Here’s an easy recipe for gluten-free vegan lemon cake with poppy seeds. It comes with chocolate frosting and tons of healthy legumes and veggies hidden inside while all the oils and refined sugars are left out. You won’t be able to resist the delicate lemon flavour combined with creamy-dreamy chocolate topping.
Why is my vegan lemon cake different?
My vegan lemon cake is in no way conventional. For starters, it’s healthy! And what makes it healthy? I use no oils or refined sugars in my recipe, which makes it relatively low in fat and blood sugar friendly. Furthermore, I tried to make its’ grain content as low as possible – the recipe only has a bit of gluten-free buckwheat flour added, other than that it’s all legumes, veggies and fat-reduced nut flours. Despite being oil-free, my vegan lemon cake absolutely does not lack of heartiness – chickpeas, tahini, chia seeds and nut flours all contribute to an excellent outcome.
Furthermore, all the lemon cakes I’ve found online have light frosting – either cream cheese or (even worse) butter cream, which is super high is fats and low in fibre. I decided to rebel and make my lemon cake with chocolate frosting – no regrets in this department! It came out so delicious and even cheesecake-like. I can easily eat a quarter of this cake without even noticing
My healthy vegan lemon cake vs conventional vegan lemon cake
As a comparison, a conventional vegan lemon cake recipe consists of all purpose flour, refined sugar, oil, baking powder and butter cream made of powdered sugar and vegan butter. Just to paint you a very clear picture, I’ll compare 2 identical pieces (weight wise, both cake and frosting) below:
222 kcal vs 370 kcal
9.89g fibre vs 0.6g fibre
9.5 GL points vs 44 GL points
While the calories only differ by 67%, i.e. the conventional cake has 67% more calories (which is still quite significant though), the fibre content and GL points of a conventional vegan lemon cake are outrageous! Honestly, my jaw fell to the floor when I finished calculating the glycemic load points. Not so surprising though, when you consider the non-existent fibre content.
For your information – it is not recommended to get over 20 GL points at one mealtime to keep your blood sugar stable. And you’d be getting twice as much! No wonder, people suffer from type 2 diabetes and obesity.
I’m absolutely in love with this vegan lemon cake, because:
- It has heavenly lemon flavour.
- Almost reminds me of cheesecake.
- Hidden legumes and veggies make it so healthy.
- You don’t even need baking powder to make it.
Moreover, this cake should please all those people with dietary restrictions or special diets, because it’s:
- Relatively low in fat
- Refined sugar free
- Low glycemic
Is this cake healthy or what?! I guess I don’t know how to make an unhealthy cake any more ? It’s amazing to think that only 7 years ago I had no idea how to make a healthy cake or what healthy even was – I’m so grateful to have an open mind and curiosity that allows me to develop my skills as well as continually grow my knowledge and personality.
Finally, I’d love to hear from you! How do you feel about this unconventional vegan lemon cake that has healthy chocolate frosting instead of a light buttery one? Let me know in the comments below! Also, please tag me in social media, so that I can see your creations!
- 1 can (240g, 8.5oz) of unsalted chickpeas
- 150g (5.3oz) raw summer squash, cut into bigger chunks
- 200g (7.05oz) additive-free oat milk
- ¼+⅛ tsp. Himalayan salt
- 3½ tbsps. birch xylitol or date sugar (for Plantricious version)
- 25g (0.9oz) tahini (sesame seed butter)
- 2 tbsps. ground chia seeds
- 1 tbsp. mesquite flour
- 4 tsps. of dried lemon zest (Plantricious version) or 4-5 drops of lemon essential oil
- Heat oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Start with rinsing and draining the chickpeas really well. Then,
blend them with raw summer squash, oat milk, tahini, salt and sweetener
into a smooth batter.
- Next, add ground chia seeds and mesquite and process again. You may use either blender or immersion blender.
- In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients – use a fork to
separate any chunks of flour. Then, pour the wet mixture over dry and
mix until well incorporated (in the video I add dry ingredients to the
wet mixture, but it is actually easier the other way around).
- Line the bottom of a 15cm (5.9inch) round cake tin with parchment
paper and grease the sides with coconut oil, avocado oil or olive oil.
Transfer the batter into cake tin and spread it out evenly using a
spatula or spoon. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour and let cool completely
before slicing or cutting the cake into half (for frosting). You can
also keep it in fridge overnight before serving and/or decorating.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 112Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 199mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 5gSugar 7gProtein 4g
Topping ideas for my vegan lemon cake:
- Grated lemon zest
- Shredded coconut
- Dehydrated berries (blackcurrants, strawberries, raspberries)
- Poppy seeds
- Cocoa nibs and/or dark chocolate chips
- Healthy powdered sugar aka coconut flour or ground shredded coconut