Birthdays Cake is important. Period. And friends, this allergen free vegan birthday cake is not only amazing, it’s a NECESSITY.
Because while most people can pick up ready-made cakes at their local grocery store, this isn’t always an option for those avoiding things like dairy, eggs, or even gluten and artificial dyes (can you say child meltdown?).
Which makes this birthday cake an absolute favorite of mine and readers of BVK. This allergy friendly birthday cake recipe is not only dairy-free and egg-free, but it’s also nut-free and soy free. And did I mention you can turn it into gluten-free cupcakes too? You’re welcome.
After you check out this cake, be sure to try these allergen free cupcakes. Need allergen free frosting? Try this 2-ingredient chocolate ganache frosting or this coconut frosting. The cake in this post was made using this dreamy blue vegan buttercream.
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A vegan nut-free cake that will knock your socks off
For me, the end of the summer is what I like to refer to as “cake season” at my house, since we have a string of birthdays starting in July and ending mid-September. With a decade of practice under my apron, I’m ready to share my secret weapon for virtually any special occasion: this simple + classic vegan chocolate cake that will knock your socks off.
Go ahead and say it with me… “She will be mine, oh yes, she will be mine.”
The perfect kids vegan birthday cake for allergies
Do you need an allergen free birthday cake for you child? Well look no further!
Believe me, this MASTER RECIPE is truly the mother of all birthday desserts. I’ve used this recipe countless times over the past decade (morphing it to what you see below), and used it as a base to create multiple spin-offs, such as vanilla, chocolate mocha, chocolate chip, and even gluten-free.
This sponge is the just the right amount of sweet, fluffy, and chocolate-y heaven. It’s perfect for kids that feel like they’re “missing out,” especially when topped with blue buttercream frosting. Because there’s nothing better than making your kids birthday special with cake they can actually eat!
To make it extra colorful for kids, be sure to try these fun vegan sprinkles from Color Kitchen.
And if you don’t like chocolate? Make it classic vanilla with just a couple simple tweaks. The sky is the limit when it comes to creating your own version of birthday bliss. Instructions for vanilla are included in the Substitutions section below, or you can check out these allergen free vanilla cupcakes.
Topped with stunning blue vegan buttercream
For topping, I like to whip up a beautiful vegan buttercream frosting. Don’t want vegan butter? Try this vegan coconut frosting instead.
And if you’re wondering how I got this cake to be the most beautiful dreamy color of blue, I relied on McCormick’s Nature’s Inspiration Food Colors. This is seriously the ONLY brand I’ve ever used that actually works, plus is perfect for kids who are hyper sensitive to artificial dyes.
Truly this is a cake worth celebrating over….so what are you waiting for?
Allergy Information & Substitutions
- This easy chocolate cake is 100% vegan, meaning it is dairy-free and egg-free. It is also naturally soy-free and nightshade-free, as well as free of artificial colors.
- Make it gluten-free by using “Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour.” A quick note, I HIGHLY recommend making cupcakes (not 8 inch rounds) with gluten-free flour. I’ve made multiple attempts at gluten-free cake, but have yet to find a flour that really WORKS in the same way as standard all-purpose. With cupcakes, the amount is so small that you really get the best of both worlds- it’s fluffy, chocolate-y, and delicious all around. If making cupcakes, please remember to decrease the bake time to just 15 minutes.
- Don’t want chocolate? Create a vanilla cake by nixing the chocolate altogether, and increasing the flour by ½ cup. When making vanilla cake, I also like to increase the vanilla from 1 tablespoon to 1 ½ tablespoons. You can also try these allergen free vanilla cupcakes.
- Get extra fancy by creating a dark chocolate mocha cake– simply switch out the water for cooled decaf coffee.
- For a stunning finish, make this vegan buttercream frosting or this dairy-free coconut frosting.
Check out more vegan birthday cake recipes:
- Amazing Allergy Free Cupcakes for Your Next Birthday Party
- No One Will Know These Coconut Cupcakes are 100% Vegan
- How to Impress Muggles With Amazing Harry Potter Vegan Cupcakes
- Coffee and Pumpkin Make Wicked Vegan Halloween Cupcakes
Chocolate Vegan Birthday Cake (Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free Option)
- 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (see info in post for gluten-free version)
- 1 ½ cups organic cane sugar
- ¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pink salt
- ⅔ cup oil of choice (such as sunflower, canola, vegetable)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups filtered water (room temperature or cold is fine)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two, 8-inch round cake pans (OR one large 9 x 13); set aside. PRO TIP: line the bottom of your cake rounds with parchment or wax paper for easy removal.
- In a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl), combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and pink salt. While the mixer is running (or with electric hand beaters), slowly stir in oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Beat for 30 seconds.
