the bright punch of lemon zest — not just lemon juice — adds zing to this classic recipe.  The optional frosting is made from cashews and coconut: no cream cheese or eggs, for our vegan friends.

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

For our vegan friends. You didn’t think we were going to leave you out, did you? Yes, we made this on our cooking show, Eat Well Be Happy, so you can watch this being made. Go to our website and click on the TV icon…..

Did you know that poppy seeds have been cultivated for more than 3,000 years? They’ve always been revered for their medicinal properties (some are as an expectorant in cough syrups, an infusion to treat ear and toothaches, to treat insomnia, inflammation and fever), but the seeds have nutritional value as well since they are rich in linoleic acid, oleic acid and unsaturated fatty acids.  

They are eaten in moderation because they come from the same plant the drug opium does. The USDA says that almost all the morphine, which may get on the seeds during their harvest, is removed from the seeds during processing. If you are concerned, try adding hemp seeds to this cake instead of poppy seeds.

Serves 12-24, depending on size slice you like; 9×13 pan, well-greased. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees

6 C whole wheat pastry flour LEMON CASHEW CURD TOPPING
   (try einkorn flour, which I love) 2 C raw cashews
2 Tbsp baking powder 1 C coconut oil
1 tsp baking soda ½ C agave syrup
½ C poppy seeds (kept in our freezer) ½ C lemon juice
2 tsp good salt 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp lemon zest*  
2 C almond milk 2 Tbsp lemon zest*, as garnish
3 C maple syrup  
½ C lemon juice  
1 C extra virgin olive oil (or your choice oil)  
1 Tbsp vanilla extract  
2 tsp lemon extract  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in column one together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in column one together in a second bowl and then pour wet ingredients into the dry ones. Scrape batter into a greased 9×13 pan. Put pan into oven and bake about 35 minutes, until batter begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling, make the curd. Warm the coconut oil and put into a food processor (use the steel blade) or Vitamix blender with remaining curd ingredients from column two.  Blend.

When the cake is cool, frost with curd. Garnish with the 2 Tbsp lemon zest. This is a lovely cake, and freezes well, too.

*To zest, using a microplane, over a cutting board or plate, hold the microplane in one hand, and use a downward motion and moderate pressure to drag the citrus against the blades. Turn the fruit as you go, removing just the colored portion of the skin. The zest will gather in the groove underneath the microplane. That’s all there is to it!

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