This vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Layer Cake is a dairy-free and egg-less recipe with layers of tender and moist lemon-infused cake and a gloriously sweet and tangy blend of lemon frosting and blueberry filling. It’s so charming, fresh, and delicious – the perfect dessert to celebrate springtime!
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Blueberry Cake
I seriously love creating vegan cakes! They are so much fun to make and they allow my creative soul to freely explore ingredients and designs! And there are so many amazing plant-based ingredients out there that excite me to no end! And with the upcoming spring season, many of my favorites will soon be in bloom!
One of my favorite fruity flavor combinations is lemon & blueberry, so to kick the season off, I decided to amp my Lemon Blueberry Cake with a sprinkling of poppy seeds! I loved how it adds a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to the cake. Combined, the result is a cake that not only tastes incredibly good but also has a beautiful play of colors. The perfect cake for Sunday afternoon, the Easter holidays or to celebrate Mother’s Day!
Helpful tips for preparation
Made up of fluffy lemon and poppy seed cake, silky blueberry filling, and creamy lemon frosting! These layers are made separately and are quite easy to make and assemble. The preparation is super easy and if you follow the tips below, you will surely succeed.
Lemon and Poppyseed Cake
- To achieve that fluffy and moist texture, I recommend measuring your ingredients in grams or ml, instead of cups or measuring spoons.
- If you are planning to use heavier flour, such as whole-grain flour, do not expect your cake to be as fluffy and soft compared to using lighter flour. The flour to liquid ratio varies depending on flour types, so you will need to make adjustments and possibly add more non-dairy milk.
- For a gluten-free cake, I recommend using a gluten-free flour blend 1:1.
- Do not over-mix the batter or it will be dense instead of soft and fluffy after baking.
- The baking time may vary, depending on your oven, the pan you use, or if you cover the cake during baking. So please make a cake test by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is cooked through.
- Lastly, remember the longer you keep it in the oven, the drier it gets!
- Simmer until the berries are soft and the mixture turns velvety and thick.
- Make sure that you remove it from heat once it’s thick but is still quite supple. It will thicken even more as it cools in the fridge. However, if you still find the filling too watery, you can also thicken it with a bit of cornstarch.
- If you are pressed for time, you can use store-bought blueberry compote or jam instead of making one. Or you can incorporate the berries in the vegan lemon poppy seed cake itself by folding them into the cake batter. If you do this, toss them first in a bit of flour so the juice won’t make the batter soggy.
- You can also use other berries like raspberries, strawberries, or cranberries.
Vegan Cream Cheese Lemon Frosting
- Make sure that all your ingredients are at room temperature so they easily blend for a creamier finish!
- If your frosting turns too stiff and heavy, make it more spreadable by adding more lemon juice.
- If it is too soft, gradually mix in more powdered sugar until you get the right consistency.
How to make Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Layer Cake
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and this step-by-step instruction first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Making the Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
First, pour the non-dairy milk and lemon juice into a bowl and whisk to combine. Then set aside for 5 minutes to curdle until it becomes vegan buttermilk. Now whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Next, add the vegan buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. Stir with a spatula or whisk until just combined. Divide the batter into two prepared 8-inch (20-cm) springform pans and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
Step 2: Making the Blueberry Filling
In a saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring it to a simmer and cook over medium heat until the blueberries are soft and the sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator while it thickens even more (if you still find the filling too watery, you can also thicken it with a bit of cornstarch).
Step 3: Making the Lemon Frosting
In a large mixing bowl, mix the vegan butter with a handheld mixer until creamy. Then add the vegan cream cheese and mix again. Lastly, sift in powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice and mix again until creamy and well combined. If it’s too firm and not spreadable, stir in more lemon juice. If it is too soft, add more powdered sugar.
Step 4: Assembling the Cake
Cut each cake horizontally in two equal layers. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread about ¼ of the lemon frosting over the cake. Then spread ⅓ of the blueberry over it.
Top with the next cake layer, spread over another ¼ of the frosting, followed by another ⅓ of blueberry filling, and repeat this process for the third layer. Then place the fourth layer on top and spread the remaining lemon frosting all over the cake.
Step 5: Chill and decorate
Chill the cake for at least 2 hours in the fridge (or overnight) to solidify. Then decorate with blueberries, blackberries, lemon slices, poppy seeds, fresh mint, and flowers, or any toppings you like. Slice and serve!
Make it just the way you like it!
This beautiful vegan lemon poppy seed layer cake is perfect for special occasions, but also requires a bit of work. If you love the combination of blueberries, lemon and poppy seeds as much as I do, but find a cake too time-consuming, you can modify the recipe to your liking.
For a delicious blueberry lemon cake, you can simply flour the blueberries and fold them into the batter. Then bake the cake in a loaf or bundt pan, let it cool, and top with a lemon glaze or a smaller amount of the frosting.
