Alternative flours and the perfect Vegan Lemon Cake
Updated: Jul 10
Keen to try your hand at using alternative flours, but not sure where to start? We’ve got an easy peasy recipe for the perfect lemon cake that is completely vegan, and makes a great way to introduce yourself to two types of gluten-free flour.
Alternative flours have become far more readily available lately, with varieties like almond flour and rice flour (which we use in this recipe), as well as chickpea flour, cassava flour and other whole grain, organic varieties all available in the supermarket. They’ve been slightly slower to reach the mass market than their alt-milk counterparts but, now that they’ve broken through, these flours have firmly secured their spots on our shelves.
Gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour is an ideal alternative to your standard wheat flour, as it’s designed to replicate all of the great properties of the wheat-y variety, just minus the gluten. It consists of a combination of a blend of gluten-free flours, with starches and xanthan gum, which enables you to achieve the same texture, rise and lightness in your bakes.
This healthier alternative to everyone’s favourite lemon drizzle is a great way to help us all stick to our healthy eating ethos, without having to cut out on too many of the treats. Dieting is particularly tricky for all our fellow sweet-toothers, as there aren’t very many alternatives that you could use to successfully replace a nice wedge of cake. This is why this moist, light and fluffy cake is such a wonderful choice for a guilt-free indulgence.
It sounds counter-productive but, by allowing yourself a few treats here and there (albeit in a slightly more healthy fashion than a big chocolate bar), you’ll actually be a lot more willing to commit to your diet. This way, healthy eating will become a more realistic and long-term lifestyle option for you. If you only ate celery all day, this isn’t something you’d be able to keep up for long, a fact which is largely down to this piece of healthy eating advice - the more enjoyable it is, the more likely you are to stick to it permanently.
Thanks to their many health benefits, gluten-free flours have become an increasingly popular choice for cafes and home bakers lately. Their high-quality and nutritional ingredients will enable you to effortlessly go about eating more mindfully. Buying in these alt flours will help you to bake more wholesome, health-conscious goodies at home, without forsaking any of the structure and texture that your conventional flours normally provide.
The cake can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, so it makes the perfect pud to bake in advance and bring to a party (it also means that all of the guests can tuck in, regardless of their dietary requirements). We love this recipe, because it encapsulates everything that the latest revolution in healthy food and vegan cooking stands for, producing a treat that everyone can enjoy.
This cake is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and completely free from refined sugar, too. Now, while this might sound like it would result in a plain, drab (and frankly, quite sad) sponge, actually, this cake is designed to be a yummy, sweet and fluffy cake for you to tuck into, completely guilt-free.
Almond flour in particular boasts an awful lot of benefits. It’s a flour that’s high in protein and fibre, so this is a treat that does a lot more than satisfy a sweet craving. It is a great low-carb option too, (which means it works well for anyone following a Keto diet). The fact that it is also a flour rich in healthy fats makes this the perfect ingredient to create moist, fluffy sponges.
If you can’t find it at the shops (or just fancy having a go) you could even try making your own DIY almond flour. It’s really simple - all you need to do is blitz some whole almonds in a food processor, until they reach a fine consistency. It’s an easy, cheap and quick way to whip up some gluten-free flour, all ready for your afternoon of home baking.
So, by this point, you’ll probably be dying to get started. Without further ado, below, you’ll find our scrumptious recipe, which uses alternative flours to create the perfect vegan lemon cake.
The Perfect Gluten-Free and Vegan Lemon Cake
For the cake:
Almond flour, 50g
Rice flour, 150g
Baking powder, 8g
Lemon soy yogurt, 125g
Maple syrup, 4 tbsp
Lemon juice, 5 tbsp
Lemon zest, 1 tbsp
Lemon essence oil, 10 drops (optional)
For the glaze:
Lemon soy yoghurt, 125g
Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a medium-sized loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the rice and almond flours, along with the baking powder.
3. To the dry ingredients, add in the rest of the ingredients and gently mix everything together. It’s important that you don’t overmix the batter, because you’ll lose the cake’s trademark light and fluffy texture (overmixing will make the cake all dense and tight).
4. Once combined, pour the mixture into the loaf tin. Bake in the oven for around 30-45 minutes. Test to see when the cake’s ready to come out of the oven by poking a skewer into the middle to see if it comes out clean (if so, that means it’s cooked the whole way through). If the top looks like it's getting too dark before the middle is cooked, just cover the top of the cake with some baking paper.
5. Leave the cake to cool. Then, once the cake has cooled down, you can get started on the glaze.
6.Mix together the yoghurt and lemon juice. Pour the glaze over the cake, making sure that you reach all of the corners of the cake. Then, it’s ready to serve.
Unlike most other bizarre vegan recipes with a long list of unheard of ingredients, this recipe is foolproof. This cake is quick and easy to make, with very few ingredients - almost all of which you’ll probably already have in your store cupboard.
This recipe only requires a few staple ingredients, that you should pretty much always have in stock as your key go-tos. So, if you’re finding that it’s tricky to even locate this handful of ingredients in your messy and chaotic kitchen, this certainly calls for the addition of a helpful piece of technology. Que the FridgeCam.
The FridgeCam is designed to help you organise your life - whether it be in your fridge or your store cupboard/pantry (or, indeed, both), the FridgeCam helps you to keep a track of what you’ve got in stock. This makes for a very handy tool to have when you’re heading to do a food shop (paper shopping lists are more of a hazard to good timekeeping, if you ask me). By bringing a FridgeCam into your daily routine, you can minimise food waste in your home, while also making sure that you have everything that you need in stock ready for your next impromptu lockdown baking fest.
The FridgeCam works by sending snapshots of the interior of your (now) smart fridge or cupboard to your phone every time you open the door, so that you can keep close tabs on what you have already and what you need to top up on. It also gives you key information regarding the use-by dates of your food and it remembers your favourite items that you use up quickly, so that these are always high on the shopping priority list. This way, you can effortlessly control your kitchen supplies from your phone.
If kitchen organisation is holding you back from becoming the next star baker (if not on Channel 4 just yet, at least in your household), then you can order yourself a FridgeCam from our Smarter online shop. After all, it’ll soon pay for itself in all that milk you’ll have stopped buying in double.
*Original recipe and pictures from Blooming Nolwenn