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Vegan Birthday Cake (Vegan Vanilla Sponge)

The best vegan vanilla cake you can bake - A light, fluffy sponge packed with vanilla flavour. It's also perfect for covering with fondant icing to make a birthday or celebration cake.
4.29 from 7 votes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 people


  • 270 g self-raising flour - or 255g plain flour and 13g baking powder
  • 180 g vegan margarine - I use Pure Sunflower
  • 180 g caster sugar
  • 135 ml almond milk - or other plant-based milk
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds - I prefer to use white chia seeds so the sponge doesn't look speckled, but black will work just fine
  • ¾ tsp white wine or cider vinegar
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
    Line two 18cm round sandwich tins with greaseproof paper or reusable baking liners.
  • Finely grind the chia seeds (2 tbsp) - I like to give mine a quick blast in my spice grinder, but this can also be done in a pestle and mortar.
  • Beat together the vegan margarine (180g), caster sugar (180g) and vanilla extract (1 tbsp) until fully combined and soft.
  • Sift the dry ingredients (270g self-raising flour, ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda, and the ground chia seeds) into the bowl with the margarine, sugar and vanilla. Finally, pour in the almond milk (135ml) and vinegar (¾ tsp). 
    Working quickly, mix together the ingredients until combined. 
  • As soon as the cake batter is ready, split it equally between the two tins. Smooth the top of the mixture so it is evenly spread out and reaches the edges of the tins - I do this using the back of a spoon.
    Bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and leave them to cool in their tins for a few minutes before removing them from the tins and moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.


This cake is iced with my Vegan Vanilla Buttercream.
First time making this recipe? Take a look below the recipe for lots of extra tips and FAQs.


Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14.7g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Sodium: 284.2mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23.3g

Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Birthday Cake, Celebration Cake, Dairy-Free Cake, Egg-Free Cake, Eggless Cake
Author: Charlotte Oates