Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

Best Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Birthday Cake. This cake is soft, fluffy, really moist, healthy and oil-free. It is also grain-free!
Course Cake
Cuisine American
Keyword oil-free vanilla cake, vegan vanilla cake, gluten-free vanilla cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 9 inch cake or 12 cupcakes
Author Brandi Doming


MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING POTATO STARCH, NOT POTATO FLOUR! Some have incorrectly used that and the cake doesn't work!

  • 2 cups (224g) superfine blanched almond flour (Do not use regular almond meal (with the skins), it is not light enough and will not produce the same results. See NOTE below)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (100g) potato starch (this is the exact starch that makes the cake so fluffy, other starches will NOT work the same)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (200g) pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) real vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60g) aquafaba (the liquid at the bottom of a chickpea can)


  • It is crucial to not sub these ingredients for best results. It's necessary to use a superfine blanched almond flour because it is what makes the cake so moist and light. Always use a scale for accuracy when baking, following MY gram weights listed. You never need cups, just the scale and bowl and make sure to zero out in between each ingredient.
  • I use this scale.


  1. This cake is best made the day of but you can bake it the night before if absolutely necessary. Just cover the cake well and add the ganache the day serving it. I recommend baking it at least 2 hours before your event to make sure it has completely cooled. Baked goods with starch tend to still slightly "cook" and fluff up for a couple of hours after removing them from the oven. They are a tad too moist to eat immediately.
  2. Line a 9 inch round metal pan with a piece of round parchment paper on the bottom and along the sides. It helps to lightly spray the inside of the pan first so the paper adheres. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. OR you can make cupcakes and line a pan with 10 liners.
  3. Make sure to weigh all your ingredients for accurate results. Fluff your almond flour with a whisk first to break up any lumps. If unable to use a scale, then scoop your cups into the dry ingredients, lightly pat down to make sure there are no gaps and then level off. Add the almond flour, potato starch, salt and baking powder to a large bowl and whisk everything together really well until there are no lumps remaining.
  4. In a separate small bowl, add the syrup, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and aquafaba and whisk until smooth. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and beat with a handheld mixer for about a minute to incorporate some air and make it really smooth. It should be a very smooth, pour-able batter. Now, try not to eat all the batter now. I know, it's so dang good.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes, until it has risen with a light golden top, a toothpick comes out completely clean from the center. If making cupcakes, using an ice cream scoop makes for nice rounded tops. Cupcakes should be done around 25 minutes, but check for a clean toothpick in the center. Your time may slightly vary depending on your oven and may take longer to bake. Let cool 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Then turn it over, so the flat side is facing up on a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing, at least an hour. Or, you can flip it back over and frost the dome top if you prefer that look.
  6. I recommend topping it with my Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Ganache/Glaze! For additional decoration, I added some curled vegan white chocolate. OR if you want a traditional buttercream icing, use the one from my Best Vanilla Cupcakes or my Vegan Gluten-free White Cake.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition per slice: 276 calories, 14 g fat, 6 g protein, 35.2 carbs, 18.8 g sugars, 3.1 g fiber, 312.4 mg sodium
The nutrition does not include the aquafaba since there is no nutritional info that I could find online. But it's such a small amount, it wouldn't make much a difference anyways.