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Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

June 22, 2020
This Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake is the perfect thing to make for any child's birthday. Rich in vanilla flavor, fluffy, and completely moist, this birthday cake is one of the tastiest things to enjoy on such a special occasion.

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

This Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake is super moist and fluffy and comes loaded with a kid-favorite theme—dinosaurs! Whether you choose to make this cake simple without the colorful components or just as theatrical, this recipe is a definite crowd-pleasing cake for any occasion, especially for Birthdays. Gluten-free option available.

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

This Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake is one of my favorite cakes that I made for my son who recently turned 5.

Honestly, I’ve always been intimidated by making cakes because they always seemed so complicated. However, I’ve gotten better with practice and this one in particular came out JUST PERFECT!

This Vanilla Vegan Cake was long time coming, especially since I’m often asked about a regular Vegan Vanilla flavor since you’ve been such a huge fan of this Vegan Funfetti Cake + Vanilla Buttercream.

In past years, I’ve had the pleasure of making a cake for my son every year.

This Fluffy, Buttery Vanilla Birthday Cake (my son’s 3rd Birthday Cake) is so moist, delicious, and the best rendition of a perfectly frosted vanilla cake ever made. Not to mention, the airy and fluffy vanilla butter cream which adds a nice velvety taste and texture— perfect for a Birthday or any celebration!

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

K’s first cake (since we made cupcakes for his 1st Birthday!) was awesome and and we wanted to ensure that he loved it, so we made his 2nd birthday cake the most delicious very vanilla cake possible. Fast forward—-and K is still into vanilla cake, so we thought that it would be totally fun to make it a dinosaur theme.

How to Make Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

This cake as I’ve mentioned before is super easy to whip together and doesn’t require anything special when it comes to ingredients. All you need to whip up this simple Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake batter is:

  • All-purpose flour. I use organic flour from Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Cake flour. You can use just all-purpose flour if desired. Both are from Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Baking powder for leavening.
  • Cane sugar. I use organic sugar.
  • Vegetable oil. I recommend using vegan butter (melted) if preferred.
  • Apple cider vinegar. This works as a great binder with the milk.
  • Vanilla extract. Adds a great depth of vanilla flavor.
Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

Cake Flour vs. All-Purpose Flour.

When it comes to the main ingredient of this entire recipe—-the flour, I enjoy using Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, which is ideal for all kinds of baking, including this one.

However, I do occasionally use Super-Fine Cake Flour which adds a nice airiness and fluffiness to your cakes as well.

Can I Make this Cake Gluten-Free?

If you would love to make this cake gluten-free, then substituting all-purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour is the easiest option. It’s a special blend of gluten-free flours, starches, and xanthan gum, which makes these donuts just as soft, fluffy, and airy as the original! They also have a great All-purpose GF flour that works great as well.

How to Make the Best Dinosaur-Themed Cake?

If you’re like me, then you might feel intimidated by creating an entire themed cake. When it comes to decor, I’m not entirely well versed on it, however, I do love finding easy DIY ways to get the job done.

For this dinosaur cake, I purchased several mini dinosaur toys via Amazon and used them as toppers.

For the gold candle and “Roar” cake topper, I purchased those from Amazon as well.

To create the scenery and theme even further, I chose to use green food coloring for the vanilla buttercream. Don’t worry—it doesn’t affect the taste or anything. Just a little went a long way.

And that’s it. Simple.

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

Assembling the Cake

Before you frost your cake, you’ll need to trim it. Use a long serrated knife (or cake slicer) to slice the thin crust layer off the top of each cake to make a flat surface.

Next, place the first cake layer on a cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Now, place the with second layer on top and evenly cover the top with buttercream. You can add more layers if you like too!

Once your cake is fully stacked, spread the remaining vanilla buttercream over the cake and down the sides.

Tip: Make things a bit easier by spreading a very thin layer of buttercream over the cake and chilling it for 30 minutes before adding the remaining buttercream.

Once fully frosted, garnish your masterpiece with bits of cake crumble from any discarded cake and add the dinosaur decor to your liking. Slice and enjoy!

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

CAN THIS CAKE BE MADE AHEAD?

Absolutely! You can always bake this cake the night or day before and let it cool, tightly wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. The frosting/buttercream can also be made prior and tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge as well. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, frost, and enjoy!

More Delicious Birthday Cake Recipes

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

WHAT YOU’LL LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS CAKE?

It’s super fluffy and moist.

Bold vanilla flavor.

Delicious and comforting in every bite.

Melt in your mouth goodness!

Can be made as a traditional 2-or 3-layer cakesheet cake, or cupcakes. Your choice!

Not too sweet, but perfectly sweet at the same time.

That Airy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is EVERYTHING.

Absolutely delicious!

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT CAKE?

Tip #1:

Another thing that I’ve learned about baking a cake is having the right tools. As a basic—-you should have a cake stand (preferably one that has a turnstile table), spatulas (big + small), piping bags + tips, correct baking pans and parchment paper, and if you need to get a bit more fancy—Bake Even Cake Strips (Wilton has some awesome quality ones!), which are such a genius invention.

