This vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is sure to be a hit with party goers from 1 to 100! Rich, moist, and full of flavor…plus so easy to make!
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Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake
I am so excited to be sharing a special recipe with you today—one that I’ve been working on for a long time! A vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting! Even the name sounds so wonderfully decadent, doesn’t it? Rich, moist chocolate cake topped with creamy strawberry flavored frosting. It’s a must have recipe that everyone needs to have in their back pocket! The best part is that you can make the cake and frosting the day before, and assemble it just before serving. Super easy. And super tasty.
Jonny’s Cake Creation
This cake is partly Jonny’s making. In fact, the first time I made it was for his third birthday. And that’s when I started teasing you that I would share the recipe “so soon.” Sorry about that. I promise it’s worth the wait though. In the past I’ve made it with chocolate frosting, but it was never quite right. I liked the way it tasted, but it was never a “shareable” recipe—too much tweaking to get it just right. This year Jonny told me that the desire of his heart was his chocolate cake with strawberry frosting. Genius! The sweet tart strawberry frosting goes perfectly with the rich and mellow chocolate cake. It’s really good!
Jonny is 5!
Side note: is it just crazy that Jonny is F I V E ? I can hardly believe it—off to kindergarten in the fall, and seemingly older by the second. He is SO proud of being 5. Everything he does well is “because I am 5!” (Check out this old post celebrating David’s fifth birthday, complete with the same birthday shirt and everything!)
Easy Vegan Ingredients
This vegan chocolate birthday cake is made with really simple pantry ingredients. No egg replacers, no tofu, no specialty items. Just regular flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, vinegar. The basics!
Moist Chocolate Cake
I’ve tried several add ins to make this cake super moist. I have a (very old) version with avocado, and I have a version with pumpkin. Both are delicious. I’ve tried this cake with pureed beets which I also really like, but it adds an extra step of pureeing. My favorite add in is good old applesauce. It keeps the cake moist, with extra sweetness, plus it’s easy to find!
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
This strawberry buttercream frosting is awesome! Can I say that? I don’t mean to pay myself on the back, but it really is! To give the frosting tons of flavor without having to worry about it getting watery from fruit, I’ve simply ground up freeze dried strawberries and tossed them in with the powdered sugar (I use this same technique for my Rainbow Popcorn!). It gives the frosting a pretty pink hue, lots of sweet tart flavor, and doesn’t change the consistency of the frosting. Plus, no food coloring necessary!
What’s a birthday cake without sprinkles? I really love these bright and colorful sprinkles by Sweetapolita! Seriously—how fun are those little stars? Plus the ball shaped sprinkles are filled with chocolate! They have many vegan offerings on their site—we’ve ordered many! For sprinkles without artificial dyes I really like the Sprinkelz from Let’s Do Organic.
A Cake for All Occasions
This vegan chocolate birthday cake is perfect for all occasions—not just birthdays! Swap out the sprinkles for fresh strawberries and you’ll have an elegant cake for Valentines, Mother’s Day, or a girls’ night in.
Two Layer Cake
I make this cake in two 6-inch cake pans. It’s a perfect small size to share with my family, without having too much leftover. It makes about 8 servings. Two 6-inch pans are the equivalent of one 8-inch pan, so if you’d like a larger cake you can double the recipe.
More Special Occasion Treats
- One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cake
- Pumpkin Chocolate Cake with Ginger
- Classic Vegan Sugar Cookies
- Perfect Brownies
Let’s get baking!
I hope you enjoy this vegan chocolate birthday cake as much as we do—it’s our go to cake for all special occasions! Give it a try, and be sure to leave a note in the comments letting me know how you like it!
Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake
For the Chocolate Cake:
- 3/4 cup dairy free milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup neutral flavored oil (I use avocado)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Buttercream (see note):
- 1 bag freeze dried strawberries (1 ounce, see notes)
- 1 cup dairy free butter (I use Earth Balance)
- 1 pound powdered sugar (see note)
- 1/4 cup dairy free milk (plus more as needed to get the right consistency)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray two 6 inch pans with cooking spray and set aside.
- Pour non dairy milk and apple cider into a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside to allow the vinegar to curdle the milk.
- Place flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir together. Set aside.
- Add applesauce, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to the milk mixture. Whisk together.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and whisk together until completely incorporated.
- Divide the batter into the two 6-inch baking pans. Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean with only a few crumbs.
- Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
For the Strawberry Buttercream:
- Place the freeze dried strawberries in a food processor and blend until completely turned to powder.
- For easier mixing, cut the butter up into smaller pieces.
- Add the strawberry powder, butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla into an electric mixer. Mix, working from low to high speed, until completely smooth. Add additional milk, a tiny bit at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, frost and assemble the cake. Decorate as desired with sprinkles or strawberries! Serve and enjoy!