Vegan Funfetti Cake

A few weeks ago I got an email from someone with a recipe for a Wacky Cake (thank you Alanna!). She said it was her go-to cake recipe for gluten free and vegan cakes, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! I’d been meaning to work on a vegan funfetti cake recipe for a while, and this was the perfect place to start.

The original recipe was for a chocolate cake, so I definitely had to tweak it a bit to make it a vanilla cake that made enough batter for a layer cake. But after a bit of experimenting, I think I got it just right!

image of vegan funfetti cake with slice on plate and bite about to be taken with a fork

Simple Ingredients You Probably Already Have in Your Pantry

One of my favorite things about this depression era recipe is its simplicity. It doesn’t have any crazy egg replacements, or ingredients you need to order online. I can almost guarantee you have everything you need in your pantry already!!

To replace the eggs used in most cake recipes, this recipe uses a hefty amount of baking soda and vinegar.

I was a bit skeptical when I first read this recipe, but I knew it had to work since this recipe has been a fan favorite for decades.

photo of simple and easy vegan funfetti cake batter ingredients

Sure enough, the cake layers rose up just fine and were tender and moist. The flavor is definitely unique and different than my usual butter cakes, but it’s totally delicious in its own way.

I couldn’t stop myself from eating all the cake tops after I leveled them. That’s always a sign that I have a winning recipe on my hands.

What’s even wilder is that you can make this vegan funfetti cake batter by hand!! The vegan buttercream in this recipe does require a stand or hand mixer, but you only need a whisk to make the cake batter.

Ingredients to Be Mindful of When Baking Things Vegan Funfetti Cake

When you think of a vegan recipe, you know it can’t use ingredients like eggs, milk or butter. But there are other less obvious ingredients you have to be careful with too!

Choose Organic Granulated Sugar

Most granulated sugar is made from beets, so you might assume it’s vegan.

However, there are a lot of types of granulated sugar in the US and the UK that are filtered with bone char. Most organic granulated sugar is vegan, so I recommend using organic sugar in this recipe.

Make Sure Your Sprinkles are Vegan

Another ingredient in this recipe that you need to watch out for is the sprinkles!

While there are lots of great vegan sprinkles out there, your average rainbow sprinkles are not vegan.

image of vegan sprinkles being poured into a vegan vanilla cake also known as a wacky cake

You don’t want to use your run of the mill sprinkles from the grocery store in this cake. Instead, I recommend these vegan rainbow sprinkles.

Surprisingly there are also really pretty vegan sprinkles blends made by sweetapolita that can be used to decorate this cake. If you decide to order some, use the code “CHELSWEETS15” to get 15% your entire order!

Take a Closer Look at your Food Coloring

Some natural food coloring is vegan, but not all of it! I usually use americolor gel food coloring in my baking, but sadly it isn’t vegan.

For the decoration of this cake I used this natural and vegan food coloring. Coloring your vegan frosting is totally optional, but it does make the decoration of this cake a bit more exciting!

image of frosted vegan cake decorated to look like a watercolor painting with colorful frosting

Tips for Making The Best Vegan Funfetti Cake:

  • Mix your batter until the ingredients are just combined! Over mixing the batter can cause your cake layers to be dense and tough
  • Use vegan butter for the frosting (like Earth Balance Baking Sticks) instead of shortening to give you buttercream more flavor
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better, so be sure you set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Make this vegan funfetti cake gluten free by using your favorite cup for cup gluten free flour.
  • One batch of batter can be used to make three 6″cake layers, two 8″ cake layers, or one 9×13″ sheet cake.
  • Use your favorite type of dairy free milk to make the vegan buttercream! I love almond milk, but soy, oat, or coconut work great too

Making This Vegan Cake In Advance & Storage Tips:

  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
  • Make your vegan frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. The frosting locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
  • If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.
image of a slice of vegan funfetti cake

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this vegan funfetti cake recipe, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment 🙂

Also please tag me @chelsweets! Use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 16

Vegan Funfetti Cake

image of vegan funfetti cake slice

This vegan funfetti cake is tender, packed with flavor, and incredibly easy to make! It's the perfect way to celebrate any occasion!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Additional Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes

Ingredients

Vegan Funfetti Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (293 grams)
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (266 grams) - be sure it's organic or made from beets
  • 3/4 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 1 1/3 tsp baking soda (5 grams)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or flavorless oil (112 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract (6 grams)
  • 4 tsp white or apple cider vinegar (16 grams)
  • 1 cup water (235 grams)
  • 1/2 cup vegan rainbow sprinkles (90 grams)

