Vegan Red Velvet

Queens FEASTS is Queens Public Library’s FREE training program to provide knowledge, tools, and resources to people who want to start and run their own food businesses in Queens.

Several talented students have graduated from Queens FEASTS, and we’re very pleased to share their holiday recipes with you!

PS: Until this year, Queens FEASTS was known as Jamaica FEASTS. We also have graduates' recipes from last year, and we hope you will enjoy those too!

Vegan Red Velvet
from Julie London, Sweetly Inspired NY

“The inspiration for my food business is my love of desserts and great meals,” says Julie London, the owner of Sweetly Inspired NY, her independently operated baking and catering business.

“Being a lifelong Queens resident, I know that the borough of Queens (as well as the whole city) is rich with international culture. During the holidays in our household, we enjoy many dishes, however due to food allergies there have been some restrictions for some of our guests. But this Vegan Red Velvet has become a staple on our holiday table, since it is dairy-free and delicious to both vegan and nonvegan guests. I hope you enjoy it!”

Ingredients (serves 8-16)

  • 2 cups plus 4 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup vegan buttermilk (1 cup of coconut or nondairy milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice; see directions below)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 bottle of vegan food coloring (29 ml; McCormick’s is vegan)
  • Vegan Cream Cheese Icing
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 3 tablespoons vegan butter (Julie uses Earth Balance)
    • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla (or flavoring of your choice; many flavorings are vegan)
    • 3 tablespoons nondairy milk (Julie uses coconut milk)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift flour into a bowl, then add the other dry ingredients to the flour.
  • Make Vegan Buttermilk: mix coconut or nondairy milk and lemon juice together. Let sit for a few minutes until it thickens/curdles.
  • Add buttermilk, vanilla, olive oil, white vinegar, and food coloring to dry mixture. Mix for approximately 2 minutes, removing any lumps.
  • Place mixture in two prepared (greased with butter or nonstick spray and dusted with flour) 6-inch or 7-inch pans.
  • Bake for 28-30 minutes; use a knife to check the center of the cakes. If it comes out clean, they are done.
  • Let cakes cool completely on cooling rack, then frost.
  • To Make Icing: add powdered sugar, vegan butter, flavoring, and milk together in a bowl, and whip until they are incorporated (evenly mixed). Add more milk or sugar to reach desired consistency.

Please prepare all recipes at your own discretion; Queens Public Library is not responsible for accidents, allergic reactions, or illnesses that occur because of preparation.

Posts in This Series

  1. Holiday Recipes from Queens FEASTS: Sweet & Spicy Seasonal Chili
  2. Holiday Recipes from Queens FEASTS: Gul Gula (Guyanese Fried Donuts)