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!
*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.
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.