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Sunday, 6 June 2021

Easy Vegan Lemon Sheet Cake

Fluffy vegan lemon sponge with homemade lemon curd, topped with a whipped Swiss meringue buttercream. This sheet cake is perfect for Summer and 100% vegan! 


I've been loving baking with lemon's recently. The freshness and tang screams summer!
This is a very basic lemon sponge, with an easy homemade / vegan lemon curd. The curd is zingy, creamy and packed full of lemony goodness! 
Looking for more lemon recipes? Look no further:

Besides the flavor and fluffy texture, this cake is a winner because of its ease! It's extremely easy to make, and uses 'easy to find / accessible' ingredients.

This recipe is perfect as it is, but I have jotted down just a couple of tips for you.

A few tips for this cake:
  • Make sure you allow the lemon curd to cool before using it. Trust me, the last thing you want is to make the most perfect, beautiful cake and to apply the hot curd ontop, it'll just ruin the cake and melt the buttercream / frosting. Allow it to cool fully. I like to make mine the a few hours prior or the night before so it has time to fully set and chill in the fridge. Just give it a good stir before you use it.

  • Swiss meringue is the best frosting for this cake as the cake itself is extremely light. The lighter the frosting, the better. Swiss meringue has become my favourite buttercream / frosting to use. It's not only extremely delicious but is super easy to make. You basically just add some aquafaba into your classic buttercream. It doesn't make the frosting taste of chickpeas or aquafaba at all, it just adds a lightness. I highly recommend you try it out. 

  • Decorate the edges with some freshly zested lemon. It doesn't only look gorgeous, but adds an extra layer of lemony flavour.  I also added on some vegan friendly White Caviar from Fancy Sprinkles. Use code- LITTLEVEGAN15 for 15% off your order on FancySprinkles.com. [Aff code] Check out Fancy Sprinkles range of vegan sprinkles here.

Check out my popular Lemon Loaf and Lemon Cupcakes here:
The Best Lemon Loaf
As you can see from the photos, this cake is bright, sun and perfect for summer. Happy Baking! 

Notes*
- What is Aquafaba: Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas. The Chickpea water or brine as it's called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, cupcakes and this delicious meringue buttercream. You can also get aquafaba in a carton for easy use. Check it out here.

- What vegan block butter to use?
As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block.

- Where can I buy vegan sprinkles?
My favourite sprinkles are from Fancy Sprinkles. They have one of the best ranges of vegan friendly sprinkles. I used their 'White Caviar'.
Get the sprinkles I use- Use code LITTLEVEGAN15 for 15% off your whole order on Fancy Sprinkles.
Check out their vegan sprinkle range here

- What condensed milk should I use?
My two favourites are Natures Charm Coconut Condensed Milk and Carnation Oat based condensed milk. Both are vegan and can be found in supermarkets and online. 

Preparation: 2 hours / overnight
Baking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: Medium

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Ingredients for the cake
  • 150ml of dairy-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 140g of self raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 120g of caster sugar
  • 30ml of sunflower oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon

Ingredients for the lemon curd
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour + 1 tablespoon of water
  • 35g of dairy-free butter / margarine
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 50ml of lemon juice
  • 30g of vegan condensed milk (see notes*)
  • Pinch of turmeric

Ingredients for the frosting 

  • 100g of dairy-free block butter (See notes*)
  • 50ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine) see notes*
  • 180g of icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

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Method (lemon curd)
1. In a small bowl, add in the corn flour and water. Stir together into thick paste.
Add the cornflour paste, dairy-free butter, sugar, lemon juice, condensed milk and a pinch of turmeric into a medium sized saucepan.

2. Place the saucepan on the hob and heat over low / medium, stirring constantly, preferably with a whisk to help break up any lumps. After around 5-8 minutes the lemon curd will thicken. If the curd isn’t thickening, turn up the heat and constantly whisk. 

Pour the curd into a heat proof jar or bowl, cover and place aside to cool down. 
You can either put it in the fridge or keep it at room temperature to cool. Before you use it, give it a good stir as it will have thickened.

Method (cake)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line a 6 x 8 inch rectangular cake tin or a small rectangular cake tin with grease-proof paper. Allow the paper to hang over the tin, this makes it easier to remove the cake when baked.

2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan 'buttermilk'.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and lemon zest.
Mix well to combine.

4. Add the oil into the 'buttermilk' and whisk to combine.

6. Pour the batter into the lined tin. Use a cranked pallet knife to smooth out the batter, making sure to get it into the corners of the tin.
Make sure to tap the tin on the worktop one or two times to remove any air bubbles.

7. Pop the cake into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for around 20 minutes.
You will know it is done when you put a knife or skewer down the middle of the cake and it comes out clean and it's springy to the touch.

8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before frosting. You can even place the cake in a sealed container once cool then frost the day after. It's a very light sponge so be careful with it when removing from the tin.

Method (frosting)
1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.

2. Sift in the icing sugar and whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.

3. Pour in the aquafaba and vanilla extract. Whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don't over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it's thick and creamy.
 
4. Dollop the buttercream on the sheet cake and use a cranked pallet knife / off set spatula to swirl it around.

Top the cake with fresh lemon zest, white caviar sprinkles and some freshly sliced lemon segments (optional).

To store:
Serve fresh or store in a sealed container at room temperature. If stored in the fridge, the buttercream will set firm. Allow to come to room temperature for around 20 minutes before serving.
Best eaten within a few days!



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