This dreamy, moist, and ultra zesty cake is vegan, gluten and wheat-free, packed full of flavor, and infused with real lemons. The cake is an easy lemon and coconut sponge with homemade vegan lemon curd and light, lemon buttercream. The lemon curd and candied lemons take this dessert to another level of scrumptious!
Lemon and Coconut Cake [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Cake:
- 2 cups and 1 teaspoon of unsweetened almond milk
- 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
- 3 1/3 cups and 1 teaspoon of self-raising flour (gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 2/5 cups and 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons of lemon extract
For the Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup of vegan butter
- Scant 5 cups of powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Lemon curd
For the Lemon Slices:
- 2/5 cup and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3/5 cup and 2 tablespoons of water
- Lemon juice
- 1 lemon, sliced
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two 9-inch cake tins with grease-proof paper.
- In a bowl, combine the almond milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined. Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan buttermilk.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, shredded coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well to combine.
- Add the melted coconut oil, vanilla, and lemon extract to the buttermilk and whisk to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
- Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins. Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
- Pop the cakes into the preheated oven and bake for 28-30 minutes. You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.
- Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully. Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.
To Make the Frosting:
- In a bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter on high then add in icing sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Add milk if needed.
- Level off your cakes if needed with a sharp knife.
- Sandwich the cakes with buttercream. I added a layer of lemon curd in between the cakes. Make sure on the top layer to turn the cake upside down for a flat top.
- Crumb coat the whole cake and pop into the fridge for an hour to chill. When firm, apply a second coat for a thick and clean coat.
- Once the frosting is firm, decorate my cake with some extra frosting in a piping bag fitted, a drizzle of vegan lemon curd on the top of the cake, and add some lemon zest and shredded coconut.
To Make the Candied Lemons:
- In a pan over medium heat, heat the sugar, water, and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add in the lemon slices, turning them over occasionally. Cook them for around 15-18 minutes until the rind is soft and the lemons are turning clear.
- Remove from the heat and place onto wax paper or kitchen paper and allow to cool fully before decorating the cakes.