This soft, sweet vegan vanilla cake is made with just a few healthy ingredients, and is an easy single layer cake to bake. A classic recipe you’ll want to hold on to! Gluten free and naturally sweetened.
I just love cake. It is my favorite form of dessert, hands down – we’ve discussed this before, right?! Seriously though, there’s never really an occasion where cake is the wrong choice. Today happens to be my older brother’s birthday, so cake had to happen even though we don’t get to celebrate together! You you can’t be anything but happy when eating cake. Especially when it’s healthy, vegan cake!!
So many wins.
How was your weekend, guys?! My husband’s parents came from Columbus to visit for the day Saturday, which was great! We went to our local farmer’s market and got some great fruit and vegetables, and for dinner I put my hostess hat on for the first time in our new home, and went all out with a big burrito bowl bar. We had cauliflower rice, black beans, I roasted a bunch of potatoes, cooked some corn and peppers, and we had cashew sour cream, nutritional yeast, and hot sauce to top it all off. I’m suddenly starving.
Hostessing is definitely some work, but it was SO worth it and I can’t wait to do it again! It seriously made my whole week how much they loved the meal and dessert. Everything was vegan, of course – I’m adamant about that under our roof! – and his parents have been making some wonderful changes to their eating habits, which is so awesome to see. I made dessert, too, of course! We had cheesecake, because cheesecake is always a great idea.
But today, we’re talking regular cake. Is that a thing, “regular” cake? You guys know what I mean.
With cakes I’ve baked for the blog in the past I’ve used several different flours, and some mixes. I still love the coconut and almond flour combination – so soft and fluffy! But after this vegan vanilla cake revelation, I’m going to be bold and say I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite. Any guess what flour it uses? Hint hint, it also happens to be my favorite food – I know, I’m so predictable. 🙂
As a child, chocolate cake was my go to, of course. Still is! When I started my journey to find a new favorite base cake recipe, I figured vanilla was the best way to go. Before I tried a crazy super chocolatey one, I wanted to start with an sweet, simple, approachable, single layer vegan vanilla cake.
Seriously though, how cute is it?!
Before we talk ingredients, I want to say that the goal of this cake was simplicity. I mean flavor of course is number one priority, always, but I think cake is often intimidating to make, or has an ingredients list that’s approximately 37.5 items long. No thank you. I want healthy and easy, because that means MORE cake!
Another important note is that while this is definitely cake, it doesn’t have a traditional light, tender cake crumb. As you can see in the photos, it is quite dense, almost pudding like. I absolutely loved it, but if this isn’t what you’re going for, check my cake archives and there are some that use coconut + almond flour for a softer, more traditional cake texture. Totally up to you in terms of what you’re looking for! But this one is something a little different and I think it’s the bomb. Just saying.
The only dry ingredient here is my most favorite flour (buckwheat being a close runner up!), banana. I’ve used it in tons of recipes, several of which are absolute favorites of mine, that I eat on quite a regular basis! If you haven’t used banana flour before, it’s literally just green bananas ground up until they reach flour-like consistency. I still think it’s SO cool, like who the heck thinks of that?! My kind of people.
As far as texture goes, that’s my favorite quality of the banana flour! While the almond + coconut flour combination gives a softer, lighter cake texture, banana flour is a bit more dense. Still soft, but definitely heartier, almost sponge-like, in the best way.
The wet ingredients for this vegan vanilla cake are easy, too. Date paste for natural, rich sweetness, some unsweetened applesauce for even more moisture, almond milk to bring the batter together, and vanilla extract to drive home the vanilla flavor.
Told you it was really easy! Mix the five ingredients in a bowl until the batter is thoroughly combined, and pour into a nonstick circular cake pan.
The other benefit that I happily discovered with this vegan vanilla cake is the baking time is MUCH shorter than other cakes I’ve baked with different flours. I find banana flour doesn’t need too long in the oven, so this one will be ready in about 40 minutes. The edges will be pretty firm, and the center will be soft but not gooey. Just keep an eye on it at around 30 minutes!
Because I wanted to highlight the simplicity and let the vanilla flavor shine when I baked this cake, I went super simple (but OMG delicious) with some date lady date syrup – have you guys ordered some of that yet?! SO good. But one of the best things about this cake is how versatile it is when it comes to topping options! Think fresh fruit, coconut whipped cream, chocolate fudge frosting?!
Did I mention cake is the best?
This vegan vanilla cake is a recipe you’ll want to save for any special cake-worthy occasions. I cannot wait to transform it into some other special flavors. Decorate and top it any way you like, this sweet, soft, simple cake will surprise you in the best way.
Have a happy, healthy day!
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!