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Vegan Red Velvet Cake

Easy Vegan Red Velvet Sheet Cake is a party-sized crowd pleaser. A deliciously moist and flavourful red velvet cake topped with a lush cream cheese frosting. It’s sure to impress your loved ones for Valentines Day. A simple vegan version of the much loved classic.

This recipe has been made in collaboration with Califia Farms a dairy free drinks company. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. (For more information along with affiliated links, check out my disclosure policy.)

Red velvet sheet cake with frosting and pink hearts

Vegan Red Velvet Sheet Cake

A classic Red Velvet Cake brings so much joy and nostalgia to any special occasion or dinner table. The bright red colour makes it the perfect cake for Valentines day, Birthdays, Mother’s day or Christmas.

This Vegan Red Velvet Sheet Cake is incredibly light, moist and fluffy, with just a hint of cocoa flavour and the perfect amount of vegan cream cheese frosting to cake ratio! The best part is the recipe is incredibly easy using only a few ingredients which you probably already have to hand in your kitchen!

Slice of red cake with white frosting on a plate.

What is a red velvet cake?

A red velvet cake is traditionally a red / red-brown cake, layered with a cream cheese or vanilla cream cheese frosting. It’s known for its bright red cake and contrasting white frosting, served commonly at weddings and in abundance in bakery’s. Its a true favourite!

Looking for more valentines recipes, be sure to check out:

Slices of red velvet cake on plates.

Why you’ll LOVE this red velvet sheet cake :

  • The entire cake is a very simple cake to make and there’s no special methods required to make the cake batter, just a simple bowl and spatula works perfectly! The cake itself doesn’t require the use of a stand / electric mixer!
  • The frosting is a very basic and simple cream cheese frosting. It’s simply vanilla, icing sugar with vegan butter and cream cheese. Whip this up and you’re ready!
  • Another amazing aspect about this cake is that it is super quick and easy to decorate. You can either spoon and spread over the frosting or use a piping bag and star tip nozzle to create some lovely designs on top.
  • You can colour the frosting and decorate the cake in any pattern you fancy. Whatever the occasion, get creative! As I made this cake for Valentines day, I piped on some pink hearts. It’s super cute!
  • It’s a great cake for parties as you can cut it into squares which creates little mess, and everyone gets the same amount of cake and frosting ratio.
  • The cake is great for storing! It can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge, just allow it to come to room temperature before serving. This helps to keep it fresh, moist and delicious.
Vegan milk carton.

Vegan red velvet sheet cake ingredients :

  • Dairy-free milk : Any dairy-free milk works great in this recipe. You can use oat, almond, cashew, soya or rice milk for example. To make the cake as DELICIOUS as possible, I used one of my favourite dairy free milk alternatives from Califa Farms – Oat Barista Blend. Califia Farms make some of the BEST dairy-free drink options! From oat based drinks, barista blends and coffee’s. The barista blend is one of my favourites for iced-coffee, hot chocolate and for baking as it’s super thick, creamy and has a lovely flavour! I used it in this recipe to make a vegan buttermilk, and also in the frosting to make it smooth and creamy.
  • Apple cider vinegar : Mixed with the milk, this helps to create a vegan buttermilk.
  • Caster sugar : Helps to bind the cake and adds sweetness.
  • Cocoa powder : Adds a hint of chocolate flavour, which is famous in red velvet sponges.
  • Baking powder & bicarbonate of soda : Raising agents gives the cake a little boost in the oven and makes it super airy, light and spongy.
  • Self raising flour : Helps the cake to rise and creates a light and fluffy sponge.
  • Oil : The best oil to use in vegan cakes is sunflower oil as it’s neutral flavoured and doesn’t effect the texture of the sponge.
  • Red / pink food gel : Only use a red food gel. They are high pigmented and you only need a drop to result in a vibrant colour. Do NOT use liquid food colouring as it can affect the consistency. My go-to is the Red from Rainbow Dust Colours Pro Gel range! It’s vegan and soooo incredibly pigmented, you only need a tiny drop for a vibrant sponge colour!
Up close of slices of valentines cake.

Cream cheese frosting ingredients :

  • Dairy-free butter : Make sure to use a vegan block butter, such as Naturli Vegan Block, Violife Block or Flora Plant Based Butter for example.
  • Dairy-free cream cheese : Use a good quality cream cheese, such as Violife. Beat it well with the butter to make it super light, airy and creamy.
  • Icing sugar : Sift the icing sugar before use, it will result in a grain / lump free frosting.
  • Vanilla extract : Use good quality vanilla for the best flavour. You can even use vanilla seeds from a vanilla pod.
  • Red / pink food gel : To help decorate the cake, colour some of the cream cheese with pink food gel.

How to make a Vegan Red Velvet Sheet Cake

You’ll be surprised at how quick and easy making a red velvet cake actually is. Using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen and using minimal tools, you’ll whip up this cake in no-time, perfect for serving to your loved ones for Valentines day! (Full recipe list, method and ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)

  1. Cake

    Mix the dairy-free milk – I used Califia Farms Oat Barista Blend, and vinegar together in a bowl, allow to thicken for 5-10 minutes, this creates a vegan buttermilk. Mix all the dry ingredients along with the buttermilk, oil and red food gel in a bowl. Pour into the lined tin and bake until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack at room temperature until cool.

  2. Frosting

    Whip the dairy-free butter and cream cheese until creamy. Sift in the icing sugar and vanilla. Whip with a splash of dairy-free milk until creamy. Spread the white frosting over the cooled cake.

