Vegan desserts can be pretty too! This Vegan Strawberry Layer Cake has a natural and fresh strawberry flavor. The vegan strawberry cream cheese frosting tastes exactly like its dairy counterpart! Coated with strawberry cake and golden Oreo crumbs gives the cake a playful appearance!
This cake reminds me of after school time. In high school I’d be stuck at school into the evening. Once homework was conquered, I’d spend time with co-classmate. Being not-so-sporty (besides ballet that is), we’d toss a dried sponge across the waxed Formica floors, like a makeshift soccer match. The fellow sponge-soccer ball kicker, would, like clockwork, always eat lunch at 5. And by lunch I mean, a Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Dessert bar from the vending machine.
I cannot judge. Despite my nutritional background and culinary training, I earnestly believe ice cream should be its own food group. It is amazing, especially in portable stick form.
Well now you know my rational behind this cake’s decoration!
Honestly I wanted to make a fun looking vegan cake. Whenever I search vegan cakes online, they are sadly neutral. They remind me of the 90s. 50 shades of beige. Natural looking colors and naked looking frosting techniques…I don’t mean to bash vegan desserts, I know they’re meant to be “healthier.” But seriously people, can we ever have fun with our sweets? Come on, it’s dessert, it’s cake. It ain’t healthy!
Vegan cakes, are simply non-dairy muffin batters and need to be handled gently. Because they are a hand mixed batter, the more a vegan cake batter is mixed, the tougher the baked end product. Think of pancake batter. The more you mix, the heavy and more bread like the baked good gets.
Long story short—don’t over mix your vegan strawberry layer cake batter!! A few lumps are okay!
No candy flavors present. This Vegan Strawberry Layer Cake has natural strawberry flavor coming from fresh strawberry puree.
Okay, okay, okay—I used red dye in the cake and frosting. You’ll have to pry food gel from my dead hands. But in all honesty, the cake needs the food gel coloring. When baked without food gel, the cake bakes up with a not-so-pretty shade of brown-red. The not dyed cakes had the color of rotted, rather than fresh fruit.
The frosting. Seriously it’ll be a staple in my frosting recipe arsenal. Not painfully sweet, not granular, not greasy. The Vegan Strawberry Layer Cake has a perfect match—Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting is elixir of sweet, tangy, creamy, and smooth. I was skeptical of tofu based cream cheese substitute spreads. I’ve never liked tofu as a savory food. I took a leap of faith by using this non-dairy spread in the frosting.
Additionally, I took a leap of faith with the use of flour. The addition of flour provides structure without unneeded sweetness. Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect texture for layering, piping, and decorating.
As you’ll see I used strawberry jam. I know people freak at the thought of jams and preserves not being vegan. But simply read the ingredient label. Most jams are made with fruit pectin.
More recipes to like and bake!
- 4 cups cake flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 ½ cups strawberry puree
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup (½ stick, 4 ounces) vegan butter, melted
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Red gel food coloring
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup 4 ounces vegan butter, room temperature
- 2 to 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Red gel food coloring
- 15 to 20 golden Oreos, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4 6-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Whisk the strawberry puree, water, melted butter, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and red food gel in a separate bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into well, and whisk outward. Whisk until the batter is an even consistency. There will be a few lumps in the batter.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway. A toothpick inserted should have some wet crumbs. Do not over bake the cakes.
- Immediately invert onto a cooling rack to prevent additional baking. Cool completely before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter on a medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer's speed on low, add the jam, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, flour, and red food gel. Do not over mix, beat on a medium speed until lump free, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- If the cake layers have domes, use a serrated knife to level off the tops. Plop a dollop of frosting onto a cake board and secure the first layer down. Spread a layer of the frosting. Repeat this process with the second layer. Top with the final third layer.
- Before a crumb coat, place the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes, you want the cake to be firm.
- While the cake is in the freezer, crumble up the fourth cake layer and mix it together with the golden Oreo crumbles.
- Do a crumb coat, freeze for 15 minutes, and then do a final, thicker frosting layer. Place in the refrigerator until a skin slightly forms on the frosting, about 15 minutes.
- Pat the crumb mixture firmly into the frosting. Fill in any exposed spots. Refrigerate the cake for an hour to firm the outer coating.