Luscious Lemon Layer Cake with Blood Orange-Lemon Curd and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1-6″ two-layer cake

Note: to make an 8″ two-layer cake, double recipe; to make an 8″ three-layer cake, triple recipe

You will want to wrap yourself in this cooling, lusciousness whose cake layers are tender, moist, and perfectly complimented by the silky curd and creamy frosting, all of it boldly kissed with citrus.

My first two attempts at the perfect lemon cake layers resulted in gummy dense disks. But the third time’s the charm. The secret? Mostly, leaving out egg replacer and adding soda and more baking powder.

Luscious Lemon Layer Cake with Blood Orange-Lemon Curd and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan & plant-based)

1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup non-dairy milk
Zest and juice 1 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice)
Blood Orange-Lemon Curd (recipe follows)
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Garnish: thin lemon slices

Grease and flour a 6″ round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Add half of flour; all of baking powder, soda, and salt; and half of milk. Combine well with mixer on medium-low speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Repeat with remaining flour and milk, continuing to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add zest and juice and, with mixer on medium-low speed, incorporate completely into batter. Transfer into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in very center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pan, run knife around edge, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely (or it will soften/melt frosting/curd). Slice cake in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Spread bottom half with frosting. Pipe a border or dam around edges to contain curd if desired, and spread about 1/4 curd inside. Top with second half and repeat. Frost sides and decorate with lemon slices.

Blood Orange-Lemon Curd
(Note: this makes twice as much as you need for 6″ two-layer cake and exactly enough for 8″ two-layer cake. Double only if making 8″ three-layer cake.)

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch sea salt
Juice and zest 1/2 blood orange
Juice and zest 1/2 large lemon
1/2 cup non-dairy milk

Whisk together in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, continuing to whisk until very thick. Cool and then chill thoroughly. (Will thicken more as it cools.)

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
Zest and juice 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups powdered sugar (or more to reach desired consistency, as vegan butters and cream cheeses have varying moisture content)

Cream together all ingredients except powdered sugar. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, blend in on low speed, increase speed, and continue beating until fluffy. Repeat with remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, adding more if necessary to reach desired consistency for spreading/piping. Chill until ready to use.

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