Dairy-Free Classic Yellow Cake

Layered dairy-free yellow cake with white frosting and filling

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Yield: 2 cake layers
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
347 Calories
17g Fat
43g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 347
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 304mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 66mg 5%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 67mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Yellow cake is an essential recipe in any baker's kitchen. Totally dairy-free, this take on the classic yellow cake recipe is perfect for those who avoid dairy products. Try this go-to classic recipe where dietary restrictions, allergies, or other food intolerances aren't easy to gauge, such as school bake sales, children's birthday parties, graduation parties, and weddings.

This easy cake recipe swaps the usual butter for dairy-free margarine. Look for vegan margarine in stick form next to regular butter or in the vegan section along with vegan cheeses. Vegetable shortening will also work but will lack the buttery flavor of a yellow cake. Instead of milk, use non-dairy milk like almond, soy, rice, or oat milk.

Served either as two single-layer cakes or as a layer cake with a dairy-free frosting of your choice, this bright dessert screams of celebration.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

    Ingredients for dairy-free yellow cake recipe gathered

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  2. Grease and flour (with dairy-free margarine) two 8-inch round cake pans or line with greased parchment rounds. Set aside.

    Two greased and floured baking pans of the same size

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  3. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

    Flour being sifted into a bowl with a wire mesh sieve

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  4. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to beat together the soy margarine and sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes.

    Fluffy beaten margarine and sugar mixture in a bowl

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  5. Add the vanilla, beating until well combined.

    Vanilla being added to the margarine mixture

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  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.

    Eggs incorporated into the cake batter

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  7. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the margarine mixture and beat. Add 1/3 cup of the almond milk and beat. Continue adding the remaining ingredients in two more alternating additions, beating well before adding the next. Mix until just combined.

    Smooth cake batter in a bowl

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  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

    Cake batter poured into the prepared pans

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  9. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans before transferring the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, frost with dairy-free frosting of your choice and serve, either as two single-layer cakes or one layer cake.

    Browned cakes cooling on a wire rack

    The Spruce Eats

How to Store and Freeze

  • The cakes can be made ahead of time and tightly wrapped and stored for up to a day before frosting. Before storing, make sure the cakes are completely cooled. If you wrap them while they're still warm, the extra humidity and heat could actually make the cake spoil faster.
  • Whether kept at room temperature or in the fridge, the cake must be completely sealed from other foods and will keep for two to three days. They will keep in the freezer for up to a month.
  • If freezing these cakes, be sure to thaw them gradually. Frozen cakes should be thawed in the fridge and then set out in a cool room to reach room temperature.
  • After the cake has been frosted, it still must be covered, but it will keep a little longer as frosting helps lock in moisture. Cake that has vegan buttercream or fondant icing will keep for three to four days in the fridge.

How to Use Dairy-Free Classic Yellow Cake

  • These cake layers can be served as two single layers or as a two-layer cake. You'll need about 1 1/2 cups per single cake layer, or between 2 and 3 cups of frosting total to frost a 2-layer cake (depending on how generous you like your frosting).
  • Yellow cake pairs well with a variety of frostings. Try dairy-free vanilla buttercream, chocolate, or cream cheese.
  • Or layer the cakes with vegan whipped cream and raspberry or strawberry jam or dairy-free lemon curd.