Vegan Almond Layer Cake

I’ve shared a ton of different cakes over the years, but all of them use dairy! This is the only recipe I’ve ever I’ve ever shared that is vegan! No eggs, no butter, no buttermilk!!

It uses vegetable oil in place of the butter, and almond milk in place of the buttermilk.

I really love this recipe because it’s straight forward, doesn’t include any scary ingredients, and most importantly, it tastes great!

I chose to flavor this with almond extract, but you could also try maple, lemon, or coconut.

Vegan Almond Cake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk (room temperature)
  • optional – vegan food coloring

Vegan Almond Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans by lining them with parchment paper and greasing the bottom and sides of the pan.

Begin by making the vegan almond cake layers.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Add vegetable oil, almond milk, and extracts; whisk until no lumps are left, and batter is smooth.

Stir in the vinegar, and  pour 1/3 of the batter into each pan.

Bake about 30 minutes, until cake begins to pull away from sides and/or toothpick inserted in the center pulls out clean.

Let these cool for ten to fifteen minutes in the pan, then finish cooling the layers on a wire rack.

While the cakes cool, prepare the vegan almond frosting.

Beat the shortening on a low speed for 1 minute using a paddle attachment, until smooth.

Slowly mix in the powdered sugar on a low speed in three installments, and alternate with splashes of almond milk.

Mix in the vanilla and almond extract, and beat for another 2 minutes until smooth. If desired, color with vegan food coloring.

To assembly the cake, frost the top of each layer with an even layer of the frosting, and stack layers on top of each other.

crumb coated vegan

Apply a thin crumb coat of frosting, and place the cake in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Once the frosting has firmed up, cover the cake with the remaining frosting.

adding board to top of vegan cake

I used a large French tip to pipe a boarder around the top edge of the cake, and covered the top with sprinkles.

There are a lot of great vegan sprinkle brands out there, but I chose to use a vegan blend made by Fancy Sprinkles!

sprinkles on top of vegan cake

I really love that this cake looks and tastes so much like a normal cake!

The texture is a bit different than my normal cakes that are made with butter, but the layers almost reminds me of a moist olive oil cake!

The almond flavor is present in both the layers and the frosting.

sliced vegan cake

I did find the the vegan frosting was bit more difficult to smooth than regular buttercream, but that’s to be expected since it’s made with shortening. Shortening doesn’t firm up the same way butter does when chilled.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with this vegan almond cake recipe. It’s so approachable and delicious!!

33 thoughts on “Vegan Almond Layer Cake

  1. Hey Chelsea! Is this cake also soy free? Looking for a cake recipe for my daughter’s first birthday but she’s allergic to milk and soy?

  2. Made you recipe today and it came out amazing! Any tips on frosting? For some reason when I added a gel color to the frosting it seemed to change the entire consistency.

    1. so happy to hear that! What brand of gel food coloring are you using? i use the americolor brand and haven’t run into issues! But I also didn’t add much to achieve this light pink shade.

  3. Hello- Is the almond extract flavoring super strong in the cake/ icing? I want a classic vanilla flavouring, so am wondering if I should just omit the almond extract all together (and what to replace it with if so).

    1. It is somewhat strong. You can try it, I just prefer another flavor in there, since there’s no butter and the shortening really doesn’t have any flavor! But if you use a high quality vanilla extract or some vanilla bean paste, it should still taste good!

  4. Hi i live in the UK and we dont have shortening here much. Any alternative? Do you have any other Vegan cake recipes or could you recommend another fellow bakers recipe? I am looking to make a vegan rainbow cake.
    Hina (Fan from London) 🙂

    1. Really?! That’s wild!! Sadly I don’t have any other vegan recipes, I’m so sorry :/ Bakerita makes all kinds of vegan and gluten free baked goods, I’d recommend checking her blog out! hopefully she’ll have one you can use 🙂

  5. I tried this for a chocolate version, basically replacing 1/4th flour with dutch processed cocoa. It turned out so perfect! Thank you Chelsea 🙂 you are awesome <3

  6. Love Love this recipe since my son is allergic to dairy I have had to find different options and now I can make him a cake for his bday without worrying that I will affect him with the Dairy and the fact that it also taste amazing.

  7. I love watching your videos. Your cakes are simple and wow worthy. I also read your blog on why you quit your job. My jaw dropped because your thought process seemed exactly like mine.
    Thank for your blog and sharing all that you know.

    I have a question about the vegan cake. Which brand of shortening did you use?

  8. Chelsweets, I really like looking through all your videos. The cakes are so simple and pretty. I enjoy such cakes
    I read your blog about why you left your corporate job and my jaw dropped because my thinking process is so much like yours. Just that you are bold to make videos and I am not 🙂

    I have a question about the vegan cake. Which brand of frosting did you use?
    I find that Crisco is too greasy. Are they other brands that probably work better?

    1. haha aw thanks Kanthi! I actually did use Crisco, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the texture either. However, vegan anything is going to taste slightly different than what we’re used to! I haven’t tested out any other brands of shortening, but they’re all the same fat ratio so I don’t think different brands will change the texture much :/

  9. How would I go about adapting this recipe for 2 9 inch cakes? Would I need to 1 1/2 batch the cake batter & frosting ingredients?

    1. The recipe needs acid to activate the baking soda 🙂 It helps make the cake layers rise and give the cake a great texture!!

Let me know what you think!