Muffins or cupcakes can also be made the same way. Simply pour the batter with the blueberries incorporated into a muffin tin lined with paper cups and bake the muffins at the same temperature for about 20-25 minutes. If you like, you can use the frosting to make cupcakes from the muffins.
Make ahead and leftover storage
You can easily prepare the different layers of the cake in advance and assemble them on the day of serving. If you want to prepare the lemon cake, you should wrap the layers separately with foil and put them in the refrigerator. Before assembling the cake, you should first remove the frosting from the refrigerator at least an hour beforehand, otherwise, it will be very firm and therefore more difficult to spread on the cake. It’s also best to stir it again until creamy before using. Leftovers of your Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Packed airtight, they also remain soft and juicy!
This Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Layer Cake is:
- Dairy and egg-free
- So fruity and fresh
- Sweet and tangy
- Moist and soft
- Easy to decorate to fit any occasion
- Made of 3 luscious layers
- Gluten-free possible
- Seriously scrumptious!
- Perfect for springtime!
More delicious vegan cake recipes to try:
- Strawberry Coconut Cake
- Blueberry Chia Pudding Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Cookie Butter Cake
- Blueberry Coconut Cake With Yogurt Frosting
- Vegan Vanilla Cake
- Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- Strawberry Cream Cake
- Strawberry Lemon Cake With Blackberry Jam
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
- Cranberry Cake
- Black Forest Cake
If you try this Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Layer Cake recipe, feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you liked it! And if you take a picture of your homemade Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Blueberry Cake and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your pictures! Enjoy!
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Blueberry CakeAuthor:
Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake
- 1 ½ cup (360 ml) non-dairy milk 360 ml
- ½ cup (120 ml) lemon juice 120 ml
- 2 tbsp (2 tbsp) lemon zest
- 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour 360 g or gluten-free flour*
- 2 tsp (2 tsp) baking powder
- ½ tsp (½ tsp) baking soda or 1 tsp more baking powder
- 1 tsp (1 tsp) salt
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar 200 g
- ½ cup (120 ml) neutral oil 120 ml
- 1 ½ tsp (1 ½ tsp) vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp (4 tbsp) poppy seeds
- 14 oz (400 g) blueberries frozen or fresh (400 g)
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar or to taste (100 g)
- juice of 1 lemon
*Note: see step-by-step pics in the blog post or check out the recipe video!
Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake
- Preheat the oven to 355 ˚F (180 ˚C). Grease the sides of two 8 inch (20 cm) springform pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- Pour the non-dairy milk and lemon juice into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to curdle until it becomes vegan buttermilk.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the vegan buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. Stir with a spatula or whisk until just combined (please do not over-mix, or your cake will become dense).
- Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, then remove onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring it to a simmer and cook over medium heat until the blueberries are soft and the sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator while it thickens even more (if you still find the filling too watery, you can also thicken it with a bit of cornstarch).
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the vegan butter with a handheld mixer until creamy. Then add the vegan cream cheese and mix again. Lastly, sift in powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice and mix again until creamy and well combined. If it’s too firm and not spreadable, stir in more lemon juice. If it is too soft, add more powdered sugar.
Assembling the Cake
- Cut each cake horizontally in two equal layers. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread about ¼ of the lemon frosting over the cake. Then spread ⅓ of the blueberry over it.
- Top with the next cake layer, spread over another ¼ of the frosting, followed by another ⅓ of blueberry filling, and repeat this process for the third layer. Then place the fourth layer on top and spread the remaining lemon frosting all over the cake.
- Chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge (or overnight) before decorating and serving.
- This recipe is adapted from my lemon blueberry cake and lemon poppy seed cake.
- Flour: For the best, soft and fluffy texture, I recommend using all-purpose, light spelt flour, or a 1 to 1 gluten-free baking flour blend. Using a heavier flour, such as whole-grain or oat flour, will make the cake dense.
- Sugar: For the cake batter, you can also try other sweeteners, such as maple syrup, agave syrup, coconut sugar, or a sugar-free substitute. Just keep in mind that this may change the texture.
- Dairy-free milk: soy milk works best for vegan baking. However, other varieties of dairy-free milk will do too.
- The baking time may vary depending on the oven, baking pan, or whether you cover the cake during baking. Therefore, please do a stick test! The longer you bake the cake, the drier it will be.
- Blueberries: If you don't want to make the blueberry filling yourself, you can opt for store-bought blueberry compote or jam. Or you can just fold a few blueberries tossed in a little flour or cornstarch into the cake batter. Other berries can be used, too.
- Storing: Leftover cake can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the cake without the frosting and filling.
- For more helpful tips and information, read the text above the recipe card.
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