Vegan Lemon & Lavender Pound Cake

reading time: 5 min



My Mum is a summer child, born in the midst of July, and so I usually bake her something light and refreshing – something summery with fresh fruits, like the almond sponge cake with berries and cream I made a couple of years ago, or this simple strawberry cream cake, or this no bake red velvet shortcake that I made AGES AGO when I was still eating raw vegan.

To me, the zesty scent of lemon and a subtle sweet breeze of lavender is the quintessence of summer, so this year I made my Mum this soft and dense lemon & lavender pound cake topped with a light sugar glaze and candied lemon slices. It makes me think of the south of France where a tender breeze sends ripples through a sea of lavender like a sweet purple whisper, a sigh ...
Bees humming through the tall, lithe, lush stalks, like blossom-studded spears. A field of fragrance. Golden light caressing my skin. My arms and forehead sticky with sweat where the heat has built up underneath my fringe. The taste of white wine still tingling on my tongue, as I take a bite of fluffy floral lemon & lavender cake ...

Maybe I got a bit carried away for a moment. But there is something so poetic about these amethyst-coloured flowers, don't you think?

Anyway. This vegan lemon & lavender pound cake is

dairy-free
egg-free
wheat-free
lemony
floral
moist
rich
dense
easy
& super delicious!

This cake is also very appropriate for serving at Ostara, the pagan Easter / spring festival, as both the colour lavender and the plant are associated with this day, representing the renewed fertility of the earth as well as equilibrium and balance. It is equally fitting for Litha aka Midsummer's Night aka the summer solstice, since one of the prominent corresponding herbs of that day is lavender, symbolizing love, devotion, purity and grace. Citrus fruits such as lemons, representing the sun, are also closely associated with Midsummer.

Lavender is used in aromatherapy as a relaxing and uplifting scent for stressed out or depressed individuals. Therefore, this cake is a wonderful way to calm down and relish at the end of a hard day 💜





VEGAN LEMON & LAVENDER CAKE

adapted from Cupful of Kale, inspired by Electric Blue Food

P
reparation time
: 1 h 10 min

Main ingredients: flour, sugar, lemon, lavender
difficulty level: easy
makes: 1 loaf (9x5'')
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, wheat-free, yeast-free

Ingredients

Batter:
2 cups (280 g) plain spelt flour (type 630)
3/4 cup (150 g) xylitol (or any other light sugar – brown sugar or coconut blossom sugar will leave a weird caramel taste!)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp dried culinary lavender *
1 tbsp soy flour or gram flour + 1 tbsp water, mixed together
1-inch piece of vanilla bean, scraped OR 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp (100 ml) sunflower or canola oil
1 cup (250 ml) plant-based milk (I recommend vanilla flavoured oat milk or almond milk)
juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tbsp zest from about 2 small organic lemons (1 tbsp of lemon zest is what you'd get from about 1 medium lemon)

Icing: 
1/3 cup (50 g) icing sugar
3 tsp lemon juice, or as needed
optional: 1 drop of food grade lavender essential oil *

Candied lemons:
1 organic lemon
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) water

* The natural essential oils in lavender blossoms are very strong, so my recommendation when using it for baking is to go easy. You want a hint, not a bar of soap!


Instructions

For the batter:

Set the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F (fan-forced), and grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.

Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. 
 
In a separate bowl grate the zest of the lemon(s) and combine it with sugar. Stir well and press the spoon or spatula against the lemon zest to really rub the essential oils of the zest into the sugar. The sugar will get a bit moist and start to clump a little – that's exactly what you want. Crush the dried lavender and add it to the sugar mix. Stir in the same way you did with the lemon zest to release the natural essential oils.

Add the fragrant sugar mix to the mixing bowl. Also add vanilla and the soy flour / water mix. Use a whisk to stir well.

In another bowl (I used the one where I had previously mixed the sugar, lemon zest and lavender) mix plant-based milk, lemon juice, and vegetable oil.

Add the mixed wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Whisk until combined and smooth, but don't over-stir.

Pour the
batter into the greased loaf tin. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. It should be starting to turn golden brown on the edges. 
 
Set aside to cool completely before adding the icing.


For the candied lemons:

Cut 1 organic lemon into thin slices (no more than 0.5 cm or 1/4 inch). Add sugar, water, and lemon slices to a sauce pan or pot, wide enough to spread the lemon slices in one layer.

Simmer the lemon slices on low heat for 20 minutes, turning them occasionally. When ready, transfer the slices to a plate covered with paper kitchen towel to absorb any excess liquid. Set aside to cool completely.


For the icing: 

Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl until it forms a spreadable icing. Spoon onto the cake once cooled with the back of a spoon. Allow the glaze to set before slicing.


To serve:

Top the cake with candied lemon slices and serve!

This cake will stay fresh in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or
in the fridge where it will keep for up to a week.
 
 
NOTES:
-  Of course, the candied lemon slices as well as the glaze are completely optional! Feel free to omit, and serve the cake plain.
-  If you don't like the lavender flavour, you can completely omit it. Or add 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds instead.
- To enhance the lavender flavour on the other hand, you could infuse the plant-based milk in lavender. Simply place milk and 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of dried lavender in a small saucepan. Heat until the milk just boils, then remove from heat and let steep for 3 minutes. Strain out the lavender and discard. Let milk cool completely before proceeding with the recipe.
- You can also pour the batter into a muffin instead – you may need to lower the baking time to 30 minutes or so.
- If you decide to bake this cake in a Bundt pan instead, I would suggest to double the amount of ingredients listed. Adjust the baking time as needed.



 ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM! ~


Looking for more vegan & wheat-free dessert recipes? Check out some of my favourites:
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Buttermilk Scones



Maisy



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