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Yellow or White Cake Without Eggs - Recipe (NOT Dairy Free)

Updated on November 6, 2012
Chris Telden profile image

Living with food allergies - both her own and her family's - has driven Chris Telden's lifelong interest in diet, health and cooking.

Egg Free Cake With Lovely Tender Crumb
Egg Free Cake With Lovely Tender Crumb

This yellow cake/white cake recipe has no eggs. It is wonderful and I am thrilled to have developed it after a fair bit of research and experimentation. It's very versatile, a little bit finicky, but extremely satisfying and festive. It worked as a birthday cake and would probably work as a wedding cake.

First, here's the background story behind this cake recipe:

My family has a lot of food intolerances and allergies. So when I planned my 4-year-old's birthday party, I knew I couldn't possibly avoid them all in making this cake. But I vowed to banish eggs at the very least. I searched high and low for a recipe for a white or yellow cake without eggs. I kept finding vegan recipes, but I wanted a recipe with dairy ingredients. There were plenty of recipes for chocolate cake, but I already had an awesome eggless chocolate cake recipe.

What I didn't have was a way to make a tender, moist, rich white cake with a mild flavor that was flexible enough to use with any kind of frosting and flavoring. A cake that doesn't rely on "egg substitute" (seeds) or tofu (soy). A cake that wasn't bitter from the extra chemical leavening needed (baking soda and baking powder are very bitter). I also wanted a recipe that used basic, wholesome ingredients like cream and butter instead of canned or dried milks, as we have problems with MSG, preservatives and additives.

It occurred to me to try a shortbread, but I really wanted a soft, traditional cake, because the birthday boy had asked for a "big cake."

So I did some research and experimented, and amazingly, I put together something awesome! What I came up with got rave reviews from very picky eaters. This yellow/white cake is moist, creamy, not overly sweet, and not at all gummy. It is not even remotely low in fat, so if that's your goal, run now! The cake is lightly flavored with lemon, but the lemon flavor is very subtle. With a few substitutions, you can make this into an orange cake, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, a plain vanilla cake with buttercream frosting, or any combination you want.

A Note About Texture: This recipe is just a hair denser than an egg-based cake - not nearly as dense as brownies or shortbread, though. And if you serve it at room temperature, it's quite fluffy, and almost indistinguishable from an egg-based white cake in texture. If you serve it chilled, it will be somewhat denser because it relies on real butter, which hardens when cold. The great thing, though, is that you can actually serve it frozen and still cut it with a fork - that's the beauty of the high fat content.

So here's the recipe. I hope you like it and that it solves your "egg free yellow cake" problem as well as it did mine.

Have You Tried This Recipe?

3.4 stars from 11 ratings of How would you rate this egg free recipe?
The cake turned out slightly bow-bottomed because of the plate we put it in. But it was luscious!
The cake turned out slightly bow-bottomed because of the plate we put it in. But it was luscious!

Baking Tip

Although I am notorious for not sweetening my quickbreads enough, I also highly recommend NOT decreasing the sugar in this recipe, as it's not overly sweet like many cakes are. Also, its high fat content and naturally bitter leavening ingredients require a healthy amount of sugar for the sweetness to take effect.

Egg Free White or Yellow Cake Recipe


  • 2.5 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (sift or squeeze out the clumps, which can make the cake bitter)
  • 3/4 cup butter (=1.5 sticks or 12 tablespoons or 6 ounces or 170 grams) - if unsalted, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to recipe
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 small lemons (enough to make 1/4-1/3 cup juice, plus the finely grated rinds)
  • Extra lemon rind (optional - this gives you a more lemony tasting cake)


  1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Grease and lightly flour two 8" cake pans for a small layer cake or one 9" x 13" cake pan for a sheet cake.
  3. Mix flour with baking powder and baking soda very well with a fork or wire whisk in a medium bowl.
  4. Melt butter over low heat in a small pot. While still barely warm, take off of heat and add to the heavy cream. Add 1/4 cup sour cream. Add the rinds from 2 lemons and extra rind if using. Mix well. This may be a little lumpy from the butter re-solidifying - that's okay.
  5. With an eggbeater or hand mixer, in a large bowl cream thoroughly the sugar into the butter/cream/sour cream mixture.
  6. In a liquid measuring cup, mix the lemon juice with water to make 1 cup water/lemon juice total. You may also skip the lemon juice and replace with orange juice or 1 tablespoon vinegar. The goal here is to end up with 1 cup of mostly water mixed with a bit of something acidic.
  7. Starting with the flour, alternately add the flour mixture and water/lemon mixture to the sugar/cream mixture, beating each time just until smooth. Do this in 3 or 4 rounds. (We add the ingredients this way so that the lemon juice doesn't curdle the cream.)
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes for a 2-pan layer cake. I didn't bake a sheet cake, but I'm guessing you need to bake it from 35-40 minutes. Bake just until the cake pulls away from the sides and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve with icing of your choice, or whipped cream icing below. We also drizzled strawberry syrup over it (instructions below).

The photo might not capture how awesome the crumb turned out. It truly looked like an egg-based cake.
The photo might not capture how awesome the crumb turned out. It truly looked like an egg-based cake.

Whipped Cream Frosting

This whipped cream frosting solves a number of problems for people with dietary restrictions. One family member is trying to avoid corn, so we avoid powdered sugar frostings, many of which have cornstarch added. Sometimes I powder my own sugar in my VitaMix blender, but when I'm feeling lazy, I use this lightly sweetened whipped cream icing. It does require that the frosted cake is well chilled before serving.

The gelatin ingredient is a stabilizer and helps the whipped cream keep its form. It's offered for your convenience, though I didn't use it, since I am staying away from gelatin right now as I'm avoiding free glutamates (yes, I know, the list of food intolerances goes on and on in the House of Telden!)


  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon gelatin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)


  1. With an electric or hand mixer, whip heavy cream with sugar and vanilla (if using) and gelatin (if using), until it forms stiff peaks.
  2. Add sour cream if using.
  3. Frost cake.
  4. Serve the cake immediately, or chill in a very cold refrigerator until serving, or you can even serve it frozen as a sort of ice cream cake (since this versatile cake is high in fat and is still soft enough to cut with a fork when frozen).

Serving Idea: Top with Strawberry Syrup

I adapted this strawberry syrup recipe as a less-sweet option perfect for cake/shortbread from this delightfully simple one here.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups mashed, thawed unsweetened frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water (about)


  1. Bring 1 cup water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Add the mashed strawberry. Bring to a boil, simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Use an immersion blender or other blender to smooth out the syrup.
  4. Mix the starch with just enough water (about 2 tablespoons) to liquify.
  5. Stir the starch and water right before you mix it into the syrup. Bring the syrup once again to a boil.
  6. Cool syrup and serve over whipped cream frosted cake.


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