  3. Decoration

    Colour any left over excess frosting with pink food gel, transfer into a piping bag and pipe hearts over the top of the cake. Top with some vegan sprinkles (optional). Slice and enjoy!

Red velvet cake tips & tricks

  • Make sure to use a red food gel as opposed to a liquid food colouring. Food gel is highly pigmented meaning you only need a tiny dot to make the colour pop. You will need a lot of liquid food colouring to make. the colour red, and then it will highly effect the texture of the cake! I highly recommend sourcing out a good quality food gel. I have linked to the one I use here.
  • If you don’t want to use red food gel, you can use powders such as beet powder. While it won’t be as vibrant and may effect the overall flavour of the cake, it will still give a subtle hint of red colour.
  • Make the buttermilk at least 5-10 minutes in advance before making the cake. You want the buttermilk to become thick.
  • This red velvet cake is baked in a 8 x 8 loose base square tin. If you wanted a larger cake, double up the recipe and use a larger pan. Loose base tins are great for removing the cake easily.
  • Do not use a dairy-free margarine for this recipe. As you are using cream cheese which is already quite soft, you need the firmness of butter. Margarine will do the opposite and will result in a very loose and liquid frosting.
  • Sift the dry ingredients the cake and frosting to help remove any clumps. It will make the cake grain free and the frosting lump free.

Storing and serving suggestions

  • If frosted, your red velvet sheet cake will need to be refrigerated after no more than 2 hours room temperature. Unfrosted, the sheet cake can be at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Store: Cover cake pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate Red Velvet Sheet Cake for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature to serve for best taste.
  • Freeze: Freeze a frosted or unfrosted Red Velvet Sheet Cake for up to 3 months. Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to store. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature to serve.

If you make, and love this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below. Thank you & happy baking! Make sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram and Facebook! And if you want to pin this recipe for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, above or below this post, or on any of the photos. Happy baking all!

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Valentines red sheet cake with buttercream hearts

Vegan Red Velvet Sheet Cake

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5 from 2 reviews


Need an easy Valentines cake? I got you! This Vegan Red Velvet Sheet Cake is made with moist, chocolate-flavored red cake frosted with a creamy cream cheese icing, with mini hearts on top.


Units Scale

Ingredients for the cake

  • 230ml of dairy-free milk (I use Califia Oat Barista Blend drink)
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 250g of self raising flour
  • 15g of cocoa powder
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 70ml of sunflower oil
  • Red food gel

Ingredients for the frosting

  • 80g of dairy-free block butter
  • 20g of dairy-free cream cheese
  • 230g of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract / vanilla paste
  • Pink food gel
  • Dairy-free milk (if needed) I used Califia Oat Barista Blend Drink.


Method (Cake)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC fan and line an 8 x 8 inch square cake tin with greaseproof paper. Allow the paper to hang over the tin slightly, this makes it easier to remove the cake when baked.
  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, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well to combine. Add the oil and a drop of red food gel into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just to combine. 
  5. Spoon the batter into the lined tin. Level it out with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.
  6. Place the cake into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes. You will know it is done when you put a knife or skewer down the centre of the cake and it comes out clean and it’s springy to the touch. If batter comes off on the skewer, it needs more time to bake. To prevent burning, top the cake with some greaseproof paper then return back into the oven.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before frosting. You can even place the cake in a sealed container once cool then frost the day after. It’s a very light sponge so be careful with it when removing from the tin.

Method (frosting)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and cream cheese, 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 vanilla. Whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it. Add a splash of dairy-free milk to get it to a smooth consistency. 
  3. Remove 4 heaped tablespoons of the buttercream and separate into a separate bowl. Leave the majority of the buttercream white, colour the smaller bowl with some pink food gel. You don’t need much coloured frosting for this, only for the love hearts on top, so only use what you need. The rest of the frosting can be swirled to the top of the cake.
  4. Transfer the pink buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip nozzle.
  5. Pipe heart shapes over the top of the cake. Finish with some vegan sprinkles (optional).
  6. Cut into squares, serve and enjoy! 


To store: This cake uses cream cheese frosting, so store in a sealed container in the fridge. Leave at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving. Best eaten within 2 days of making. Un-iced cake can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 days. 

What food colour to use? Gels are highly pigmented which means you won’t need as much. I like to use THIS brand of food gels.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Category: Cakes and layer cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  1. Aggie Knewton
    February 10, 2023 / 7:56 pm

    I’m heading to the shop and going to be baking this tonight for my daughters 8th birthday on Sunday. I will let you know how it goes :-)xox

    • February 10, 2023 / 11:02 pm

      Hello Aggie, Aw i am sooooo excited to hear what you all think!!! Let me know how it goes and sending birthday wishes to your daughter x

  2. Clare
    February 14, 2023 / 4:00 pm

    Really tasty. Really light sponge. Would not know it was vegan

  3. Dayra
    February 14, 2023 / 4:27 pm

    I noticed this has both self-rising flour and more baking powder and soda. Is that correct, seems like alot of rising agents? Would like to make this today, thanks.

    • February 14, 2023 / 7:30 pm

      Hello, its the perfect amount and makes the cake super light and fluffy!!! xx

  4. Maria
    February 23, 2024 / 4:12 pm

    Hello, can I do almond flour instead?

  5. February 24, 2024 / 12:33 pm

    This year I got a similar cake for Valentine’s Day from my girlfriend. It was really delicious. This looks very delicious too.

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