Vegan Wedding Cake with Peanut Butter & Vanilla Frosting

Want to make a vegan wedding cake from scratch? This vegan wedding cake recipe with peanut butter and vanilla frosting is also gluten free!

vegan wedding cake on a cake stand. Adorned with purple and pink piped flowers and icing

Given all the coronavirus pandemic craziness going on in the world right now, my fiancé and I recently pulled the plug on our destination wedding.

Now, we’re planning a virtual, at-home wedding where nearly everything has turned DIY! Lawrence is building us a chuppah and cooking our wedding dinner, and I’m making our wedding cake.

We’re now in our wedding month—we’re getting married in 17 days!—so I figured I’d share my cake-making experience with you all. So let’s talk vegan wedding cake.

I’ve been eating gluten free for about a year now, and our only wedding guests (our neighbors) are vegan. So I put my efforts into perfecting the ultimate gluten-free, vegan wedding cake recipe! You won’t find any egg whites or egg yolks in this wedding cake!

This vegan wedding cake is a true his-and-hers cake, with chocolate cake layers and peanut butter frosting for him and vanilla cake layers and vanilla frosting for me.

I also figured out how to naturally color the frosting so that we wouldn’t end up with any chemicals in our wedding cake!

If you’re a fan of wedding cake recipes from scratch or are perusing simple wedding cakes for your own wedding, read on to learn how to make your own five-layer wedding cake! I promise it’s not at all as hard as it sounds.

P.S. If you’re wondering how I have my wedding cake photographed here before my wedding, these photos are of my trial run. I’ll share final wedding cake photos with you, too!

Gluten free wedding cake on a pink cake stand

Ingredients

When I shared with friends that I was making my own gluten-free wedding cake, a friend asked how I get my gluten-free desserts to not taste like cardboard.

The key is really moisture, and this cake recipe contains avocado oil, oat milk, apple cider vinegar, and plant-based margarine.

This vegan wedding cake recipe requires a few star ingredients:

All-purpose gluten-free flour: To make the base of the cake, I started with a base of all-purpose gluten-free flour. You don’t need any fancy cake flour, and using a single gluten-free flour like almond flour won’t yield a product that’s light and fluffy enough.

I like to make my own gluten-free flour mix for this because it saves money, but you can certainly use store-bought. I combined the gluten-free flour blend with sugar, baking soda, salt, oat milk, avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract.

Cane sugar: Because regular granulated sugar may contain bone char, it’s best to shop for a vegan cane sugar.

Avocado oil: I prefer baking with a neutral-tasting oil such as avocado oil, versus an oil like coconut oil. Plus, avocado oil works really well in gluten-free cakes.

Apple cider vinegar: This provides some acidity to the vegan wedding cake batter, which helps make it so fluffy.

Vegan margarine: It’s important to use one that has a base of oil, such as avocado oil. Note that I tested the cake both with plant-based margarine that is oil based and one that is nut based. The icing turns out much creamier with the type that’s oil based.

Peanut butter: My husband loves peanut butter, so I made a peanut butter icing for our vegan wedding cake using natural peanut butter.

Plant-based food coloring: I love using naturally flavored food coloring that doesn’t contain any artificial colors.

A piece of chocolate cake on a plate

Helpful tools

When it comes to making a vegan wedding cake from scratch, it helps to have a few tools.

I spent a good amount of time researching what cake-making tools would make my time in the kitchen 1,000 percent more productive. Without further ado, here are the handful of tools I invested in.

5-Layer Cake Tins

I promise using this set of tins is the easiest way to make a small layered wedding cake. The set of five cake pans yields a six-inch vegan wedding cake.

Bread Knife

You’ll need to cut the tops off of your cake layers once they come out of the oven. A bread knife, which is sharp and serrated, is the best way to do this. I luckily already had one of these on hand, so I didn’t have to purchase one.

Cake Turntable Decorating Stand

After reading lots of cake-making blog posts, I determined that having a cake turntable was an absolute necessity if I wanted to decorate the heck out of my vegan wedding cake and not end up with massive neck and arm pain. 

