This simple vegan lemon cake is made up of a light, fluffy and bright sponge. Whether you eat it plain or top it with our lemony icing and candied lemon, you'll feel like you're eating a piece of sunshine. Yes, really.
250g white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
350ml plant based milk (we used oat)
120ml olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon extract or lemon juice
160 g icing sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, peeled
3 tbsp sugar
15g fresh soft herbs (dill, parsley or fresh thyme)
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Start by making the cake. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add white sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, combine milk, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice and whisk to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and fold to incorporate. Grease and line a baking tray (ours was 33x23) with parchment paper.
Pour the cake batter in and transfer to the middle shelf of your oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Note: If you’re using a smaller baking dish, the cake might take an extra 10-15 minutes to bake, as the cake will be deeper).
In the meantime, make the candied lemon. Thinly slice the lemon peel and transfer to a small saucepan. Cover the peel with water, then bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the lemon peel, then transfer back into the saucepan. Add 3 tbsp sugar and 50ml of water and bring to the boil again. Simmer the lemon peel until it is translucent - around 8-10 minutes.
Using a fork, carefully remove the pieces of candied peel from the saucepan and transfer onto a sheet of parchment. Be careful as it will be hot! Try to separate them as much as possible so they don’t all stick together when cooling.
Last, make the icing. In a bowl, whisk icing sugar and lemon juice until fully incorporated. The mixture should be easily spreadable and runny, but not liquid. If it’s too thick, add an extra drop of lemon juice, and if too thin, add an extra tsp of icing sugar.
Once the cake is baked, let it cool completely before icing it. Remove it from the baking tray, drizzle the icing on, followed by candied lemon. Slice and serve!