Start to Finish: 60 minutes
Servings: 12
Difficulty Level: Easy

Eggs provide moisture and richness to cake batters and also serve as a binder and stabilizer. Fortunately, it is fairly simple to achieve a light and fluffy cake without eggs. Whether for allergy concerns or a vegan diet, to remove eggs from a recipe you must substitute ingredients that offer the same qualities, like oil, yogurt and buttermilk; and increase the amount of reactive ingredients, such as baking powder. To make the cake vegan, use the alternative, soy-based ingredients listed below.


Ingredients

Vanilla Cake

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/8 cups (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter or vegan butter, soft
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, or 1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy milk plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or vegan butter, soft
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, or 1 1/4 cups plain unsweetened soy milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix and Bake Vanilla Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 2 cake pans, each 9-inch, with nonstick spray.

Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt together into a medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Whisk together the yogurt, oil and vanilla extract. Mix into the butter in 3 additions, beating after each addition until fully incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.

Stir in the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately in 5 additions, until just incorporated, beginning and ending with the flour. Do not over-mix the batter.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Allow cake to rest in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans and place onto cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

Mix and Bake Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 2 cake pans, each 9-inch, with nonstick spray.

Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Whisk together the yogurt, oil and vanilla extract; mix into the butter until fully incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.

Stir in the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately in 5 additions, until just incorporated, beginning and ending with the flour. Do not over-mix the batter.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Allow cake to rest in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans and onto cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

Tips and Variations

Tips

  • Use a pen to trace around the bottom of the cake pan onto parchment paper; repeat. Cut out the circle and place one parchment circle into the bottom of each pan before adding the batter. This will ensure that the cake does not stick to the pan, leaving a smooth top once you remove the paper after baking.
  • Store cake layers for later use in your freezer. Wrap completely cooled cakes individually with two airtight layers of plastic wrap, then place inside a zippered freezer bag. The cakes will keep for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature on the counter before decorating and serving.
  • To provide additional stabilization, mimicking that of eggs, add 1 teaspoon of xanthan or guar gum to the flour during sifting. Alternatively, add 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder to the flour during sifting and omit 1/4 cup of oil during mixing.

Variations

  • Add 1/4 cup of your favorite liqueur, such as coffee, raspberry or hazelnut, to the cake batter along with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 cup of flour for a spike of flavor.
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, cloves and ginger to the vanilla cake batter to make a spice cake.
  • Replace 1/4 cup of canola oil in the cake batter with 1/3 cup of applesauce for a healthier version.

Finishing Touches

Once your cake has cooled, decorate it with an easy frosting. Beat 1/2 cup of butter or shortening until fluffy. Mix in 4 to 4 1/2 cups of sifted confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons of vanilla or almond extract and 6 to 8 tablespoons of milk or soy milk. Beat until of a spreadable consistency, adding more milk if needed. Frost cake as desired.
Alternatively, whip 1 cup of heavy cream or coconut cream to soft peaks. Add 1/4 cup of sifted confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and whip to medium peaks. Spread the whipped cream between the cake layers and over the top. Cover the top with fresh berries.