Red velvet cake, with its distinct red color and tangy frosting, is one of the most popular cakes in America. Try our vegan red velvet cake for a plant-based twist on the classic!
The original version of this vegan red velvet cake got its name from the color that appeared during the chemical reaction between natural cocoa powder, baking powder and buttermilk. However, most red velvet cake today uses dutch processed cocoa powder, which doesn’t have the same reaction. That’s why many people rely on food coloring for that iconic shade of red.
It’s worth noting that most food coloring you’ll find in stores is vegan — but it’s easy enough to use all-natural ingredients to get a similar color. This recipe uses beets, but check out our article on how to make natural red food coloring for other options.
Let’s see how to make vegan red velvet cake and vegan cream cheese frosting!
Vegan Red Velvet Cake Recipe
To make baking this vegan red velvet cake as simple and successful as possible, gather all of your ingredients and materials before you start. Measuring your ingredients before mixing them together makes the process easier and results in fewer mistakes. Furthermore, did you know you don’t need to preheat the oven every time?
- 2 cups organic sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups vegan buttermilk (oat milk + 2 tbsp lemon juice)
- 2 tbsp vegan egg replacer
- 3½ cups flour
- ½ cup organic beet powder
- 4 tbsp natural cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- For this vegan red velvet cake, combine sugar, salt, vanilla extract, oil, plant-based milk and egg alternative in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until the batter is nice and smooth.
- Sift the flour, beet powder, cocoa powder and baking powder together, then add to the liquids in the mixing bowl.
- Whisk until the batter is smooth, then divide it evenly between three 8-inch greased baking tins.
- Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until they are springy to the touch.
- Cool the cakes in their pans until you can safely handle them, then move them to a cooling rack to come to room temperature.
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Our vegan red velvet cake looks and tastes great on its own, but a little cream cheese icing never hurts! Here’s Utopia’s favorite non-dairy icing recipe.
- 8 oz homemade vegan cream cheese
- ¼ cup vegan butter (store-bought has the best consistency for this recipe)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Place the vegan cream cheese into a mixing bowl along with the vegan butter, sifted powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, start slowly and gradually increase until the frosting is thick, with no lumps.
- Place the frosting in the fridge to allow it to firm before using.
- Once the consistency is to your liking, you can ice your cake!
This vegan red velvet cake with icing will stay fresh for two days at room temperature or up to a week when stored in the fridge.
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