A (Completely) Vegan Red Velvet Cake + First Video!

This vegan red velvet cake is moist and soft and not too sweet! Plus, it goes well with a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream that is also not too sweet!

Vegan red velvet cake with vegan buttercream!

The red velvet cake is adapted from Divas Can Cook’s red velvet cake recipe. The vegan Swiss meringue buttercream is adapted from Gretchen’s Bakery’s aquafaba Swiss vegan buttercream.

First Youtube Video! 😆

To go along with this recipe, I made my first Youtube video! Yay! I’m so excited! If you read my 2017 goals, you’d know that starting Youtube videos is one of my goals for the year, and this is a step in the right direction!

I’m new to Youtube, but I hope you enjoyed that! Subscribe to my Youtube to see more recipe, baking, and travelling videos in the future. 😀

The vegan red velvet cake is really moist and soft, and the vegan Swiss meringue frosting is worth the time and effort! It’s a long process, but it’s actually easy to make!

Aquafaba

If you’re a vegan baker, you may have heard of “aquafaba.” Aquafaba is the water left behind when you cook chickpeas or any kind of bean. Aquafaba has the same characteristics as egg whites, in the sense that you can whip it into meringue! This is really important if you want to make vegan treats that requires whipped egg whites!

In my house, I usually have PC Blue Menu Chickpeas because it’s unsalted (no, I’m not sponsored), so this is the liquid I use for baking. I find that this liquid is thicker than other canned chickpeas, which mimic egg whites more.

Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream

If you’ve never had Swiss meringue buttercream, it is softer, smoother and less sweet than regular “American-style” buttercream. It’s the type of frosting most bakeries use for cupcakes and cakes (like Crave Cupcakes).

However, this type of buttercream requires a meringue which *used to be* difficult for vegan bakers…until now! Aquafaba is used to make the meringue which is easy to make!

I advice using a Kitchenaid stand mixer with a whisk attachment because this makes life soooo much easier on your arms! It takes longer if you use electric hand beater, and may not reach stiff peaks.

Vegan meringue using aquafaba!

For the “butter,” I opted to use Earth Balance Traditional Spread; however, you can use a different brand of vegan butter. Or you can use a mixture of Earth Balance and shortening.

I like to use Earth Balance because it’s vegan, non-GMO, non-hydrogenated, and it’s we have available for vegan butter here in Calgary (YAY CONVENIENCE). The tub below cost ~$14 for 1.3 kg, which is the same weight as three 454 g of butter (~$5 each).

Big tub of Earth Balance Traditional Spread!

This frosting is really similar to traditional (non-vegan) Swiss meringue buttercream! It’s soft, smooth, pipeable and sweet, but not too sweet! It’s an excellent vegan buttercream for frosting and decorating cakes!

Smooth and pipeable vegan Swiss meringue buttercream!

However, this recipe is softer than traditional buttercream, so I don’t think it’s suited for hotter temperatures! For warmer climates & temperatures, I suggest using Earth Balance’s baking sticks.

Without further ado, here is my recipe! Let me know how your cakes + frosting turned out!!

Vegan Red Velvet Cake With Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Print Recipe
A moist vegan red velvet cake, with a smooth vegan Swiss meringue buttercream! It's sooo good, and not too sweet! The buttercream makes enough to generously fill, frost & decorate a two-layer 8" cake or 24 cupcakes.
Servings Prep Time
2 8 inch cakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 8 inch cakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Vegan Red Velvet Cake With Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Print Recipe
A moist vegan red velvet cake, with a smooth vegan Swiss meringue buttercream! It's sooo good, and not too sweet! The buttercream makes enough to generously fill, frost & decorate a two-layer 8" cake or 24 cupcakes.
Servings Prep Time
2 8 inch cakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 8 inch cakes 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Vegan red velvet cakes
  • 2 tbsp egg replacer (see recipe notes for substitutions)
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (almond milk, soy milk, etc.)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (neutral flavour oil, like canola or grapeseed)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (pure vanilla is prefered)
  • 40 drops red food colouring (or more if you want an intense red colour)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coffee (instant coffee or brewed coffee)
Vegan Swiss meringue buttercream
  • ~1 1/2 cups Liquid from two 540 mL cans of chickpeas (see notes)
  • 1 cup sugar (scant)
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups Earth Balance butter spread (568 g or 5 sticks; see notes)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or pure vanilla)
Servings: 8 inch cakes
Instructions
Vegan red velvet cakes
  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F (163 °C). Grease and line your 8" cake pans or 24 cupcake pans.
  2. In a small mug or bowl, mix the egg replacer and water, and allow to sit for 5 minutes, This acts as the egg.
  3. In a glass, add the milk and 1 tsp vinegar, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. This acts as buttermilk.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder & sugar).
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the "egg", "buttermilk", and wet ingredients together (oil, vanilla, red food colouring, vinegar & coffee).
  6. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine well.
  7. Separate the batter into your pans.
  8. For cakes, bake for ~ 25-30 minutes. For cupcakes, bake for ~12-15 minutes. Or bake until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Allow to cool.
Vegan Swiss meringue buttercream
  1. Refrigerate the liquid in a bowl in the fridge until you need it. I usually refrigerate the liquid I use when I open a can of chickpeas to cook. This makes the liquid thicker.
  2. One day before you need to make the buttercream, reduce the liquid over the stove until it becomes a cloudy liquid for about (~5 minutes of simmering).
  3. Measure one cup of the reduced liquid, place in your stand mixer bowl, and add the sugar (NOT the icing sugar). Refrigerate the mixture overnight.
  4. The next day, take the Earth Balance out of the fridge and allow to soften at room temperature. Do this ~2 hours before making the buttercream. Cut into small pieces, and make sure it is soft!
  5. The next day, take the mixing bowl out, and use the whisk attachment to whip the mixture until stiff peaks.
  6. Start at lower speed until bubbly, then increase the speed to high to reach the stiff peaks stage. Once stiff peaks are reached, add the icing sugar and mix.
  7. Add a small piece of Earth Balance into the meringue at ~5 second intervals between each addition. Once all added, the mixture might curdle at first but keep mixing at high speed to incorporate together.
  8. Once smooth, add the vanilla extract and mix. Et voila! C'est fini.
  9. Frost the cakes and serve! If not serving right away, place the cake in the fridge, especially if it is hot. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Recipe Notes

The cake is a very soft and moist, so handle carefully so as to not break it.

The liquid from the canned chickpeas is called "aquafaba." If you don't want to use canned chickpea water, you can use your own aquafaba. Follow Gretchen's instructions here.

Vegan Swiss meringue buttercream:

  • For the Earth Balance butter, I used the traditional spread not the baking sticks. The traditional spread is salted, which balances the sweetness of sugar.
  • Because of I used the Earth Balance spread, my frosting is softer than regular buttercream at room temperature. The frosting is still stiff, but just softer than regular Swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Refrigerate extra frosting and frosted cakes in the fridge, and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Substitutions:

  • You can use ground flax seed instead of store-bought egg replacer, or 1 whole smashed (small) banana.
  • You can use a mix of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour if you want to make this healthier, though it will still be dessert. Or use gluten-free flour (if gluten-free).
  • You can use a different type of Earth Balance, or another non-dairy vegan butter like Smart Balance. You can also use a mixture of shortening and Earth Balance (as Gretchen did), but I would stay away from margarine though.

This type of Earth Balance is harder like butter, so it may make the frosting sturdier.

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Enjoy your vegan red velvet cake with vegan Swiss meringue buttercream!

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