This Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake is moist and fluffy, naturally colour and healthier than the traditional version! It has a balance of sweet, salty, sour and chocolatey flavours and is covered in a tangy vegan cream cheese frosting. It’s also refined sugar free and super easy to make!
Traditional Red Velvet Cake is made using buttermilk, but it’s really easy to make a vegan “buttermilk”.
1. Mix almond milk with vinegar in a measuring jug.
2. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Tip: This trick works with any kind of non-dairy milk, as the vinegar curdles the milk so that it resembles buttermilk.
To create a red colour without food colouring, I used beetroot powder.
You can buy beetroot powder in local health stores, as well as online.
If you can’t get hold of it, it’s not a problem if you leave it out – you’ll just end up with a slightly differently coloured cake, but the taste will be the same and still delicious!
How to make the cake
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Mix together all the ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.
- Transfer the batter between two 18 cm / 7 inch sandwich baking tins.
Tip: Line the baking tins with greased baking paper to make the sponges easier to remove afterwards.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Place the sponges on a cooling rack until completely cooled before applying the frosting.
How to make the vegan “cream cheese” frosting
- Place coconut cream, lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla in a bowl and use an electric whisk to whip up until fluffy.
- Use a palette knife for frosting to apply the frosting in between and on top of the layers of sponge.
How long does this Red Velvet Cake keep for?
This Red Velvet Cake is best enjoyed fresh, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
Substitutions you can make
- You can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil.
- You can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc.
- You can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc.
- You can replace the vinegar with lemon juice.
- You can replace the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground walnuts.
- For a nut-free version: replace the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground sunflower seeds or use 30g (¼ cup) coconut flour instead of 150g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds.
- You can use plain flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free.
- You can omit the beetroot powder – it’s used for adding red colouring but the recipe still works without it.
More gluten-free vegan cake recipes
- Tropical Carrot Cake
- Chocolate Truffle Cake
- Tropical Carrot Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Cherry Bakewell Cake
- Chocolate Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
- Lemon Pound Cake
- Orange Drizzle Cake
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Watch how to make this recipe
Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake
For the cake:
- 200 ml (⅘ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener_
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons beetroot powder (optional – adds red colour but not completely necessary for the recipe to work)
For the frosting:
- 400 g (14 oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk **
- 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Measure out the milk and, leaving it in the measuring container, add the tablespoon of vinegar and stir – leave to sit for around 10 minutes, while you make the rest of the cake.
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil).
- Once melted, add the teaspoon of vinegar to the same bowl along with the maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and beetroot powder.
- Add the milk and vinegar mixture and mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry.
- Divide mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins).
- Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen slightly and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Once out the oven, transfer cakes from baking tins onto a wired rack to leave them to cool completely before applying the frosting.
For the frosting:
- You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
- Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies).
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl.
- Add the lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy.
To frost and decorate the cake:
- Place one half of the cake onto a plate or cake stand, and spread just less than half of the frosting onto it.
- Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the frosting to spread on top.
- Decorate with freeze-dried raspberries and cacao nibs if desired.
- Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
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