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Lemon “Buttermilk” Cake with Maple Glaze



This quick-to-assemble Lemon “Buttermilk” Cake with Maple Glaze is lower in fat than most snack cakes, making it a guilt-free sweet for any day of the week. Homemade vegan “buttermilk” takes only minutes to make. The maple glaze adds moisture and a vibrant, tangy flavor from the freshly squeezed lemon.

Makes 10 servings



11⁄3 cups plus 2 teaspoons nondairy milk
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 medium lemons; zest the lemons first, before squeezing)
1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Sucanat or brown sugar
1⁄3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
3 heaping tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

GARNISH (optional)
Lemon zest from 2 lemons
Candied Lemon Slices (optional, RECIPE BELOW)



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch round cake pan with vegan margarine.
Pour 1 cup of the nondairy milk and 1⁄4 cup of lemon juice (make sure to zest the lemons first) into a small bowl. Let stand for about 5 minutes to make vegan “buttermilk.”

Meanwhile, put the whole wheat pastry flour, whole wheat flour, coconut, baking powder and baking soda in a large mixing bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the Sucanat (or brown sugar) and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the “buttermilk,” remaining nondairy milk and maple syrup; mix just until incorporated.


Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350 degrees F. and bake for 7 to 9 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Put the pan on a wire rack and loosen the sides of the cake with a knife. Let cool for 30 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a pretty plate or cake stand.

To make the glaze, pour 2 tablespoons lemon juice into a blender. Add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon maple syrup; process until smooth. Pour the glaze into a small bowl. Poke 10 or 12 holes in the top of the cake, using a toothpick. Spread the glaze over the cooled cake, using a pastry brush or back of a spoon. Garnish with lemon zest and/or Candied Lemon Slices (below), if desired.



A jazzy recipe contributed by Tara, our Season Five Jazzy Vegetarian sous chef, these Candied Lemon Slices, are a tangy, colorful and easy way to garnish a plain cake, making any plain cake more festive.

Makes 10 to 14 slices

1 cup filtered or spring water
1 cup vegan sugar
2 medium lemons, seeds removed and cut in 1⁄8-inch slices

Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Put the water and sugar in a large sauté pan. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, to let the sugar dissolve. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Add the lemon slices in a single layer and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly translucent. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the lined sheet and refrigerate 2 hours before using.