This is an easy one bowl dessert that is super dense, moist, and full or flavor. It was a huge hit in our house, and will probably be featured on repeat all spring.
With the quarantine dragging on, I was trying to come up with something simple but delicious that used mostly pantry ingredients. I happened to have one sad little blood orange left, so I used that for the glaze, but you can go lemon or plain vanilla depending on what you have on hand.
Before you get going, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 5×9 baking dish with olive or coconut oil. I use a food processor for the mixing, but a standard hand mixer will do as well.
Start by whipping your vegan egg replacer (I use Bob’s Red Mill) or flax eggs with sugar. This process adds air and fluffiness to the batter. Flax eggs are tiny miracles on this planet if you haven’t heard of them. Simply mix a 1:1 ration of ground flax meal with water and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes. It congeals during this time to create and egg-like consistency which binds your batter and adds moisture. Egg replacer, typically made of potato starch, is great too, and interchangeable depending on what you have on hand.
Next, add in the flour and oil. If you have a food processor with a reliably sharp blade, throw in a whole chunk of lemon and it will be grated finely and dispersed evenly in the batter. If not, chop one finely or grate using a cheese grater or zester and gather up about two tablespoons of rind. You’ll also want to squeeze the juice out and add that in as well. Pulse the food processor briefly, and add in the vinegar, oil, salt, vanilla, and pulse again. Finally, add in the poppy seeds and mix.
Spoon your batter into the greased baking dish, filling 3/4 of the way to leave room for rising, and pop into the already preheated oven. I also like to chop a little extra lemon zest and sprinkle on the top with some extra sugar for a slightly crispier top, but no need to follow this step if you’d like to go light on the sugar; this loaf is fairly low sugar anyway.
You’ll know the loaf is done if you poke a toothpick into the center and it comes out without any batter on it. Conversely, you can poke the loaf a little bit, and if you leave a thumb print, it’s not done. I’m a poke the loaf gal, but you find your own path.
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 vegan eggs or flax eggs
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 lemon + rind
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vanilla
3 tsp poppy seeds
Additional lemon zest for topping
Bake at 350 for 55 minutes
It’s super important to let this cool before putting the glaze on top. If you add that good stuff on a hot cake, it’ll simply soak through and make the cake soggy. I know, this is one of life’s greatest tragedies, but we must wait for a cooler cake. After about a good sixty minutes, you can start whipping up the glaze. I don’t have a precise method here because it depends how thick you prefer it, but a good rule is start with about 1/2 cup powdered sugar and add in 1/4 tsp vanilla, and milk by the 1/4 teaspoon until you reach desired consistency. I’d say a teaspoon of milk plus a teaspoon of juice from the blood orange did it for me.
No worries if you don’t have a blood orange. You can use just about anything that pairs well with lemon. You can put in a teaspoon of lemon juice, smashed blueberries, cranberry juice, etc., opt for a few drops of almond or lemon extract, or simply add in an extra teaspoon of milk and call it vanilla glaze. There is no wrong way to add sweetness to a cake in my opinion.
Another beauty of this batter is its versatility. I filled my baking dish and had extra batter so made donuts and about 5 cupcakes with the remaining. They were delish with a good frosting and fresh fruit. Get creative, go for traditional circular cake pans, a bundt cake, whatever you have on hand – fill it with this batter now!
This cake will stay good in an airtight container for about 3 days on the counter or 5 days refrigerated. Good luck keeping it around that long, mine lasted all of two days before it disappeared.
For some other super easy desserts, check out a few of my favorites here:
Easy Apple Strudel:
Cranberry Orange Banana Bread
Blueberry Banana Scones