Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Golden Vanilla Cake + Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (Vegan)

Firstly, someone drank my entire cup of coffee, like what????

Secondly, please do not ask me who’s birthday it is/was. Seriously, you’d think my family would have figured out by now that I sometimes get the random urge to make an unnecessarily large, lovely, and delicious cake for absolutely no good reason at all. Yes, well apparently they haven’t because I think I got asked why I was making this cake about two dozen times by various people the day that I was working on it.

So I actually did have a good reason to make it though, I felt it was a huge gap missing from my recipe list. I realized the other day that I have never shared just a basic and simple yellow cake with you guys. What’s wrong with me? It’s such a classic favorite flavor for a birthday cake so I clearly needed to have one. I made tons of cakes throughout January (i.e. this wedding cake, and this birthday cake to name a few). and already in February I’ve made my nephew Ryder’s birthday cake, plus there’s the cake I’m planning to make for my sis Jenya tomorrow. Hers will probably be similar to the overload cake from last year, minus the cheesecake and with even more chocolate.

See what I meant when I told you guys about birthday season in my family? It’s craziness. But anyway, with all these cakes I think I must have started a chain reaction or something where I simply need to bake them. It’s like I can’t stop and my day feels incomplete if I haven’t baked a cake. #foodbloggerproblems

Okay, you might be wondering, what’s the difference between a yellow cake versus a plain vanilla cake or a white cake? Well, in traditional (i.e. non-vegan) a plain vanilla cake typically uses whole eggs which gives it that mild creamy yellow color, whereas a golden (aka “yellow” or “butter”) cake usually is made with just the egg yolks and then a white cake like the kind you’ll see at most weddings is made with just the egg whites.

However, for this recipe we’re getting all sneaky and grabbing that orange color from pumpkin puree. It’s hard to say which type of cake I’d choose if given the option between the three because they are definitely a mood thing for me and I like them all. What about you?

I hope this can become a new favorite recipe for you and your family. It’s something that always brightens my day when I hear from someone who’s enjoying a recipe from this little blog. Thanks guys for being so supportive!

Golden Vanilla Cake + Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (Vegan)

There's nothing quite like a classic yellow cake for a party. This recipe is quick, easy, and uses only basic ingredients. (Btw, it's also great as cupcakes!)

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 1 cake (18-24 servings)



  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream *see note
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 3/4 cup vegan butter softened
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut cream *see note
  • 6 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans and line with parchment. Warm the coconut cream and butter together until softened then beat with sugar in a mixing bowl until creamed. Add pumpkin, lemon, vanilla, and milk and beat until mixed. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients, baking powder, salt, and flour. Fold the ingredients together just until smooth.
  2. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 35 to 45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool. When cooled, loosen the edges with a knife and remove the cakes from the pans then wrap in plastic wrap. Place in fridge to chill for about an hour.


  1. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, cream butter and coconut cream with 1 cup powdered sugar. Add the vanilla, cocoa, and salt and mix until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute until light and fluffy.


  1. Once the cakes are cooled, place one of them on a serving platter of your choice and spread a generous amount of frosting onto the top. Add another layer of cake, the ice that one and repeat once more for the last layer. Now spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake, top and sides, and place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
  2. To create a petal/scale pattern like the one I did, put the remaining buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe large three large dots in a vertical line on the side of the cake then use an offset spatula to gently flatten out each dot to create a the shape. Repeat until cake is covered with the pattern all the way around.
  3. It is best stored in a cool place or in the fridge and if possible in an air-tight container.

Recipe Notes

If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.


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