Vegan Gluten-Free Funfetti Birthday Cake. This classic birthday cake is a kid's dream. It is sweet, moist, light, fluffy and is sure to impress both kids and adults at any party. Both vegan and gluten-free so anybody can enjoy it!
Sprinkles. They are bright, colorful, sweet, crunchy and super fun. This has got to be my favorite cake I've made, to date. Not only because of the classic birthday cake flavor I created, but the texture is the closest to a traditional all-purpose flour cake I've created. It's a dream cake. I got a request for a Vegan Gluten-free Funfetti Birthday Cake and I don't really use sprinkles, maybe once a year, if even that. They are not healthy, but since it is such a rare, rare thing I would use, I don't stress over those small things in life. I think it's ridiculous to do so. Besides, it's cake, not exactly health food to begin with.
This cake is everything a birthday cake should be. It is perfectly moist, sweet, light, tender, fluffy and doesn't taste healthy or vegan or gluten-free, period. I cannot stand healthy baked vegan goods that taste like sad versions of dessert. That is pointless to me and I aim for my desserts to wow all the non-vegans, not just myself. That is always my goal.
It's also cause for a mini-celebration as I recently hit over 100k followers, a little over 102k as of this morning. I never in a million years thought that many people would be interested in my blog and recipes. I don't see the number as "my followers" exactly (prefer the word readers). Rather, I look at the bigger picture, and that is how many people are interested in vegan food, and THAT is what my goal is and what truly excites me. So, thank you to everybody subscribing to my blog everyday! Let's eat cake.
My daughter helped me decorate some with the sprinkles, so that's why they are a bit messy, lol. She was going just about insane waiting for me to finish the photos so we could slice it. I, on the other hand, was tired of testing and eating cake. I honestly think I gained 5 lbs in just a few days from all the calories. Oh well, life is too short to worry about it now.
Remember these Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes?Remember I said I was going to turn it into a cake? Well, when I got that request for a funfetti one around the same time, I knew it would be the perfect time to do it. I can't even tell you how amazing it turned out! It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I thought all I would need to do was simply make the same recipe, but into a cake. Wrong. It just doesn't work like that. With it baking up as a cake in a larger size and cooking method, it was too dry and crumbly. So, I had to do a few trials and had to adjust my measurements to create the most delicious funfetti cake ever.
THIS FROSTING. Y'all, this Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is to-die-for. It's silky smooth, creamy, buttery, perfectly sweet and so easy to make, without using oil or butter. I used a combo of my Vegan Strawberry Coconut Butter "Buttercream" Frosting and Cashew Vanilla Frosting as inspiration. That frosting has been such a hit with readers, that I wanted to use coconut butter again. For one, it helps the frosting to set up so it can hold it's shape, and it's creamy and delicious. I obviously left out the strawberries and changed up the recipe, using mainly maple syrup for the sweetener. I'm not a huge fan of the flavor of coconut, yet I LOVE this frosting. The coconut flavor is very mild because of the milk, syrup, cashew butter, vanilla and powdered sugar additions. It tastes freaking amazing. Also, by using storebought coconut butter that is MUCH smoother and zero grittiness whatsoever, the flavor is so much better. I rarely use powdered white sugar, but I added a small amount to help lend to that classic buttercream frosting taste and help with the structure. Remember, I want this cake to taste as close to traditional funfetti cake as possible, just healthier, and even more delicious!
I tested both a 9 inch cake and also for photo purposes, I made a 6 inch tall cake, which is in some of these photos. While it looked beautiful, I wasn't in love with how it baked up. The texture worked out better in a standard 9 inch cake pan.
But, I really do love the look of a super tall cake.
Since most sprinkles at the stores are not vegan, I found this Etsy shop called Sweetapolita, where this lady makes the MOST beautiful sprinkles I've ever seen in my life and she has a ton of vegan options, so I ordered mine through her. Seriously, check out her page and be prepared to be amazed. A HUGE bottle was worth the price because they are beautiful, crunchy and sweet...they don't taste awful and cardboard-like as other cheap brands do.
