Vegan First Birthday Cake

When it came time to plan Elsie’s first birthday, having family and friends in attendance to celebrate her milestone was most important. The second-most-important on my birthday checklist? A smash cake, of course!

With Elsie’s dairy, nut, and egg allergies, it became my mission to make the perfect recipe for her special treat. In addition to being vegan and nut-free, I wanted to avoid a lot of refined sugar in her first exposure to dessert. I also wanted to add raspberries, which are her very favorite food. I landed on a vegan vanilla cake recipe from Whole Foods, which is sweetened with maple syrup. I tripled the recipe, making three 9-inch round cakes; I used two for a large cake and used a 4-inch cookie cutter to cut out three mini layers from the third for the smash cake.

With organic raspberry jam and vanilla frosting in between each layer, plus fresh raspberries piled on top, the result was a delicious, naked little cake perfect for tiny hands to dig into. But I’ll be honest: Elsie just ate the raspberries off the top along with some of the frosting before the novelty wore off, and then she was whisked off for a post-party bath. Everyone else thoroughly enjoyed the cake though!


1 1/2 teaspoon egg replacer
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup expeller-pressed canola oil
2 teaspoons white or cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Organic raspberry jam
Vanilla frosting (homemade or store bought)
Raspberries, for topping


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray and flour a 9-inch round cake pan using olive or canola oil spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together egg replacer, soy milk, maple syrup, oil, vinegar and vanilla until completely combined.
3. In a separate bowl, mix flours, baking powder, salt and baking soda, then add to bowl with milk mixture, stirring to combine.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake approximately 35 to 40 minutes, or until done when tested with a toothpick. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

*Recipe makes one 9-inch round cake. To create a layered cake, double the recipe and bake in two 9-inch round pans. To create a mini smash cake, bake one 9-inch round cake and use a 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut out three small cakes. Layer raspberry jam and vanilla frosting in between the cake layers and finish with vanilla frosting and fresh raspberries on top. Recipe adapted from Whole Foods.

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  • Meghan

    It looks delicious and E couldn’t be any more precious!

  • PerpetuallyChic

    Thanks, Meghan! 🙂