Lemon Poppy Seed Almond Cakes vegan gluten free

How are your gardening skills? I tend to have a black thumb, but I do like a bit of pruning, so when a friend asked me to help prune her very tall, very laden lemon tree I jumped at the chance. I took over our pruning saw, got out the ladder and proceeded to do some damage. So much fun! I ended up climbing up into the tree to reach the top branches, and felt like a kid again. We felled a few large branches before I cut my thumb and had to take a break to stop the bleeding. Suffice to say, I came home with a bag full of fresh citrus.

Lemon Poppy Seed Almond Cakes vegan gluten freeLemon Poppy Seed Almond Cakes vegan gluten freeLemon Poppy Seed Almond Cakes vegan gluten free

Yes, it’s true – chocolate is by far the most common flavour on the blog, but hands-down, lemon is our favourite! My lemon syrup polenta cake is a firm favourite for dessert, and my classic lemon curd slice never lasts more than a few days. But I’d never made a lemon poppy seed cake before. I’d thought of it after posting my Paleo Muffin Master Mix recipe, but hadn’t got around to it yet. Then after spying Laura (@joyfoodsunshine)’s post back in February, I’d been super keen. All I needed was some lemons and a quiet afternoon.

Lemon Poppy Seed Almond Cakes vegan gluten freeLemon Poppy Seed Almond Cakes vegan gluten free

On the warmest winter’s day I’ve seen in a while (I see you, spring!), the boys were out visiting family and I finally got to try out the recipe I’d had my eye on for ages. I did what I’ve seen others do, and only made a half-batch while experimenting, as I can’t deal with the heartbreak of all that waste if it doesn’t work out! With the easiest quick bread (wet + dry) method, these cute little lemon & poppy seed almond cakes are a breeze to make! We love them, and plan on making this recipe many more times before lemon season is over.

Lemon Poppy Seed Almond Cakes vegan gluten free

EDIT: I have made some minor changes, simplifying the recipe by removing some of the more unusual ingredients, as I deemed them unnecessary to the recipe’s success. Enjoy! xx

Lemon & Poppy Seed Almond Cakes {vegan, gf}
These tangy, tasty little cakes are a vegan riff on a popular classic!

Makes 12 small cakes or one 8-inch round

Dry mix
2 cups blanched almond meal (almond flour)
½ cup tapioca starch (potato starch will work in a pinch)
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarb (baking) soda

Wet mix
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
½ cup caster (super-fine) sugar
¾ cup applesauce (pureed apple)
1 tablespoon lemon juice*

For the glaze:
1 tablespoon aquafaba
1 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Lemon zest, for decoration (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease or line 12 regular sized muffin tins (I used silicon molds). If making a large cake, grease base and sides of a 20cm (8-inch) round cake tin and line base with non-stick baking paper.

Whisk the flours, starch, leavening agents and poppy seeds in a large mixing bowl. With fingertips, rub lemon zest into sugar until oils are released. Add applesauce and juice to sugar and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until the batter is a uniform consistency.

Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes (30 min for 8-inch round), or until lightly browned and firm to touch. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, whisk aquafaba until frothy, then add in sifted icing sugar and gradually add juice, whisking until glaze reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cakes. Sprinkle with extra lemon zest, if desired.

Store cake in an airtight container in the fridge.

*If adding blueberries, leave out the lemon juice.

Adapted, liberally from Joyfoodsunshine with some help from Vegan Richa

4 thoughts on “Lemon & Poppy Seed Almond Cakes {vegan, gf}”

  1. I love this idea! Could this be made as an 8 or 9″ cake instead? Not sure how to adjust the oven temp and time as well as any change to ingredients? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello! Absolutely, yes! I have included instructions and cooking times for an 8-inch round cake… just read through the instructions and you should be fine. Any further questions, just let me know. Good luck!

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