Vegan lemon poppy seed cake

Vegan lemon poppy seed cake

vegan lemon poppy seed cake cut

It’s the weekend at last. Even though it’s another DIY weekend for us, I am looking forward to it as we are finally putting the last coat of paint on our living room walls, woop woop. The walls are already looking great even though we did encounter some unsightly issues after the first coat and our hearts sank a little. Some remedial action and another coat has made a big difference and this third and final coat will certainly seal the deal.

Our long awaited sofa is almost ready for delivery so we should be able to finally have a bit of comfort in the next one to two weeks. It’s just as well as, with the coronavirus sweeping across the globe, we are relieved to soon have a spare sleeping arrangement if one of us falls ill. Due to the official health warnings, Duncan is working from home most days next week. Tina will be delighted and I am sure she will install herself on his lap as soon as he sits down at his desk and stay there until he finishes for the day, making his loo or food breaks an apologetic nightmare. She is a mega cuddler in cold winter months and Duncan is certainly her favourite person on Earth. When I mock-sulk about it, he tells me that it’s because I am way more fidgety than he is, but we both know it’s not true. They are so adorable together, gazing into each other’s eyes, that it makes me wanna cry (I am an easy crier, no surprises there!)

From other news, I had my first therapy session yesterday, which was very validating and it took a weight off my shoulders. My therapist has confirmed my assessment of the situation and I am getting a lot of homework before our next session so that I can start working on reorganising my brain as the brain, ladies and gentlemen, has a lot of plasticity which is good news for people who want to work on changing themselves. I already feel a touch lighter by speaking to a qualified professional. I’m focusing on not anticipating things, just putting one foot in front of the other and paying close attention to the quality of my footwork, if that makes sense.

As it’s mid-March I made a very spring-appropriate cake even though yesterday we saw a procession of hail that sounded like an angry mob knocking on our windows and doors all at once and temperatures close to freezing. The cake definitely will not go to waste especially that we are decorating and have a couple of friends popping over on Sunday. It’s based on my old favourite lemon drizzle cake that is quite popular, but I tinkered with the recipe a little to make it even nicer. It’s easy to make, fills your house with a delicious citrusy fragrance and goes really well with a cup of chamomile tea. Enjoy!

vegan lemon poppy seed cake wet ingredients

vegan lemon poppy seed cake batter

vegan lemon poppy seed cake icing

makes
2 lb / 1 kg
PREP
20 min
COOKING
50 min
makes
2 lb / 1 kg
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
50 min
INGREDIENTS
WET INGREDIENTS

  • 80 ml / 1/3 cup mild tasting oil (for example, mild olive oil or melted mild coconut oil)
  • 150 g / ¾ cup caster sugar or coconut sugar
  • 150 ml / ½ cup + 2 tbsp room temperature* plant milk (I used almond)
  • 60 ml / ¼ cup lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 180 g / 1½ cups all purpose white flour or GF cake flour mix, sifted
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100 g / 1 cup almond meal or finely ground almonds
  • 4 tsp poppy seeds, plus more to decorate

ICING

  • 50 g / ½ cup icing sugar
  • approx. 3 tsp lemon juice

METHOD
CAKE

  1. Heat up the oven to 180° C (or 160° C fan forced) / 355° F (320° F fan forced). Line a 1 kg / 2 lb tin (see NOTES) with a wide strip of baking paper to be able to remove your cake easily.
  2. If using coconut oil, melt it gently over a low heat. Whisk the oil and sugar together with an electric whisk.
  3. Add in the plant milk, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix with a spoon, otherwise the mixture will splatter everywhere.
  4. Mix all the dry ingredients in another bowl together. I recommend sifting the flour for a lighter crumb, but the recipe works well without that step also.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix gently but thoroughly, making small circles from a small well in the centre of the bowl gradually incorporating more dry ingredients into the wet ones – I find that this method prevents lumps from forming.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking tin.
  7. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is nicely browned.
  8. Once cool, drizzle with icing starting from the middle so that it drips down to the sides creating pretty drizzle marks.

ICING

  1. Whisk the icing sugar and lemon juice in a medium size bowl until fully combined. Add the lemon juice gradually to avoid lumps in your icing.

