Vegan lemon curd cake is my answer to all the lemons life is showering me with these days. Ever since I moved into my current home a month ago, the lemon tree in the quiet corner of my garden has been blessing me with its bounty of fruit. Every morning I wake up to at least 15-20 ripe, yellow orbs scattered at the base of the tree. When lemons are this fresh, their scent, zest and juice are at their headiest. The first jug of lemonade I made had my senses floating on a cloud drenched with lemon mist. So much so,that I just couldn’t put off the urge to make a citrusy cake. The idea was to bake a light, snacky vegan lemon curd cake – punchy, tart, intensely lemony and sweet.
Vegan lemon curd is just as delicious
Lemon curd is one of my absolute favourite things to eat. I like mine tart, the kind that makes you go ‘thchh!’ as your tongue smacks against the roof of your mouth when the lemon hits the spot. This lemon curd does that. It’s sweet but not cloying, has a fully rounded lemon flavour (a combination of the scent and juicy sourness of the fruit) and is light because it doesn’t have eggs and butter. The creaminess of this recipe comes from coconut milk (soy and almond milk are also fine). It is thickened with cornflour. If you want a richer lemon curd, go for coconut cream. This recipe is simple and fail-proof and there’s no fear of curdled eggs either. I suggest that you make the lemon curd a day ahead to allow it to thicken to piping consistency in the fridge.
Easy vegan lemon curd cake
The lemon cake is simplicity itself. All you need are 2 bowls, one each for wet and dry ingredients. Once you have them measured out into their respective bowls, you pour the liquid mix into the dry one, gently combine, pour into a cake tin, swirl in the lemon curd and bake. That’s it. The vegan lemon cake recipe produces a tender, moist and light crumb thanks to the buttermilk, almond flour and olive oil that go into it. You can see from the pictures that it has delightful little puddles of lemon curd baked into the airy cake. These bright yellow, jammy craters burst on your tongue as you bite into the cake. For me, this fresh, tangy explosion in my mouth is the best thing about this vegan lemon curd cake.
I baked the cake in a 8” square tin and in an 9” round springform pan. The round pan will give you a more conventional-looking cake with lashings of lemon curd nestled within, while the square tin will yield a flatter, snack cake with a top resembling the lunar surface. I quite like this look. Remember to swirl the lemon curd all over the cake, leaving a gap of ½-inch around the edges. This helps the cake retain its shape and prevents the curd from leaking out.
I’ve always had a weakness for citrusy desserts and cakes.There’s something bright, fresh and perky about them. These sticky, sweet and sour squares are easy and quick to make. This vegan lemon curd cake is a crowd-pleaser and I see myself making it in large batches for casual potluck parties, picnics, and even as a delicious gift treat.
Vegan Lemon Curd Cake
For the lemon curd
- 100 g white, granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour or cornstarch
- 120 g coconut milk
- 70 g fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder (optional), for colour
For the cake
- 180 g all-purpose flour
- 60 g almond flour
- 220 g buttermilk
- 60 g light olive oil or any other flavourless vegetable oil
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
- ¾ tsp salt
- 140 g sugar
- 20 g fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- To make the lemon curd, whisk the sugar and the cornflour in a saucepan. Add the lemon juice, coconut milk and turmeric and whisk to get a lump-free mixture.
- place the saucepan on low to medium heat and continue to whisk vigorously (ensure there are no lumps) for at least 5-7 minutes till the mixture thickens to a glossy, custard-like consistency. Remove from the flame, cool and store in the fridge. The curd will continue to thicken as it chills.
- Preheat the oven to 176°C. Lightly grease and line a 9" round springform pan or an 8" square cake pan with baking parchment. Leave some parchment overhanging on 2 sides of the square pan to easily lift the cake out.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients, except the sugar, together in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, sugar, lemon zest and juice.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry one and gently mix until the batter is smooth without any lumps. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin, drop spoonfuls of lemon curd curd all over, gently swirl with a skewer, leaving about ½ an inch of batter around the edges.
- Bake the cake for 30-35 mins till the top is golden and the lemon curd has set. Cover the cake with foil midway through the baking if the top browns too fast.
- Cool the cake in the tin for 10 mins before gently lifting it out or un-molding it. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.