This Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cake is so easy to make, super fruity, and is topped off with a delicious and healthy “cream cheese” frosting.
Why you’ll love this Lemon Blueberry Cake
This is honestly set to become your new favourite cake recipe! It’s
- undetectably vegan and gluten-free
- refined sugar free
- relatively healthy
- rich and buttery
- moist and fluffy
- fresh and citrusy
- dotted with jammy blueberries
- covered in a rich, tangy “cream cheese” frosting
- made in one bowl
- uses simple ingredients
- perfect for birthdays and other occasions!
The recipe is super versatile and flexible, and it can easily be adapted to suit your dietary needs or convenience:
- you can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil
- you can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc
- you can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc
- you can substitute the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground walnuts
- for a nut-free version: substitute the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground sunflower seeds or use 30g (1/4 cup) coconut flour instead of 150g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds
- you can use plain flour, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or spelt flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free
- you can use either fresh or frozen blueberries
- if you’re not into blueberries, you can substitute them with raspberries, blackberries or cherries
- if you can’t get hold of coconut milk for the frosting or are feeling lazy, you can use a thick coconut yogurt instead, which adds a lovely fermented flavour reminiscent of real cream cheese, as well as a ton of gut-friendly probiotics!
Tips for making this Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Make sure to use the right amount of baking powder – 2 heaped teaspoons! Use too little baking powder and your sponge won’t be fluffy, too much and it’ll have a bitter taste.
- Adding the lemon juice is crucial as it’s acidic, which means it reacts with the alkali bicarbonate of soda to create a bubbly batter, and fluffy sponge. If you can’t get hold of lemon juice, add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar instead.
- Make sure to use an all-purpose shop-bought gluten-free flour blend (or a homemade gluten-free flour blend), as opposed to just using any type of gluten-free flour you can find (such as almond flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour etc).
How-to and tIPS FOR MAKING the “CREAM CHEESE” FROSTING
- Keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight (or for at least 12 hours) for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom
- Make sure you use full-fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to whip it up
- Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid
- Save the watery liquid you pour off for adding to soups or smoothies
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl along with the other ingredients (maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla extract)
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip until light and fluffy
- Make sure the cake has cooled completely before applying the frosting, otherwise the frosting will melt!
EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO MAKE this GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN LEMON Blueberry Cake:
- glass mixing bowl – for mixing the cake batter
- measuring jug – for measuring out the plant-based milk
- 18cm / 7 inch springform baking tin – for baking the cake
- baking paper – to line the baking tin
- cooling rack – to leave the cake to cool on before applying the frosting
- electric whisk – for whipping up the coconut cream to make the vegan “cream cheese” frosting
- palette knife for frosting – to effortlessly apply the frosting
HOW LONG does this LEMON Blueberry Cake KEEP FOR?
Although this cake does taste best when fresh, it does keep well covered in the fridge for up to a few days. For super fluffy frosting, you should make it fresh just before serving, but the frosting will retain its shape and texture for a good few days.
More Gluten-Free Vegan Cakes:
- Red Velvet Cake
- Tropical Carrot Cake
- Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Orange Cake
- Strawberry Cake
- Vanilla Cake
- Coconut Cake
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cake
For the cake:
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (4/5 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice *
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch (Pinch) salt
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) **
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 100 g (1 cup) fresh blueberries
For the frosting
- 400 g (14 oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk ***
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150 g (1 1/2 cups) fresh blueberries
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Add the fresh blueberries and fold in gently, to make sure you don’t crush them
- Transfer mixture into a greased baking tin lined with baking paper (I used a 7inch springform baking tin)
- Bake in oven for around 30 minutes until risen and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, leave to cool completely on a wire rack before applying the frosting
For the frosting:
- You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
- Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
- Add the lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
- Carefully spread the frosting over the top of the cake
- Top with fresh blueberries
- Best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
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