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a slice of the best refined sugar free vanilla cake on a white plate with a fork taking a small piece out of the corner

Best Refined Sugar Free Vanilla Cake Recipe

This deliciously moist and fluffy refined sugar free vanilla cake recipe will be your new go-to! 9 simple ingredients come together easily to make the best vanilla flavoured cake you’ll ever have. Paired with a naturally sweetened vanilla buttercream frosting, this cake is perfect for parties, celebrations, weekend afternoon teas, or just anytime you need a good ol’ slice of cake.

Category Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American, British, Canadian, French
Keyword best vanilla cake recipe, easy vanilla cake recipe, sugar free vanilla cake, vanilla cake, vanilla cake recipe uk
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Author Amanda | Naturally Sweet Kitchen


Vanilla cake:

  • 350 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 325 g coconut sugar
  • 120 ml rapeseed oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 120 g Greek yoghurt, room temperature
  • 280 ml milk, room temperature

Vanilla buttercream:

  • 270 ml agave syrup
  • 300 ml milk
  • 55 g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp fine sea salt
  • 300 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract


Vanilla cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease, line, and lightly flour three 20cm (8 inch) round baking tins.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in another large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), combine the coconut sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until airy and slightly paler. Add in the yoghurt and mix well to combine.
  4. Turn the mixer down to a low speed and add the dry ingredients and milk to the bowl in 5 alternating parts, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix for 15 seconds between each addition or until loosely incorporated. Once everything is in the bowl, mix just until all the dry ingredients have disappeared and the batter is smooth.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared baking tins and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 21-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely before assembling and decorating.

Vanilla buttercream:

  1. Make the pudding first by adding the agave syrup, milk, flour, and salt to a medium saucepan. Place the pan over a medium heat and whisk well to dissolve the flour. As the mixture heats up, keep whisking to prevent it sticking to the bottom.
  2. Once it starts to bubble, keep an eye on it and keep whisking. It will eventually begin to thicken. Once it reaches a thick pudding consistency, remove the pan from the heat and decant the pudding onto a large platter. Spread it out evenly and let it cool to room temperature before starting the next step.
  3. To make the frosting, add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale. You may have to stop and scrape down the butter from the sides of the bowl a few times.
  4. Once the butter is pale, turn the mixer to a low speed and start adding your cooled pudding mixture one tablespoon at a time. After adding all the pudding, turn the mixer up to a high speed and give it a good whip up for 30-60 seconds or until fluffy.
  5. Turn the mixer down to medium and add in the vanilla extract and keep whipping to incorporate it throughout. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and give the frosting a good scrape up to make sure all the butter was incorporated from the bottom of the bowl.


  1. Level any domed areas off of the sponges and then crumb coat the cake. Place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to firm up the frosting and lock in the cake crumbs.
  2. Complete the outer layer of frosting. Place the remaining frosting into a piping bag fitted with a ruffle nozzle (Wilton #2D) and then pipe small ruffles around the edges of the cake. Top each ruffle with white pearl sprinkles if desired.
  3. Serve immediately.


  • This cake will keep covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • The sponges can be made separately, up to 24 hours in advance. Keep the sponges covered and refrigerated until assembly.
  • You can make the frosting pudding up to 2 days in advance, just be sure to store it in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature and stir it well before adding to the butter.
  • For more tips on making the frosting, see my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting post.
  • Never crumb coated a cake before? Watch this video for a demonstration.