This vegan lemon poppyseed cake is a classic made plant based, dairy-free and gluten-free! It is fluffy and moist, as well as tangy and perfect for spring and summer, best enjoyed with a cup of tea. Guaranteed to impress non-vegans at parties and gatherings!
I’m a fitness junkie. I love the gym, trying new challenging workouts, pushing myself. But I also love cake SO much I could easily pursue a career as a competitive cake eater. Not sure how much longevity of promotion opportunities that entails, but if I dream hard enough I could make it work?!
Anyway, often my cake of choice involves lemon, hence I’m buzzing to share this vegan lemon poppy seed cake with you all. If there’s one recipe you make from my site, it should be this one. And that’s a bold statement, given how fond I am of my savoury butter ‘chicken’!
Vegan lemon poppyseed cake
One of the reasons why I love lemon desserts is that they always signal the coming of spring and summer. They evoke lightness, freshness, a whimsical mood which envelopes me as soon as I wake up to the tiniest bit of sun breaking the horizon at 5 am.
Then I’m off to the gym, then I walk back and head straight to the kitchen. Breakfast of choice? A thick slice of lemon poppyseed loaf. Duh. Fitness done right, if I say so myself (keep in mind I’m not an expert or a personal trainer so take my advice with a pinch of salt, lol – or a lemon drizzle).
This is a cake that practically melts in your mouth. It leaves your kitchen smelling unbelievably good, and definitely won’t last long in any household. My mum and I tested (and ate) this countless times to achieve the perfect moist, fluffy and light texture, with a crunchy outside. There is just enough tanginess from the lemon, which the sweetness of the maple syrup balances out nicely. The poppyseeds look pretty, and supplement the texture.
Serve the lemon loaf by itself, or with a layer of peanut butter. Bring it along to parties to impress the guests, or enjoy as an afternoon snack/indulgent weekend breakfast. Anything works, really!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Gluten-free flour. I tried this with oat flour which makes a nice, hearty loaf, but it’s not as moist.
- Poppyseeds. Be generous with this, as they’re one of the star ingredients of this recipe!
- Baking powder.
- Vegan cream cheese. Stay tuned and sign up for my mailing list as I will soon share a recipe for a homemade one!
- Lemon zest.
- Unsweetened plant based milk of your choice.
- Lemon juice. Use fresh if possible, as this achieves the best flavour profile.
- Coconut oil. Olive oil works too for getting that perfect moist texture.
- Maple syrup.
- Vanilla extract.
- Flax egg. Simply ground flaxseed and water, left to stand aside for around 10 minutes.
How to make a vegan lemon poppyseed cake
STEP 1: Preheat a conventional oven to 180 degrees C/350 F.
STEP 2: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, poppyseeds, and baking powder.
STEP 3: In a separate mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk together the vegan cream cheese, lemon zest, plant based milk, lemon juice, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and the flax egg.
STEP 5: Add the wet ingredients to the dry, but make sure not to over-mix as this will undermine the fluffiness of the loaf.
STEP 6: Transfer the batter to a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.
Lemon loaf Q&A
Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes, as long as you use a certified gluten-free flour!
Can I make this oil-free? I tried this without oil and it still works, but is not as moist. You can also replace the oil with aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas).
How do I store this lemon cake? Leave it in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to around 1.5 months.
You will love this lemony dessert!
- Fluffy and light.
- With a crunchy outside.
- Perfect as cake for breakfast!
- Great for Easter.
- Ideal for parties and entertaining.
- Undetectably vegan.
- Light and refreshing.
- Easy to make and fuss-free.
Other yummy vegan cakes
I absolutely love sharing vegan cakes with you all! Some of my other favourites include:
Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite dessert at the moment? If you give this vegan lemon poppyseed cake a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below.
Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake (Gluten-free)
- Conventional oven
- Mixing bowl x2
- Loaf tin
- Parchment paper
- Cooling rack
- 1.5 cups gluten-free flour
- 3 tbsp poppyseeeds
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
- 1/4 cup lemon zest
- 1/3 cup plant based milk
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 + 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 tbsp water, stirred together and set aside for 10 minutes)
- Preheat a conventional oven to 180 degrees C/350 F.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, poppyseeds, and baking powder.
- In a separate mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk together the vegan cream cheese, lemon zest, plant based milk, lemon juice, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and the flax egg.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, but make sure not to over-mix as this will undermine the fluffiness of the loaf.
- Transfer the batter to a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.