Dairy-Free Vanilla Cake (and a First Blogiversary)!

IMG_3598 Closeup of Bare Cupcake

When I started this blog one year ago, this week, I had wanted to create a place to teach what I have learned thus far in my baking career. I wanted to share my favorite recipes, both self-created and ones I have found (and love) along this baking journey. Leelabean Bakes has become that very place, thanks to you. A year ago, my very first post went live and I’ve been enjoying sharing with you ever since. I hope this is just the first year of many more to come and I would love to have you along for the ride..!

IMG_3627 Single Frosted Cupcake. jpg

In celebration of this year-young blog, I thought I would introduce an allergen-free cake. Dairy can be difficult to handle whether an intolerance or an allergy.This dairy-free yellow cake recipe is quite extraordinary, with deep vanilla flavor and great texture. 

IMG_3618 Frosted Cupcakes on Tray

My son battled with lactose intolerance for the first few years of his life. While it was a mild intolerance, it was enough to understand that food intolerances of any kind are far from easy, both for the person with the intolerance and their family. Finding reliable, tasty recipes that are fit for people with food allergies, yet delicious enough that everyone can enjoy them, can be quite daunting. Today, I am sharing with you a dairy-free yellow cake recipe that tastes so much like the dairy version, that no one will know it is dairy-free unless you give them the heads up. 

IMG_3633 Cupcake Bite on Fork

I have used Canola oil in place of butter, and almond milk in place of milk or buttermilk to keep this cake dairy-free. To make this recipe nut-free as well as dairy-free, simply replace the almond milk with coconut milk (this can be found in cartons in the refrigerated section of your grocery store; please do NOT use the coconut milk from a can). You can alternatively use soy milk.

IMG_3634 Half of Cupcake

I recently made this cake for a 3-year old boy’s birthday party. Topped with my Dairy-Free Nut-Free Vanilla Frosting, this cake is a perfectly delectable treat for anyone with dairy allergies or intolerances. This cake recipe is great stacked or under fondant. 

IMG_3549 Tiered Cake


IMG_3561 Train Cake

I do hope this recipe helps those of you who are in need of a dairy-free cake recipe or anyone who wants a delicious vanilla cake recipe without using milk products. This recipe is easily halved or doubled.

Dairy-Free Vanilla Cake (with a Nut-Free variation)

Recipe by: Leelabean
(Yield: Two 9″ 2″ high cake pans or 22- 24 cupcakes)
2 1/4 c flour
1/4 c cornstarch
1 3/4 c sugar
2 t baking powder
3/4 c Canola oil
1 T + 1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 c almond milk, room temperature [substitute 1 c carton coconut milk (found in refrigerated section of grocery store. DO NOT use canned coconut milk.) or soy milk for a nut-free cake]
Preheat your oven to 350ΒΊF. Line your cake pans with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray or place cupcake liners in cupcake tin. Set the pans aside. 

In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil and beat the mixture comes together, uniformly. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and vanilla with the almond milk. Pour 1/2 of the egg mixture into the flour mixture and blend until combined.

IMG_3579 Batter Before Milk

Then pour the rest of the egg mixture and mix on medium speed until the batter is evenly mixed.

IMG_3580 Completed Batter

Pour half of the batter into each prepared pan and bake the cakes for about 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out crumb-free.

IMG_3582 Batter in Cupcake Liner Top View
If you are making cupcake, bake for 17-19 minutes.

IMG_3592 Top View Cupcake

Frost the cake or cupcakes as desired. Here is my delicious Vanilla Frosting recipe that is dairy-free (and nut-free!) as well.

IMG_3638 Bite in Hand

Sweetly β™₯ Yours,



  1. […] Candy Heart Cakes (Dairy Free)  (inspired by Leelebean Bakes)  Ingredients- Cake- (for two 9″ x 2″ cake pans) 2 1/4 cup all-purpose […]

  2. Shani says:

    I made these cupcakes for my one year old’s birthday party and they were delicious! Thank you so much!

  3. Michelle Shefter says:

    Rule #1 of recipe writing: list the ingredients in the order they will be used and don’t leave an ingredient out of the instructions. It’d be great if you could edit this to help people avoid leaving things out…..

  4. meme says:

    I made a cake yesterday following your recipe. The flavors were really good, but it came out a little too dense. Is there any ingredients you recommend adding to make it more fluffy? Thanks for the recipe, the family liked it. I’ll keep making it.

    • Leelabean says:

      Hi Meme.
      I am wondering if your flour wasn’t packed in too tight during measuring.
      1 c all purpose flour = 4 oz, so I would measure out 9 oz of flour and use that for the recipe to ensure I get exactly 2 1/4 c flour.
      Good luck!

  5. Lola says:

    Can you use margarine instead of canola oil.. and if so how much? Thanks!

    • Leelabean says:

      I don’t bake with margarine so I am not sure how these would turn out if you were to swap out the oil. The taste could suffer as well as the texture.
      If you do end up substituting the margarine, I’d love to hear how it turned out..!

  6. kswanson says:

    I just made this recipe, but added 1/4 cup lemon juice to make lemon cupcakes. It turned out pretty good! Thank you for posting this!

  7. iza says:

    You have been so helpful thanks!

  8. Danielle says:

    This looks soooo yummy! My daughter is allergic to dairy so I am looking forward to trying this with her! Just one question… With the almond milk, do you use sweetened or unsweetened, plain or vanilla? TIA!

    • Leelabean says:

      Hi Danielle!
      Thanks for the question! I forgot to mention the type of almond milk and there are so many varieties available! For this recipe, use unsweetened almond milk. You have your choice with vanilla- or plain- flavored. I made this batch with vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk.
      Good luck! I hope you and your daughter love it! πŸ™‚

  9. Vanessa says:

    I just made these cupcakes for my sister-in-law holiday party becasue I needed it to be non-dairy and they were a hit!!!! Thanks for the recipe! I also substituted sugar for the sugar blend with splenda and added a vegan caramel filling with coconut milk! Big hit

  10. Georgia says:

    So clever! Can I ask, is this in metric cups? Thanks

  11. Jenny says:

    Could you also clarify if c is cup? Also what is T and t… A little lost πŸ™‚

  12. Jenny says:

    Hi, is this plain flour or self raising? Thanks πŸ™‚

  13. chelsey says:

    so do u add the cornstartch with the dry ingredients?

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