How to Make Vegan Box Cake: A Simple Guide

Whipping up a box cake is always easier than mixing a cake from scratch. However, box cakes usually require eggs and milk to complete the mix. If you’re wondering how to make vegan box cake, here’s a simple guide to getting a perfect cake every time.

Easy Vegan Box Cake Recipe

Before making a box cake vegan, starting with a dairy-free cake mix is critical. Check the ingredients list to ensure the box cake mix contains no animal-based ingredients. Most brands will also have a vegan label to make it easier.

Replacing the milk in a box cake is easy because you can add your desired non-dairy milk in the same quantity. However, replacing the egg becomes trickier. Vegan home bakers have tried and tested several substitutes, including applesauce, pumpkin, soda water, silken tofu, and seltzer water.

Some work better than others, but if you don’t have time for experiments or want a crumbly result, it’s easier to use a commercial egg substitute.

Here’s how to make box cake vegan with this easy recipe:

Easy Vegan Box Cake Recipe


Substitute the egg with:

  • 5 t. egg substitute
  • 6 T. warm water

For the cake batter:

  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup applesauce
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vegan cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


Any vegan frosting and sprinkles, coconut flakes, etc., for finishing off


  • Start the oven to preheat it to 350°F/175°C.
  • Prepare two round cake pans, a 9×13 pan, or a muffin pan with baking paper or muffin liners.
  • In a bowl, stir the egg replacement with the warm water and set aside.
  • Add the water, vegetable oil, applesauce, sugar, egg replacer, and cake mix into the mixing bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Pour in the flour and baking powder.
  • Beat the mixture at for one minute at medium speed.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Beat at a higher speed for one more minute.
  • Spoon the batter into your preferred pan or pans, and bake as follows:
  • Approximately 26 minutes for two rounds
  • Approximately 30 minutes for a 9×13 pan
  • Approximately 18 minutes for cupcakes
  • Cool cakes or cupcakes completely before frosting.

Transforming Boxed Cake Mix into a Vegan Delight

Clever use of unique additions can transform box cake into a vegan delight. Now that you know how to make box cake vegan, here are some clever ways to make that cake special:

Use Just Plant-Based Egg Substitute

Plant-based egg substitutes are easy to incorporate into box cakes, and they provide authentic flavor, moisture, structure, lift, and binding properties, perfect for vegan or egg-free baking.

Enhancing Flavor

Transforming a boxed cake mix is easy if you enhance its flavor. Extracts like vanilla, citrus, and almond are the easiest way to lift your box cake flavor.

However, you can add spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, or a mixed spice. A teaspoon of instant coffee added to a chocolate flavor mix will enhance the flavor.

Replace some liquid in the recipe with alcohol for a more boozy cake.

Delicious Mix-Ins

Stir any of the following into the mixture for a luxuriously textured and flavorsome cake:

Added Richness

Enhance the richness of a box cake by substituting vegetable oil with vegan butter and replacing the water with non-dairy milk.

Plant-based sour cream or yogurt will also add flavor depth and moisture. Half a cup will suffice.

Add Fruits

Added moisture – Fruit purees add moisture to the box cake mixture. Applesauce, banana, and berry purees work well.

Fresh Fruit – Add fresh fruit slices between the cake layers and on top for a mouth-watering finish.

Jam and Jelly – Add a jam or jelly to the mixture for flavor and color, like a fruit puree. They also add sweetness. You can add these between the layers for a more concentrated fruit flavor.

Layering and Frosting

  • Homemade plant-based buttercream or vegan cream cheese frosting tastes best.
  • Layer with jams, jellies, or fruit curds for multi-layering.
  • Use peanut or nut butter in the mixture or as a filling.
  • Initially, layer a thin coating of frosting to help seal the cake before applying the final layer.
  • To decorate the cake, top the frosting with fresh fruit, edible flowers, sprinkles, vegan chocolate shavings, etc..
  • Create different colored layers, marbled or checkerboard cakes by layering or mixing different batter flavors.
  • For a crunchy element, use crumbled cookies to sprinkle between layers or on top of the cake.
  • Drizzle the cake with vegan caramel sauce or with a boozy syrup.
  • Coconut flakes will add a delicious crunch and tropical twist to your cake.

Healthier Options

  • If you want a low-fat cake, you can replace the oil with applesauce in the recipe.
  • Plant-based yogurt and vegan sour cream provide added protein and creaminess.

Top Picks for Vegan Cake Mixes

To know how to make box cake vegan, you must pick a vegan mix first. You can make almost any mix vegan by not adding the egg and dairy. But, you must initially ensure you can use a cake mix because some already include non-dairy ingredients like powdered milk.

They are vegan since most cake mixes require adding milk, butter, and eggs. Here are the vegan varieties from the most popular brands:

Duncan Hines — Most of Duncan Hines, including Red Velvet and Decadent Carrot, are vegan. Always check the boxes of other flavors first.

Betty Crocker — The labels of Betty Crocker cake mixes indicate that most don’t contain eggs or dairy. The Super Moist French Vanilla and German Chocolate are vegan. LiveKindly provides a list of 31 vegan Betty Crocker cake mixes and frostings.

Pillsbury — Read the labels because not all Pillsbury boxed cake mixes are vegan.

Simple Mills — Most Simple Mills cake mixes don’t have eggs or dairy. Also, look out for their gluten-free cake mixes.

Annie’s – Some mixes contain milk, but the Confetti Cake mix doesn’t.

