Home ยป Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake

Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake

It’s June 14th which means… IT’S OFFICIALLY MY BIRTHDAY!

I wanted to bake something to celebrate and no celebration is complete without FUNFETTI SPRINKLES!
A delicious, light and moist vanilla sponge cake with sprinkles, layered with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream topped with more sprinkles. Why not, its my birthday- haha! Let’s go all out! 

What is Funfetti cake?

If you don’t know what Funfetti cake is, stop everything you’re doing and read this, you need to know- haha! Funfetti cake is one of those bakes everyone needs in their repertoire.

Funfetti cake is a white cake mix with LOADS of rainbow (commonly known as funfetti) sprinkles to give it a *confetti* type of effect. It literally looks like you’ve baked a rainbow into cake, its gorgeous! Funfetti cakes are extremely popular in America and they always look absolutely incredible!

How do you make a vegan funfetti cake?

  • To make this scrumptious cake, you want to make vegan buttermilk with dairy-free milk and apple cider vinegar. 
  • In a bowl, combine self-raising flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Add oil to the buttermilk, whisk to combine then pour into the dry mixture.
  • Add wet into the dry and combine.
  • Gently fold in the rainbow sprinkles. My top tip when making funfetti cake whether that be adding the sprinkles into the cake batter or frosting, don’t over mix. The dye from the sprinkles may bleed into the batter / frosting causing for a ‘not very funfetti’ looking cake.
  • Pour into lined cake tins and bake. Voila, Funfetti Cake!!!

You can store the cake un-iced in a sealed container at room temperature ready to ice the following day. I like to do this as it allows the cake to moisten up. Don’t leave it more than a day as the sprinkles tend to lose their colour and the overall colour of the cake can change due to the dye in the sprinkles. 

Why I love this cake:

  • Light and spongy
  • A lovely vanilla flavour
  • Fun to make
  • Each slice is filled with multi colour
  • Loaded with colourful sprinkles
  • Topped with sweet buttercream
  • Extremely moreish

If you’re looking for an easy cake for any celebration, this is the one for you! 

Put on your apron, grab your bowl and whip out the sprinkles (without getting them all over the floor)- haha! Happy Baking.

Looking for more funfetti recipes? Look no further:

Vegan Funfetti Cookies

Mini Vegan Funfetti Cake

Vegan Funfetti Cookie Cups

Vegan Funfetti Sheet Cake


What is aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas.The Chickpea water or brine as its called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, meringue buttercreams etc. You can also buy it in a carton. Check it out here

What vegan block butter to use?

As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Based Block Butter Alternative.

Where can I buy vegan sprinkles?

My favourite sprinkles are from Fancy Sprinkles. They have one of the best ranges of vegan friendly sprinkles. I used their ‘Classic Rainbow Caviar‘ which are rainbow sprinkles. 

Get the sprinkles I use- Use code LITTLEVEGAN15 for 15% off your whole order on Fancy Sprinkles.

Check out their vegan sprinkle range here

Preparation: 20 minutes

Baking time: 25-30 minutes

Serves: Approximately 10-12

Level: Medium


Ingredients for the cake

  • 480ml of dairy-free milk 
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 420g of self-raising flour
  • 400g of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 120g of vegetable oil / melted coconut oil
  • 30g of vegan funfetti sprinkles (see notes*)

Ingredients for the buttercream

  • 250g of dairy-free block butter (see notes*)
  • 350g of icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 50ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine)
  • 30g of funfetti sprinkles 


Method (cakes)

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line three 6 inch cake tins with grease-proof paper.

2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.

Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

Mix well to combine.

4. Add the oil into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.

5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.

6. Fold in the funfetti sprinkles. Don’t over mix or the colours may bleed into the batter which isn’t the look we’re going for.

7. Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins.

Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.

Optional: Sprinkle some more funfetti sprinkles over the cakes before baking.

8. Pop the cakes into the center of the preheated oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes.

You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.

9. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully. 

Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.

Method (buttercream)

1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.

2. Sift in the icing sugar and whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.

3. Pour in the aquafaba and vanilla extract and whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don’t over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it’s thick and creamy. The buttercream should be airy and light. You might need to add in some more butter to get it to the right consistency. 

4. Fold in the rainbow sprinkles. Don’t over mix.


5. Stack and fill the cakes with the buttercream, then crumb coat the whole cake and pop into the fridge to set. 

This will take 20-25 minutes.

6. When the crumb coat feels firm to the touch, add a thick layer of the frosting all over the cake and using a smooth or textured cake scraper or large spatula, smooth out the buttercream.

7. Transfer any left over buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a open star tip nozzle (I use a Wiltom 2D tip) and pipe swirls around the top edge of the cake.

Decorate with more sprinkles. 

To store:

Serve fresh or store in a sealed container at room temperature. If stored in the fridge, the buttercream will set firm. Allow to come to room temperature for around 20 minutes before serving.

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  1. Michaela
    January 13, 2022 / 11:04 pm

    I love, love, love this cake recipe.
    The cake is a beautiful height & looks stunning decorated
    A favourite of mine x x

    • January 13, 2022 / 11:47 pm

      Thank you so much for your feedback Michaela! Its such a classic!! x

  2. Bavya
    June 3, 2022 / 11:23 pm

    Is there a reason to use additional baking powder with self raising flour?

  3. Cindy
    June 12, 2022 / 5:39 am

    Hi, the suger (400g) listed in the recipe for the cake seems off…would you please confirm if the recipe is correct? Thank.

  4. Jessica
    January 27, 2023 / 1:25 pm

    Would this turn out as a 2 layer in a 9 inch pan?

  5. Marie
    August 18, 2023 / 12:42 pm

    Where to print recipe?

  6. Rebekka Da Silva
    October 13, 2023 / 12:19 pm

    Hello! Can I make this cake without the funfetti sprinkles in the sponge, but following the rest of the recipe exactly? Iโ€™d also love the know the size of your cake tins please ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you!

  7. April 11, 2024 / 10:39 am

    Definitely! birthday cake are the heart of any celebration, adding sweetness and joy to the festivities. Without them, a birthday party would lack that special touch that makes the day truly memorable. They’re essential for marking milestones and sharing happiness with loved ones.

  8. June 7, 2024 / 1:41 am

    Hi Holly!

    There is no vanilla listed in the cake batter ingredients. I’m guessing it’s a couple of tbsp or so? Thanks!

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