Vegan/Gluten Free Birthday Cake

It’s been a couple weeks since I made this dreamy cake for my birthday, but I couldn’t not post about it. Even though I had a “quarantine birthday” this year, it was a beautiful day and I was able to spend it with a couple close friends and my sister. I wanted to make a fancy vegan and gluten-free cake that we could all enjoy, as the group consisted of two vegans and one gluten-intolerant. I had so much fun making and decorating this cake – it made for a perfect quarantine activity that let me exercise my creativity.


After searching the internet for a recipe, I decided to go with Minimalist Baker’s 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake. I’ve tried a few of her recipes before and they haven’t failed me yet, so this one seemed like a good choice! While it did end up being a bit on the dry side, if I’m being honest, I think that it might have been due to me over-baking it. It didn’t seem like it was fully baked at the recommended time, so I gave it an extra 5 or so minutes. Maybe if I would have just let the layers cool they would have been fine without the extra time. Anyway, the cake was still yummy and the buttercream frosting made up for any other flaw – it was seriously to die for.

After baking the three layers of pink cake and letting them cool, I assembled the cake with a generous layer of buttercream between each layer. I then covered the outside of the cake with a crumb coat, which locks in all of the crumbs so they don’t show in the final smoothed out layer.


Next, I divided the remaining buttercream and created about four different shades of pink/lilac, and randomly smeared them along the bottom 2/3 of the cake. Then, I spread and smoothed the icing together around the cake using a flat spatula.

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The final additions were the buttercream flowers, which honestly were not easy to perfect because I was lacking the proper tools. But with some practice and Pinterest tutorials, I managed to create enough that looked decent! Note that if you’re ever trying to make buttercream flowers, it’s essential that you put them in the freezer immediately after making them so they hold shape. I arranged them on the cake after I had enough made and they had a chance to chill. Maybe it’s the vegan butter, but I found that they didn’t hold if the icing was too soft!


I was going for a 3 layer pink ombré on the inside, and while it’s subtly there, I wish it would have been a bit more obvious. Next time, I’ll add more colouring to the middle and top layers, as each shade seemed to become more similar after baking.


Overall, I’m super happy with how this cake turned out! While the cake itself wasn’t as moist and fluffy as I hoped for, it was such a fun challenge to make and decorate. And it wasn’t bad for my first try at a gluten free cake from scratch! This was definitely my favourite quarantine project so far!



This year’s birthday was definitely different than most, but I feel so lucky to have been able to spend the day with a few people I love. I’m feeling really good about being 24 – I feel like it’s a good age, and I’m happy about where I am. Now here’s to hoping this pandemic ends sooner than later, because I’m feeling the need for another adventure.


With love and lattes,


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