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5 from 2 votes

Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake

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 so easy to make!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: birthday cake, kid's birthday
Servings: 8 people
Author: Sarah


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!


I buy my freeze dried fruit at Whole Foods.  You can also find it at Trader Joe's.  Be careful when blending, as some bags contain a silica packet for freshness.  Remove that FIRST before blending.  
Strawberry Buttercream recipe makes enough frosting for two cakes (4 layers).  I usually make the full batch anyway, as I love to spread it on waffles, pancakes, and spoons!
You can try to reduce the powdered sugar in the frosting to 3 1/2 to 4 cups if you'd like, but you'll also have to reduce the amount of milk.  Add it 1 Tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency that you like.
For Cupcakes: this recipe makes 1 dozen cupcakes.  Bake for 30 minutes and then check with a toothpick.  The toothpick should come out clean, with a few crumbs sticking to it.  Bake for 5 minutes more if needed.