This vegan raspberry & lemon cake is as pretty as it is delicious. With fluffy, moist vegan sponges generously scented with lemon zest, a luscious vegan frosting, a refreshing vegan lemon curd and an abundance of fresh raspberries, it’s everything you might want a cake to be – and more.
Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line three 6 inch (15 cm) round cake tins with baking/greaseproof paper.
Into a large bowl, sift together plain flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the sugar, salt and lemon zest, and mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix together the almond milk, melted coconut oil, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk well until you get a smooth cake batter.
Distribute the cake batter evenly between the three lined cake tins, and bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 30 minutes, or until risen, golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the cake tins for 5 - 10 minutes, then transfer the sponges to a wire cooling rack and let to cool completely.
Into a small saucepan, add the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, salt and turmeric. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes with constant stirring, or until thickened (it should cover the back of a spoon).
Add the coconut cream and coconut oil, and stir until both are fully dissolved and incorporated.
Allow to cool completely, then place into the fridge until needed.
In a saucepan, combine the coconut cream, coconut oil and icing/powdered sugar. Cook on medium-low heat until fully dissolved, then remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer with the double beater attachment, whisk the melted mixture on high speed. As is cools down, it will thicken and become white and fluffy.
You can speed up the cooling process by placing the bowl into come cold water (if using a hand mixer) or surrounding the bowl with something like bags of frozen peas (if using a stand mixer).
NOTE: Don't over-whisk the frosting – stop at the soft peak stage (it should look like whipped cream). If you over-whisk it, it can become grainy or split.
Also note: make the frosting maximum 5 to 10 minutes before you intend to use it. It sets quite quickly – and once it does, it becomes difficult to pipe or spread.
First, make the raspberry reduction:
In a saucepan, cook the raspberries on medium-high heat until they have released their juice and part of the liquid has evaporated.
Pass the raspberry mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds and skin.
Return the raspberry juice to the saucepan and cook further until it has decreased in volume to about 1/3 cup.
Allow to cool.
The procedure for making the different shades of pink frosting is the same as for the white frosting, with the following tweaks:
- Distribute the melted mixture of coconut cream, coconut oil and icing/powdered sugar evenly between three bowls.
- Add a bit of the raspberry reduction to each bowl, in different amounts, so as to achieve the different shades of pink (I've used ~1/2 tsp for the lightest shade, ~1 1/2 tsp for the middle shade and ~1 tbsp for the darkest shade of pink).
Then, follow the same procedure as for the white frosting.
NOTE: Make the pink frosting maximum 5 to 10 minutes in advance.
Spread some of the plain frosting onto the bottom sponge, making an even layer.
Pipe an additional ring of the plain frosting on top of the layer of frosting. This will essentially act as a dam to hold in the vegan lemon curd. The ring of frosting should be about as high as the fresh raspberries.
Spoon about 3 tbsp of the lemon curd into the middle and spread it around so it forms and even layer.
Arrange fresh raspberries onto the lemon curd.
Repeat the same process with another layer of sponge, frosting, lemon curd and raspberries, and top with the third sponge cake (see photos in post). Smooth out the sides of the frosting, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Pipe rings of pink frosting around the cake, piping the darkest shade of pink on the bottom and the lightest shade at the top. Smooth out the frosting, creating the ombre effect. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, or until the frosting has firmed up.
Using either a squeeze bottle or a spoon, create the lemon curd drip down the sides (make sure the lemon curd is properly cool, best straight out of the fridge). Cover the top of the cake with an even layer of lemon curd.
Decorate the top of the cake with fresh raspberries (or other decorations of choice).
The vegan raspberry & lemon cake keeps well in a closed container or covered in cling film in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.
Note 1: You can get coconut cream by putting the coconut milk into the fridge for a few hours (or preferably overnight) – without shaking! The coconut milk will separate into coconut cream (that you'll need in this recipe) and coconut water (which is great in smoothies).
Recipe by The Loopy Whisk (www.theloopywhisk.com).