So, my friend Pareen and I decide to get together and bake a cake in her kitchen for her parents who happen to be non-vegans. I am thinking of baking my regular chocolate cake when her mom announces that she doesn’t like chocolate cake. Uh oh. I can’t think of any other version that could be baked without prior preparation.

“Now what?” I ask Pareen. “Let’s make a marble cake,” she says. “Marble cake?! Sounds too fancy, uh?!” I give her a bewildered look. She smiles gently. “It’s simple,” she continues, “You just tell me how to make vanilla cake batter and chocolate cake batter, and I’ll take care of the marbling.” Now… I only know how to make a chocolate cake and have never made a vanilla cake before! However, given the situation, I don’t have any option other than coming up with one on the spot. Thankfully, things work out in our favor and the resultant cake is loved by her parents. For the marble cake recipe + more awesome vegan stuff, follow Pareen’s Instagram handle Pareen’s Plant Based Living.

Back in my own kitchen, I improvise my hurriedly-put-together vanilla cake batter to come up with this Vegan Vanilla Cake made with whole wheat. It’s soft, moist, and very easy to make. This simple base is ideal for poke cakes as well. If you’re new to baking and are looking for fail-proof recipes to start with, I assure you this is the one to try 🙂

Frost this cake with Vegan Vanilla Cashew Cream for a simple yet elegant treat!

Preparation time: 15 minutes, approx.

Baking time: 45 minutes

Yields one medium cake, 7.5 inches diameter

1 cup = 150 ml


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (substitute with maida, if desired)
  • 1 cup bura/khand/powdered white sugar*
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (use lemon juice if ACV is unavailable)
  • 1-2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking soda
  • A pinch of salt


  1. In a deep-bottomed saucepan, combine the bura/khand/powdered white sugar, cinnamon powder, salt, water, and coconut oil. Heat gently (do not boil), stirring until the bura/khand/powdered white sugar is fully dissolved and the liquid looks glossy. Let it cool to room temperature. Add the ACV & the vanilla extract.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170 C/340F.
  3. Sift together the flour and baking soda twice.
  4. Add the liquid mixture prepared in step 1 to the flour and combine well, but don’t over mix.
  5. Pour into a greased cake tin (7.5 inches diameter). Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  6. Once cooled, apply a generous layer of vegan vanilla cashew cream and decorate with slivers of roasted nuts & halved candied cherries.

Variations: This is a basic recipe for a whole wheat vanilla cake. You can add roasted nuts and soaked raisins to the batter before baking for a more festive treat. If you love coffee, feel free to add 2-3 heaped teaspoons of instant coffee powder to the batter for a delicate coffee flavor.

*Bura/khand are forms of raw sugar.


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