This vegan caramel cake is absolutely delicious and a real winner for showing others how amazing veganism can be!
This vegan caramel cake is an absolute must try!
We combine our homemade vegan caramel sauce into each layer of this vegan cake for an ultimate spin on a cake!
There is caramel drizzled inside the batter, in between the layers and even inside the frosting. You will not want to miss this!
Whether you are vegan for the animals or dairy free for an allergy, you have likely shown up to a party where cake or cupcakes are being served. Only to find that once you arrive to the event that you aren’t able to have any of the desserts because they are not dairy free and egg free.
It’s heartbreaking. Even more upsetting if it’s a children’s party for your child.
But this vegan caramel cake is the answer. Especially if you are trying to wow.
No more play dates and parties and holiday get togethers that you have to be worried about not having the perfect dessert.
Instead take your own and enjoy everything else right along with everyone.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
CAN I MAKE THIS INTO VEGAN CARAMEL CUPCAKES?
You can absolutely make this into vegan caramel cupcakes.
Just make the recipe as directed and then instead of filling cake pans, you’ll want to pour the batter into cupcake tins (or liners) 3/4 of the way full. Baking time will vary depending on what size cupcakes you are making, but the rule of them for standard size cupcakes is about 18-22 minutes.
HOW DO I MAKE THIS VEGAN CARAMEL CAKE LOOK EXACTLY LIKE YOURS?
We get it. No one likes “Pinterest fails”. You see something and think, “that’s out of my league, no way I’m trying that.” Take a deep breathe and instead say, “I’m going to following these steps and make the best cake I’ve ever made.”
Step 1: It’s all about positive thinking.
Step 2: You need to follow some really important tips that we’re going to share with you on how to make the best dairy free caramel cake that actually looks like it came from a bakery. Your guests (and yourself) are going to be blown away.
Here’s our tips for making this cake look exactly like ours in the picture:
- Follow the instructions pretty please. Cake baking is a science, especially when making a dairy free/vegan cake. The sifting and exact ingredient amounts are very important. Every step has a purpose to ensure the perfect dairy free caramel cake.
- We have a thick double layered cake in the photos. That is due to use using these specific 9″ cake pans. They are an inch higher (2.5″ instead of 1.5″) than most 9″ cake pans. If you only have the 1.5″ high 9″ cake pans, then we would suggest making a triple layer cake with 3 cake pans.
- Make sure that you evenly distribute the cake batter into the cake pans. You can use a scale to make sure that they are all within a small range of each other.
- When the cakes are cooked, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to allow the cakes to cool evenly.
- Let the cakes cool to touch, then remove them carefully to wax paper to cool completely. DO NOT RUSH. Let it cool completely.
- When ready to make the cake – use a cake leveling tool to make sure there’s no uneven tops.
Tips for piping:
- We used a Wilton 2A Icing Tip. Since we are doing a “naked cake” style it really doesn’t matter what tip you are using.
- Place a small amount of frosting down first on a rotating cake stand, then your first layer. The frosting acts as a glue so the cake won’t slip.
- Use a piping bag and a large round tip and pipe frosting in a circular motion from the outer edge completely in to the middle.
- Use a cake spreader to gently even out layer of frosting. Place next layer and repeat step 6. Place third layer on top if you have one. Step back and see if there is any gaps in between the layers. If there are, place enough frosting in those areas to get frosting to the edge of the pan.
- Use a cake scraper to go around the cake and ensure evenness around the entire cake. This step is really important. Place frosting on the top of the cake and more on sides if needed and frost evenly. Using a spreader on the top and the scraper to even evenness.
- We made this look like a naked cake so there’s no need for fancy piping on this one, but if you happen to want that then you are free to do so.
- *Bonus Tip: If you want to frosting the cake but keep a clean cake stand, cut four 7″ pieces of wax paper and overlap them before placing the first layer on the cake stand. When you are completely done frosting the cake, carefully remove the four pieces of wax paper.
