Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake (Gluten-Free)

A small batch two-layered lemon sponge cake coated in strawberry lemon cream cheese buttercream and a strawberry jam centre. This vegan cake is easily gluten-free, quick to make and is a great showstopper or celebration cake.

I am back with another small-batch cake as I cannot get enough of them. I think they are so much cuter to style and mean a lot less cake leftover. Now, we love cake, we really do, but when you recipe test a few days in a row, there is a lot of sweets to eat! My neighbours and friends are very well-fed, nothing goes to waste, but there is something so wonderful about making a cake that’s demolished by a few of you in less than a day. It’s the best kind of feedback!

Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake

This Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake is so fun to make and it is:

  • Lemony and spongey inside
  • Fluffy, airy and moist
  • Packed with lemon zest
  • Coated with the creamiest strawberry cream cheese buttercream
  • Made from real plant-based ingredients
  • Serves 6-8 people
  • Great for celebrations and impressing guests
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake

If you are already convinced, skip ahead to the recipe card below but let’s see now what goes into this Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake and a few swaps you can make.

  • Plant-based milk: any milk will do, I love oat or almond the best but soya or coconut milk will also work.
  • Lemon juice: this adds to the lemon flavour and also helps to bind the cake. Lemon or another acid like apple cider vinegar reacts with the milk to curdle and form a vegan buttermilk.
  • Caster sugar: for lighter cakes, I prefer to use a white sugar to keep the lemon-y yellow sponge but you could also use coconut or date sugar or stick to white or golden caster sugar.
  • Sunflower oil: I love to use sunflower, vegetable, or a light olive oil for baking as the sponges are so light and fluffy.
  • Vanilla: for the flavour.
  • Lemon zest: this is what adds the main lemon flavour to the sponge. I like to use a large lemon for maximum flavour that isn’t overpowering.
  • Self-raising flour: this keeps the cake light and fluffy and already has most of the rising agents in, too. If you are using a gluten-free self-raising blend, I suggest using one which contains xantham gum.
  • Bicarbonate of soda: for a little more rise.
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake

I like to keep the method for my cakes as simple as possible, so for this one you just need to whisk together the wet ingredients then sift in the dry ingredients and whisk to a smooth batter. Don’t overmix the batter, but it will be nice and smooth. 

As this is a small-batch cake, I use two 6-inch cake tins to make this Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake. Line the bottom and grease the sides so the sponges slide out easily. Bake until golden brown and smelling amazing and then the cakes must cool down fully before you can frost them. If the tops are un-even, just slice off the rounded parts to make the cakes flatter.

Now onto the Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream. This is perhaps my favourite part of this Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake and I have eaten way too much of it over the last couple of weeks, but I don’t mind. There are just a few ingredients needed:

  • Vegan butter: this is easy to find in the supermarkets and is better than margarine spread style of butter. You want the solid sticks of butter for this one which contain less water and will hold the shape better.
  • Vegan cream cheese: I always use the NUSH brand in the UK as it has a neutral taste and is really creamy. If you don’t have cream cheese, you can use all vegan butter instead.
  • Icing sugar: this is essential for the buttercream, and I do not recommend swapping this. I have tried sugar-free icing sugars in the past and they don’t hold up as well and turn quite watery.
  • Lemon zest: this adds the lovely lemon flavour to the frosting. Lemon and sugar will forever remind me lemonade, hence the name, Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake.
  • Strawberry powder: to not add too much liquid to the buttercream frosting, I like to use freeze-dried strawberry powder which has so much delicious strawberry flavour. You can find this online and the brand I like is Arctic Berries as they packaging is sustainable, too.
  • Pink food gel or colouring: this is not essential but creates the lovely pink colour. While the strawberry powder alone adds the flavour, it does not add enough colour, so use a natural food gel or colouring here. You only need a few drops and don’t go wild for a stronger colour as the buttercream will split and be too runny.
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake

For the buttercream, simply beat together all the ingredients until light and fluffy and that’s it. The result is a luscious, pink, strawberry lemonade flavoured cream cheese buttercream that you can happily eat by the spoonful.

How to decorate this Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake? This is easy enough, but for video tutorials, I recommend taking a look at the Wilton Cake website!

