This vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and almonds is soft, moist and delicious with a fresh lemon flavor. The recipe is quick and easy to make in one-bowl, with gluten-free option. (This post contains step-by-step pictures).
Vegan Lemon Cake (*see step-by-step pics in the blogpost or check out the recipe video!)
Preheat oven to 355˚F (180˚C). Grease a and line with additional parchment paper so that there is an overhang on both sides. (You could also use a similar sized pan, such as 9-inch. If using a square pan, the baking time will be about 25 minutes only.)
Add the non-dairy milk and lemon juice into a measuring jar and mix to combine. Set aside to curdle until it becomes vegan buttermilk.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the sugar and whisk everything to combine.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add into the well the vegan buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. Stir together just until combined. (Please do not overmix, or your cake will get too dense).
Pour the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing it out evenly. Tap the pan gently on your work surface to release any air bubbles.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Then cut a slit lengthwise to ensure that the cake rises evenly, and bake for another 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, then remove onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Place non-dairy cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon juice into a mixing jar and mix using an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy (or blend in a blender).
Spread the frosting over your cooled cake evenly.
Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add sliced almonds and toast for a minute. Sprinkle over brown sugar and allow to caramelize. Remove from the pan when the almonds are slightly golden-browned.
Sprinkle toasted almonds over your frosted cake and garnish with fresh lemons or other desired decorations.
If using a heavier flour, such as whole grain flour, keep in mind that your cake won’t get as fluffy and soft as when using a lighter flour. Also, please make sure to adjust the liquid by adding more non-dairy milk, if needed, because different flours absorb different amounts of liquid.
You can use any sweeteners you like, such as maple syrup, agave syrup, coconut sugar, a sugar-free substitute or other.
The baking time may vary, depending on your oven, or which pan you use, or if you cover the cake during baking. So please make a cake test! Also, remember the longer you bake the cake, the drier it gets.