Both recipes, the cake and the frosting, couldn't be easier. The cake recipe is just 8 ingredients (+ salt) and the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is just 6 ingredients. The cake is all done in just 1 bowl too! If you have a go-to frosting you typically use for cake, then by all means, use it, but I'd highly encourage to try this one. It is my favorite icing I've ever created and oh boy, does it blow away any frosting I had as a kid!
Here is a quick video to get you drooling!
I hope you all (and your kids!) really love this Vegan Gluten-free Funfetti Birthday Cake! It's my favorite cake to date, tastes just like a cake I would eat as a kid! Be sure to come back and leave me feedback after you do. It means so much to hear from you all. Remember, I'm in the kitchen testing for many hours, days and weeks on recipes, so to hear you love something, makes it all worth it! You can share any pics on Facebook or Instagram and be sure to use my tag #thevegan8 on IG, so I don't miss it!
One last thing, regarding my cake kit for the Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake, they are now offering my readers a code for 20% off, yay!! Just use code THEVEGAN8 in your checkout! Thank you to everybody who has ordered one so far, it really means a lot and shows your support, so thank you! You can order here your CAKE KIT.
Vegan Gluten-Free Funfetti Birthday Cake
Yields 2 layer 8 inch cake
This classic funfetti cake is both vegan and gluten-free, but out-of-this-world delicious. It is lacking in nothing and full of everything we love in a party cake. Sweet, moist, light, delicious and topped with a wonderful sweet frosting. This one kids, and adults, will love!
This makes a 2 layer 8 inch cake, so that is why the measurements are large. I wrote this based on traditional birthday cake party size.
1 1/2 cups (240 g) white rice flour, I use Bob's Red Mill (brown rice flour does not work here, the white is crucial for structure and taste)
3/4 cup (144 g) potato starch, not potato flour
4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups (440 g) pure maple syrup
1 1/4 cups (326 g) "lite" coconut milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (30 ml)
6 tablespoons (72 g) vegan sprinkles (I used this brand , they are gorgeous!)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
2 cups (460 g)melted liquid coconut butter (this is simply pureed coconut)I highly recommend buying this from the store instead of making your own, as the storebought is much smoother. I recommend Maranatha brand or Dastony from Whole Foods. Make sure the only ingredient is coconut. The end frosting result is milder in coconut flavor too.)
2 teaspoons vanilla powder (I use a white powder instead of extract to keep the frosting as white as possible. I LOVE this brand , it has no weird aftertaste, just heavenly)
Note: It's crucial to use blanched almond flour because it is what makes the cake so moist and light. Without the almond flour, it will be DRY. DO NOT use Bob's Red Mill blanched almond flour for this cake. It is not light enough and will produce a wet/dense/gummy result. I highly recommend King Arthur Flour or Honeyville or if you are in Texas, use the HEB brand, it's perfect.
Helpful tips: I tested this cake 5 times and the above recipe resulted in the most perfect funfetti cake that I loved the best. There are no subs for the above flours. I CANNOT vouch for results if you change the recipe or measurements. Always use a scale and zero out between measuring each ingredient. Do not compare your cup measurements to mine, as we all measure differently, which is why scales are so important. If you need a nut-free cake, then make my Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake and sub the chocolate chips for sprinkles and just use the frosting above instead of the chocolate ganache. The texture is a bit different on that one but it has been a HUGE success with readers, so it should still be delicious as a funfetti cake.
Not gluten-free? Great, then make this vanilla cake instead and add the 6 Tbsp sprinkles to the batter.
This cake is best made the day of the party so it is moist and has the best structure, so plan to make it the morning of. The frosting however can be made the day before, just remove it from the fridge an hour or so before needing to frost the cake. As always, use a scale for accuracy. This is so crucial when using gluten-free flours. So, do yourself a favor and get a scale. I use this one and have for 2 years and love it. We all measure with cups differently, so following my weight measurements will yield what I shared above.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray two 8 inch round cake pans (with 2 inch tall sides) and line with a round piece of parchment paper just on the bottoms. I used coconut oil nonstick spray.
