Veganize Cake Mix

You can veganize cake mix to create a simple, delicious cake any day of the week with this tasty recipe. Simply start with a dairy-free cake mix (such as Duncan Hines) and add the ingredients below to make your cake taste amazing!

A veganized cake mix cupcake has a bite taken out. It sits in front of several other cupcakes.

I love a good cake and I don’t mind taking the time to make them. Some of my cake recipes are more involved, such as this vegan chocolate peanut butter cake. However, I want you to know you can keep things simple. How?

You can make a vegan cake with cake mix. It begins with a store-bought cake mix. I’ll teach you how to veganize cake mix to make a delicious cake every time!

Key Ingredients

  • Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
  • Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
  • Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
  • Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
  • Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
  • Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
  • Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
  • Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
  • Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
  • Egg replacer — You can use Ener-g or Bob’s Red Mill powdered egg replacer.
  • Vegetable oil — Use a neutral oil like canola oil.
  • Applesauce — I use applesauce or this unsweetened applesauce substitute.
  • Sugar — I use granulated sugar.
  • Cake mix — Use any flavor as long as it’s dairy-free and egg-free. I oftentimes go to Duncan Hines, looking at the ingredients in the back to make sure it doesn’t have dairy or egg in it.
  • Flour — We’ll add some all-purpose flour to compensate for the cake mix flour.
  • Baking powder Make sure yours is fresh by adding a bit to hot water. It should bubble up.

Vegan Cake Mix Brands

You can just about any egg-free and dairy-free cake mix and make it vegan.

But, it’s not as simple as substituting eggs and dairy! To be honest, making a vegan box cake is tricky. Doing that will create a cake that is super crumbly. We’ll talk more about the substations below.

First, which cake mixes can you use? I refer to these as accidentally vegan cake mix prodcuts, and they’re my go-to favorite!

  • Duncan Hines — Most of Duncan Hines cake mixes are accidentally vegan.
  • Betty Crocker — Look at the label, and you’ll see that most Betty Crocker cake mixes are made without eggs or dairy.
  • Pillsbury — Some Pillsbury boxed cake mixes are egg-free and dairy-free, but you’ll need to read the label with these.
  • Simple Mills — The majority of Simple Mills cake mixes are sold without eggs or dairy. Some are even gluten-free, so this is a great brand to rely on.

What Doesn’t Work

It’s easy to think you can simply substitute almond milk and a flax egg to make your cake mix vegan. Sadly, it isn’t that simple.

Here are some things I’ve tried that result in a crumbly boxed cake mix:

  • Soda water — many recipes will imply you can substitute a can of soda water to a cake mix. I can speak from experience, the vegan soda cake hack does not work! It results in a crumbly cake with no structure.
  • Egg Substitute — Your cake mix will call for an egg. A simple 1:1 substitute with a flax egg, a chia egg, whipped silken tofu, or even applesauce, will not stabilize the cake enough, resulting in a crumbly cake.
  • Milk Substitute — Substituting plant-based milk, such as cashew milk, almond milk, or soy milk, is easy enough, but it won’t produce a cake with the texture you’re looking for.

So, how do you veganize a box of cake mix? See the recipe card below for the perfect vegan cake mix recipe!

Baking Options

You can use this cake batter to make a variety of cakes. Here are some options with suggested baking times:

  • Cupcakes — Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers, fill them about 3/4 full and bake for 18 to 22 minutes
  • Sheet Cake — Add the batter to a 9×13 Pan and bake it for 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Layer Cake — Pour the batter equally between two round pans and bake for 26 to 31 minutes.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • EASY — You can’t get any easier than making a cake from a cake mix!
  • VERSATILE — Use a cake mix of any flavor, as long as it’s egg-free and dairy-free.
  • SIMPLE — Use simple ingredients to make your cake mix vegan!

Frequently-Asked Questions

Are there vegan cake mixes?

Some store-bought cake mixes are made without dairy and eggs. For example, some Duncan Hines and some Pillsbury cake mixes fit these criteria. Of course, there are also cake mixes that are intentionally vegan, such as Simple Mills and Annie’s.

How to replace eggs when using a cake mix?

You might think you could add an egg replacer, like a flax egg, but most cake mixes are too light, and the resulting cake is flimsy and breaks into crumbs easily. Adding other basic ingredients, like flour, can help create the perfect vegan cake box cake.

Reader Reviews

I have tried making vegan cake from a cake mix before but it always turned out so flaky. This one was perfect. Thanks for the recipe!


This recipe is so easy to follow. Love it!


Serving Suggestions

Many store-bought frostings are also made without dairy or eggs. That means with a quick read of the label, you can buy frosting for your cake.

I recommend using your favorite vegan frostings for your cake. If you’re looking for homemade frosting, here are some great ideas:

New to Vegan Baking?

The idea of making cookies, cakes, or muffins without eggs or dairy can seem like a hill too tall to climb. But with the simple tips in my Guide to Vegan Baking, you’ll be baking like a vegan pro in no time!

Storage Tips

Once the cake has been baked and cooled to room temperature, cover the cake and store it at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days. You can freeze the entire cake or individual slices (frosted or unfrosted) in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 2 months.

Looking down on a slice of cake on a plate with a fork holding a bite.

Vegan Cake Favorites

When you’re in a rush but want to deliver the tastiest cake, this vegan cake mix recipe will shine! But here are even more options you will love, too:

A vegan cake mix cupcake has a bite taken out. It sits in front of several other cupcakes.

