Lucy's Friendly Foods

The Best Chocolate Birthday/Celebration Cake (dairy, egg, soya and nut-free)

Unicorn birthday cake, dairy-free egg-free

I’ve realised that although I make multiple versions of this cake every year, I’ve never posted it as a recipe. Silly really because it’s a fantastic recipe and everyone needs a great birthday cake up their sleeve!

Birthday cakes were one of my first big challenges as a dairy and egg free cook. I was determined that my girls could have a pretty ‘Wow’ cake like all their friends, that could challenge the popular store bought versions that everyone gasped over at the countless birthday parties we’ve attended. So I needed a great, fail-safe reliable recipe, and this one ticks all those boxes

My first versions, despite trying my very hardest were not particularly great (totally round cake shaped bumble bee anyone?) but as the years pass they’ve improved, I think!

I use this lovely chocolate cake recipe which gives just the right crumb to turn into an iced sandwich cake. You could make two sponges and sandwich together but my preference is to make one large cake and then split it in half when it’s cool. I find that way gives a better finish when the whole cake is iced.

sliced chocolate celebration cake, dairy-free, egg-free

As I make a chocolate sponge, I sandwich it together with vanilla buttercream and also coat the top and sides with a thin layer of the buttercream to help the icing stick.

Next it’s a layer of fondant icing which is then decorated for the chosen theme.

underwater dairy-free cake

Chocolate Celebration Cake

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, can be soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

make up cake, vegan

makes one cake

330g self-raising flour

5 tbsps cocoa powder

220g caster sugar

1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

290ml dairy-free milk

2 tbsps dairy-free yogurt

100g dairy-free margarine, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line a deep cake tin
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt
  3. Stir in the sugar
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the oat milk, melted dairy-free margarine, yogurt and vanilla.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix gently until well combined.
  6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife comes out clean
  7. Cool in the cake tin.

chocolate celebration cake, egg-free


Fill and cover with buttercream:

Vanilla Buttercream

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

chocolate birthday cake, vegan

makes more than enough for the cake!

2 tbsp vegetable fat (such as Trex)

1/2 cup dairy-free margarine (such as Pure)

1 1/2 to 2 cups icing sugar, sifted

1 or 2 tbsp dairy-free milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the oat milk and vanilla, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.

Here’s a gallery of some of my other favourites over the last few years.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


11 Responses

  1. Love it. Have you any experience of doing this in a loaf tin or a non round cake? I have a fire engine cake to make next month and the egg/nut/dairy/soya free nearly 3 year old has high expectations!

    1. I haven’t tried to make it non-round but I don’t see any problem, just make sure you keep checking that’s it’s cooked from half an hour onwards. Good luck, I’d love to see the results! Lx

  2. Building up to the big birthday cake… I’m just wondering what kind of fondant icing you use to decorate, as the ones available to me all seem to say ‘may contain nuts’? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rebecca, sorry i missed your message. You are right that most may contain nuts. Sainsburys own brand is free from peanuts if that is any good for you. Otherwise Tate and Lyle make a fondant icing sugar and you can easily make your own. Hope this message gets to you in time x

  3. Hello Lucy,
    What an amazing website! I am going to make your chocolate celebration cake for my husbands 18 th birthday on 29 th Feb!!!! ( hes a leap year baby!)
    One of the children is highly allergic to dairy and eggs so I am going to try your chocolate celebration cake !
    My questions
    Can you freeze the cake ?
    Can I make 2 large cakes and split both making 4 layers with icing between and ‘ nude’ icing round outsides and top?
    I would like to ice them when sponges come straight out of the freezer? If possible?
    If so what icing would you suggest?
    I just wonder if the sponge would be ‘ strong’ enough to be layered up!
    Thank you so much for this wonderful website… I’m glad I’ve found you! My niece used your recipes all the time!
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Caroline, thank you for your lovely message. It is a reliable recipe – I just made a two tier one for my mother in law’s80th! How exciting that your husband is only just turning 18!! I have to admit that I haven’t tried freezing the cake – it never lasts long here! If you try please let me know how it turns out. It’s a fairly strong sponge as long as it isn’t overcooked and become crumbly so 4 layers shouldn’t be a problem. I generally use this icing recipe ;it’s also the same cake in a previous incarnation!

Leave a Reply