middle and leaving me with very thin edges? This makes it not so nice to stack... I know people usually trim their cake a bit before stacking (and I guess this probably helps the icing adhere as well) but I don't like cutting away parts of my nice cake... Thank you in advance, and keep up the good work!

Owner's reply

Thanks Clara! It's practically impossible to design a cake recipe that rises evenly instead of slightly doming, and still results in an airy cake. This is because different parts of the cake rise at different times as the heat of the oven first heats up the exterior of the cake around the perimeter, then makes its way towards the center during the baking duration. The best way to get around this, as you mentioned, is to just cut off the domed part with a knife. I then destroy the evidence by eating it on the spot! A serrated bread knife works well for a nice clean cut.

Then I apply a "crumb coat" which is an extremely thin layer of frosting designed coat the cake, crumbs and all. This is then refrigerated and later, the frosting is applied to the cold, firm crumb coating to ensure that crumbs don't get mixed into the main frosting layer.

When doing layer cakes, I usually do one eight inch round cake pan per layer, unless I'm making extremely thin layers.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Grand!

This turned out beautifully, you've now given me my go-to white sponge cake recipe. I also made this a "lemon cake" but really don't recommend trying to make lemony cakes by adding to the batter*.... instead make a sugar/lemon juice/lemon zest glaze, puncture holes into the cake whilst it's still a bit warm then drizzle the glaze over, it will absorb the liquid and dry to a glossy, transparent finish on top. I then make a lemon icing/frosting (thicker, often with a tablespoon or two of vegan "butter" or coconut butter lot's of lemon zest, vanilla extract and powdered sugar) and paste it on top, leave in a cool place to harden. A GORGEOUS cake! Thankyou.

Owner's reply

So glad you liked this cake H.D! I love your lemon variation. Allowing the lemon glaze to infuse into the cake before applying an icing is brilliant!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Great White Cake Recipe!

The cake came out nice and fluffy. I followed the recipe exact. I did use an 8x8 square pan instead because I don't have a cake pan (yet). Thank you for this amazing recipe!

A view of what it looks like out of the pan.
On the cooling rack.
Owner's reply

So glad this cake recipe worked out for you razzldazzl23!

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Jelly Roll..?

Hi Mattie! Haven't tried this recipe yet, but I trust your recipes. I was just wondering if I could tweak it into a jelly roll with any success. How fragile is it? Some people said it has a good moist, crumb so I think I am going to try it....I will hook you up with my results :)

Owner's reply

Hi cupcakefdoom, I've been wanting to make a jelly roll too! I don't know if this cake will work for that- you need an incredibly flexible and well binded cake to do that which is particularly difficult to get with vegan baking. I'd love to work on this. I'd start by over mixing the batter slightly to purposely develop some of the gluten, which is usually a big no-no in regular cake recipes. I think the secret to nailing this is determining how much and how long to mix this batter for so you can dial in the perfect amount of gluten-based bind. Let me know if you break any ground on this!

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Cupcakes?

Do you think this would translate well to cupcakes?

Owner's reply

Hi Jenny May! This recipe should work out well for cupcakes but I think my Vanilla Cupcake recipe would work out better because it's designed from-the-ground-up for cupcakes.
http://www.veganbaking.net/cakes/cupcakes/559-vanilla-cupcakes-quick-bread-method
Good luck!

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Rating 
 
4.0

tender cake

This came out very well, nice and tender. I quadrupled it to make the triple layered checker-board cake (dyed red and green) for a friend's birthday and it looked lovely. thank you for sharing this.

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Rating 
 
5.0

delicious!

I made this today and it was absolutely delicious! It was exactly what I was looking for. It was light and had a great texture. I had made another vanilla cake from another source and it was too heavy and dense and not as sweet even though the other recipe used more sugar. This is definitely a hit in our house. I used 2 tbls water instead of the oil and it didn't affect it at all. Thanks for the recipe!

Owner's reply

So glad this worked out for you patty! Good to know that it works well in its fat-free incarnation too!

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Rating 
 
3.0

Double it!

I can only give it a 3 based on my changes, so maybe not a fair score for the white cake. I made it Lemon Cake by using lemon juice in place of vinegar, which was fine. I used a teaspoon+ of lemon extract for the extracts. They say on the bottle to be careful because it's so concentrated. But it was only vaguely lemony. The cake itself was rather heavy or dense. But at least it didn't crumble like some vegan cakes. It was an extremely thick batter. For my second layer (see below), I added a bit of water to the batter. So maybe altering this recipe was not the best way to make a lemon cake. I'll try it again as a white cake sometime!

I want to emphasize that this makes one layer, which I wouldn't actually call a "cake." I didn't notice that (my bad), so once I realized it, I just went ahead and finished the one layer and started over to make another one so I'd have an entire layer cake. Not a huge problem since all the ingredients and cups were still out.

Owner's reply

Thanks for your detailed input andreanewengland! I just updated the recipe to be more clear that it makes one 8 inch round.

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Need Help.

Help, I need to make a tangy lemon cake tomorrow morning for my daughter's b'day cake. She wants lemon with chocolate frosting all of a sudden. Can I use lemon juice instead of the vinegar? And use lemon extract or oil for the extracts?

Thanks Mattie!!

Owner's reply

Hi Andrea! You can definitely use lemon juice instead of vinegar. I'd use no more than about 2 or 3 teaspoons lemon juice and use lemon extract for the rest of the lemon flavor. The acidity of lemon juice can prematurely gelatinize the starches and negatively affect protein coagulation, resulting in a rising, then sinking cake. Don't forget to reduce the non-dairy milk in the recipe to compensate for the liquids you add. Good luck and let me know how it works out!

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can you skip the oil? not a big fan.

Owner's reply

Hi patty, Since it's only 2 Tablespoons of oil you should be able to get by with just substituting it with water. Good luck!

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