Vegan lemon poppy seed cake - this delicious cake has a moist, light, fluffy texture and a fresh, zesty, lemony flavour.
It is easy to make and is just as good for celebrations as it is for any day of the week.
This vegan lemon poppy seed cake is beautifully soft and moist, with a delicate, zesty lemon flavour. The addition of a simple lemon glaze helps to amp up the lemon flavour, and poppy seeds add texture.
I adapted this recipe from my vegan lemon pound cake, but made some tweaks to give it a slightly lighter texture - swapped the silken tofu for yogurt, some of the butter for oil, some of the flour for cornflour and the self-raising flour for plain flour plus baking powder and bicarb. I also added a smidge more lemon, reduced the sugar slightly and baked it in a round tin rather than a loaf.
This is a great every day cake as it is so simple and satisfying, but it would also be lovely for celebrations, particularly Easter.
What Do I Need To Make Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake?:
Lemons: You will need both lemon zest and juice so make sure that you buy unwaxed lemons.
Yogurt: I love using plant yogurt in vegan cakes, it is a great egg replacer and keeps the cake moist as well as adding flavour. Plain soy yogurt is best but coconut or oat based yogurt should also work.
Milk: You can use any kind you like but it should ideally be unsweetened and soy milk is best as it has the highest protein content.
Butter and oil: Generally in cakes butter adds flavour, but oil makes the cake more moist. I've gone for the best of both worlds and used both!
For the best results you should use a vegan block butter rather than the spreadable kind in a tub. I recommend Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant block.
For the oil I tend to use olive, but any neutral flavoured oil will work.
Sugar: Caster or granulated sugar is best. Don't use sweeteners, brown sugar or liquid sugars instead as they will affect the texture.
You will also need icing (powdered) sugar for the glaze.
Plain flour: Plain (all-purpose) flour is best. I haven't tested this cake gluten-free but I think that a plain GF flour blend plus ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum should work ok.
Cornflour: Adding a bit of cornflour (cornstarch) gives the cake a lovely light texture. You can swap it for more plain flour if you don't have any.
Baking powder and soda: Using both baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) will give you the best rise and texture. Don't swap one for the other, you will not get the same result.
Poppy seeds: You can omit these if you want a plain lemon cake but they do add a nice texture.
How To Make Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
Sift together the plain flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk together the lemon zest and juice, melted butter, oil, yogurt and milk in a jug.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with the sugar and stir with a balloon whisk until no dry lumps remain.
Fold in the poppy seeds.
Pour the batter into a greased and lined 20 cm round cake tin.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
Make sure that you buy unwaxed lemons as the wax used is not usually vegan and probably isn't good to eat anyway!
Don't over-beat the batter as that can make the cake tough.
The cake is ready when it is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter.
I prefer the texure of this cake on the day it is baked (it's fluffier), but it will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for around 4 days.
It can also be frozen. Make sure that it is well wrapped to avoid freezer burn.
More Vegan Lemon Recipes:
- Vegan lemon curd
- Vegan lemon ice cream
- Lemon blueberry polenta cake
- Vegan lemon drizzle cake
- Vegan lemon tart
- Vegan lemon pound cake
- Vegan lemon bars
- Vegan lemon blueberry rolls
- Vegan lemon sandwich cookies
If you tried this recipe let me know how it went! Rate it, leave a comment or tag @domestic_gothess on Instagram and hashtag it #domesticgothess
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Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- 250 g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 10 g (1 packed Tablespoon) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- finely grated zest of 2 large lemons
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 80 g (⅓ cup) vegan block butter (I use Naturli Vegan Block) melted
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil (or another neutral oil)
- 125 g (½ cup) unsweetened soy yogurt
- 125 ml (½ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy)
- 200 g (1 cup) caster or granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
- 170 g (1 ½ cups) icing (powdered) sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a 20 cm / 8 in round cake tin that is 5 cm / 2 in deep and line it with baking parchment.
- Sift together the plain flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the lemon zest and juice, melted butter, oil, yogurt and milk in a jug.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with the sugar and stir with a balloon whisk until no dry lumps remain.
- Fold in the poppy seeds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread it level. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice to form a thick but pourable glaze. Add more lemon juice as needed if it is too thick, and more icing sugar if it is too runny.
- Pour the icing over the top of the cake and serve.
- See post above for tips, details and step-by-step photos.
- As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!