Spring is finally in the air! And I’ve got the perfect cake to celebrate this time of year.This Easter Lemon Cake is made up of a light vegan lemon sponge, frosted with lemon buttercream and topped with colourful egg decorations.
Perfect for those avoiding eggs and dairy but still want something indulgent.
If you’re wondering where on earth I found these vegan-friendly mini eggs – I happened to come across them in Carluccio’s, of all places!
Needless to say, I was pretty excited to see they were dark chocolate and made without animal products.
For the lemon sponge cake (adapted from cakemerchant.com)
- 360 ml unsweetened almond milk
- Juice of half a lemon, save other half for frosting
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 230 g caster sugar
- 110 ml sunflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or extract
- 250 g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the lemon buttercream frosting
- 300 g dairy-free butter, I used Vitalite
- 1 tsp vanilla paste, or extract
- 450 g icing sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
For the deocration
- Dark chocolate, melted
- Vegan-friendly mini eggs or chocolates
To make the lemon cake
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F. Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix the lemon juice and zest with the almond milk and set aside for a few minutes to "curdle".
- Stir in the sugar, oil and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients a small amount at a time until well combined.
- Transfer the batter to the cake tins, dividing the amount equally. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top and a cake tester comes out clean.
- Once baked, allow the cakes to rest in the pan for a few minutes before removing and cooling on a wire rack. Wait until completely cooled before decorating. I like to put the cakes in the freezer for a few hours or overnight so it's easier to decorate.
To make the lemon frosting
- Simply whisk the butter with the vanilla, adding a small amount of icing sugar at a time until fully incorporated. Whisk in the lemon juice. Taste and add more sugar, butter or lemon juice as needed.
- You may need to trim your cake slices if domed on top, to create even layers.
- Place one layer on your cake stand or board and add a large dollop of icing on top. Smooth to the edges, using an icing spatula and add more as needed until you have a thick filling.
- Place the next layer on top and repeat.
- Start smoothing the frosting around the sides of the cake to create a thin "crumb layer". At this stage, I like to put the cake in the fridge for about an hour to set slightly and help make the final layer much smoother.
- Apply the rest of the frosting to the cake and work your way around, using a turntable if possible, to create a smooth layer.
- Once frosted, use a pastry brush to dip into the melted chocolate and carefully flick the chocolate onto the cake to create a speckled effect.
- Top the cake with mini eggs or chocolates to finish.
- Keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. Enjoy!