Vegan wedding cake ideas and tips from professional bakers


Wedding season is fast approaching. If you’re planning your big day and you’re vegan, you might want a cake that meets your dietary needs.

Even if you’re not vegan, about 3% of Americans are, according to Gallup. So all the vegan wedding guests will appreciate your thoughtful choice of dessert.

Can all classic wedding cake flavors be vegan?

Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to find a vegan bakery to bake your wedding cake. Yet the idea of ​​one is no longer far-fetched.

Danielle Maupertuis, executive pastry chef at FreeFromDesserts, said Newsweek most important is to appease both vegan and non-vegan guests, “to create a wedding cake with a taste and texture enjoyed by both categories.”

Wedding cake decorated with floral elements and blackberries. A vegan cake should also delight non-vegans.
Getty Images/Melnikof

The food industry has made great strides in researching and developing vegan substitutes, according to Maupertuis, so much so that all of the vegan baking experts who spoke to Newsweek For this article, most, if not all, of the classic wedding cake flavors can be adapted into herbal versions. These include:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • red velvet
  • Lemon
  • Coconut
  • Carrot
  • salted caramel

Zoe Burke, editor of UK wedding planning website Hitched, said chocolate was a particularly good option. “Avocado is often used as an oil alternative alongside cocoa powder to create the rich chocolate flavor of the non-vegan version,” she said. “The result is so similar that many never notice.”

Vegan Wedding Cake Ingredients

The plant-based food market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $36.3 billion by 2030, according to Allied Market Research.

Despite the misconception that vegan baking ingredients are “unusual and hard to find,” there are more of them than ever before, said Fran Costigan, director of vegan baking and pastry arts at Rouxbe in Philadelphia. .

Some of these ingredients have been around for decades, Costigan said. Newsweek. In the 1930s, an “accidentally vegan” dessert known as “Chocolate Depression Cake” became popular in American households – and it contains no eggs, butter or milk.

“Flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, for example, can be found in most pantries,” she said. “Vegan cane sugar is easy to find. Vegetable milks are everywhere today and can be replaced by dairy milk.”

vegan cake designs
Vegan cake designs. Left to right: Gluten-free chocolate chip cookie-flavored stacked cake topped with vegan lavender-vanilla buttercream; simple semi-nude vanilla cake decorated with floral decorations; colorful cake.
Left to right: Mandi Barstow first and second image; Piglet pantry

Replacing eggs as a binder can be trickier. According to Niki Webster of Rebel Recipes, a common mistake novice bakers make is not adding enough egg substitutes, which can lead to a crumbly cake.

When it comes to replacing dairy products, alternative ingredients may be better suited to achieve the desired flavor. “When you’re baking a vegan cake, you actually have a flavor advantage because the dairy fat dulls the strong flavors,” said Lisa Neumann, chef and co-owner of Hark! Coffee in Minneapolis.

vegan wedding cake design

Decorating a vegan cake isn’t that easy. Ready-made vegan cake toppers can be hard to find, so elaborate creations can be tricky.

Vegan butters are readily available at most major retailers, but some taste similar to margarine, “which can be an undesirable flavor in classic buttercream icing,” Neumann said. Newsweek.

vegan cake designs
Vegan cake designs. Left to right: Chocolate flavored layer cake with mixed berry compote and vanilla frosting; wedding cake flavored with strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream decorated with rice paper decorations; churro flavored wedding cake finished with succulents and bird decorations.
From left to right: Angie Alkire; Marie Josee Dumont; Mandi Barstow

“Decorating with vegan frostings can be the [most] hard part of creating vegan wedding cakes,” says Tyler Comeau, baking supervisor at the Healthy Living Market & Cafe in South Burlington, Vermont.

“It really makes you miss a nice buttercream when you’re trying to make a vegan frosting for the first time.”

Jo Hunter, founder of Piglet’s Pantry in Worthing, southeast England, agreed. “It can be quite difficult to get vegan decorations of the same quality,” she said. Newsweek. “However, the market is catching up with new developments.”

You may also have to compromise on the height of your wedding cake. Since most plant-based cakes don’t bind together as well as those that contain eggs, they lack stability, said Mariama Fernandez, London-based founder of The Yummiverse. “It’s best that when building a vegan wedding cake, you don’t make it very high.”

Flavors to consider

deep chocolate cake

Chocolate cake
Chocolate cake. Some guests won’t even notice the difference if your chocolate wedding cake is vegan.
Getty Images/petesaloutos

A classic chocolate flavor may appeal to non-vegan customers with its simplicity. “Chocolate is a very strong, rich, and indulgent flavor,” said Domenica Lazo, assistant applications manager at Barry Callebaut Group in Chicago. “It’s very easy to cover all the weird flavors with chocolate and it’s very easy to do without eggs or dairy.”

Costigan recommends adding flavor and texture to your vegan chocolate wedding cake by decorating it with rich ganache icing and garnishing it with fresh raspberries.

red velvet

red velvet cake
Red velvet cake. If you want a vegan version, check the ingredients on your red food coloring.
Getty Images/Grandiflore

Red Velvet is another classic flavor that can be easily adapted to a vegan diet. To nail the frosting, be sure to choose a good vegan cream cheese alternative, Lazo said.

You should also avoid regular red food coloring, according to Lisa Smith, owner of Ginger Bakers in Kendal, northern England. “Many contain carmine (E120), which is neither vegetarian nor vegan.” Instead, she recommends natural alternatives such as beets or paprika.


Lemon cake.
Lemon cake. A lemon flavored vegan buttermilk can be delicious.
Getty Images/Galina Atroshchenko

Lemon is a great natural flavor for a vegan wedding cake. It can also make the sponge fluffier, according to Mark and Mel Sinjakli, owners of online store My Baker. “The lemon juice reacts with the plant-based milk to effectively create a vegan buttermilk,” they said.


A coconut cake.
Coconut cake is a tasty option for a summer wedding.
Getty Images/yulia-bogdanova

If you’re looking for a lighter taste for a summer wedding, why not try a vegan coconut cake? Coconut Cake will bring a moist coolness to your big day while holding up well to warmer temperatures. “Desiccated coconut, a blend of spices, and soy milk can make a beautifully balanced coconut cake,” Fernandez said.


Carrot cake.
Carrot cake. Given its texture, wedding guests might not even notice if it’s vegan.
Getty Images/Evrymmnt

Carrot cake is another smart choice for a plant-based alternative. The rich creaminess of almond milk, the texture and flavor of chia seeds, smooth pineapple and zesty oranges can be added to create a tasty carrot cake, says Bonita Elms of Bonita Bakes in Bournemouth, the south of England.

The slightly unconventional flavor and texture of carrot cake will also make customers less likely to notice they’re eating a vegan dessert, according to Mark and Mel Sinjakli.

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