There’s something about lemon that makes me feel so… clean. You know how most household cleaning products are lemon-scented? Whenever I eat or drink something with that citrus scent, I imagine it sprucing up my insides and leaving me all shiny and brand new.
Okay, I’m really not selling this well. It’s not a cleaning product – it’s a cake. And it’s vegan!
It all started last week, when I had the biggest craving for lemon. This is how my mind works – I rarely crave a specific thing, and instead obsess over a certain taste or texture for hours until I finally figure out what I want. Lemon jam? Too sticky. Iced lemon water? Too… watery. Lemon cake? Ah, now that’s something I could get behind.
I haven’t had a lemon drizzle cake since I turned vegan, so I decided to dig out my loaf tin and see if I could make a cruelty-free version that rivalled everyone else’s on Pinterest.
I may be slightly competitive.
Anyway, I think I succeeded – this drizzle loaf is melt-in-your-mouth delicious, with the sharp tang of the lemon perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the sugar. I never thought I’d be the type of person to use this word, but it’s so MOIST. There, I said it. Sign me up for dentures and a retirement home: I’m officially old. And I kinda love it.
I’ve hyped it up a lot now, haven’t I? Well, don’t just take my word for it – try it for yourself!
- 1 and a half cups of self-raising flour
- 1 and a half cups of sugar
- 1 and a half cups of vegan butter
- 10 teaspoons of egg replacement powder
- 10 tablespoons of water
- Zest of three lemons (keep the juice)
- ¾ cup of icing sugar
- Juice of three lemons (the ones you zested)
Candied Lemon Slices
- Two small lemons, chopped into thin slices with the seeds removed
- One cup of sugar
- Two tablespoons of lemon juice
- ¾ cup water
- The candied lemons need to be prepared a couple of hours before you start baking. Combine the water, sugar and lemon juice together over a medium heat to form a simple syrup. Add the lemon slices and simmer for around 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Remove from heat and place in a single line on a sheet of parchment paper. Leave for an hour to cool, then cover and pop in the fridge for two hours.
- Okay, now it’s finally time to start baking! Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Grab an extra teaspoon of vegan butter, transfer it onto a paper towel and thoroughly grease the inside of your loaf tin.
- Combine the egg replacement powder and water together until you have a thick white mixture. Check the back of the box to make sure the measurements are correct for the brand you’re using – they’re usually pretty standard, but it’s best to be sure! You will need the equivalent of five whole eggs.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove and then add to the egg mix. Stir until fully combined.
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl, then add the sugar and lemon zest. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and slowly pour in the butter/egg mix, stirring until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the mixture into your loaf tin, filling it just over halfway. Pop it into the oven and bake for around 50 minutes.
- Once cooked, poke a skewer through the middle of the loaf – if it comes out completely clean, it’s done. If not, give it five minutes longer.
- Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice to form a runny drizzle.
- Use the skewer to poke multiple holes right through the cake, and then pour the lemon drizzle over the top. Leave aside to cool completely, then remove from the loaf tin.
- Take the candied lemon slices out of the fridge and dip them in a little extra sugar, then arrange them on top of your loaf in a pretty pattern (or just throw them on if you’re not really into decorating!)
You guys. YOU GUYS. Can you believe there are absolutely no animal products in this lemony delight?
If you have someone in your life who thinks vegan food is gross and weird, just bake this for them. I know they’re annoying and don’t deserve your culinary genius, but it’ll be worth it just to see the look on their face.
I’d love to see how yours turns out – post a photo on Instagram along with the hashtag #MyInnerVegan so that I can judge you on your candied lemon placement (kidding!) and let me know what you think in the comments section below.