Go Back
Red velvet cake topped with cherries on a white cake stand
Print Recipe
4.82 from 37 votes

Vegan Red Velvet Cake

This vegan red velvet cake is rich, moist, vibrantly red and topped with a delicious lemon buttercream frosting and maraschino cherries.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Baking, Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 478kcal


For the Red Velvet Cake:

For the Frosting:

  • 4 and ½ cups Powdered Sugar (540g)
  • ½ cup Vegan Butter (112g)
  • 2 tsp Lemon Extract
  • 2-3 and ½ Tbsp Lemon Juice

For Decoration:


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray two 8-inch cake pans (see notes*) with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  • To make the vegan buttermilk add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to a measuring jug and then add soy milk up to the 1 cup (240ml) line. Leave to sit for a minute, it will curdle into buttermilk.
  • Add the buttermilk, vanilla, oil, vinegar and red gel food color into the mixing bowl and mix in.
  • Use a hand whisk briefly to get rid of any large lumps.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
  • Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer the cakes to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • While the cakes are cooling, add the powdered sugar, vegan butter, lemon extract and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to an electric mixing bowl and starting at slow speed gradually increase speed until the frosting is thick and smooth. If needed add more lemon juice (see notes*). 
  • When the cakes are completely cooled, frost and decorate with cherries (optional). 


  1. Measure the flour correctly using the spoon and level method - spoon the flour into a measuring cup and then level off the top with a knife - don't scoop it and don't pack the flour into the cup. Alternatively weigh it on a food scale.
  2. Vegan buttermilk can also be made with almond milk. Other non-dairy milks may not curdle as well as soy or almond milk but could still be used.
  3. The red gel food color we used is Americolor brand and is highly recommended.
  4. Frosting - the amount of lemon juice you need for your frosting will depend on the brand of vegan butter you use. Stick style vegan butter has a much lower water content than a soft tub style vegan butter. We used a tub style vegan butter that is still pretty firm so we used 3 and ½ Tbsp lemon juice. If you use a stick vegan butter then you may need even more. Just play this part by ear and only use as much as you need to get a thick but spreadable frosting. 
  5. Baking pan sizes. This cake can adapt as follows:
    • Three 6-inch round cake pans - bake for 20 minutes
    • Two 7-inch round cake pans - bake for 25 minutes
    • Two 8-inch round cake pans - bake for 20 minutes
    • One 9-inch round cake pan - bake for 30 minutes
    • One 9x9 square cake pan - bake for 25 minutes
  6. Cupcakes - This recipe makes a perfect 12 cupcakes. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Gluten-Free - if you'd like to make this cake gluten-free then I recommend using a gluten free all purpose baking blend to replace the regular flour. 
  8. Storing - store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. It's also freezer friendly for up to 3 months if you want to freeze it.


Serving: 1Serve | Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 78.4g | Protein: 2.8g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2.8g | Sodium: 298mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 60.8g