Favorite things





With Helen

With Helen


Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes

Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes


the blog:

These little cake boxes are filled with moist, freshly baked vegan vanilla cake and filled with lightly sweetened coconut cream and sliced grapes. They are a delight to serve for tea time with your family or friends or just for dessert. They will for sure be a huge hit among your loved ones.

Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes

I have a confession. I absolutely hated vanilla cake growing up.

All I want and believe is the best flavor is anything chocolate-related. Like why would you choose vanilla when you have chocolate? I never understood it but I did have friends who would much rather have a vanilla-flavored dessert over chocolate and some even hated chocolate-flavored desserts. I really don’t understand why.

So whenever my birthday rolled around or my mom and I just wanted to bake a cake over the weekend so that I could bring some to school with me, it was almost always chocolate-flavored or strawberry. If we really had to make a vanilla cake, I would lather it with thick chocolate frosting if, of course, I had a choice.

It wasn’t until much later in my college days when I came to appreciate vanilla-flavored dessert more much to the credit of a local gelato shop near my school whose owner was directly trained by an Italian gelato master. I never could have imagined vanilla gelato could taste that good and that changed my mind about vanilla cake. I will definitely have a slice of vanilla cake when it is packed with pure vanilla flavor and not overly sweet which leads me to these Vegan Grape Vanilla Cake Boxes.

Instead of having a traditional vanilla cake, I sliced the vanilla cake and stuffed them in layers in a clear, plastic box, filling them with some sliced, fresh grapes and whipped cream. I used whipped cream instead of frosting because I didn’t want a heavy dessert and wanted the vanilla cake itself to stand out. They are also so cute in these boxes instead of being sliced and served on a plate. Did I convince you to make these Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes yet?

Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes
Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes

Here is an overview of these Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes.


Flour: I used regular all-purpose flour to make these buns. You can also use equal amounts of bread flour if you do not have all-purpose flour.

Sugar: To make it refined sugar-free you can use coconut sugar, but note that the color of these buns will be a bit darker and there will be a stronger taste of coconut flavor to the buns, unlike the traditional version.

Vegan Butter: I like to use unsalted, vegan butter to better control the saltness level of the buns. If you do not have unsalted, vegan butter you can just omit the salt in the dough! I would not recommend substituting the butter with coconut oil.

Maple Syrup: I brushed the buns with some maple syrup to provide them with a shiny top look. If you do not want to use maple syrup, that is totally okay!

Yeast: I used active dry yeast, but you can also use instant dry yeast.

Plant-Based Milk: I prefer to use unsweetened, plant-based milk with no other flavoring like vanilla so that you can better control the flavor of the recipe. You can use any plant-based milk of choice and even better with full-fat coconut milk. The fat in the coconut milk leaves the buns extra smooth and elastic and easier to knead.

Coconut Milk/Coconut Cream: You can use full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream to make the whipped cream. Make sure you place the canned coconut milk or coconut cream in the fridge overnight.

Toppings/Fillings: I stuffed a strawberry into the center of the buns, but you can also use any other fruits of choice or leave it out. Top the cream with some rose petals, chopped nuts, more sliced fruits or just leave them plain.

Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes
Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes


Can I make the vegan vanilla cake gluten-free?
Yes! You can substitute the regular flour with 1:1 gluten-free flour in equal amounts. I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill’s 1:1 gluten-free flour (the one in the blue bag).

How do I store these vegan vanilla cake boxes?
These Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes are best served fresh. If you have any leftover sliced cakes, store them in an airtight container or bag and place them in the freezer. When you are ready to have them, thaw them overnight in your refrigerator or leave them on your kitchen counter for a few hours. If you have layered the cake already in the box, store them in your fridge and have them within 3 days.

Can I make the vanilla cake refined sugar-free?
Yes! You can substitute the sugars with coconut sugar instead! However, note that the color of the cake will be darker in color.

How do I know when the vanilla cake is done?
When you insert a toothpick into the center of the buns, the toothpick should come out clean.

What can I substitute the coconut whipped cream with?
You can also use vegan whipped topping or if you want vegan icing.

Why is my whipped cream grainy?
Make sure you do not overwhip the coconut cream! When you do, it’ll become grainy.

Can I use any other toppings?
Yes, feel free to use any other fruits you want like strawberries, mangoes and blueberries. You can also use chopped nuts or serve them plainly without any toppings.

Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes
Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes

If you like these Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes, you might also like to try:
Vegan Strawberry Sando (Japanese Fruit Sandwich)
Vegan Sweet Cream Buns
Vegan Japanese Shibuya Toast

I cannot wait for you to try these Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes! If you do, please tag me on Instagram @_withhelen or leave a comment below letting me know you like it! Happy Baking!

Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes

Vegan Vanilla Cake Boxes

These little cake boxes are filled with moist, freshly baked vegan vanilla cake and filled with lightly sweetened coconut cream and sliced grapes. They are a delight to serve for tea time with your family or friends or just for dessert. They will for sure be a huge hit among your loved ones.

  • Author: Helen Au
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5-6
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Japanese-Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan


Vegan Vanilla Cake
219g (1 ¾ cups) all-purpose flour
150g (¾ cup) raw cane sugar
¾ tsp baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
188g (¾ cup) unsweetened, plant-based milk of choice, room temperature
63g (¼ cup) refined, coconut oil, melted
5g (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract

Coconut Whipped Cream
1 (400 ml) can full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
15 ml (1 tbsp) maple syrup
5g (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract

Fresh green grapes, sliced (or any other fruits of choice)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and lightly grease an 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan with some coconut oil or vegan butter.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl and mix until they are well combined.
  3. To a separate bowl, add the plant-based milk, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract together and mix until well combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and fold the ingredients together until there are no lumps, making sure to not overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into the baking pan, smoothing out the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  5. Make the Coconut Whipped Cream. Scoop out the hard coconut cream from the canned coconut milk or cream, leaving the water behind. You can save the water and use it later in smoothies or cooking. Add in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut cream until it is fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer some of the coconut whipped cream into a piping bag and place it in the fridge while you slice the cake.
  6. Once the cake has cooled completely, slice the cake into a square, about the same size of your cake boxes. Remove as much of the crumbs as possible before placing them into your cake box. Place some of the sliced grapes or any other fruits of your choice onto the sides of the cake box. Pipe a layer of the whipped cream into the cake box. Top with another layer of the sliced vanilla cake. Fill the remaining layer of the cake box with the coconut whipped cream. Alternate placing a piece of the sliced grapes and piping some whipped cream until the entire cake box is filled. Repeat with the remaining cake boxes. Enjoy!

Keywords: japanese-inspired, vanilla cake, coconut whipped cream, vegan cake

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @_withhelen. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating



browse by




Trending Now

Explore MORE

How to Get Up and Work Out 

The Best Hostess Hacks for Parties

We Ate 19 Macarons So You Don't Have To

Where to Go on Your Next Girl's Trip