Fabulous Vegan Cake Mix for the Baking-Challenged

sliced cake from vegan cake mix on white ceramic plate

What if I told you that you could take an off-the-shelf cake mix and transform it into a delicious VEGAN cake mix? It’s true!

In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast we talk about how you can easily veganize cakes you make at home including how you can make a standard box of cake mix into a totally vegan cake.

No time to listen? No problem! Read on for a summary of what we discuss.

Disclaimer: Information on this site and on our podcast is presented for educational purposes only. Always speak to your doctor before beginning any new diets or supplements. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

How to Veganize Any Cake Mix

There’s nothing quite like the smell of homemade baked goods wafting through the house? Baking a good vegan cake doesn’t need to be complicated. Did you know that there are many boxed cakes available that you can make vegan?

Here’s how!

Vegan Egg Substitutes

These days, there are a LOT of off-the-shelf egg replacers. Back in episode 317 of the podcast we talked about vegan egg substitutes, so be sure to check that out for more information. Some of our favorites are Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer and Ener-G.

However, egg replacers can also be made from whole foods like:


Dairy Replacements


Plant-based milk is ABUNDANT in most grocery stores these days, but which one is the best to use for baking? Well, it really depends. While you can use most plant-based milk, some are thicker than others and may work better in certain recipes.

We primarily use soy milk in vegan baking, but that’s because it’s what we always have in the fridge. 

One Green Planet’s Non-Dairy Milk Guide has some great suggestions, so be sure to check that out.  Whichever you choose, be it’s unsweetened and unflavored to avoid adding extra sugar or unwanted flavors to your recipe. 

almond milk

We also consulted with our friend Skye Michael Conroy, aka The Gentle Chef,  who we interviewed in episode 382. He stated, “I use soy milk or commercial almond milk. They both pretty much work the same in baking.” 

By the way, if you’re on Facebook or Instagram, be sure to follow Chef Skye. He posts some incredible photos of the recipes he creates. 



Like milk, there are also plenty of off-the-shelf vegan butter replacements. One of our favorites is Earth Balance

Other popular brands include: 

You can also use the following (depending on the recipe):


A Word About Oil

While oil is vegan, it can be a concern for people who are looking to improve their overall health. 

When I took the Forks Over Knives Cooking Course a few years ago, one module focused on cooking without oil, which I did not think was going to be easy (but it was really was!). 

In an article on their website, the folks at Forks Over Knives consult with three experts for tips on cooking without oil. For baking, they recommend fruit puree as a great substitute for fats including oil, butter, and shortening. 

Experiment with different replacements to see which one might be right for you and for the recipe you’re using.


5 Off The Shelf Cake Mixes You Can Easily Veganize

Now that we’ve talked about how you can veganize just about any baking recipe, let’s talk about some prepackaged dry cake mixes that you can turn into an amazing vegan cake with just a few ingredient substitutions. 

Just remember, always check the box ingredients for animal products like whey, casein, milk, and honey.

Also remember, just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Many of these off-the-shelf mixes can contain dyes and oils (including palm oil). The ingredients in many of these mixes are available online, so if you have any concerns a quick Google search can help you decide which one is right for you. 

  1. Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker has quite a few cake mixes that are vegan. A few of their vegan cake mix flavors are:

They also have some gluten-free mixes, so be sure to check those out too if gluten is something you’re concerned about. 

2. Duncan Hines

Like Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines also has several flavors of “accidentally” vegan cake mixes.

Some of those flavors include:

3. The Vegan Knife

I had not heard of the Vegan Knife brand but I wanted to add a “purposefully” vegan cake mix brand. The ingredients also look pretty “clean” when compared to other cake mixes. 

Vegan cake mix flavors include:

      • Birthday Cake
      • Chocolate
      • Cinnamon Sugar
      • Vanilla Spice
      • Sugar-Free Vanilla 

4. Annie’s Organic

We’ve talked about Annie’s quite a bit on the show because we generally like their products. There have been a few hit-or-miss products but for the most part, we like their taste and their clean ingredients. They don’t use artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. We also like that they are organic! 

At the time of our research, they only had a couple of vegan cake mixes:

5. Simple Mills

Simple Mills is another brand that likes to keep its ingredients clean and simple. Not all of its products are vegan, but many are. Some of the cake mixes that do not contain animal byproducts are:

Don’t Forget the Frosting!

Just like the cake mixes, several off-the-shelf frostings are vegan. Simple Mills makes a vegan frosting but certain Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines flavors are vegan as well. The main ingredient to watch out for in frosting ingredients is milk. 

The other concern for some may be the use of preservatives, dyes, and palm oil. Rather than including more links to off-the-shelf brands, we’re going to include some frosting recipes from a few of our favorite food blogs. Be sure to check out the show notes for links to those recipes!

We hope this article has provided you with some helpful resources for creating your next vegan cake mix, whether it be off-the-shelf or your own yummy homemade recipe!


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