Dairy-Free & Lactose-Free Cake Recipes

Find healthy, delicious dairy-free and lactose-free cake recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Matcha Castella Cake

Castella cake is a Japanese confectionary staple based on the Portuguese bolo de Castela (or cake from Castile). Originally brought to Nagasaki by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century, it has changed over time to be uniquely its own type of wagashi (or traditional Japanese sweet). Castella is classified as a sponge cake with just four ingredients: eggs, sugar, mizuame and flour. Mizuame is a malt sweetener that gives the cake its distinctive sheen. The cake is typically baked in rectangular pans and served in thick slices, with its signature color being a deep yellow from the inclusion of egg yolks. The addition of matcha powder adds color and an earthy, sweet nutty flavor. Often, the cake is served with trimmed sides, but you can skip that step if you prefer. There is also a Taiwanese adaption of castella cake that is more fluffy and spongy, versus the firm-yet-moist version from Japan. It typically calls for egg whites to be whipped, then folded into the base, whereas most Japanese castella recipes will call for whole eggs to be whipped before adding the other ingredients.

Vegan Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting

Rating: 5 stars 1
Classic carrot cake goes vegan in this easy recipe, and gets covered with coconut whipped cream to replace the traditional cream cheese frosting. A mixture of flax and water makes a sturdy substitute for eggs in this vegan cake. Plus, sweet crushed pineapple helps to make this cake delicious with less added sugar.
By Carolyn Casner

Flourless Honey-Almond Cake

Rating: 4 stars 17
Honey and almonds flavor this simple (and gluten-free) cake. It's lovely for afternoon tea or a spring holiday dessert. Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites--they should be white and very foamy, but not at all stiff or able to hold peaks. If you beat them too much, the cake may sink in the middle as it cools.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Gingerbread Tea Cake

Rating: 5 stars 2
This low-calorie cake gets its festive flavor from molasses, cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves. Serve it for dessert at the holidays.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake

This deeply dark chocolate vegan cake is not just for vegans. This fudge-like cake is also gluten-free, perfect for Valentine's Day and can even be made kosher to enjoy for Passover by making your own confectioners' sugar. The fresh berries on the side are a nice addition to the rich chocolate.
By Karen Rankin

Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Rating: 3.5 stars 5
This strawberry and rhubarb upside-down cake recipe highlights how delicious strawberries and rhubarb taste together. If you can't find rhubarb, substitute an equal amount of any kind of berry or even fresh figs. This upside-down cake still tastes great the next day when the juiciness of the fruit has had time to marry with the moist olive oil cake.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Carob Molasses Cake (Sfouf b' Debs)

Rating: 4 stars 3
With all due respect to baklava, we've found a new favorite Lebanese dessert. This rich, moist cake is sweetened with carob molasses and has a hit of anise. We may or may not have fought over it in the Test Kitchen.
By Kamal Mouzawak

Walnut Spice Cake with Butterscotch Pears

This comforting cake—fragrant with warm spices and topped with caramelized pears and coconut cream—is lick-your-plate good.

Vegan Lemon Cake

Rating: 3 stars 2
You don't have to be vegan to enjoy this vegan lemon cake! It's moist, delicious and plenty lemony thanks to a combination of lemon juice and zest. A glaze made with lemon juice, confectioners' sugar and almond milk adds a sweet-tangy finish.
By Marianne Williams

Apple-Cinnamon Cake

Rating: 5 stars 1
This simple nondairy apple cake, which is often called Jewish apple cake, has origins in Eastern Europe. Cinnamon and sweet-tart Granny Smith apples make for a fragrant cake, while orange juice in the batter adds a sweet, fresh touch. Make it for Rosh Hashana or any other fall holiday or occasion. The leftovers (if there are any) pair nicely with a cup of coffee the next morning.
By Sarah Epperson

Vegan Red Velvet Cake

This vegan red velvet cake has tender layers of cake with just a hint of chocolate and a slight tang from the soy "buttermilk." The creamy vegan frosting would fool just about anybody that it's dairy-free. Enjoy this vibrant cake on Valentine's Day or any occasion worthy of a celebration.
Pam Lolley headshot
By Pam Lolley

Vegan Cheesecake

This luscious vegan cheesecake nixes the dairy in favor of a filling made with coconut cream, tofu and cashews or macadamia nuts instead of the traditional eggs and cream. Coconut oil and nuts make for a rich-tasting and crunchy crust, so nobody will miss the butter.
By Breana Killeen
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Inspiration and Ideas

Chocolate Brownie Vegan Mug Cake
This dark chocolate vegan mug cake is a brownie in a flash! It's moist and rich and made extra decadent with vegan chocolate chips melted on top.
Mini Pineapple Pound Cakes
Rating: Unrated 3
In this moist and delicious healthy pound cake recipe, we use coconut oil in place of butter because an enzyme in fresh pineapple can react with dairy when heated, resulting in an off flavor. Alternatively, you can use melted butter and canned pineapple. To make a large cake, bake in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan for 35 to 40 minutes.
Citrus Ginger Cake with Spiced Orange Compote
Rating: 5 stars 1

The flavor of this spiced orange compote improves with time so make it a day ahead or the morning of your party. Serve chilled in a clear bowl so the colors show through.