Top | Zena Chew

Vegan Lemon Layer Cake

(recipe, Zena Chew)


Because it has three parts — the cake, the filling, and the frosting — this dessert recipe can seem daunting. But, really, everything comes together easily and beautifully, and the results are incredibly light and moist. (They're also rather sweet, so cut back on the sugar in the frosting if you like.) The recipe makes one 2-layer cake, so if you're feeling ambitious and want to make a four-layer cake, double everything.


    1. 1⅓ cups flour
    2. ½ tsp. baking powder
    3. ¾ tsp. baking soda
    4. ¼ tsp. salt
    5. ¼ cup canola oil
    6. ⅔ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
    7. 1 cup rice milk
    8. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    9. ¼ cup lemon juice
    10. 1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
    1. ½ lb. firm tofu (either silken or regular tofu)
    2. 2 Tbsp. canola oil
    3. 1 tsp. lemon zest
    4. 3 to 4 Tbsp. maple syrup
    5. ¼ tsp. salt
    6. ½ tsp. vanilla or lemon extract
    1. ½ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
    2. ½ tsp. vanilla extract
    3. 2⅓ cups sifted powdered sugar
    4. 3 to 4 tsp. soy or rice milk


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. (If you want to make extra-sure that the cake layers come out unbroken, cut circles of parchment paper to fit the bottoms of each pan and place the paper in the pans.)
    2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the canola oil, sugar, rice milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined, then divide the batter between the two pans.
    3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then invert the cake layers onto racks to cool fully.
    4. When the cake is cool, place all the filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spread the filling between the cake layers.
    5. Place all the frosting ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and fluffy. Carefully frost the top and sides of the cake.


    The cake recipe is adapted from the Lemon Gem Cupcakes recipe in Isa Chandra Moskowitz's [%bookLink code=1569243581 "Vegan with a Vengeance"]. The frosting is a cookie-frosting recipe from a neighbor, who calls it "Snow Frosting."