A vegan lemon cake made in a blender, fluffy, moist and light, also gluten-free. The addition of aquafaba makes it almost like an angel cake. And this recipe contains no eggs, no dairy and no gluten. Yummy! Plus do you like my lilacs?
Vegan Lemon Cake
As you can see, especially if you follow me on Instagram, I love lilacs.
I planted three bushes in my yard years ago and now I wait patiently all year long for the few weeks they are in bloom. They are in bloom now! I posted a video of them on IG, go see my lilac video here! See if you can spot the butterfly, haha!
So of course, Easter weekend, we dived into this lemon blender cake because it stages so well with pretty purple lilacs.
But enough about flowers. Let’s talk about another kind of flower, or shall I say, flour?
How to Make This Cake Gluten Free
Gluten-free baking is risky business. I have some experience with it – I am by no means an expert and have plenty of fails – rock-hard cakes, cakes with no flavor.
However, thankfully, this recipe in particular has been a repeated success, so I want to share it with you!
With gluten-free baking, a lot depends on your oven temperature, pan size, and more. But it heavily depends on your flour.
I have had most success with a gluten-free flours by Bob’s Red Mill. There are of course other brands on the market, but his is the flour I used to make this cake.
How to Make A Vegan Lemon Cake
I love this cake in particular because I am able to zip the wet portion up the batter in a blender. Prepare pans. Gather ingredients. Soften the butter, activate the milk with apple cider vinegar, lightly whip up the aquafaba.
Pro tip: To make actual whipped aquafaba, you must whip with a mixer the liquid from a chickpea can with a bit of tapioca powder or the like, and add some sugar and whip for about 7 minutes to get a good stiff whipped cream.
Not so for this version. No additions necessary, and just whip for 1-2 minutes. That’s because you are going for airy, but don’t need or want a stiff whipped cream.
So once your ingredients are prepped, mix them, traditionally.
First wet, then dry and combine.
I blend up the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a blender, and add in the milk mixture and aquafaba.
In a bowl, I combine the dry, the flour, baking powder and salt.
Then I add the dry to the wet in the blender, zap it once or twice just to combine. You don’t want to over blend.
Scrap into the pan or pans, and bake.
Frost or not, these cakes are so light, even a dusting of confection sugar would be perfect.
But I also provide my basic vanilla frosting flavored with fresh lemon for this recipe.
Tips to Make Vegan Lemon Cake
1. Make sure your butter is at room temperature for both the cake and frosting recipes. Either leave it out to get to room temperature for about one hour, or zap it in the microwave for 5 seconds.
2. Don’t forget to add the apple cider vinegar to the milk. This helps the cake rise.
3. Don’t overwhip the aquafaba. A light foam is all you need.
4. This cake fits in one 8-inch pan or 2-3 4-inch round pans.
Substitutes For This Vegan Lemon Cake Recipe
One distinguishing characteristic of his 1-to-1 baking flour is that it already has xanthan gum, an ingredient you need especially in gluten-free baking to bind your batter together. If you are making this cake gluten free, and trying this recipe, and yet don’t use the flour I used, take care to check your gluten-free flour ingredients and see how they compare to the flour I used. If your flour does not include xanthan gum, you’ll have to add it. Add 1/2 tsp per cup of flour used.
And since successful vanilla gluten-free cake recipes aren’t easy to find, I encourage you to swap out the lemon extract and lemon rind, with flavors you want to try – perhaps just add vanilla extract to make it plain vanilla, or rosewater to add a rose flavor, or even culinary lavender? I’m not sure of these measurements but it’s worth testing.
Of course, you can always just change up the frosting or top it with fruit and serve with yogurt. The options for this light, airy cake are so endless. I hope you love it!
Please comment if you try it, and share on Pinterest if you please!
Don’t miss a thing, subscribe here to get recipes delivered to your inbox!
If you try my recipes, please leave a comment and rating below and tag me on your Instagram or Facebook post with @greensmoothiegourmet and #greensmoothiegourmet so I can see and share your remakes!!
Vegan Lemon Cake
For the cake
Wet ingredients - in blender
Dry Ingredients - in bowl
- Soften butter either by leaving it out at room temperature prior, or gently microwaving for 5-10 seconds.
- Grease one 8-inch round or square pan or two or three 4-inch spring form pans for mini cakes. Dust each with a bit of flour, and tap out the excess. Or cover the bottoms with parchment paper if you have it.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Activate the milk by adding the apple cider vinegar and setting it aside for 5 minutes.
- Make the frothy aquafaba. Capture the liquid in a can of chickpeas (I use bpa-free, no sodium), and reserve the chickpeas in the refrigerator for another use. Pour the liquid into a bowl or 2-cup measuring cup and whip with a mixer until you have a bubbly foam, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
- Blend up the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a blender. I used the larger jar of a Blendtec blender (as opposed to their mini jar) because I know I'm adding the dry ingredients so I need a jar with volume.
- To the butter mixture, add the milk, vanilla, and aquafaba. Blend until just combined.
- In a bowl, mix up the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the dry mixture to the blender mixture and blend until batter is just combined.
- Divide the batter between prepared pans.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top, springy to the touch and an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
- Wait two minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans. And let them cool 30 minutes on a rack before frosting.
- Make sure the butter is at room temperature before you make the frosting.
- Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add in the sugar, lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Mix again. If the frosting is too stiff, add in a tablespoon of milk at a time and mix between each one until the frosting looks like the texture you want.
- Until you frost the cakes, cover the bowl with a soaking wet paper towel to keep frosting from hardening. Frost the cakes, pipe florets or dot with flowers. Enjoy!
- Once frosted, the cakes should be eaten within two days and can be kept at room temperature covered.
- If you want to store the cakes, do so before frosting, wrapping them and freezing for three months.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.