To a very large bowl, weigh each flour (zeroing out in between) and add to the bowl the almond flour, rice flour and potato starch. If you absolutely must use measuring cups, scoop the flours out with the cup and lightly pat down each flour making sure there are no gaps, then level off. Add the baking powder and salt and whisk really well to break up any lumps. It should be light and smooth.
To the same bowl, pour in the syrup, milk and vanilla. Whisk again for at least a minute until it becomes completely smooth and thickens a bit. It will seem too runny at first, whisk a full minute or so. Stir in the sprinkles. Pour the batter evenly among the 2 pans. Give it a jiggle to smooth out.
Bake both cakes on the same rack with a couple inches in between them for best results for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out totally clean. Each trial I did was perfect at exactly 25 minutes each time. You don't want any wet batter. Should be clean, a couple of DRY crumbs are ok. Leave in the pan for 30 minutes, no exceptions, or it can crack if removed too early. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cooling rack and invert it over the cake pan and flip the cake over and release. Leave to fully cool 1 full hour. Crucial to let it finish cooking a full hour before frosting.
For the frosting, I use a straight icing spatula and my dough scraper for easy spreading and smoothing. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. If the milk or syrup is cold, it will cause the coconut butter to harden upon contact and ruin your icing and then you will be crying. Coconut butter is finicky and once it seizes up, it's very hard to get it back. If your coconut butter is hardened, it is crucial to melt it to a complete runny liquid, it should basically look like oil when pouring it. Simply heat it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds and stir to get it thoroughly mixed and smooth, be very careful not to burn it. If you did not measure the weight of it already, then you must measure out 2 full cups (460 g) of the melted butter. Add it to the food processor and quickly add the remaining ingredients. Process until completely smooth and a nut butter consistency. Pour into a bowl, making sure to scrape out all that yummy icing. Place in the freezer for 20-30 mins until it's firm enough to whip. If it gets too hard, just let it sit at room temperature until it softens back up. If it is too stiff, it will not spread easily on your cake and can tear your cake. Whip just a few minutes until fluffy. Spread a layer onto the bottom cake, place the next cake on top (with the rounded dome top facing up) and start to frost the cake. The best way to frost a cake is to add a super thin layer on first to smooth out any crumbs, then add a bunch of frosting on the top of the cake and begin to spread it out to the edges, letting it slightly hand over and pulling it down, continuing to add more as needed. Once you are ready to smooth the sides, it is best to go into one continuous direction, spinning your cake stand around as you gently drag the icing spatula along. Don't drag it back and forth or it will create a mess and can pull crumbs into the icing. Keep repeating until your cake is fully covered. Once you've iced the whole cake, if you drag the edge of the icing spatula very gently across the top and then sides, you can create a very smooth, clean look. A dough scraper edge helps too. It can take practice to get it down. Decorate with extra sprinkles and devour! When slicing the cake, use a very sharp smooth knife for clean slices, as a rough jagged knife will tear the cake more, making a messier slice.
While I usually suggest storing leftover cake at room temp, I found with my trials that this cake is delicious stored at both room temp and in the fridge. However, I would suggest storing your cake in a cake dome or on a large plate covered tightly with foil at room temp, to keep it more moist this way. The frosting does soften a bit the longer it sits at room temp, especially if you live in a hot climate. If you store the cake in the fridge, the frosting will harden and the cake can dry out a bit quicker, but it was still really delicious the day after and I liked it cold. Whatever your preference.
Cuisine: Makes a 2 layer 9 inch cake. |Recipe Type: Dessert
Nutrition per cake slice (without frosting) based off 12 slices: 336.5 calories, 63.5 carbs, 8 g fat, 2.1 g protein, .75 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 157.9 mg sodium
The Vegan 8
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Hi! I'm Brandi, a wife and mom behind this blog who healed her husband's gout and my digestion issues through a plant-based diet. I'm not complicated, I keep things simple. All my recipes are 8 ingredients or less, not including salt, pepper and water. They are allergy-friendly, as they are all vegan, oil-free and nearly all are gluten-free. You'll find lots of baked goods here, as I've been a baker all my life, it's my passion!