Vegan Shortbread Tandy Cake

June 15, 2023
Tandy Cake is a beloved Philadelphia-region treat that was invented in 1931. This buttery shortcake is delicious on its own—but it’s even better with rich layers of peanut butter and chocolate. The peanut butter layer is less sweet (especially if you use natural peanut butter, like I did), but I found that this helps to offset the sweetness of the cake and the chocolate topping. Altogether, this tandy cake will have you scooping the crumbs from your plate!

For the shortbread, I used Country Crock’s Plant Butter, made with avocado oil. It’s my favorite brand for baking. As mentioned earlier, I used Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter for the second layer. The amounts of sugar and plant milk worked well for my cake, but keep in mind that different brands of peanut butter might require some slight adjustments. Use your best judgment until you get a smooth mixture that isn’t too runny.

I would also like to note that I do NOT recommend refrigerating this cake. The velvety shortcake becomes hard and dry! To keep it fresh, keep it in a closed container or cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil for short-term storage.
a slice of vegan peanut butter chocolate tandy cake on a white plate

Vegan Shortbread Tandy Cake

Recipe Type: Sweets
utensils YIELDS 8–10 servings
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  • For the shortbread:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • For the peanut butter layer:
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2–3 Tablespoons plant milk
  • For the chocolate layer:
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • a few sprinkles (optional)
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1. Mix flour, sugar, and vegan butter together until smooth.

2. Spread this into an 8-inch round cake pan. The mixture will be very sticky and uncooperative. My favorite trick is to wrap a strip of parchment paper around my fingers to help push the batter to the edges of the pan.

3. Bake for 25–30 minutes at 350°F. The edges will start turning golden brown!

4. Next, work on the peanut butter layer: mix the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and plant milk. Stir until smooth, and adjust if needed. It should be smooth enough to spread with a knife, but not too thin. 

5. When the cake is done, let it cool for a few minutes. I took the cake out of the pan by flipping it onto a plate. I also trimmed the edges to create a smoother look. 

6. Spread the peanut butter mixture over the cake. Be gentle to avoid breaking the shortbread.

7. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave or on the stove. Pour this over the top of the cake, and smooth with a spatula. Try not to smear it too much, since the warm chocolate will start to melt the peanut butter layer.

8. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Enjoy!

Also by Cassidy: Simple Vegan Tofu Vegetable Quiche

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Photo: Cassidy Klingman


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