Long gone are the days when vegans had to blow their candles off the top of a piece of fruit because their parents just couldn’t find a vegan cake for love nor money. Not only has the vegan cake market in the UK increased exponentially over the last few years, but it’s now pretty easy to buy a vegan birthday cake from several major supermarkets.
So, if the special day is coming up for a plant-based loved one in your life, or you just want to show them how amazing vegan cakes can be (they’re even breaking world records these days!) then there’s no need to stress, as this Plant Based News (PBN) guide will walk you through the plethora of options — you can truly have your cruelty-free cake and eat it.
Where can I buy vegan birthday cakes?
If you’ve been driving yourself crazy googling “vegan birthday cake near me,” chances are there is a Tesco not far from you. There are two Tesco vegan cakes, full-sized, that are certainly worthy of completing with birthday candles.
First up is a Vegan Chocolate Cake from Just Love Food — more on this company later! Second is a cake from Wicked Kitchen, a well-known plant-based range, originally a collaboration with vegan brothers and chefs Derek and Chad Sarno.
The Wicked Kitchen offering is a Belgian Chocolate & Raspberry Cake. It’s made with beetroot, so you can live under the illusion that your birthday cake is healthy. Don’t worry if veg in a cake isn’t your thing, though — it’s the raspberry jam, Belgian dark chocolate frosting, freeze-dried raspberry pieces, and cocoa dusting that are the prominent flavors.
Amidst the aisles of kombucha and royally-commissioned Duchy Organic products, Waitrose also offers three vegan cakes of a larger variety. But if you’re worried that these will be at up-market prices, you can banish those fears. Waitrose’s Vegan Chocolate Celebration Cake from their PlantLiving vegan range only costs one pound more than the Wicked Kitchen cake mentioned above.
It has “celebration” in the title and is adorned with chocolate stars, so Waitrose is one of the few major supermarkets supplying vegans with a cake specifically for special occasions. It’s a chocolate cake filled and covered with chocolate frosting. The finish is sugar strands and caramel pieces, topping a moist chocolate sponge.
While not branded as a celebration cake, Waitrose offers its PlantLiving: Vanilla Traybake. It’s colorful frosting means it could be birthday-worthy, especially if the Celebration Cake is out of stock.
Waitrose also stocks products from vegan cake brand Oggs. In terms of a large cake, Waitrose currently offers the OGGS Zesty Lemon Cake, a lemon-flavored sponge cake filled and topped with a lemon-flavored frosting. OGGS says that it uses sustainable packaging for its cakes.
Asda has one of the most extensive ranges of vegan cakes, particularly for larger cakes. And if you’ve been trying to find a vegan birthday cake with a children’s party in mind, then you might want to peruse the Deliciously Vegan Norman the Hedgehog Cake. It’s from Asda’s own vegan range, OMV!, And as the name suggests, it’s shaped a cake into a hedgehog, and Norman the hedgehog is even wearing a party hat.
Rest assured it’s a fully vegan birthday cake, with a chocolate sponge, chocolate flavor filling, and covered with a chocolate flavor frosting, shaped into Norman’s spikes. If ever there might be a cake approved by The Woodland Trust, this would be it.
Asda’s more adult vegan cake is the OMV! Deliciously Vegan Chocolatey Cake, made with beetroot, topped with rich chocolate flavored frosting, sprinkles, and brownie fudge pieces.
Asda also stocks quite a few vegan cakes from Just Love Food, including a Vanilla Celebration Cake. It also sells Kirsty’s Luxury Vegan Carrot Cake, which is gluten-free.
When looking up the best options for vegan birthday cakes available at Sainsbury’s, the brand appearing the most is Lazy Day Foods, a completely free from company. So if you are searching for a cake that is not only plant-based but gluten-free, Sainsbury’s has the most in this department. There is the Lazy Day Chocolate Celebration Cake, and the Lazy Day Vegan & Free From Vanilla Cake.
