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Say hello to the most gorgeous and delicious cake ever: the raspberry lemon layer cake. Composed of lemon pound cake, lemon buttercream, raspberry chia jam, lemon curd, and a sweet cookie crumble, it's decadent without the heavy flavors. It’s light, sweet, tangy, and whole wheat to boot! Serve this with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream and coconut whipped cream.

Raspberry Lemon Layer Cake [Vegan]

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Ingredients You Need for Raspberry Lemon Layer Cake [Vegan]

For the Lemon Shortbread Cookie Crumbs:
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest

For the Lemon Curd:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • Juice and zest of 3 Meyer lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Raspberry Chia Seed Jam:

  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons rosé vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the Lemon Pound Cake:

  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest

For the Lemon Buttercream:

  • 1 cup vegan shortening
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice

How to Prepare Raspberry Lemon Layer Cake [Vegan]

To Make the Lemon Shortbread Cookie Crumbs:
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a stand mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until even. Stream in the oil, vanilla, and lemon juice and keep mixing until large clumps form and it looks kind of sandy.
  3. Break the mixture up into clusters (some small, some large) and spread onto prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until crumble is light golden brown and crunchy, 10-12 minutes (it will firm up as it cools). Let cool completely.
  4. These can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for up to five days.

To Make the Lemon Curd:

  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients except the cornstarch. Heat on medium high until the mixture starts to boil. Add in the cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
  2. Lower heat to medium-low and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. The mixture will be a bit lumpy. Let cool or put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes then blend it for a smoother consistency.
  3. This can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days.

To Make the Raspberry Chia Seed Jam:

  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the frozen raspberries and cook for 3-5 minutes until raspberries are thawed, stirring and mashing often.
  2. Add the maple syrup and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low and let mixture thicken for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chia seeds. Set aside to thicken for 20 minutes. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to five days.

To Make the Lemon Pound Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the sugar, milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Turn the stand mixer on to medium-low and gently add the flour mixture into the bowl, bit by bit. Keep mixing until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

To Make the Lemon Buttercream:

  1. While the cake is in the oven, combine the vegan shortening and vegan butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes until smooth, fluffy, and creamy. Stop halfway to scrape down the sides.
  2. Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix for 1-2 minutes until even, stopping to scrape down the sides. Add the lemon juice and mix for another minute.
  3. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Place the two sheets of acetate or laminate into the cake pan. You are creating a tall mold to shape your cake in. Tape the sides of the sheets together to form your sturdy mold. Find a visual reference for these steps here.
  2. Using another 6-inch cake pan, or the bottom circle of your 6-inch springform pan, trace a circle onto a sheet of wax paper and cut out the circle. Place the wax circle at the bottom of the springform pan and spray it with cooking oil. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife and flip it over onto a sheet a wax paper to remove it from the pan.
  3. Use a 6-inch pan or the bottom of the spring form (before step four) to cut out two full circles of cake, and two half circles. Once you have your shapes cut out, use the two half circles to line the edges of your spring form mold. You will want to save the full circles for the top layers, they will be prettier.
  4. Use the remaining scraps to fill in the bottom layer. Shove the pieces into the middle, and tamp it down a bit with the back of your hand. You may have a few bites left over to munch on.
  5. Slowly and evenly, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Meyer lemon juice on top of the bottom layer. Spread 1/2 of the vegan lemon curd on the layer. Top with 1/3 of the raspberry jam. Add 1/3 of the lemon buttercream on top and spread it evenly. Add 1/3 of the cookie crumbs on top of the buttercream and gently push the crumbs into the buttercream with the back of your hand, being careful around the rim of the cake. It will be visible so you want it to look even and gorgeous.
  6. Add a full cake circle into the mold, then evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Meyer lemon juice onto the cake layer. Spread the remaining 1/2 lemon curd on top of the layer, followed by 1/3 of the jam, and 1/3 of the lemon buttercream. Top with 1/3 of the cookie crumbs.
  7. Add the final layer, then cover it with the last 1/3 of buttercream. In the center of the top of the cake, add the remaining raspberry jam. Use the rest of the cookie crumbles to decorate your cake in whatever design or fashion you like.
  8. Cover the finished cake in a few secure layers of plastic wrap and freeze overnight to set the cake.
  9. After 4 hours, or ideally overnight, set the cake out to thaw on the counter or in the refrigerator.
  10. An hour or two before serving, remove your cake from the freezer. Pop open the springform latch to release the cake from the pan and remove the bottom circle of the pan from the cake.
  11. Place the cake on your cake stand or cake plate. Peel away the laminate sheets and serve.
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