Wondering why you need to make this Gluten-Free Vegan White Chocolate Lemon Cake? It's delightfully citrusy, elegantly chocolatey and filled with the most indulgent buttercream frosting!
I'm so excited to share this Gluten-Free Vegan White Chocolate Lemon Cake! It's a great combination of flavours and textures, as the sponge is moist, fluffy and subtly lemony, whilst the melt-in-your-mouth buttercream is a little tart, super creamy, and tastes indulgently chocolatey.
I used my go-to vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free sponge recipe for this. Not only do I love its amazing flavour and texture, but also its easiness, simplicity and versatility. It comes together in one bowl, requires only familiar ingredients, and a lot of the ingredients can be easily substituted.
I was inspired by my Gluten-Free Vegan Wedding Cake recipe to make a white chocolate and lemon-flavoured cashew buttercream frosting - it's incredibly rich and creamy and really melts in your mouth like real buttercream! Adding a little cacao butter enhances its texture and adds a delicious white chocolate-like flavour.
I also decided to add a little coconut yogurt for fluffiness - if you can't get hold of it you can just add some extra milk instead.
I then decorated it with some edible flowers, but you can use anything you want! I also like the idea of topping this cake with some toasted desiccated or flaked coconut...I think the sweet, nuttiness of the coconut would really compliment the lemon and white chocolate flavours.
For more delicious cakes, check out my:
- Matcha Strawberry Sponge Layer Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Cherry Bakewell Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Strawberry Sponge Layer Cake
- Fig Upside Down Cake
- Lemon Drizzle 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 on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Gluten-Free Vegan White Chocolate Lemon Cake:
For the cake:
glass mixing bowl
18 cm / 7 inch sandwich baking tin
For the buttercream:
hand-held stick blender
palette knife for frosting
Gluten-Free Vegan White Chocolate Lemon Cake
For the cake:
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 180 ml (¾ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 8 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 12 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
For the buttercream:
- 100 g (⅔ cup) raw cashew nuts soaked in cold water overnight or in boiling water for 10 minutes
- 30 g (1 oz) cocoa butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (or sub water or any other plant-based milk)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons coconut yogurt (or sub coconut milk, or any other plant-based yogurt)
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
- Transfer mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm springform baking tins)
- Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once done, turn the cakes out onto wire racks and leave to cool completely before frosting
For the buttercream:
- Drain soaked cashews and add to a food processor** or blender (or hand-held blender) along with all the other ingredients
- Whizz until completely smooth
- Taste and adjust flavour if necessary
- Put the mixture (keep it in the food processor but you can transfer to a bowl if you wish) into the fridge and leave to harden slightly before using to frost the cake
To frost and decorate the cake:
- Place one half of the cake onto a plate or cake stand and spread half of the buttercream onto it
- Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the buttercream to spread on top of the cake
- Decorate with edible flowers or whatever else you fancy!
- Tastes best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
Disclosure: This posts contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase any of these products, a small percentage will come to me with no extra cost to you! This income will go towards the running of this blog – thank you.
Hi I’ve just made my sponges and it’s looking very flat! I think I followed everything do you think maybe it needs more bicarbonate soda? Any advice on saving it or perhaps if I made another layer? How thick would you expect the layers to be? Love the idea of this cake just want to get it right!
Thank you for making this - so sorry they turned out flat! The sponges don't rise as much as they would if they were made using eggs, sugar and wheat flour etc, so they might look slightly flatter than you're used to if comparing with normal baked goods. However, if the texture is stodgy rather than fluffy, I think the issue is that you haven't added enough baking powder, so if making again would recommend making 100% sure you add the exact amount specified, or if you did already do that, then I'd recommend adding a little extra. Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions!
I'm confused. The title says a white chocolate lemon cake but I can't see any mention of white chocolate in the ingredients?
Hi! Sorry if it was confusing - the 'white chocolate' flavour comes from using cacao butter in the frosting. Hope that clears things up. Thank you!
Does the cacao butter have to be melted before being mixed or can I just put the chunks?
It depends how strong your blender is, but I would melt it first just to be sure!
Hi! All your cakes look and sound wonderful. I would like to make one however I don't eat oil and I was wondering if you know if your recipes would work if something else was used in place of the oil like apple sauce? Thank you. I look forward to hearing back from you. I'd like to make one of your cakes for my Mom's birthday this weekend.
Hi, thank you so much! You can use apple sauce instead of oil. Would love to hear how you get on!
Wondering if I can sub the maple syrup for vegan white chocolate? I was looking for a chocolate cake unfortunately... Haha
Also if I do that, should I swap the lemon for vinegar, so the taste doesn't clash with the chocolate and I still have something acidic for the bicarb?
Also is there a sub for the almond meal? Maybe an extra 100g of gf flour? I have too many allergies in my friendship group 😅
You can swap the lemon for vinegar and use white chocolate instead of the maple syrup, yes! and you can leave out the cacao butter because that's there for the white chocolate. you can replace the almond meal with a fifth of the amount coconut flour!