NOTES
*if using coconut oil, otherwise not important.

Please be aware that 1 kg / 2 lb tins vary enormously between brands so I recommend measuring the volume of the tin you intend to use first. For this recipe, I used a 2 lb cake tin that holds approximately 1250 ml / 5 cups of liquid (to the brim). The batter should fill no more than 2/3 – 3/4 of the tin or else the cake may not raise.

Although not traditional for this particular cake, you may want to soak the cake with some lemon syrup (3 tbsp sugar melted in 3 tbsp lemon juice, pierce the cake in several places with a skewer before soaking) as soon as it comes out of the oven. It is an especially good trick if you accidentally overbake it.

My recipe is based on my earlier Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
197
10%
sugars
15 g
16%
fats
9 g
13%
saturates
1 g
5%
proteins
3 g
6%
carbs
27 g
10%
*per serving
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5.0
18 reviews, 44 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Kate:
This turned out beautifully. So delicious, right amount of sweetness, and the perfect flavour from the almond flour. I have made many a lemon cake and I usually get some sort of unfavourable result (middle caving in, not the right texture, not the right flavour, etc) but this one looked as beautiful as the photo. Perfect recipe, will be my new go-to lemon loaf.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much, Kate! I am delighted to hear that it worked out so well for you and I really appreciate you taking the time to review. x Ania
Basia:
I made this cake into a Polish Easter babka and it worked so well! I was anxious about getting it out of the form but I didn't have to worry, it came out very easily - thank you for the recipe, can't wait to try it :))
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, I am delighted to hear that Basia! Hope you'll enjoy it. x Ania
      Basia:
      The cake is absolutely delicious! So indulgent (at least for me, I very rarely bake) - half of it is gone already and I'm doing Easter solo haha ;)
      I was wondering if you could give me advice whether I could tweak this recipe to make it almond flavoured? My grandma always bakes an almond babka for Easter and her recipe is looks difficult to veganise so I thought I could adapt your recipe since the texture is very similar. I was thinking of removing most of the lemon juice, zest and poppy seeds and replace it with more milk and add a few drops of almond flavourig (she adds that to her recipe) - does it sound like it could work? Your option would be much appreciated! :)
        Ania
        Ania:
        Aw, thank you so much, I am so pleased you are enjoying it! And, yes, your changes to make it almond flavoured sponge, sound perfect. Leave a little bit of lemon juice in there (at least 2 tsp) as it reacts with baking soda and helps with leavening. And yes, almond flavouring will give you the flavour. You may also want to add some almond butter. Good luck, I hope it comes out beautifully. x Ania
          Basia:
          Thank you for your tips, you're the best!! I made all the changes and it came out absolutely delicious and very close to what I remember my grandma's babka tasted like. The texture is so spot on! I wrote down the exact quantities and I'd be happy to share (although I did pretty much what I said in my previous post)
          Ania
          Ania:
          I'm delighted for you, Basia! It's such a nice feeling when you are able to recreate a dish that takes you to that happy place :) x Ania
Rosie:
Another amazing recipe. Absolutely delicious, light, simple and an easy crowd pleaser. Lasted a whole week in the tin and really moist. I added more zest and lowered the sugar a little as I love the tang. Thanks again!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Rosie! I am absolutely delighted to hear that you enjoyed this cake so much and thank you for taking the time to write this lovely review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Rosie:
This is absolutely delicious and a doddle to make
    Ania
    Ania:
    So happy to hear that, Rosie! And I appreciate you taking the time to write this review, it really helps my work be seen so thank you :) Ania
Liz:
This recipe looks amazing! I was wondering - do you think it would work well with wholemeal flour and brown sugar? I know it would look totally different, but I only usually have panela sugar in the house!
Thanks very much x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Liz,
    Brown sugar will definitely work, but it will make the cake a touch darker. As for the wholemeal flour, I would personally recommend as it will make the cake less delicate and pleasant to eat. It's perfect for breads and some types of cakes (I like to make a carrot cake with it) but not sure it work that well here. Hope this helps! Ania
      Liz:
      thanks! I'll try it and let you know :-)
        Ania
        Ania:
        No worries, hope you'll enjoy it! Ania
Naz:
Hello can I use ground almonds with skin on or it has to be almond flour? thank you.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Naz,
