Do you really need a reason to bake a cake? This “celebration of spring” cake is so vibrant and versatile. Have a cook-out? Bake this! Have a spring birthday party? It’s great for that too!
What Kind of Cake is This?
The short answer: this cake is a lemon-vanilla cake frosted with buttercream and garnished with fresh fruit. I had a difficult time creating a name for this recipe because it’s not a basic yellow cake and it’s not a shortcake cake or even a lemon cake. It’s a spring-inspired cake with notes of lemon and strawberry.
This is very spring and reminds me of a strawberry shortcake.My sister, AKA my taste tester.
Helpful Tips for Baking Cakes
This is more of personal preference, but I always recommend round cake pans (8-inch or 9-inch). Cakes are more stable when round and they can make a basic cake look elegant. A common complaint with cake making is the batter sticking to the pans. A solution to this is placing a parchment round on the bottom of the pan and lightly greasing the perimeter.
Sunken cakes are also a frequent grievance. Usually, this is has a few culprits. Do not open your oven while baking a cake. Sometimes we become curious and peek inside the oven. Try to avoid this until your cake is nearly finished baking. You can tell when a cake is done because it will start to pull away from the edges of your pan. If you are unsure, you can also just use your trusty toothpick and check to see if the middle is baked. Back to the sunken cake issue…this can also happen when there isn’t enough baking powder/soda or when your leavening agent is expired.
After cakes are done baking, let them cool inside their baking pans for at least 10 minutes. Cakes are fragile straight out of the oven. Before flipping the cakes over onto cooling racks, take a knife and scrape around the edges of the pan. NEVER frost a warm cake. Please wait until your cake is cold to the touch before adding frosting. Speaking of frosting…when making buttercream, cream the vegan butter (or regular butter) before adding powdered sugar. Creaming all of the ingredients at once will make a disastrous mess and will make your frosting chunky instead of fluffy. Be mindful of temperature as well. If the liquid ingredients are too hot or too cold, then the buttercream could become grainy. On a positive note, buttercream is forgiving and I’ve only had a grainy buttercream once in my life.
For decorating cakes, I place a piece of parchment on the bottom of the cake stand to prevent messes. I do a layer of frosting around the perimeter and then fill in the middle with frosting. I do this to ensure an even layer and to make sure the layers don’t slip and slide. I left this cake naked, but if you are frosting the entire cake, crumb coat the sides to help the next layers of frosting stick. Garnish with strawberries or lemon or with edible flowers. It’s your cake, so decorate it however you like!
- Unbleached all-purpose flour.
- Cane sugar or coconut sugar.
- Ground flaxseed.
- Baking powder.
- Non-dairy milk.
- Vanilla extract.
- Vegan butter.
- Powdered sugar.
- 2 round cake pans.
- Mixing bowls.
- Hand mixer (optional, but highly recommend).
- Utensils (whisk, rubber spatula, etc.).
- Fine mesh strainer or sieve.
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Whenever I bake, I set out all of my ingredients before I begin. This seems glaringly obvious. However, I wanted to include this because there’s nothing worse than going back and forth between your pantry and your mixing bowls.
With most of my recipes, I start by creating the flax eggs. I explain this in almost every post, but it is IMPORTANT. Flax eggs become gel-like and replace the texture of eggs. Mashed bananas and applesauce are sometimes used to replace eggs, but they imitate creaminess/moisture more so than provide lift and stability.
I soften the vegan butter a bit and then beat it using a hand mixer until it becomes creamy. When I say soften, I don’t mean melted! Then, I slowly add sugar and flax eggs. I whisk together the dry ingredients and alternately incorporate the milk and dry ingredients into the butter mixture. I fold and mix until the batter is combined. Cake batter shouldn’t be over-mixed.
I pour the batter into two round pans that have been greased and lined with parchment paper. This cake bakes for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember what I said earlier…Allow the cakes to cool a bit (about 15 minutes) before removing from the pans. Frost the cakes when they are cold to the touch! Some people even prefer to frost refrigerated cakes. See the recipe card below!
Celebration of Spring Cake
For the Cake
- 1 1/2 cups vegan butter softened.
- 2 1/4 cups cane or coconut sugar.
- 6 tbsp ground flaxseed + 10 tbsp water flax eggs.
- 4 1/2 cups flour sifted.
- 4 tsp baking powder.
- 1 tsp sea salt.
- 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk.
- Zest from 1 lemon.
- 2 tsp vanilla extract.
For the Buttercream Frosting
- 1 tbsp lemon juice.
- 1 tbsp non-dairy milk.
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
- 1 1/4 cups vegan butter slightly softened.
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
- Line two 9-inch round cake pans with a circle of parchment paper and lightly grease the sides with vegan butter. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix water and flaxseed to create flax eggs, set aside until the mixture has thickened. In another bowl, beat the vegan butter with a hand mixer until creamy and fluffy. Slowly add sugar while continuing to beat. Add flax eggs and continue to mix.
- In a mixing bowl. sift flour and whisk in baking powder and salt. Add this dry mixture to the butter mixture alternatively with non-dairy milk (starting and ending with the flour mixture). Slowly mix after each addition.
- Pour batter into two greased and lined cake pans. Fill at least halfway, but not to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Check your cakes with a wooden pick. The cakes will also pull away from the sides when finished baking.
- When finished baking, allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes. Then, take a knife and scrape around the sides before removing from the pans. Cool the cakes on a wire rack until they are cold to the touch.
- Prepare the frosting by creaming the vegan butter. Add sifted powdered sugar and continue to mix. Beat until fluffy and add milk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. If the buttercream is too liquidy, add spoonfuls of powdered sugar until your desired consistency is achieved.
- Decorate the cake with a layer of buttercream in the middle and on top. Garnish with fresh fruit, I prefer strawberries and lemon. Slice and serve!
Thank you for reading! If you recreate this recipe, tag me on Instagram @authentically_vegan. Let me know your favorite type of cake in the comments!
P.S. Check out my Simple & Amazing Brunch Ebook for more vegan recipes.