Cardboard Cake Circles

The No. 1 thing that will ruin your cake-making experience is not using a cake circle as a base.

You want to go with one that’s a couple of inches larger than your cake is going to end up so that you can decorate the base and also so that you can easily pick up the base and place it on its final cake stand.

Icing Spatulas

I’ve taken several baking classes over the years, and I grew to love these icing spatulas years ago. When making my vegan wedding cake, I used the large spatula to get a base coat on and the small spatula for detail areas.

Piping Bags

I once owned reusable piping bags, and they were an incredible pain to clean. That’s why I love these disposable piping bags, which are really helpful if you’re decorating with multiple colors.

Decorating Tips

If you’re hand decorating your vegan wedding cake, which I highly recommend, the easiest way to end up with beautiful flowers is having the right piping tips.

A wedding cake covered in homemade fondant

Step-by-step instructions

Cake instructions

When it comes to baking a vegan wedding cake from scratch, some patience is required! Here’s how I made a five-layer wedding cake.

Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

In a separate medium mixing bowl, mix together milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.

Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, and use an electric hand mixer to mix ingredients together. Do not over mix.

Portion out approximately half the batter into a separate mixing bowl. You can use the bowl that had the wet ingredients in it). Add in cocoa powder, and use an electric hand mixer to blend ingredients together. Do not over mix.

Even though you’re making two different cake flavors, you’ll start with one batch of batter, separate it, and add cocoa powder to the chocolate portion.

Spray five 6-inch non-stick baking pans with cooking spray. Fill each cake pan evenly with batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the cake’s center comes out dry. The vanilla cake may take slightly longer to bake.

Let cakes cool. Once completely cooled, use a bread knife to cut off the tops of the cakes.

Once you’ve let the cake layers cool completely to room temperature, you’ll need to slice off the top of the cakes.

Of course, that means you’ll be left with a good amount of cake. What to do with this cake? Lawrence and I enjoyed using it as a base for homemade ice cream sundaes!

Frosting instructions

Then you’ll want to make the frosting for your vegan wedding cake. Start by placing softened plant butter in an extra-large mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer to cream butter until it’s light and fluffy.

Add in 7 teaspoons oat milk and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined. Add powdered sugar in ½-cup measurements.

Mix until frosting is well combined and fluffy. Scrape down sides, as needed. If the frosting is too thick, you may add additional oat milk in increments of 1 Tablespoon at a time.

Separate out about 1/6 of the frosting into a separate mixing bowl. Add remaining oat milk and peanut butter. Mix until well combined.

Assembly

Next up is the fun part! Place an 8-inch cardboard cake circle on a cake decorating stand. Place a chocolate layer in the center of the cake circle, then use an icing knife to cover the top of the cake with peanut butter icing.

Place a second chocolate cake layer on top of the peanut butter icing, and use an icing knife to cover the top of the cake with vanilla icing.

Repeat with remaining chocolate cake layer and peanut butter icing. Complete with two vanilla cake layers, topping each layer with vanilla icing.

Once cake is assembled, place it in the fridge to cool, for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Remove the cake from the fridge, and use a large icing knife to complete the cake’s crumb coating. This will be a thin layer of frosting. Place cake in fridge to cool for 20 minutes.

Apply a final layer of frosting to the cake.

Color your decorating frosting: Separate remaining frosting into bowls, add food coloring, and place in piping bags.

I really hate baking with artificial food coloring, so I used plant-based food coloring that I found on Amazon. I had so much fun decorating my gluten-free and dairy-free wedding cake!

Next, decorate as you’d like! Then place sprinkles at the bottom of the cake’s base.

Recipe FAQ

Why are vegan cakes too dry?

Many people think of vegan cakes, and they think that they’re too dry. The culprit is often a lack of moisture, either from not having enough plant-based milk or butter in the recipe.

What cakes can vegans eat?

A vegan can eat any cake that is considered vegan, meaning that it does not contain any animal products—including milk, butter, or even honey. This vegan wedding cake recipe is a great choice for vegans, as are vegan chocolate cupcakes.

What can you have at a wedding instead of cake?