    Sure you can, just make sure they are ground up finely - a coffee/spice grinder is good for this. Hope this helps! x Ania
Sara:
What a delicious cake, thanks so much for the recipe!
I love your blog, I know I can trust that every recipe you publish is an instant success here!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank you for your kind words, Sara! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe as well as some of the others too. x Ania
Jessie:
In love with this recipe! It only lasted 2 days in our house.
Keen to make it one of my staples.
Thanks so much
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Jessie! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoy this case so much and thanks so much for taking the time to let me know - I really appreciate it. Ania
Christie-Leigh:
This cake is so delicious! I made it for my dad’s birthday and it was a winner! Your recipes work so well and are a great way to introduce people to really good, tasty vegan food.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much for your kind words, Christie-Leigh! I'm so happy to hear that this cake went down so well, especially that it was made for such a big occasion. I'm really happy to hear that you enjoy my recipes in general - thank you for supporting my tiny corner of the Internet. x Ania
Mine:
Hello,
I def try this recipe however I've a question for you. My icings always become so grainy and you can feel the sugar granules when you are eating it. How should I prevent this problem? Many thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi,
    Great, hope you'll enjoy it. It may be down to the sugar you've used - what you want is powdered (icing) sugar - if you do use that, it may need to be sifted first as it tends to clump up from airborne moisture. Hope this helps! Ania
Kelsie:
I made this loaf for a family get together and it was delicious! I added the lemon syrup after baking but I think it made it a bit too sticky (I only added half but next time I’d only add a quarter).
Mine sunk in the middle a smidge like others have said but I didn’t mind, it tasted delicious! Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted you enjoyed it, Kelsie! And thanks so much for letting me know - much appreciated. Ania
Nadine:
Wow - seriously the best thing I have baked in quite some time. The addition of the almond flour makes this so unique. Thank you for this gorgeous recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank so much, Nadine. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much and thanks for taking the time to let me know that you did. Ania
Emilia Scheffler:
I made your cake and it is absolutely DELICIOUS! So fluffy yet a bit moist, perfect balance of sweet and sour and the crunch from the poppy seeds and blended almonds, oh, simply beautiful! Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe! :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank so much for your kind words, Emilia! I am absolutely delighted to hear that you enjoyed my cake so much. And thanks so much for taking the time to let me and my other readers know - much appreciated! Ania
Mayke:
I already made this cake twice and it is delicious. The second time I used 100gr of sugar instead of 150gr, which i personally prefer. Sadly my cakes were pretty crumbly. Do you have any tips to make the cake less crumbly?
Thanks :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Mayke,
    I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed the taste of this cake. I'm sorry to hear about the crumbliness - what flour did you use? My guess is that it has dried out too much in the oven. I've never had any issues with cutting a neat slice myself. Let me know - I'll be happy to get to the bottom of the issue with you, but I need more information. Ania
Jess:
I've already made this muliple times for my in-laws and it's the only thing they ask for now. I've even been tasked with making this at Christmas time. It's a gorgeous bake, thank you so much for sharing it. I honestly just come straight to you for everything baking now as I always can rely on the fact it's always going to be super tasty. Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much for your kind words, Jess. I'm delighted to that you like my cakes as I love coming up with them! Thank you for taking the time to let me and my other readers know that this cake was such a hit with you and your family. Ania
Mary:
Sooo delicious!! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Mary! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it! x Ania
Elizabeth Wilson:
I love this recipe and have made it 3 times only problem is mine sinks in the middle every time. Still great but wonder if you have any tips to help?
Thanks
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Elizabeth,
    I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this cake so much that you made it 3 times, but sorry about the sinking issue - I know how disappointing that is. There are a lot of reasons why a cake may sink in the middle, for example: incorrect (too big or too small) size baking tin, too much baking agents (I know, that one does seem counterintuitive), hot/cold spots in your oven, opening the oven door too soon, insufficiently pre-heated oven, allowing the batter to sit around for too long before baking. These are only just a few ideas - let me know if any of these are a possible and we will try to pin this issue down. Hope that helps! Ania
