I think I might have tried my first lemon poppy seed muffin from a Magnolia Bakery down in Chicago last year during my summer vacation. I fell in love with the soft/moist texture and the refreshing taste from the lemon in the muffin. From then on, I declared that my favorite dessert pairings was lemon and poppy seeds.
Obviously, the macarons that I decorated on top of this cake is NOT vegan. I just wanted something to put ontop of the cake to make it presentable and with my luck, I ran out of fresh fruits. So, besides the macarons, this cake is 100% vegan.
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
For Lemon Poppyseed Cake:
- 2⅔ cup unbleached cake flour (not all-pupose or else it will be very dense)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups vegan cane sugar or turbinado sugar
- 1¾ cup almond milk or soymilk mixed with 2 tsp vinegar. Set aside five minutes to curdle.
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- Zest of two lemons
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of vegan “butter” like Earth Balance or Crisco Vegetable Oil Shortening, at room temperature
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
- 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
- yellow gel food coloring
- To make the cake: Cream together the sugar and “butter” in a stand mixer or hand mixer fitted with a wisk, until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of bowl a couple of times during the mixing.
- Mix the lemon juice, zest, vanilla extract and almond milk.
- Sift into a bowl the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add the flour to the butter and sugar mixture in three batches, alternating with the almond milk mixture. Mix for 20 seconds after each addition, then scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything’s integrated.
- Add the poppy seeds and mix with a spatula to disperse them evenly through the batter.
- Oil and flour five, 6 inch circle pans (or 3 9 pinch pans but bking times will varey). Pour the cake batter into the pans evenly and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out dry. Let the cake stand in the bundt pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold. This cake unmolds easily, but if you need help run a knife lightly and carefully around the edges.
- Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the lemon zest, vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy. Divide the frosting in half and add about 6 drops of yellow gel food coloring into one of the divided frosting and set both the white and yellow frosting aside.
- To assemble cake: Use a long shape knife (preferably serrated) to carefully trim the tops of the cake to ensure they are level. Flip your cake layers upside down before assembling.
- Place one layer on your cake stand and use an offset spatula to spread a layer of frosting over the top of the cake. Repeat with remaining cakes.
- Crumb coat cake with some of the icing and then chill for about half an hour.
- Using an offset spatula, alternately swirl blobs of plain white icing and the colored yellow icing over the surface of the cake. Top cake with whatever you life such as fresh fruits, sprinkles, or just leave it plain. Chill to allow icing to set.
- Remove from the fridge at least 30 mins before serving to allow cake to come back to room temperature. Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for several days.