Many people choose to skip a wedding cake altogether and opt instead for other desserts. Options include pies, ice cream sundae bars, and cupcakes.

How is vegan cake different from regular cake?

While regular cake often contains butter, milk, and eggs, vegan cake usually contains vegan milk (such as almond milk or oat milk) and vegan butter.

Instead of eggs, it includes other ingredients, such as apple cider vinegar, that help with binding. Or a vegan cake may contain a flax egg made out of eggs and water.

More vegan dessert recipes

If you enjoy this vegan wedding cake recipe, you’ll also like these vegan dessert recipes:

More Wedding Planning Help

Looking for more wedding-related content? I think you’ll enjoy these posts:

vegan wedding cake cut into a large slice

Vegan Wedding Cake with Peanut Butter & Vanilla Frosting

Want to make a vegan wedding cake from scratch? This vegan wedding cake recipe with peanut butter and vanilla frosting is also gluten free!
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18 slices
Calories 593 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups unsweetened oat milk
  • ¾ cup avocado oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp sprinkles

Frosting

  • sticks plant-based margarine
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened oat milk, divided
  • cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • Plant-based food coloring, as needed

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  • In a separate medium mixing bowl, mix together milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
  • Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, and use an electric hand mixer to mix ingredients together. Do not over mix.
  • Portion out approximately half the batter into a separate mixing bowl (you can use the bowl that had the wet ingredients in it). Add in cocoa powder, and use an electric hand mixer to blend ingredients together. Do not over mix.
  • Spray five 6-inch non-stick baking pans with cooking spray. Fill each cake pan evenly with batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the cake's center comes out dry. The vanilla cake may take slightly longer to bake.
  • Let cakes cool. Once completely cooled, use a bread knife to cut off the tops of the cakes.

Frosting

  • Place softened plant butter in an extra-large mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer to cream butter until it's light and fluffy.
  • Add in 7 teaspoons oat milk and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.
  • Add powdered sugar in ½ -cup measurements. Mix until frosting is well combined and fluffy. Scrape down sides, as needed. If the frosting is too thick, you may add additional oat milk in increments of 1 Tablespoon at a time.
  • Separate out about 1/6 of the frosting into a separate mixing bowl. Add remaining oat milk and peanut butter. Mix until well combined.

Assembly

  • Place an 8-inch cardboard cake circle on a cake decorating stand. Place a chocolate layer in the center of the cake circle, then use an icing knife to cover the top of the cake with peanut butter icing.
  • Place a second chocolate cake layer on top of the peanut butter icing, and use an icing knife to cover the top of the cake with vanilla icing.
  • Repeat with remaining chocolate cake layer and peanut butter icing. Complete with two vanilla cake layers, topping each layer with vanilla icing.
  • Once cake is assembled, place it in the fridge to cool, for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Remove the cake from the fridge, and use a large icing knife to complete the cake's crumb coating. This will be a thin layer of frosting. Place cake in fridge to cool for 20 minutes.
  • Apply a final layer of frosting to the cake.
  • Color your decorating frosting: Separate remaining frosting into bowls, add food coloring, and place in piping bags. Decorate as you'd like!
  • Place sprinkles at the bottom of the cake's base.

Nutrition

Calories: 593kcalCarbohydrates: 88gProtein: 5gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gSodium: 447mgPotassium: 118mgFiber: 4gSugar: 70gVitamin A: 630IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Wedding cake
Did you make this recipe?Mention @amydgorin and tag #plantbasedwithamy
Looking for a wedding cake recipe? This homemade vegan wedding cake is also a gluten free wedding cake recipe. It\'s one of the best 5 layer cake ideas with flowers! #weddingcake #vegancake #veganwedding #glutenfreecake #glutenfreewedding #dairyfreecake

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know if you make this vegan cake! What do you think of this white cake recipe and chocolate cake recipe? Enjoy this vanilla and chocolate wedding cake recipe!

Dairy Free | Dessert | Gluten Free | Holiday | Oven / Toaster | Pescatarian | Recipes (Organizational) | Vegan | Vegetarian |

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