Vegan Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan butter, softened at room temperature (285 grams)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (8 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond (8 grams) - optional
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (750 grams) - check the bag to make sure it's vegan!
  • 2 Tbsp alternative milk (soy, almond, coconut, or oat) (30 grams)

Decorations & Tools

Instructions

Vegan Funfetti Cake Layers

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line three 6" cake pans.
  2. Whisk together 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1 1/3 tsp baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 1/2 tsp almond extract, 4 tsp vinegar, and 1 cup water.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until the batter is smooth.
  5. Add 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles and fold into the batter until they're evenly distributed.
  6. Pour the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 33-35 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
  8. Flip the cake layers out of the pans and onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  9. Once fully cooled, use a serrated knife to level the tops of the cake layers.

Vegan Buttercream Frosting

  1. Beat 1 1/2 cups vegan butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment or whisk attachment,until smooth.
  2. Mix in 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and 1 1/2 tsp almond extract on a low speed.
  3. Slowly add in 6 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Halfway through add 2 Tbsp of dairy-free milk to make the frosting easier to mix.
  4. Mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the desired consistency is reached. 
  5. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional dairy free milk (1 tsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).


Assembling this Vegan Funfetti Cake

  1. Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of vegan buttercream to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
  2. Spread an even layer of vegan frosting on top of your first cake layer with a large offset spatula. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of rainbow sprinkles on top of the frosting.
  3. Repeat with remaining cake layers, being sure to place to top cake layer upside down (makes it easier to frost).
  4. Cover the cake in a thin coat of vegan buttercream. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (10 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes).
  5. Add a second, thicker layer of vegan frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper.
  6. If desired, color the remaining frosting different colors using vegan food coloring. Add dabs of the colorful frosting around your cake, and smooth using a bench scraper to create a watercolor look.
  7. Place the remaining frosting into a piping bag fit with your favorite frosting tip and pipe small swirls around the top of the cake.
  8. Add a pretty sprinkle blend around the base and top of the cake.

Notes

Making This Vegan Funfetti Cake In Advance & Storage Tips:

  • Make your frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
  • If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 622Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 52mgSodium 380mgCarbohydrates 86gFiber 1gSugar 68gProtein 2g

21 thoughts on “Vegan Funfetti Cake

  1. I can’t wait to try this! If I want to make a dairy-free cake instead of a vegan cake, can I replace the vinegar in this recipe with eggs? If so, how many?

    1. Hi Kelly,

      I haven’t tried that before, but in theory it should work if you reduce the vinegar and baking soda. I’d suggest trying out 2 eggs in place of half of the vinegar and baking soda. You still want to leave some of it in there, because you want the cake layers to rise. If you try this, please let me know how it turns out. I’d love to know!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      I prefer this recipe with water, but if you swap in almond milk for the water it should still turn out!

  2. Hi. Is it possible to do this cake marbled cake with chocolate? Should I use cocoa powder or chocolate? And what advise can you give me for the amount of ingredients to do it ? Thank you so much .

  3. Hi, is there any other ingredient i can use instead of flour like, Almond flour, or gluten free flour? I want to make the cake gluten free. Thanks

  4. Just made this, so so good and can’t even tell it’s vegan. I have a hard time with cakes sometimes but this recipe was super easy to follow and made for a solid, easy to assemble and delicious to eat cake!

  5. Sadly this did not live up to expectations. From a seasoned Baker and vegan. The consistency after cooking was more like an over oily cookie. That welded itself to the pan. Think ill resort to my usual recipe. But very pretty pictures.

  6. I followed a different recipe for the cake and frosting but the decoration with the multi color frosting and layering was inspired by your recipe here! Thanks for the detailed info and super useful video! Turned out really well!

  7. This cake came out great! I made it gluten free by using Bob’s Red Mill GF 1-1 flour. The edges got a bit hard. I’m sure it has something to do with the flour. I used a thermometer to test for doneness, since gf baked goods tends to need more time, but I guess it cooked a bit unevenly. I just cut the edges off, it was nbd. The cake was a huge hit!

  8. My cake texture turned out beautifully but man it was sweet ? I think as a child I would have loved it but at almost 30 I could have probably eaten it without the frosting lol

  9. Are there any specific adjustments that need to be made to this recipe for baking at a high altitude? I have made this recipe multiple times now and it always falls really low in the middle.

Let me know what you think!