WHAT ARE SOME VEGAN FROSTING IDEAS FOR THIS CAKE?
We are sharing in the recipe below a vegan caramel buttercream, but we also have other options if you decide not to make that one.
One great thing about cakes is that you can mix and match frostings! We absolutely love doing this. Some ideas for vegan cake frostings are:
- Vegan Vanilla Frosting
- Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Vegan Strawberry Buttercream
Leave a comment below and tell us what frosting flavor you want to see next!
Can I make this a top 8 allergen friendly vanilla cake?
Unfortunately, this is one we are going to say at this time we can’t make completely top 8 free.
There are a few ingredients that we are looking at for Top 8 allergens.
To start, you can make this gluten free (we like this GF flour). Please note that you should allow the cake to cool and keep at room temperature.
Then, use a safe for you dairy free milk. We like oat, but you could use hemp or flax or pea milk for a top 8 free milk.
The vegan butter can if soy free if you use one like Earth Balance soy free in the red tub.
The thing that makes this not able to make Top 8 free is that we use canned coconut milk to make the caramel sauce and because of how sensitive vegan caramel is to make, we can’t recommend a substitution at this time.
What other delicious vegan desserts should I try?
Once you have perfected this vegan cake, you may be looking out for other delicious dairy free cupcakes or cakes. Here are some dairy free dessert recipe ideas.
- Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Vegan Coconut Cake
- Dye Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Vegan Strawberry Cake
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Apple Pie
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes
- Vegan Lemon Pound Cake
Pin this Vegan Caramel Cake recipe for later:
Vegan Caramel Cake
For the Caramel
For the Cake
For Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- 2 cups vegan butter, room temperature
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup pre-made vegan caramel
For the Caramel
- Add sugar and water to a medium pot and whisk together until well combined. Turn to medium high heat.
- Allow to come to a boil and then continue to cook. DO NOT WHISK OR STIR WHILE WAITING. Let cook until fragrant (some people say a nutty smell). About 8-11 minutes.*We recommend using a candy thermometer. It should read 340-350 degrees F.
- Remove from heat and immediately, but carefully, slowly stir in coconut milk. *USE A WOODEN HANDLED UTENSIL HERE. IT'S VERY HOT.
- Add in vegan butter and and whisk around.
- Let cool to room temperature (about 2 hours). Add salt if adding and taste to see if you need more salt. Then move to a container and let sit overnight or at least 4-6 hours before moving to the next step.
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 9" pans with parchment paper and grease the pans.*We use these 9" pans (see post for details if you don't have these)
- Add apple cider vinegar and milk together. Set aside for at least 10 minutes (this makes vegan buttermilk)
- In a stand mixing bowl (or a large bowl) add the vegan butter and sugar and cream together well (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add in the caramel and vanilla. Blend until just until incorporated.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Turn on mixer. While mixing, slowly add in the vegan buttermilk mixture. Bring together just until combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour evenly in each cake pan. Do not fill pans more than 1/2 way. Use a scale to ensure even amounts. Spread out into leveled layer.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. *If using 3 pans, check for doneness around 40-45 minutes.
- When done, let cool on racks completely.
For the frosting
- *This is enough frosting to do a crumb layer for a naked cake style. If you want to do a design, you may need to make more frosting.
- Add vegan butter to a large bowl and beat together.
- Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a thick buttercream.
- Add in caramel and beat until completely combined.
- *This should be a thick buttercream. If your frosting is too soft, put it into the fridge before frosting your cake for 30 minutes.
- Frosting cake as desired.
How We Frosted the cake
- Poke a few holes into the top of each cake round and place a few tablespoons pre-made caramel on top of each cake round. Spread out evenly.
- Add frosting to a piping bag with a round piping tip.
- Pipe frosting in a circular motion around the top of the cake.
- Top with second layer (caramel side up). Then another layer of piped frosting.
- Use a cake spreader and spread cake across and down cake. Add more frosting for any spaces that need more.
- Drizzle more caramel down edges and an even layer across the top
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