Vegan Cake Mix

Keep dessert simple with a vegan cake mix. Simply add a few basic ingredients to transform any dairy-free, egg-free cake mix into your next favorite vegan dessert! Don't forget to add your favorite frosting, like vegan chocolate frosting.
5 from 9 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Resting Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 18 cupcakes
Calories: 307kcal


Egg Replacer

Cake Batter

  • 1 ½ cup water
  • cup vegetable oil
  • cup applesauce
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cake mix any brand, any flavor as long as it's dairy-free and egg-free
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Toppings: Your favorite vegan frosting, sprinkles, coconut flakes, and more.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers. See notes for 9×13 cake pan option.
  • In a small bowl stir together the egg replacer with 6 tablespoons of warm water. Set aside
    A hand holds a glass pouring warm water in with powdered egg replacer.
  • Stir it together and set it aside.
    A hand stirs together an egg replacer mixture.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the water, vegetable oil, applesauce, sugar, and egg replacer.
    A hand holds a jar of white mixture, pouring it into a bowl with other liquid ingredients.
  • Mix by hand or with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined.
    A hand holds an orange spatula, stirring together ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the cake mix.
    A hand holds a plastic bag of cake mix, pouring it into a mixing bowl with other ingredients.
  • Pour in the flour.
    A hand pours a bowl of flour into a larger bowl with other ingredients.
  • Add the baking powder.
    A hand holds a measuring spoon of baking powder, pouring it into a mixing bowl with other ingredients.
  • Mix on medium speed for one minute.
    A hand holds a mixer, using it to mix cake batter in a mixing bowl.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on high for another minute.
    A hand holds an orange spatula, using it to scrape down the sides of a mixing bowl full of cake batter.
  • Spoon the cake batter into prepared cupcake papers. Bake in heated oven 15 to 18 minutes, until done.
    Cake batter is being distributed into muffin pan with a dispenser.
  • For Sheet Cake: Pour the batter into a prepared 9×13 cake pan and bake for 30 to 32 minutes, until golden around the edges.
    A hand holds a bowl, pouring cake batter into a glass baking dish.
  • Let the cupcakes or cake cool completely before frosting.

Recommended Equipment

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You can substitute vegan chocolate cupcakes.

Egg Replacer

You can use Ener-G Egg Replacer or use this as a substitute: 2 tablespoons potato starch, 1 tablespoon tapioca starch, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. This is a very similar formula to the egg replacer mentioned above.


Use unsweetened applesauce or refer to this list of applesauce substitutes.

Baking Pan Options

  • Cupcakes: 18 to 22 minutes
  • 9×13 Pan: I like to bake it for 30 to 32 minutes.
  • Two Round Pans: Bake 26 to 31 minutes.
Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

17 Responses to Veganize Cake Mix

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyFaye Reply

    5 stars
    I’ve tried so many different ways to make a cake mix that wouldn’t crumble. You have solved my problem, and it is delicious! Thank You!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Faye. I’m so glad you liked this cake recipe!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKristen Reply

    5 stars
    Best vegan cake recipe! I have been trying to make cake for years using store box mix. My teenager son has multiple food allergies, and cake is one thing I can’t master. This recipe works. I made a 16×9 cake, used Duncan Hines box mix, and followed the directions exactly. It’s perfect. Even my daughter who doesn’t have food allergies loved it! Thank-you!!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Kristen! Im so glad you and your family liked this recipe! Will you try it with different flavors?

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDebbie Reply

    5 stars
    Finally, beautiful fluffy vegan cupcakes. From the bottom of this mommy’s heart, thank you!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMilana Reply

    Can I make this using bobs red mill egg replacer instead of the Ener-G Egg? The ingredients are similar but not the same. It looks like your recipe is about 3 eggs?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Milana. This is a great question. I haven’t tried Bob’s egg replacer, but I just looked up the ingredients and I agree with you – they are similar enough they should work!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyHaley Reply

    It’s so good! Testing out a birthday cake option for my daughter with allergies. When I cook it the center is still gooey but the outside is already crispy! Any idea what I’m doing wrong?? (I’m sure it’s user error )

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Haley! I’m so glad you like this cake! It may be that your oven has “hot spots” so it’s cooking unevenly. If you notice the cake is not done in the middle yet, but the edges are done, loosely cover it foil and then bake for another 10 minutes. That should fix he problem. Happy birthday to your daughter!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKim Reply

    5 stars
    This recipe is so easy to follow. Love it!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m so glad you like the recipe, Kim. It’s always fun having a quick cake to make!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBridget Reply

    Thank you for this Marly!! This is so helpful and will make my life easier when I have no time to bake…but have to bake something.

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyd Reply

    is the applesauce a must use or can it be replaced with something else? thanks

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I haven’t tried it without the applesauce, and I use it to add moisture to the cake. You could try just leaving it out. Assess the batter. If it’s too thick, consider these substitutes: 1) a mashed banana (which will give it a banana flavor), 2) If it’s not a vanilla or yellow cake you could substitute pureed prune baby food, 3) vegan sour cream or yogurt, 4) you could even try a little bit of soy milk. I wouldn’t do an entire 1/3 cup, but add one tablespoon at a time until the batter is at the right consistency. I hope this is helpful!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyd

      5 stars
      just made them, so delicious! i used 2 tbsp of soy instead of applesauce, the texture was perfect. thank you!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m so glad D!

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRuby Reply

    5 stars
    I have tried making vegan cake from a cake mix before but it always turned out so flaky. This one was perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

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