Have no clue what these are? Whelp, you basically soak them in water before wrapping them around your cake pan while baking. These stripes ensures that your cakes don’t bake with a funny “dome” or anything. Just flat and even.

Of course, if you don’t have these strips, you can simply butter your pan and use liners along with an old trick that I’ve always done when baking—–add a small pot of water to the oven to keep things moist. Yup. It works EVERY. TIME.

Tip #2:

One of the essential ingredient combos for a light, silky cake texture is baking soda and acid ingredient (usually vinegar or buttermilk). When acid and baking soda reacts, it creates bubbles and helps to create a nice rise for your baked goods, leaving an airy texture.

In the case of vegan cakes, this is usually done by adding apple cider vinegar to your milk and letting it sit for a few minutes and then later combining it with the dry ingredients (which includes baking soda). Wallah!

Tip #3:

One of my latest tricks to a perfect cake has been to ensure that ALL of my dry ingredients are sifted. Trust me, ya’ll—-this works!

Making all the dry ingredients fully sifted makes things airy, as you’ve guessed it and allows everything to combine faster.

Tip #4:

Never Over-mix! When creating a cake, it’s so important to add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients alternately and as soon as everything is combined very well, THAT’S IT! Over-mixing creates a more dense cake.

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you choose to make this Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake
Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 1 layer cake
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Ingredients

CAKE:

  • 1 cup organic all purpose flour (See Notes!)
  • 1/2 cup Super fine cake flour (See Notes!)
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM:

  • 4-5 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened at room temp.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsps Almond milk  (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 3-4 drops green natural food coloring, optional (Make sure that it's vegan friendly)

OTHER:

  • Dinosaur toys/cake toppers, optional

Instructions

MAKE THE CAKE:

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with butter) AND line with parchment paper the bottoms of TWO 9-inch cake pans (for thicker layers) or THREE 8-inch cake pans. See Notes for measurements/sizes.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside for 5-10 minutes until everything "activates" to create the dairy-free "buttermilk".
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt until combined.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a whisk), add the Milk-ACV mixture and add the oil and vanilla. Mix for a minute or two before turning off the mixer and changing the attachment to a paddle.
  • On low speed, add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until well incorporated and batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, spreading everything around for a perfect roundness. NOTE: If using Bake Even Cake Strips, you would wrap them around your pans at this point.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick.
  • Once done, remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely. NOTE: I often let my cakes cool for 30 minutes or until them are very cool when touched and then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely for another hour or so; this makes icing easier.

MAKE THE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM:

  • Simply beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand-mixer) on medium-high speed, until smooth and pale. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk, continuing to mix on medium-speed until you reach the desired consistency—-smooth and fluffy. NOTE: Add more milk (1 Tbsp at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).
  • If you're using food coloring, you would add it in at this point until frosting/buttercream has changed into the desired color.

ASSEMBLY:

  • Place the first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Now, top with 2nd layer and add more buttercream atop that layer, spreading it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly. NOTE: If making a 3-layer, be sure to repeat step 1 of assembly once again before getting to the final layer.
  • Once fully frosted, add small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip around the sides and top of cake. Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets. NOTE: For a fancy moment or occasion, add your favorite decor to this cake, whether Dinosaur toys, cake toppers, etc.
  • When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator. Slice and enjoy!
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Keep cake leftovers stored for up to 4-5 days in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container to keep the cake from drying out. You can also freeze the cake tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost the cake on the counter.
  • FLOUR: If you don’t have cake flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead. 
  • LAYERS/SERVINGS: For a THREE 6-inch layer cake or TWO 9-inch layer cake, just DOUBLE the ingredient measurements; for THREE 8-inch layer cake, just TRIPLE the ingredient measurements.
  • GLUTEN-FREE: To make this cake GF, I recommend using a 1-to-1 Baking Blend (Bob’s Red Mill has a great option!); When using this flour, be sure to reduce milk by 1/2 and slowly add bit by bit to ensure that batter isn’t too thin.
  • VEGAN VANILLA CUPCAKES: This exact recipe (without adjustments to measurements) yields about 12 cupcakes. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean.
  • OIL: Instead of vegetable oil, you can also use melted vegan butter or coconut oil, if preferred.

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Vegan Vanilla Dinosaur Birthday Cake.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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  1. Hi, I actually have a question about this recipe. It seems to state that the recipe as is- serves 12, and can make a 3 layer 8in or a 2 layer 9 in. Yet, in the notes, it states that you have to triple the recipe to make a double layer 9 in and I am thoroughly confused! Making this today for dino bday tomorrow!

    • Hi Chelsea! My apologies for any confusion! I’ve updated the measurements for more clarity! You can double the ingredients to make a THREE6-inch layer cake or TWO 9-inch layer cake. I do hope that it turns out great! 🙂