  • Place on cake on the bottom: use a piece of parchment if you plan  to move the cake or directly onto a serving plate.
  • Secure with a little buttercream: smear some buttercream underneath and stick your cake in place.
  • Use a turntable if you have one: I used a make-shift one of a plate on top of a bowl but it’s quite un-safe, so next time I will invest!
  • Pipe a thick edge of buttercream: around the edge of the bottom cake.
  • Fill the hole with jam: this means the jam won’t leak out.
  • Place the second cake on top: and press down lightly so it’s even.
  • Start frosting the cake all over: start with the top and work your way up and along the sides of cake using a small spatula or palette knife. 
  • This is a crumb coat frosting: this means that there may be specks of cake crumb in the frosting, but you can make a first layer of frosting that is much thinner, allow it to chill in the fridge and then go back over it with a second layer or thicker frosting for a smoother finish. I only do one coat and there were hardly any crumbs!
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake

For the decoration, go as wild or as simple as you like! I saved some frosting to pipe on top using a star-shaped nozzle and added on some large strawberries and more freeze-dried strawberry powder for colour.

This small-batch Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake is such a family favourite and will certainly please a crowd so it’s a great one to make for birthdays and smaller gatherings. The fresh lemony flavours work so well with the sweet luscious strawberries and the colour alone will make you want to dive in.

If you are looking for more cakes and bakes, how about my:

Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake (Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A small batch two-layered lemon sponge cake coated in strawberry lemon cream cheese buttercream and a strawberry jam centre. This vegan cake is easily gluten-free, quick to make and is a great showstopper or celebration cake.

Ingredients

    For the Lemon Cake:
  • 240ml plant-based milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 80ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • 210g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the Strawberry Lemon Frosting:
  • 140g vegan butter
  • 60g vegan cream cheese
  • 450g icing sugar
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 2 tbsp strawberry powder
  • A few drops of pink food colouring (vegan)
  • For the filling and topping:
  • 50g strawberry jam
  • 6 large strawberries
  • Extra strawberry powder

Directions

  1. Make the lemon cake: preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and grease and line 2 6-inch cake tins with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the plant-based milk and lemon juice and leave for 5 minutes. Pour in the sugar, sunflower oil, vanilla essence and lemon zest and whisk again.
  3. Sift in the self-raising flour and bicarbonate of soda and add the salt. Whisk to a smooth batter and divide evenly between the cake tins.
  4. Smooth over the top and bake for 22-24 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tins and cool fully on a wire rack.
  5. Make the Strawberry Lemon Frosting: beat the vegan butter until soft and add in the vegan cream cheese. Beat again and gradually beat in the icing sugar, lemon zest, strawberry powder and pink food colouring. Start with a small amount of colouring and avoid adding too much as it may cause the frosting to split. Beat for 2 minutes until fluffy, adding a splash of plant-based milk if it’s too thick and more icing sugar if it’s too thin.
  6. Once the cakes are cool, spread a bit of buttercream on the plate/tray and place one cake on top. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge and spread the jam in the middle. Top with the second cake and carefully coat the cake with the rest of the buttercream. Work your way up the sides to make smooth edges (like a crumb coat) and evenly cover the top of the cake, too, saving some frosting for piping on top.
  7. Evenly arrange the strawberries around the edge of the cake and use a star-shaped nozzle to pip on the buttercream in between the strawberries. Sprinkle over some extra strawberry powder.
  8. Enjoy straight away or store in an airtight container in the fridge, if warm, for 3-5 days.
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake

I look forward to hearing what you think of this small-batch Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake so please let me know in the comments below. I would love to see if you make this cake, too, so please tag me in your creations. I am @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With strawberry lemonade love x

3 thoughts on “Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake (Gluten-Free)

  1. naturally.sophiexx says:

    Hey my friend Amy. Looks epic and I definitely want to also bake the above cake 🍰 for my 25th birthday 🥳 next year! Love the strawberries 🍓 flavours and lemon 🍋. I will definitely tag you into my bakes using your recipes and saved to my WordPress saved collection. So vibrant like a rainbow 🌈

    Like

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