This quick, easy and fool-proof step-by-step recipe will show you how to make perfect soft, fluffy and moist vegan vanilla sponge cake layers without eggs, dairy milk and butter!
I love making cakes, tarts and pies because they are just perfect for any occasion! I love to enjoy a slice next to a cup of coffee or tea with my family or friends. Whether it’s for a birthday, Easter, Christmas or just on a cozy Sunday afternoon – you can quickly win any heart with cakes!
And because I love to try out different variations of layer cakes, it’s always helpful to have a simple basic sponge cake recipe on hand to get perfect cake layers!
The Best vegan sponge cake basic recipe
Unlike many traditional sponge cake recipes, this vegan sponge cake succeeds without eggs, dairy milk or butter, making it totally easy and completely plant-based! Though, it is still super soft and delicious and even a lot moister than many traditional recipes with eggs.
The great thing about vegan baking is also that you can taste the batter without regrets, since there are no raw eggs in it. Plus, it uses oil instead of butter, so it’s even easier to make because you don’t have to beat egg whites until stiff or butter until creamy.
What can you use instead of egg whites in sponge cake?
The power formula is: baking powder + apple cider vinegar + cornstarch. In fact, mixing baking powder with vinegar creates a chemical reaction that generates air bubbles and gives the batter more height and volume. The starch binds the ingredients and makes the batter smoother.
Which oil to use for baking?
I recommend using a neutral tasting oil like canola or sunflower oil. But if you don’t want to miss the buttery taste, Alba oil is a great alternative! In fact, this vegetable oil stands out for its buttery flavor while also being vegan.
Optional ingredients – flavors, spices & co
If you want to give this sponge cake batter a different flavor, feel free to add other ingredients, flavors and spices like lemon or orange zest or cinnamon. You could also substitute some of the plant milk with orange or lemon juice. Or simply use a vanilla, hazelnut or almond flavored plant milk.
Alternatively, you could brush the vegan sponge cake with liqueur, coffee or cherry juice after baking. This also gives it a lot of flavor and even keeps it moist longer!
How do I make gluten-free sponge cake without eggs?
If you are on a gluten-free diet or suffer from an intolerance or allergy, you can make this sponge cake without gluten-containing flour! You can simply replace the all-purpose or spelt flour with a gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour blend.
Tips for making the perfect vegan sponge cake
If you want the perfect sponge cake for your layer cake, there are 5 important things to keep in mind:
Tip 1: Follow the recipe exactly!
When I get feedback that recipes failed, it usually turns out that ingredients were either forgotten or other ingredients that I didn’t recommend were used. Therefore, it is important to stick to the recipe as instructed. This is the only way I can guarantee that the vegan sponge cake will be perfect!
Tip 2: Sift the dry ingredients!
To avoid lumps, it is important that you sift the dry ingredients beforehand. This way they combine faster with the wet ingredients, so you have to stir the batter less, resulting in a fluffier cake.
Tip 3: Do not overmix the batter!
Stirring too long creates gluten, so the batter becomes tough and sticky. This leads to the fact that the cake can not rise well and thus becomes less soft and fluffy.
Tip 4: Do not overbake the cake!
If you bake the cake too long, it becomes dry. So to keep it nice and moist, it is important not to leave the vegan cake in the oven for too long. It’s best to do a chopstick test after 22 minutes: as soon as it comes out clean, you can take the cake out of the oven. Otherwise, leave it in for 2-3 minutes longer.
Tip 5: Let it cool down!
Vegan eggless cakes, freshly baked from the oven, are always very soft and fluffy, so they literally fall apart. Therefore, it is important to let the sponge cake cool completely after baking. If you want to make a layer cake, I recommend wrapping the cake airtight in plastic wrap afterwards and refrigerating overnight. After all, if the vegan sponge cake is well chilled, you can not only cut it better, but also layer it more easily, as the cream filling or frosting won’t melt as quickly and will remain more stable.
Which baking pan?
This basic sponge cake recipe is sufficient for one vegan cake layer in an 8-Inch (20 cm) springform pan. If you want a thinner cake layer, feel free to use a slightly larger baking dish. However, keep in mind that a flatter cake will be done sooner. Otherwise, feel free to use my baking pan conversion calculator to convert the desired amount for your baking pan size.
Feel free to bake twice the amount of batter in one pan. However, make sure to increase the baking time by about 10-15 minutes. Then let the cake cool and refrigerate overnight wrapped in plastic wrap. This will make it more stable, so you can easily cut it into 2-3 layers the next day.
How to make vegan sponge cake – this recipe is so easy!
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction and the recipe video first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Mix vegan sponge cake batter
First, sift flour, cornstarch, and baking powder into a bowl. Then add sugar, salt and vanilla and whisk together. In a measuring cup, stir together plant milk, oil and vinegar. Then stir into the flour mixture until combined.
Step 2: Bake vegan sponge cake batter
Lightly grease the sides of an 8-Inch (20 cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Add in the batter and gently tap the pan on the work surface a few times to remove any air bubbles that have formed and to smooth out the top. Bake for about 22-25 minutes at 180 °C (356 °F) and then let cool completely.
Note: Do not forget the chopstick test!
How can I store and freeze vegan cake?
This vegan sponge cake is perfect to make ahead! Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap once it’s cooled. Then you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. It also freezes well for 3 months, so you’ll always have a homemade vegan cake base on hand!
When you take the vegan sponge cake out of the freezer, you can simply let it thaw in the fridge overnight and turn it into a beautiful cake the next day.
This vegan sponge cake recipe is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Can be made gluten-free
- Without butter
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Versatile & adaptable
- Soft and fluffy
- Totally delicious
- Perfect for all kinds of cakes!
Vegan recipes for cake fillings and frostings
Here are some wonderful vegan cake recipes that can inspire you. Whether it’s chocolate ganache, buttercream, whipped cream, creamy chocolate mousse, or a fruity fruit filling – here you can find everything:
- Raspberry Almond Cake
- Poppy Seed Lemon Layer Cake
- Blueberry Lemon Cake
- Strawberry Lemon Cake
- Blueberry Coconut Cake
- Strawberry Cream Cake
- Vanilla Cake
- Strawberry Coconut Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Snickers Cake
If you try this easy Vegan Sponge Cake recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your cake and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Happy baking and bon appétit! 🙂
Perfect Vegan Vanilla Sponge CakeAuthor:
- ¾ cup (90 g) all-purpose or spelt flour or gluten-free flour
- ¾ tbsp cornstarch
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
- pinch of salt
- pinch of ground bourbon vanilla or ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup (90 ml) soy milk or other plant milk
- 3 tbsp (40 ml) vegetable oil e.g. canola or sunflower oil
- ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C (356 °F). Lightly grease the sides of an 8-inch (20 cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder into a bowl. Then add sugar, salt, and vanilla and whisk together.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the dairy-free milk, oil, and vinegar. Then stir it into the flour mixture (add 1 tbsp more milk if needed) until just combined.
- Add the batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the work surface a few times to release any air bubbles and smooth out the top. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan, place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely.
- The baking time for double the amount of batter in one pan (2 layers) is about 35-40 minutes.
- It is best to wrap the sponge cake in plastic wrap after cooling and refrigerate overnight. Once the cake is chilled, it is easier to assemble and layer it the next day.
- The nutritional information is calculated for 1 piece of 8.
- Please read the tips for making perfect vegan sponge cake in the blog post above! Make-ahead, storage, and freezing instructions, as well as recipe variations for other flavors and recipes for fillings and frostings are also mentioned and linked above!
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