1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

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1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake displayed on a serving platter and topped with fresh raspberries and blackberries

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you a perfectly fluffy, tender, sweet vanilla cake that’s vegan and gluten-free! Let’s bake!

Mixing together the wet and dry ingredients for 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

This recipe is easy to make, requiring 1 bowl and 10 ingredients.

The base starts with vegan “buttermilk” made by mixing dairy-free milk and vinegar. Then add in applesauce for (oil-free!) moisture and natural sweetness and vanilla extract for that quintessential vanilla flavor. YUM.

For the dry ingredients, after much experimentation, we went with a mixture of almond flour, potato starch, and cornstarch. This combo totally nailed it! So stoked for that fluffy, crumbly texture.

Freshly baked 1-Bowl Vanilla Cake layers in round baking pans
Spreading frosting on one of the layers of this 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

Once your cake is baked, it’s time for frosting!

We included two options: one is coconut whipped cream and the other is classic vegan buttercream frosting. Both are delicious, but we were feeling classic vibes, so we went for the buttercream.

Our perfectly frosted 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake perched atop a serving platter and decorated with fresh berries
A slice of our fluffy and perfectly sweet 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake topped with a fresh raspberry

We hope you all LOVE this cake! It’s:

Perfectly sweet
Easy to make
& SO delicious

This would make the perfect cake for holiday or special occasion celebrations. It’s delicious on its own but also pairs well with coconut whip, vegan buttercream (recipe below), or even chocolate frosting!

For more easy cakes, be sure to check out our Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, Gluten-Free Birthday Cake, Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake, Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes, and The Best Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers and happy baking, friend!

Using a fork to cut into a slice of our 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

A 1-bowl vegan gluten-free vanilla cake that’s perfectly tender, fluffy, and sweet! Delicious frosted or unfrosted and SO easy to make! 10 ingredients and 1 bowl required.
Author Minimalist Baker
Three layer Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake topped with fresh raspberries and blackberries
4.72 from 264 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 (slices)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 1 2/3 cup dairy-free milk (we used boxed coconut milk // almond or rice would also work)
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • 3 1/4 cups almond flour (not meal // we prefer Wellbee’s brand)
  • 1 scant cup potato starch (not flour)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch (or you can try subbing arrowroot starch for grain-free)
  • 1 1/3 cup organic cane sugar*
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)


  • 2 sticks vegan butter, softened (we prefer Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2-4 cups organic powdered sugar (sifted)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease two standard 8-inch round cake pans, one 9×13-inch, or three 6-inch round pans* (with vegan butter or coconut oil) and dust with gluten-free flour. Shake out excess and set aside.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, measure out dairy-free milk and add vinegar. Let set a few minutes. Then add applesauce and vanilla. Whisk/stir to combine.
  • Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated and no large lumps remain. The batter should be thick but pourable (see video). Add more almond flour if too wet or dairy-free milk if too thick.
  • Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans and bake on a center rack for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges and surface appear golden brown.
  • Let cool 15 minutes in the cake pans. To remove from pans, run a dull knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cakes. Then place a plate or cooling rack on top and quickly invert. Let cool completely (preferably overnight or at least 6 hours on a wire rack) before frosting.
  • Frost with coconut whipped cream and berries for a lighter application (see inspiration here), or frost generously with my 3-ingredient Vegan Buttercream Frosting (see below).
  • Store cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze up to 1 month.
  • FROSTING*: Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute. Then add vanilla and mix once more. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until a thick, spreadable frosting is formed. I found about 3 1/2 cups to be the appropriate amount per 1 full cake recipe.
  • If too thick, the frosting will be too hard to spread (add 1/2 tsp almond milk at a time if too thick). If too thin, the frosting will slide off the cake. If too thin, continue adding powdered sugar until you get the right texture.
  • Use immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature before frosting.



*If altering batch size, please note that the number of pans and frosting instructions are based on how the original recipe is written. Adjust accordingly.
*To reduce sugar, each 1/4 cup of sugar be swapped with 1 packet (1/2 tsp) of powdered stevia. Or you could try subbing a mix of maple syrup and coconut sugar, but I haven’t tested it this way and can’t guarantee results.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the salt and without frosting.
*Prep time does not include cooling the cake.
*Recipe inspiration from The Vegan 8.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 Slice Calories: 326 Carbohydrates: 50.1 g Protein: 5.4 g Fat: 12.1 g Saturated Fat: 0.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 345 mg Fiber: 3 g Sugar: 27.4 g

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  1. Henri says


    Same question as the 1 Bowl Chocolate Gluten-Free Cake for Potato starch..

    Is it possible to substitute with Cornstarch or Tapioca Starch?


    Is it possible to substitute Butter with Coconut Cream or Cashew Butter or else…?

    And Sugar with Maple Syrup or Dates and in which quantities please?

    Many thanks

    Henri 😉

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      1) Potato starch is key in gluten-free baking for a light and fluffy texture! We can’t guarantee success with cornstarch, but it would be the next best option. 2) For a frosting without vegan butter/powdered sugar, we’d suggest our cashew buttercream.

      • Henri says

        Hey thanks I dowloaded and printed Cashew Buttercream looks great!

        But do I have to make and use the whole recipe to.cover the whole cake + layers?

        Can I use light coconut sugar if it doesnt brown the Cake color?

        It is.a clear Coconut sugar we have in France if you know?

        Like yellow brown color…kind of sand color…if it is good?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Yes, you’d need to make the whole recipe. We aren’t familiar with clear coconut sugar, but the flavor/stability of coconut sugar is different than cane sugar, so cane sugar is still best here!

  2. Jbphdelaney says

    Hello! This cake is one of my absolute favorites! My daughter recently wanted to try your strawberry cake, and I noticed that the ingredients are very similar. (It was also a keeper!) The strawberry cake has an option to sub flour for the almond flour, potato starch, and corn starch. Could I do that with this one? How much? Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, we aren’t sure if it would be a good fit in this one because it’s oil-free and might turn out too dry without almond flour. But if you want to try it out, we’d suggest 2-3 cups.

  3. Catherine Elkhattaby Strauch says

    This is the recipe we used for my wedding cake :) It is absolutely delicious. My favorite way to eat it is with Coco Whip and fresh berries.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, congratulations Catherine! Thank you SO much for the lovely review! We’re so glad you enjoyed it! xo