When it comes to baking a delicious vegan cake, the journey begins with selecting the right cake mix. With the increasing popularity of plant-based diets, many brands now offer vegan options, but how do they stack up? Let’s dive into the world of vegan cake mixes, exploring the pros and cons of the top brands. This way, you can whip up a delightful treat that aligns with your vegan lifestyle and satisfies your sweet tooth!

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Vegan Cake Mixes

When it comes to baking a delicious vegan cake, the journey begins with selecting the right cake mix. With the increasing popularity of plant-based diets, many brands now offer vegan options, but how do they stack up? Let’s dive into the world of vegan cake mixes, exploring the pros and cons of the top brands. This way, you can whip up a delightful treat that aligns with your vegan lifestyle and satisfies your sweet tooth!

  1. Duncan Hines
    • Likes:
      • Broad variety: Offers a wide range of flavors like Red Velvet and Decadent Carrot.
      • Accessibility: Widely available in most supermarkets.
      • Flavor: Known for rich and moist cakes.
    • Dislikes:
      • Inconsistency: Not all flavors are vegan, so label checking is a must.
      • Sugar content: Some mixes might be high in sugar.
  2. Betty Crocker
    • Likes:
      • Extensive vegan options: Over 30 vegan cake mixes and frostings, including Super Moist French Vanilla and German Chocolate.
      • Flavor variety: Offers a diverse range of flavors.
      • Easy to find: Commonly available in stores.
    • Dislikes:
      • Ingredient quality: Some mixes may contain artificial flavors or preservatives.
      • Sweetness: Some might find the cakes too sweet.
  3. Pillsbury
    • Likes:
      • Taste: Known for producing fluffy and light cakes.
      • Brand trust: Pillsbury is a well-known and trusted brand.
    • Dislikes:
      • Limited vegan options: Not all mixes are vegan, requiring careful label reading.
      • Availability: Vegan options might be less available than other brands.
  4. Simple Mills
    • Likes:
      • Health-conscious: Focuses on natural ingredients, often with lower sugar content.
      • Gluten-free options: Great for those with gluten sensitivities.
    • Dislikes:
      • Price: Generally more expensive than other brands.
      • Texture: Some might find the cakes less fluffy compared to traditional mixes.
  5. Annie’s
    • Likes:
      • Organic ingredients: Known for using high-quality, organic ingredients.
      • Kid-friendly: The Confetti Cake mix is a hit with children.
    • Dislikes:
      • Limited vegan variety: Only a few mixes are vegan, like the Confetti Cake mix.
      • Price: Can be more expensive than conventional cake mixes.

To sum up, every vegan cake mix brand has its own unique advantages and potential drawbacks. Whether you prioritize flavor, ingredients, or dietary requirements, there is a mix out there that’s ideal for your vegan baking adventures. Remember, the key to a great cake isn’t just in the mix; it’s also in the love and creativity you put into it. So, put on your apron, select your mix, and get ready to whip up some vegan magic in the kitchen!

Simple Hacks to Veganize Box Cake Mix

How to make box cake vegan requires some simple hacks. Most box cake mixes require eggs. We have already seen that several substitutes can replace eggs in a recipe. These include applesauce, canned pumpkin, ripe banana mash, and seltzer water. Some recipes even call for mixing one can of soda or diet soda and nothing else, mixing and baking the cake according to the specified time and temperature.

The ratios are as follows:

  • When using applesauce, a quarter cup replaces one egg.
  • Use one ripe mashed banana to replace one egg.
  • A quarter cup of pumpkin replaces one egg.

These ingredients all seem to work for most bakers, but we have found that we get the best results from using an egg substitute or ground flax seeds.

Use egg substitute as follows: 5 teaspoons mixed into six teaspoons of water.

Use ground flax seeds to replace eggs: one tablespoon of the ground flax seeds mixed with three tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for at least ten minutes before using.

Substituting milk and butter is easier because you can replace the quantities required with the non-dairy versions.

Enjoying a Delicious Vegan Box Cake

Baking a delicious box cake worthy of enjoying requires a few more tips. Even though mixing these cakes is easier than starting from scratch, you now know how to make a box cake vegan by using the right ingredients. However,  knowing the right way to bake a cake is critical to the results.

Choose the right pan size—The right pan will ensure a moist cake that rises as expected. A pan that is too big will result in a flat and dry cake. Then again, a small pan won’t be able to contain the batter, and it may spill over into the oven. A small pan may also cause the cake to remain uncooked in the center when baked according to the packaging instructions.

Pan materials—The best pans for baking cakes are those with a shiny, light-colored finish. These reflect the heat away from the cake, creating the perfect temperature for baking. When using dark-colored metal or glass pans, it’s essential to know they bake faster because they attract the heat to the pan. If you use any of these, you should put your oven temperature down to 25 degrees F to prevent the cake from drying out or burning.

Use the center rack – Follow the instructions on the box, but most cakes require baking on the center rack for better heat distribution.

Check for doneness – Don’t remove the cake from the oven unless you are sure it’s done. Use a toothpick to check the cake by inserting it into the center. A clean toothpick means the cake is ready.

The cake must cool before you do anything to it –  Don’t remove it from the baking pan as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing it onto a wire cooling rack. Don’t frost the cake until it has cooled completely.

Making a box cake can save you lots of time. Knowing how to make box cake vegan is a versatile way to present cake for any occasion. Box cakes are best enjoyed on the same day. You can store it in or out of the refrigerator for a few days.

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