Vegan birthday cake recipe

  • Serves 12
  • 45 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook, plus cooling
  • 640 calories / serving
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Bursting with tropical flavour from coconut, passion fruit and mango, this gorgeous celebration cake is so delicious you’ll never guess it’s vegan, completely egg- and dairy-free. Serve up a slice for a birthday treat or any special occasion.

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Lightly grease and line the base and sides of 3 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins with baking paper.
  2. Give the tin of coconut milk a good shake to mix together well, open it and add the cider apple vinegar directly into the tin. Stir and leave for 10 mins, then put the dairy-free spread, sugar, coconut milk, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and lime zest in the bowl of a food processor and mix until it forms a smooth batter.
  3. Divide the batter equally between the prepared tins, smoothing the surface with a palette knife. Put the tins on baking trays and bake for 30-35 mins or until golden on top, springy to the touch, and the cakes are just beginning to come away from the edges of the tins. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then carefully turn out the cakes and peel away the baking paper. Place on cooling racks and leave to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. In a large bowl, beat together the dairy-free spread and icing sugar until smooth. Cut 1 of the passion fruits in half and tip the seeds into a sieve placed over a small bowl. Press the seeds with a spoon to release the juice and measure out 1 tbsp – you may need to use another passion fruit if they are particularly small. Add the juice to the icing and beat until smooth. Don’t be tempted to add extra passion fruit juice or the mixture will split.
  5. Once cooled, place 1 cake on a serving plate and spread over a quarter of the icing. Arrange a third of the mango slices over in an even layer over the top and scatter with the juice and seeds of 1 passion fruit. Repeat with the second cake, another layer of icing, mango and passion fruit.
  6. Place the final cake layer on top and use the remaining icing to cover the top and sides of the cake in an even layer, smoothing with a palette knife. Sprinkle over the desiccated coconut and decorate with the remaining mango slices and passion fruit seeds. Use a vegetable peeler to peel shavings of the fresh coconut chunks and scatter over to finish. Best eaten on the day of making, but the cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Tip: Adding vinegar to the coconut milk helps to give a dairy-like flavour to the cake. The acid in the vinegar also helps to activate the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, which will help the cake rise and give a better crumb and texture.

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  • Ingredients

  • 225g dairy-free spread, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 400ml coconut milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 425g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 lime, finely grated zest only
  • For the icing and decoration

  • 225g dairy-free spread, at room temperature
  • 450g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4-5 passion fruits
  • 1½ mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 15g desiccated coconut
  • ½ x 100g pack fresh coconut chunks
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  • Energy 2685kj 640kcal 32%
  • Fat 31g 44%
  • Saturates 13g 63%
  • Sugars 60g 67%
  • Salt 1g 17%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 91.2g Protein 4.1g Fibre 1.5g


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