Luscious Lemon Poppy seed Cake (Vegan)

No matter how much I am trying to cut down on indulging my sweet tooth these last few weeks, it just doesn’t happen. I have been riding on a wave of delicious vegan desserts, and my only relief is that being dairy-free, they are not loaded with all the animal fat ‘regular’ desserts usually are. So, they are a bit more guilt-free than your usual treat.

Here is another delicious creation I would like to share with you, which is a moist, luscious, sapid, flavorful, poppy seed loaded vegan lemon poppy seed cake! Lemon oil, zest, and a simple syrup made with freshly squeezed juice ensure bright lemon flavor, while the poppy seeds add a subtle nutty crunch. Dizzling lemon syrup over the cake adds to it extra moistness, sweetness and lemon flavor!

The syrup is refined sugar free and low-maintenance too, as it doesn’t require any cookingand you can quickly mix it together whilst you’re waiting for the cake to bake in the oven.

Tip: It’s important to pour the syrup over the cake whilst it’s still warm from the oven, because that’s the best way for it to be absorbed.


For the cake:

  • 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
  • 200 ml (4/5 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

For the syrup:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup


For the cake:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).

Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil).

Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, poppy seeds and ground almonds.

Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry.

Transfer mixture into mini loaf tins**

Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

For the syrup:

Whilst the cake it baking, mix together the lemon juice and maple syrup.

Drizzle it over the cake as soon as it’s out of the oven – it will soak into the cake better when it’s hot.

Be sure to wait for the cake to cool completely before cutting.

This cake tasted best eaten on the day it was made, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days. Leftovers taste best reheated in a dry frying pan or the microwave.


*You can alternatively use almond flour

**Instead of mini loaves, you can also make these into:

cupcakes – makes around 12 cupcakes, use a muffin/cupcake tin and cook for around 15 minutes

one large cake – use a 18cm / 7 inch springform baking tin, and cook for around 30 minutes

one large loaf – use a one-pound loaf tin and cook for 45 minutes

If you enjoy delicious vegan recipes that make your tastebuds explode with joy, but are still great for your health, Download The Complete Vegan Recipe Solution.