This Strawberry Snacking Cake (vegan) is a moist vegan strawberry cake made with real strawberries with a plant-based cream cheese ribbon and a vegan strawberry cream cheese frosting. This pink vegan cake is perfect for a casual weekend bake or for a party.
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I developed this recipe for the Philly Plant-Based collection. I was so impressed with the taste and texture of it for a vegan cream cheese alternative that I knew it would work beautifully in a snack cake like this. If you can’t find Philly Plant-Based you can swap for any vegan cream cheese or even regular cream cheese, if needed. The cake recipe is adapted from Nora Cooks.
While a lot of my recipes can be made vegan, this is the first recipe I developed to be specifically vegan! I was blown away at the texture of this cake and will definitely be using it as a base to make more vegan cakes. I think it would make a great “all one flavor” layer cake, like my Blueberry Layer Cake or my Corn Layer Cake.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This recipe uses real strawberries to flavor the cake.
- The cake stays moist for days.
- This is a recipe that uses a lot of strawberries, if you need to clean out your fridge.
- The cream cheese layer adds creamy richness.
- Fresh strawberries flavor the cake and the frosting.
- Cake flour gives a delicate crumb to the cake.
- Soy milk and apple cider vinegar combine to make a vegan buttermilk.
- Kosher salt, lemon juice and vanilla extract balance the overall flavor profile.
- Baking powder gives rise to the cake.
- Plant-based cream cheese, butter and vegetable oil add richness to this recipe.
- The cake is sweetened by granulated sugar.
- Cornstarch gives structure to the cream cheese layer.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and variations
Here’s how to customize this cake to your liking:
- No cake flour — substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour, just use 1 tablespoon less of all-purpose.
- No soy milk — use almond milk instead. I do not recommend swapping for coconut milk or any other plant-based milk.
- No apple cider vinegar — use lemon juice instead.
- Different frosting — use the cream cheese frosting from this recipe instead.
- No cream cheese — omit the cream cheese layer and make a simple vegan buttercream instead.
- Round cake — use a 9-inch springform pan or other round pan instead.
This recipe has not been tested with any substitutions or variations. If you try any, please let me know how it turned out by commenting below!
How to prepare vegan strawberry cake
Step 1: Pour half of the cake batter in the pan and smooth it out. Evenly dollop the cream cheese filling on top.
Step 2: Spread the cream cheese filling across the first layer of cake batter with an offset spatula.
Step 3: Place the remaining cake batter on top and spread out. Bake.
Step 4: Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Place dollops of the reserved strawberry puree and make swoops with a spoon.
- This can also be made in a 9-inch springform pan or 9-inch round pan.
- I use a small cookie scoop to portion out the cream cheese layer evenly in the middle.
- I used Chefmaster Rose Pink and Neon Brite Pink to color the cake.
Yes, just use 1 tablespoon less of all-purpose flour than what is called for in cake flour.
Yes, you can swap for frozen strawberries, but you may want to cook the puree reduction longer as there may be more moisture from the frozen strawberries.
Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Yes, this recipe doubles well. Bake the doubled amounts in a 9×13 pan.
More recipes you’ll love
Lastly, if you make this Strawberry Snacking Cake recipe be sure to leave a comment or give it a rating. I love to see when people make my recipes, so please tag me @youthsweets on Instagram if you post!
Strawberry Snacking Cake (vegan)
- 8 oz fresh strawberries washed and hulled, ¼ cup reduced, see instructions
- ⅔ cup soy milk (150g)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups cake flour (170g) see notes if you do not have cake flour
- ½ tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegan butter softened to room temperature (113g)
- ¼ cup canola oil or other neutral flavored oil (110g)
- ¾ cups granulated sugar (150g)
- ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Few drops pink food coloring optional
Cream cheese layer
- 8 oz. Philly Plant-Based original softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Strawberry cream cheese frosting
- 16 oz Philly Plant-Based* strawberry softened
- ½ cup fresh strawberries for garnish
- The strawberry puree reduction can be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the strawberry puree reduction
- Blend the strawberries in a blender or food processor until pureed. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan set over medium low. Once simmering, stir and heat for 15-18 minutes to cook off moisture and reduce the amount by half. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool completely to room temperature.
Make the cream cheese layer
- In a medium bowl, beat the plant-based cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
- In a small bowl combine the vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch. Add this mixture to the cream cheese and sugar. Beat to combine. Set aside the mixture.
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven 350°F. Grease a 8×8 baking tin and place parchment paper with overhang in the bottom if you plan to remove the cake from the tin for slicing.
- Stir together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle a bit. This is a vegan buttermilk.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with beaters, cream together the butter, oil and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and pink food coloring, if using. Mix until combined.
- While mixing on low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the bowl of butter, oil and sugar, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
- Set aside 3 tablespoons of the strawberry puree. Add the rest to the batter. Mix by hand with a rubber spatula just until combined.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Evenly spoon the prepared plant-based cream cheese layer over the top and carefully spread with an offset spatula trying not to disturb the bottom cake batter. Pour the rest of the strawberry cake batter over the top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 1 hour before removing from the pan to let cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting
- Beat or whisk the softened strawberry plant-based cream cheese until smooth. This will make it easier to spread.
- Spread on top of the cooled cake. Place tiny spoonfuls of the reserved strawberry puree reduction on top. Drag an offset spatula or spoon through them to create swoops and swirls throughout the frosting.
- Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.