Kseniya:
This came out yummy. I used earth balance butter instead of coconut oil. It was a very delicious pound cake - very rich and moist. The glaze was a perfect addition. Thanks for the recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear that, Kseniya! Thank you for letting me know that you enjoyed it. x Ania
Nicole:
I had some cute Star Wars Muffin liners and wanted to surprise my boyfriend with May the 4th-Star Wars muffins during the lock-down. I never baked with poppy seeds before but bought them last week for another recipe (what are the chances). The ingredients are so simple and staples in our house. I used half the recipe and got 5 muffins out of it (baked at roughly 18 minutes). I like muffins as you can freeze them easily as well. Haven't tried them yet but my bf loved them! Thanks for a easy recipe that doesn't require a ton of washing up
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm so happy to hear that, Nicole. What a lovely surprise for your partner - I am chuffed to hear that they went down well. x Ania
Rony:
This is the best vegan cake I have ever made! And I made a whole lot of them.
Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you for your kind words, Rony! I am delighted to hear that! x Ania
LiLo:
I made this recipe into muffins and they are absolutely delicious. Moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you very much....
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that, LiLo! And thank you for taking the time to let me know that you enjoyed them so much. Stay well. X Ania
Julie Hall:
This cake sounds amazing! Do you think I could substitute coconut flour, buckwheat flour or rice flour? Not sure my local shop does GF flour and things a bit tricky to travel further at present.... ;-)
Thanks
Jules
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Jules,
    Sure, I completely understand, let's flesh it out. Buckwheat flour, which I love, has quite a distinct flavour, which lemon won't be able conceal. Coconut flour is very tasty and compatible with lemon flavour, but it is very very absorbent so will make your cake dry. Rice flour won't hold up on its own, I dont think, so I would use 1/2 cup of each and maybe add a flax/chia egg (1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds + 3 tbsp water, set aside for 15 mins) just in case as GF flour mixes usually have some starches that stop the cakes from falling apart. I would also add a bit more (maybe 1/4 cup of plant milk) to make sure the cake stays moist as coconut flour will impact the moistness for sure. I hope that helps and that the cake will come out well! Ania
Shirley:
This was great! Easy to make and delicious.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Shirley, I am delighted to hear that! Ania
Jasmine S Metcalf:
I made this recipe yesterday! I didn't have poppy seeds, so instead I used toasted black sesame seeds as an alternative! It worked out very nicely, and gave it a different character, while still providing the crunch, and earthiness you'd like from the poppy seeds! It had a slight savory flavor that actually complimented the cake nicely!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear, Jasmine. Thanks for commenting! x Ania
Supriya Kutty:
Thank you for sharing these amazing recipe with us, I cannot wait to prepare thjis amazing recipe and taste it myself and see how well it tasted and cooked also sharing it with my friends and family as well for their future reference.
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure. x Ania
Susan Kelley:
Just made this (without the icing) and love the flavor. I used coconut oil, plain, unsweetened soy milk, and granulated sugar (didn't have caster). I added about 1 tsp of vanilla, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mine only needed 40 minutes in the oven, but it's a gas oven from 1947 so the flames make for a different heat. Sadly, I didn't wait quite long enough for it to cool off before I tipped it out of the loaf pan, so it stuck and cracked. Still delicious! The subtly almond and coconut flavors, not too sweet, are delightful.
    Ania
    Ania:
    So happy to hear that you enjoyed this cake, Susan. Shame about it breaking - funnily enough, similar thing happened to me first time I tried to take photos. The cake was still warm and I was trying to transfer it between two plates with just one small spatula and half of it broke off. I was gutted. x Ania
Andrea:
This looks amazing! I don’t have almonds, can I use more flour?!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I have not tried, but I am pretty sure it would work. You may want to use 3/4 cup rather than a whole cup though. Good luck! x Ania
Jo-Ann:
I love ANYTHING lemon and poppy seed, can’t wait to try it!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad to hear, Jo-Ann. I hope you'll enjoy it if you decide to make it! x Ania
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