Lemon Lamington Layer Cake {vegan, GF}

This all came about because I was trying to think of desserts that would be suitable for my father-in-law’s birthday party. His birthday is the same date as a rather controversial public holiday. Traditionally, if one is meeting with friends and family for a meal on January 26th, you would serve lamingtons or pavlova for dessert. I knew it couldn’t be lamingtons, as he doesn’t like chocolate. I could have served pavlova, it’s true; I make a pretty mean raspberry and cream pavlova roll. But I’d already got stuck on the lamington idea.

Lemon Lamington Layer Cake {vegan, GF}
Lemon Lamington Layer Cake {vegan, GF}

The challenge was to make something like a Lamington Layer Cake I’d seen online. Four layers of sponge, coated in chocolate icing and coconut, and sandwiched with raspberry jam and buttercream. I’d been reading up on Smitten Kitchen’s site, and was reminded of a vegan lemon cake I’d made for my son’s birthday last year. It was so simple, and yet a real hit with his friends and friends’ mums, alike! I determined that for this cake, it would be a wacky cake, or bust! That sorted, it was simply a matter of deciding on a filling.

Lemon Lamington Layer Cake {vegan, GF}
Lemon Lamington Layer Cake {vegan, GF}

I knew from making it several times already, that a vegan lemon curd was possible; delicious, even! I also happened to have a can of whipped soy cream languishing in the fridge, just waiting for its day to shine! Without further ado, I baked those lemon wacky cakes, wrapped and chilled them, made the curd and chilled that, too. The next day, the only thing to do was assemble the cake and make it look pretty. It was then that I remembered to ask my FIL what he would like for dessert. “Banana splits will be just fine,” he said.

Lemon Lamington Layer Cake {vegan, GF}
Lemon Lamington Layer Cake {vegan, GF}

Lemon Lamington Layer Cake {vegan, GF}
Serve with extra lemon curd if you’re a lemon fiend like me!

Serves 8 – 10

For the cake:
3 cups GF (or regular) plain flour
½ cup almond flour (blanched almond meal)
2 cups caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
10 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 ½ cups water or plant mylk

For the curd:
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 tablespoons soy milk
1 tablespoon margarine
Pinch saffron powder (optional)

Rice or soy whip, for filling

For the icing
2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
2 – 4 teaspoons lemon juice

1 ½ cups shredded coconut, for coating

To make the curd:
Mix lemon juice, water, sugar, corn starch and salt together. Pour into a heavy saucepan and whisk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a full boil. Boil for 1 minute, not stirring. It should be thickened and turning clear. Remove from heat and add soy milk and margarine and blend well with the whisk. Cool the curd, then refrigerate in a covered container. It thickens as it cools.

To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Grease and line 3 x 7″ round cake tins.  

Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients – two small, one larger. Pour lemon juice in one depression, vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in third larger depression. Pour water over all. Mix well until smooth. Divide carefully into the 3 prepared cake tins.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 25 minutes. Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap to prevent drying.

Freeze or refrigerate overnight before assembling.

Prepare lemon icing: mix 2 cups sifted pure icing sugar into a large bowl, add lemon juice and stir until smooth and runny. Set aside.

Prepare a large plate with shredded coconut.

Before beginning assembly, level off each cake with a bread knife or cake leveling tool. Take each cake layer, and one by one, ice only the side with lemon icing. Roll in shredded coconut, making care to coat well. Set aside.

Take first cake layer, place upside-down on cake platter and spread with ¼ cup lemon curd. Top with whipped rice cream. Repeat with the second cake, and top with the third. Ice the third and final layer with the remaining lemon icing, and cover with more shredded coconut. Top with fresh raspberries, and place in the refrigerator to set.

Adapted from Sweet Little Bird and Genius Kitchen

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