One of my favourite things to do is to bake cakes… and eat them, obviously! This year my go-to has been a Lemon drizzle cake. My sister introduced me to a vegan lemon drizzle recipe at the beginning of the year and I made it a few times but I found over time, it was too sweet and too moist. I decided to do what I do best and create my own version by adjusting the ingredients and method. I reduced the amount of sugar, added desiccated coconut and reduced the amount of lemon juice used to get a more enjoyable flavour of a more subtle lemon flavour. This vegan lemon and coconut cake is light, spongey and fresh.
Now, even though I am a vegetarian, I do tend to steer towards vegan options, especially when baking. I use nut milks as an alternative to cow’s milk and I only consume eggs once in a while as boiled eggs or an omelette and cheese or in my most traditional bakes. I’m a sucker for cheese, especially halloumi, mozzarella and cheddar. I consume vegan cheese occasionally but I always seem to revert back to cheese, this is why I call myself a vegetarian. Recently, I’ve been baking without milk, eggs and butter and using alternatives like nut milks, flax eggs and oil and have found this transition pretty easy after a few trial and errors. I’m not saying I won’t ever use the above ingredients again but right now I enjoy the fact I have options to go more plant-based. Like the process of me becoming a vegetarian over a year ago, I am on a food journey where I am discovering what foods my body needs and doesn’t need and this includes reducing dairy and animal-based products.
After baking this lemon cake a good few times to make sure I was happy with it, I’m ready to share a recipe and just in time for the new series of The Great British Bake Off and Cake Week.
Here is what you’ll need to bake this delicious Vegan Lemon & Coconut Cake:
Preheat fan oven to 160 degrees
Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin and set aside
In a mixing bowl mix all the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, coconut and lemon zest
In a large jug whisk together the milk, oil and lemon juice
Using a whisk slowly pour the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients to create a cake batter and then use a spatula to scrap down the side to ensure everything is mixed together well
Carefully pour the batter into the cake tin
Place on the bottom shelf of the oven and cook for around 50 minutes - test by using a skewer to carefully poke the centre of the cake and if the skewer comes out clean it's done, if the mixture sticks then leave for a further 3-5 minutes and repeat until skewer comes out clean
Once cooked, carefully remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool (the cake will fall apart if it's too hot) transfer to a cool rack to cool completely
In a bowl mix the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth and using a teaspoon or icing bag drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle over the desiccated coconut and lemon zest and enjoy
Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days
Like all cakes and sweet treats, enjoy in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. I’m a firm believer that we should enjoy a sweet treat now and then. Getting in the kitchen to create and play around with recipes is one of my favourite things to do and is a mindful activity for me when I’m feeling a bit low or anxious. Cooking and baking are my way of therapy and makes me very happy!
If you like getting in the kitchen and want to try my Vegan Lemon and Coconut Cake, don’t forget to leave me a comment and share and tag me on Instagram @pinarcooks.