Besides the Just Love Food Vegan Chocolate Cake appearing again, Sainsbury’s has a few own-brand vegan cakes. The Plant Pioneers Chocolate Cake has a light sponge, which is filled and topped with chocolate frosting. The supermarket’s most birthday-worthy Plant Pioneer cake is the Chocolate Celebration Cake, layered and topped with chocolate frosting, with edible sugar star decorations and a gold sugar finesse. Lastly, there is the Plant Pioneers Lemon Cake, if you like your birthdays to be citrus-filled.
Marks & Spencer
At present, the closest thing Marks & Spencer offer to a vegan birthday cake is a box of Plant Kitchen Chocolate Brownies. The M&S Plant Kitchen Victoria Sponge Cake is available to order on the Ocado website, but not directly from M&S at the time of writing.
UK cupcakes company Lola’s has a range of large-scale vegan cakes. Lola’s sells a Vegan Chocolate Happy Birthday Cake, a handmade celebration cake. It combines a vegan chocolate base with a fresh chocolate ganache and raspberries, and has ‘happy birthday’ hand-piped and drizzled on top.
Lola’s has eight vegan cakes available for delivery on its website, giving the option to add a hand-piped message which you can personalise. They are among the biggest cakes in this guide, and two are gluten-free. Options include a Vegan Brownie Cake and a Vegan Victoria Sponge.
Similar to Lola’s Cupcakes, British cake chain Patisserie Valerie also allows cake customization to ensure your cake choice is birthday-ready. Its two full-scale vegan cakes are a Lotus Biscoff Cake and a Plant-Based Chocolate Cake.
Patisserie Valerie offers lots of paid extras to mark a special occasion with a vegan birthday cake: you can add birthday glitter, sparkler fountains, metallic candles, metallic balloons, and even a handwritten birthday card, in case you’ve left that late. Note that the macaron gift box you can optionally add is not vegan.
Just Love Food
You’ve seen the name popping up several times now; Just Love Food has become one of the most widely-stocked vegan cake brands across UK supermarkets. Just Love Food sells three large cakes on its website, and also a range of birthday toppers and sparklers as cake accessories also.
Danika Woods, brand manager at Just Love, and daughter of founder Mike Woods, spoke to Plant Based News (PBN) about the brand’s vegan cake journey so far.
“Just Love was founded in 2010 by my father Mike Woods after his children were diagnosed with life-threatening nut allergies,” she said. “Mike found it heart-breaking that they could not share the cake at parties. With a mission to bring people together with cake, Mike set up Just Love, making delicious, hand-finished, allergen-safe vegan and gluten-free cakes.”
Regarding the feedback she has received for their vegan cakes, Woods said: “It’s incredibly heartwarming to see such an emotional response to the cakes we have launched. We get lots of emails from parents who are beyond grateful their child can finally have a birthday cake. A personal favourite of ours is ‘No one could tell it was vegan,’ or, ‘I gave it to my friend and they had no idea’. We’re so passionate about being inclusive and bringing people together with cake, so it’s great to hear people are confident to share them with their friends and family who aren’t vegan.”
Woods also revealed that there are plans in the pipeline for more vegan cakes in the future.
“Our vegan cakes are growing considerably and we have seen more demand for the vegan recipes in the last few years than ever before. Our plans are to expand the range to include a wider variety of formats and flavours. We have a lot of fun creating vegan versions of iconic products such as the caterpillar cake or the classic sugar paste sponge so we will likely look to do more of these.”
Vegan Birthday Cakes Delivered
As we live in an age where you literally don’t have to leave your home for food and sustenance, it would be remiss to not mention some of the specialists in vegan birthday cakes delivered straight to your door. Cutter and Squidge offers four vegan cakes, just remember to add a hand-piped birthday message. Other options include The Heavenly Cake Company, and the aptly named Cake To Your Door.
Why aren’t traditional birthday cakes vegan?
A traditional birthday cake recipe is usually laced with eggs and dairy, so make sure you buy a cake that is properly labelled as being vegan. Helpfully, many of the plant-based cakes above also have the Vegan Society label, so you can shop with confidence.
Vegan Cake Recipes
Looking to construct a vegan birthday cake yourself? Check out some of the Plant Based News (PBN) cake recipes. Try your hand at a vegan red velvet cake, a victoria sponge cake, or a blueberry lemon drizzle cake.
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