Orange and chocolate is a pretty well-known flavor combination, but lemon and chocolate work just as well together! The tanginess of the lemon complements the rich, smooth chocolate perfectly – the darker the better!

Lemon Cake With Dark Chocolate Ganache [Vegan]

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  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon marmalade
  • Dark chocolate ganache (see below)
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 or 2 drops of lemon essential oil
  • Chopped cacao nibs, to decorate


To Make the Lemon Sponge Cake:
  1. Grease two 6x4-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Stir well with a wire whisk to aerate the mixture and until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk vigorously milk, maple syrup, sunflower oil, lemon juice and lemon zest, and apple cider vinegar. Add into the flour bowl and stir (using again with the wire whisk) until you get a smooth batter without lumps. It'll be rather thick so make sure there's no flour left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans (size of the pans are at the beginning of these directions) and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. A few moist crumbs are okay.
  5. Once baked let the cakes cool in their pans on a wire rack for five minutes and then remove the pans and peel off the parchment paper. Let the cakes cool completely on the rack, top sides up. Refrigerate until ready to use, I recommend to let them in the fridge overnight. Cold, refrigerated cake layers are more firm and easier to handle, plus the assembling process is certainly faster.
To Make the Dark Chocolate Ganache:
  1. In a small saucepan bring the soy milk to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and add in the dark chocolate, maple syrup and the drops of lemon essential oil. Stir well until smooth. Let it rest at room temperature until ready to use.
  1. Cut each cake in half so you get four layers. Spread around 2 tablespoons of lemon marmalade over each cake layer. Wait a couple minutes and spread 5 tablespoons of the dark chocolate ganache per layer.
  2. Coat the entire cake with a fine layer of ganache and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Finally, glaze the cake with all the dark chocolate ganache. Sprinkle some cacao nibs on top and place back in the fridge until ready to serve.


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