- Next, slowly stir in water while mixing. Batter should thin out a bit, however it should have a medium thickness (not too thin and not too thick). Mix for 60 seconds on high to get plenty of air working through the batter; this will help make the cake fluffy and light.
- Divide batter between cake pans and pop in the oven. Cake should cook for 30 minutes, but I usually like to check mine at about 25 minutes to be on the safe side. To check cake, insert a toothpick into the center, checking that it comes out clean. If your toothpick has batter on it, pop it back int the oven for 3-5 minutes more. Cool COMPLETELY before frosting (approximately 2 hours).
Thank you for taking the time to invest in your health and happiness!
I made the gluten free cupcake version tonight and had a question on the density. The cake part seems to be moist/dense and not light like cake/cupcakes typically are. I’m wondering if that’s just a characteristic of the gluten free flour or if I could improve something along the way. I had them in about 17-18 minutes and did the toothpick method to determine if they were done and seemed to be, but wondering if I didn’t cook them long enough. Any thoughts on this? Recipe was great otherwise, thank you!
Hi Jason, good question! I think it’s really just part of using gluten-free flour. That being said, if you want it to be lighter, I would experiment with using carbonated water in place of filtered water (see the comment Danielle left above). You can check out more about carbonated water + some other egg substitutes by seeing this post: The Best Vegan Ways to Substitute Eggs in Baking
You can also try these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes too: Amazing Allergy Free Cupcakes for Your Next Birthday Party
Hope this helps!!
I’ve made this before and love it, but would I be able to freeze the layers like a traditional cake recipe?
Hey ECB, good question! I have not tried freezing these layers, but I imagine it would work just fine, as long as they are completely cooled and then individually wrapped before freezing. If you try this, please let me know your experience!
This is now my go to cake recipe now. It’s easy, versatile, and delicious!
Happy to report that the cupcakes turned out great! I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t follow the directions the first time and I ended up with hockey pucks. I used the Bob’s gluten free 1:1 flour and the applesauce mucked it up. The second time I followed the recipe and the order in which to add the liquid and they turned out much fluffier. My 3 year old got to enjoy a cupcake for the first time! He was hesitant at first because he knows cupcakes have wheat and that’s “ouchies” for him, but was so excited because I put sprinkles on them. Thank you for your cupcake and frosting recipes!
Oh this is so wonderful Tina!!! I’m so happy that your son got to enjoy a cupcakes with sprinkles–how special!! I’m planning on doing a post just for gluten-free cupcakes in the very near future, and I’ll make sure to add plenty of notes (and hopefully a video!) about making them. Thanks so much for your feedback, so helpful!
I’m going to give the gluten free vanilla cupcakes a try for my 3 year old son’s birthday. He’s never eaten cake due to a wheat allergy and other food sensitivities. I’m wondering if it’s possible to substitute apple sauce for the oil but not sure how that will work with the gluten free flour. Thank you!
Good question Tina! Yes, you can certainly sub out the oil for applesauce. I have done this with gluten-free vanilla cupcakes and it totally works. You just need to watch the time– I suggest checking them at 15 minutes but they may need to go longer, like 20 minutes. If you try this, I’d love to hear your feedback!
I need to make a separate recipe for the gluten-free vanilla cupcakes, so this just made me mark it on my schedule. Thanks!!
I’m buying the ingredients now, and I’ll let you know how it goes! I’ll be making it twice. I’m going to try the vegan frosting too. In the process I learned why regular cane sugar isn’t considered vegan! Thank you!
Does the temperature of the water mater? I’m going to try this for my sons birthday! He’s has an egg allergy. Glad to find your beautiful site!
Thanks Danielle! For this recipe I normally use cold water, but room temperature water is fine also!
Happy birthday to your son, and I hope you enjoy this recipe!
I made the vanilla version yesterday and it was awesome! First time my son was really able to enjoy a traditional cake experience (we’ve always done ice cream cake before). I had read that seltzer water is a great trick for egg-free baking, and I did use seltzer in place of the water, with seeming success. The flavor is so delicate and light! Thank you so much! This will be the go-to family cake from now on!
Oh that’s a wonderful idea Danielle, I’ll have to try the seltzer water! So glad you enjoyed it and that your son got to indulge in real birthday cake- this makes my day!! And thank you for sharing!
How many does it make?
Hi Peep, this makes one standard cake: that’s two 8″ rounds. Or you can make one sheet cake by placing the batter in a 9×13″ baking pan. Hope this helps!
Can I use rice bran oil or any other oil ? does C stands for is it Cup?
For frosting can I use Pure olive spread?
Hi Heena, I’ve never used rice bran oil but I would imagine it would work fine here if it’s an oil! As for using pure olive spread for the frosting, you can, but just keep in mind that it may change the taste and give your frosting an olive flavor. And yes, C stands for cup. I’d love to hear how it turns out!