Vegan Milk Bar Store Birthday Cake

If you live in New York you have probably heard of the infamous Milk Bar store. Even if you don’t live in New York, the Milk Bar store has gained critical acclaim. It has become a famous name among foodies and those with a sweet tooth alike. Christina Tossi is the mastermind baker behind it all, and boy does she know what she is doing.

Milk bar is infamous for its soft serve ice cream, cookies, crack pie and of course the beloved birthday cake. Before going fully vegan, I tried several of their goodies and was beyond impressed, but I’ve always wanted to try THE cake!!

I never got around to trying a slice and…not gonna lie, I kind of regret it! My man however has had this cake several times and has declared it to be his FAVORITE.

So naturally for his birthday this year I decided I would take a stab at making this masterpiece…but make it vegan of course. Otherwise I can’t eat a slice of HIS birthday cake…hell no! LOL.

So, the verdict was; this cake was about as close to Tossi’s as you could get!


There was a whole episode on Netflix’s Chefs Table about Christina Tossi and her Milk Bar store. She talked about the cake and all the different layers and parts to making these babies. So this recipe may look daunting because there are quite a few components, but it is necessary and sooooo worth it. I made this cake for my boyfriends birthday a few weeks ago and I’m already thinking about making it again… just because. You don’t need an occasion for cake. Especially this one 🙂

This cake NEEDS to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to eat, otherwise the vegan frosting will start to melt. I kept mine in the fridge for around 4 days. When I had the patience I’d let it sit out for 5-10 mins to take the chill off, but it’s also great straight from the fridge when patience is lacking.


xoxo B

Vegan Milk Bar Store Birthday Cake

4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert


  • Stand mixer or hand mixer


Vegan Buttermilk

  • 1 ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar


  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2 Tbs AP flour
  • 1/3 cup Canola oil Avocado oil can be substituted but I don't recommend subbing coconut oil
  • 1 vanilla bean (scraped) or 2 tsp extract
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tbs cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup rainbow sprinkles ( make sure you get glaze free ones, i recently learned that a lot of regular sprinkles have some kind of glaze coating that isn't vegan!)

Vanilla Frosting

  • 2/3 cup earth balance vegan butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Cake Crumbs

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour or AP flour cake flour will just yield a softer crumb
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs rainbow sprinkles
  • 4 Tbs canola oil

Milk soak

  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Step 1: Vegan Buttermilk

  • Mix together the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar to make a vegan buttermilk and set aside for 5 minutes

Step 2: Cake

  • Grease three 6 inch cake pans or two 10 inch pans (I made a two layer cake because I didn't have 6 inch pans) and pre-heat oven to 350°
  • In a bowl with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat together the sugar, oil and vanilla until creamy. Then add in the vegan buttermilk. Mix until frothy.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Gently fold in the dry ingredients into the wet , and mix until combined, then add in ⅔ cup sprinkles.
  • Pour batter evenly into the pans and tap on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake for 22-25 mins, until the tops are springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pans for about 15 mins, then place on wire racks.

Step 3: Frosting

  • In a bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, and shortening for a couple mins until combined and creamy.
  • Add in powdered sugar and beat on low slowly incorporating a little at a time. Once all is added in, beat on high for 2 mins. Add in vanilla bean paste and extract and beat for another minute until well combined.

Step 4: Crumbs

  • Pre-heat oven to 300°
  • In small bowl combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles and stir ingredients until well combined
  • USING A FORK ( key for crumbly texture) Add oil and vanilla and continue to mix with the fork until mixture forms cluster.
  • Pour crumbs on baking sheet and bake for 15 mins. Let cool before using.

Step 5: Milk soak

  • Combine almond milk and vanilla, set aside

Step 6: Assembly

  • If cakes have domed, take a knife a level the tops. Place the cake on a wire rack and brush with the milk soak.
  • Dollop icing ( I wish I did more in the layers! I'd say ½ inch thick) and spread to the edges.
  • Scatter some crumbs and press into the icing. Spread some more icing on top to make sure the next cake layer will stick
  • Place the next layer on top and continue the steps.
  • You can frost the outside lightly if want or have extra frosting to use.
  • Place cake in Fridge for at least 4 hours to set all the ingredients.
  • When ready, let cake sit on counter for 10-15 mins, Any longer and the vegan buttercream will get really soft and melt.

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