Vegan Spice Cake

This Vegan Spice Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting will be enjoyed by both omnivores and vegans. It is extremely flavorful, and has a rich tasting cream cheese flavored icing which is made from a vegan cream cheese called “Better Than Cream Cheese”. It’s a spread, so I’m not so sure it would work well with cheesecake, but it’s an ingredient that works quite nicely in icing and frosting.

vegan spice cake

Vegan Spice Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Vegan Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup warm water
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 5 tablespoons vegan margarine, softened
  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese,softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make 3 wells, add vanilla to one, vinegar to one and oil to one...pour the warm water over all, stir only until combined.
  3. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until done. Let cool completely, then prepare frosting.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat together vegan margarine and vegan cream cheese. Beat in butter extract and vanilla. Stir in sugar. Beat until fluffy. Spread over cooled cake.


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  1. Imber says

    Just had to say.. “better than cream cheese” works just fine in a cheesecake. when I first went vegan i was disgusted by all the ‘tofu chocolate’ cheesecakes. chocolate to cover the tofu taste, and no cream cheese taste to speak of. So, my boyfriend and i went with a regular recipe, using BTCC, and it’s WONDERFUL. a bit softer than dairy cheesecake, perhaps, but no more so than tofu-chocolate.

  2. says

    Anna, I have to tell you, you really have become my go-to-girl for recipes when I have the urge to make something sweet. What would I do without you?

    Anyway, I made this for a (vegan) co-worker’s birthday, adding sparkly pink and green sugar on top to make it more festive. The cake turned out perfectly moist (without being too moist) and positively delicious. Success!

    I’m wondering…I bought some vegan chocolate chips while I was picking up the BTCC and some soy margarine (since I usually cook with regular butter and didn’t have even regular margarine at the house). I considered dumping them into the cake batter but then thought against it, assuming the chocolate-spice cake-cream cheese frosting combo might be a little too much. What do you think?

  3. says

    I have been looking for a good vegan spice cake recipe, and this one looks excellent. I fear the Better Than Cream Cheese, though–I think I remember it has trans fats in it. Maybe I’m just being paranoid about that?

  4. says

    Laura, you are not being paranoid. Trans-fats are bad news. I’ve been researching the product and it seems they are struggling to figure out how to remove the trans-fats without sacrificing the product. They tried it and no one liked it.

    When I tried the product, the label said “0 trans fats” so I just went by that and didn’t think much of it. But I guess it’s one of those products that has less than .5 grams of trans fats so they can say “0”. Not sure.

    You can always make the cake without the icing :).

  5. Anne says

    Just a note for those who like the Better than Cream Cheese product…That company does make a non-hydrogenated version of their Cream Cheese, which cuts out the risk of the trans-fats. You may need to special order it through a coop.

  6. michelle says

    ive made several cheesecakes with tofutti cream cheese and theyve all come out wonderful. my carnivorous boyfriend and friends all cant tell much of a difference. the only thing ive noticed is that they come out slightly less tall and fluffy. but ive never had a complaint and theyre the remedy to my vegan, cheese-cake loving soul

  7. says

    I made this cake as cupcakes (Baking time: 15 mins) for my birthday and shared them with a lot of non-vegans, and they all LOVE them! Not to mention, I love them too! Thanks so much for this recipe. I’ll be making these a lot! 🙂

    PS: I can also attest to making excellent cheesecake out of Tofutti. Love the stuff!

  8. Terri says

    This recipe is bomb! I’ve made it several times, without the frosting actually, and all of my omni friends absolutely love it! I can hardly believe how easy and yet crazily moist and fluffy it is! My one modification is that I found the recommended spices to be a little too strong, so I use a pumpkin spice mix that is pre-mixed cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc. that is not as “spicey.”

  9. Sara says

    I’m making these right now. (Really. I made cupcakes and I’m waiting for them to cool.)

    My boyfriend’s 21st birthday is coming up and a few of his friends are vegan so I’m making these for the party. I can’t say how it tastes all put together yet, but it smells AMAZING!

  10. Sara says

    I finished making the test batch and after MUCH approval (all from carnivores :P) I made a big batch for my boyfriends birthday! They were such a hit! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Hands down the best spice cake I’ve had!

  11. says

    Sara, I’m glad you liked it. I haven’t made this cake in a while, but I’ve been baking for vegans lately and need to put it on the menu.

  12. Terri says

    I wanted to add to my previous comment, having made several more batches since, that I skip the frosting and add chopped walnuts and/or chopped (not whole) chocolate chips–it’s HEAVEN. Tonight, a male omni friend actually said “It’s like sex in my mouth!” Anna, you ROCK! Thanks for helping make veganism more appealing to others.

  13. says

    Hi Terri,

    I love the idea of incorporating chocolate! Also, the vegan cream cheese is not always easy to find (though a lot of stores do have it), so it’s nice to have an alternative to frosting.

  14. Sophie says

    I made this recipe (cake only) and it is fantastic! I used a vegan penuche icing and served it at a large family gathering (everyone except me is an omnivore) and everyone loved it. BTW I used a nine-inch round pan instead of 8 inch square and it was fine.

  15. CH says

    Do you think this recipe could be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan? Prob would need more time in the oven tho. Or am I better off using 2 8×8’s. Making this recipe for Thanksgiving 🙂

  16. says

    I haven’t every doubled it, but I don’t see why not. Just keep a close eye on it as it bakes and test with a toothpick to make sure it’s done. It will probably take about 5 minutes longer.

  17. says

    I just made these (as cupcakes) because I needed a sweet fix. They were amazing! Made the cream cheese icing…perfect!!!

  18. Christine says

    just made this….oooooooh it’s soooooo gooooooood!!!!!! I was looking for moist vegan dessert recipes since I just got braces and eating hurts. I cut down on the sugar a bit because I’m not used to sweets and it was great. Wondering, can I add 1/2 a cup or so of shredded carrots next time to make it carrot cake?

  19. says

    Thanks for the review! Glad you liked it. And yes, I think the carrots would be a terrific addition. If you try it, let me know how it goes.

  20. Sabrina says

    This is a keeper recipe! Love it! I doubled it and they came out perfect. Didn’t do the cream cheese. Simply because I didn’t want to run to the store. Just some sweetened coconut cream with cinnamon. Thanks!

  21. kelly says

    Wow. Loved this recipe. Easy and containing ingredients I had on hand — except for the vinegar. So I used lemon juice and it worked just fine. Definitely adding this to my keepers. Also, it led me to your web-site so I have more exploring to do. Thanks!

  22. Lindsay says

    This recipe is so easy. I was pleasantly surprised how great it turned out! Made it for my husband’s birthday cake and it was a hit. Thanks so much for sharing.

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