Nothing says love like something from the oven.
Instead of fudge or gingerbread this holiday, try this lemon cake—it is sunshine on a fork. Although it is perfect in the summer when berries are ripe, this cake also adds something special to the winter holidays.
Citrus is just starting to appear in the stores for the season and oranges have always been a part of the winter holidays, so why not let the lemons out, too?
This cake is modeled after a German Blitztorte or Lighting cake, so it comes together relatively quickly and there is no need to spend the entire day in the kitchen. Plus in making the cake from scratch, there are no funky chemicals or preservatives that can make their way into our family’s tummies.
It is as enjoyable to decorate as it is to eat, so enjoy the holidays, cruelty-free!
2 cups all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour (or a mixture)
Egg replacer for 3 eggs (flax or preferred egg replacer)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 sticks vegan butter
2 cups vegan sugar
1 tbs lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Extra butter for greasing pans
Flour for flouring greased pans
1 jar blackberry preserves (homemade or store bought)
1 cup vegan powdered sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
Water, if needed
1 Pint blackberries
Small bunch of fresh mint
To make the cake: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8” round cake pans or line the bottom with parchment. Whisk together dry ingredients, except the sugar, in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter about 30 seconds until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed until lightened in color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly add in the egg replacer. Once that is incorporated, add the lemon zest and juice.
Finally stir in the flour mixture until smooth, scraping sides of bowl to incorporate. Scrape into cake pans and spread evenly. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes, then unmold and cool completely. Once the cakes are cooled, slice them in half to make a four layer cake or just use them as is for a two layer cake.
Filling: put about ¾ of the jar of blackberry preserves in a bowl and whisk until smooth and easy to work with.
Glaze: whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar until it’s a thick syrupy consistency. If you want pink icing, add about a quarter teaspoon of the remaining blackberry preserves and whisk into the icing. If you want white icing, you are done!
Garnish: thinly slice the lemons (one or two). Wash and dry the blackberries and mint.
Assembly: on a cooling rack (which has parchment paper underneath to catch the icing), layer the cakes with the filling. The thickness of the filling is up to you, but if making the four layer cake, the filling has to be thin. Once the cakes are layered pour the icing over the top.
I usually direct the icing so that there is an even coating on the top of the cake. Wait a couple of minutes for the icing to set and then transfer to a cake plate. Next is where you can get creative. Decorate the cake with the lemon slices, mint and blackberries. Have fun!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Bria Luu
Volunteer Editor: Melissa Horton/ Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s own