If you’re looking for a unique and delicious dessert option, look no further than vegan lavender lemon cake. This recipe offers a sweet, tangy, and floral flavor profile that’s sure to impress all your guests. The best part? It’s entirely plant-based, making it a great option for vegans, vegetarians, and those looking to reduce their environmental impact.
Why choose vegan baking?
Vegan baking offers a variety of benefits over traditional baking. For starters, it’s more inclusive and accessible for people with various dietary restrictions. It’s also generally considered more environmentally friendly since it eliminates animal products and in turn, reduces our ecological footprint. Additionally, vegan baking often relies on healthier ingredients, such as whole grains, nuts, and fruits. And last but not least, it allows for more experimentation with unique and creative flavor combinations, as evidenced by this vegan lavender lemon cake recipe.
Another benefit of vegan baking is that it can be a great way to reduce your cholesterol and saturated fat intake. Traditional baking often relies on butter, eggs, and other animal products that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. By using plant-based ingredients, you can create delicious baked goods that are lower in these unhealthy components.
Finally, vegan baking can be a fun and rewarding way to explore new ingredients and techniques. It challenges you to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to traditional baking problems. Whether you’re experimenting with aquafaba as an egg substitute or using coconut oil instead of butter, there’s always something new to learn and discover in the world of vegan baking.
The benefits of incorporating lavender in desserts
Lavender is a flowering herb known for its calming and relaxing properties. But did you know it also has culinary benefits? Lavender adds a pleasant floral flavor to desserts, making it a great addition to cakes and other baked goods. Additionally, some studies suggest that lavender may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it potentially beneficial for our health.
One of the most popular desserts that incorporate lavender is lavender ice cream. The floral notes of lavender complement the creaminess of the ice cream, creating a unique and delicious flavor. Lavender can also be used to make syrups and sauces that can be drizzled over desserts like cheesecake or panna cotta.
It’s important to note that not all lavender is safe for consumption. Only culinary lavender, which is specifically grown for cooking purposes, should be used in desserts. Additionally, it’s recommended to use lavender sparingly as its flavor can be overpowering if too much is used.
The history and uses of lavender in cooking
Lavender has been used in cooking since ancient times, dating back to the Roman Empire. It was used to enhance the flavor of dishes and also to freshen up the air in dining areas. In modern times, lavender has become more popular in desserts and sweet treats. It pairs well with flavors like lemon, honey, and vanilla. Lavender is also commonly used in teas and cocktails for its flavor and aroma.
In addition to its culinary uses, lavender has also been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It was believed to have calming and soothing properties, and was often used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Today, lavender essential oil is still used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
Another interesting use of lavender is in natural cleaning products. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a great addition to homemade cleaning solutions. Lavender oil can be added to vinegar or baking soda to create a natural and effective cleaner for surfaces like countertops and floors.
Essential ingredients for vegan baking
Some essential ingredients for vegan baking include plant-based milk, vegan butter or oil, flax eggs (a mix of ground flaxseed and water), and a natural sweetener like maple syrup or agave nectar. Additionally, it’s important to use a leavening agent like baking powder or soda to achieve the desired texture.
Another important ingredient for vegan baking is aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It can be whipped into a foam and used as an egg white substitute in recipes like meringues and macarons. Another alternative to eggs is silken tofu, which can be blended into a smooth puree and used in place of eggs in recipes like cheesecake.
When it comes to flour, it’s important to choose a type that is suitable for vegan baking. Some good options include all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, spelt flour, and oat flour. It’s also important to check that the flour is not processed with animal products, such as bone char, which is sometimes used to bleach flour.
Step-by-step instructions for making vegan lavender lemon cake
For this vegan lavender lemon cake recipe, you’ll first need to gather your ingredients:
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup vegan butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tablespoons water)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender, finely chopped or ground
Now onto the instructions:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease an 8-inch cake pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flax eggs and vanilla extract to your large bowl, and beat until well combined.
- Mix in the lemon juice and zest, followed by the plant-based milk.
- Gradually add in the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Finally, stir in the dried culinary lavender.
- Pour the batter into your greased cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
If you want to add an extra touch to your vegan lavender lemon cake, you can make a simple glaze to drizzle over the top. To make the glaze, mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice until smooth. Once the cake has cooled, drizzle the glaze over the top and sprinkle with a little extra dried lavender for decoration.
Tips for successful vegan cake baking
Some tips for successful vegan cake baking include using a high-quality plant-based milk (like almond or oat milk), measuring ingredients precisely, and not overmixing the batter. Additionally, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before starting the baking process.
Another important tip for vegan cake baking is to use a good quality egg substitute. There are many options available such as applesauce, mashed bananas, or flaxseed meal mixed with water. These substitutes help to bind the ingredients together and provide moisture to the cake.
It is also important to preheat your oven to the correct temperature and to not open the oven door too often while the cake is baking. This can cause the cake to sink or become dry. Once the cake is done, let it cool completely before frosting or decorating it.
How to make your own lavender extract
You can make your own lavender extract by steeping dried culinary lavender in vodka for several weeks. The resulting extract can be used in baking recipes or even added to cocktails for a floral twist. Here’s how to make it:
- Fill a clean jar with dried culinary lavender, leaving some room at the top.
- Pour vodka over the lavender until the jar is full.
- Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks, shaking it occasionally.
- After several weeks, strain the extract through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean jar or bottle.
Once you have made your lavender extract, there are many ways to use it. You can add a few drops to your bathwater for a relaxing and fragrant soak. You can also use it as a natural air freshener by adding it to a spray bottle with water and spritzing it around your home. Additionally, you can use it as a natural remedy for headaches by applying a small amount to your temples.
It’s important to note that while lavender extract is generally safe for consumption, it should be used in moderation. Too much lavender can have a sedative effect and may cause drowsiness or other side effects. As with any new ingredient, it’s always a good idea to start with a small amount and gradually increase as needed.
Alternative frosting options for vegan cakes
For this vegan lavender lemon cake, you might consider using a simple vegan vanilla frosting made with vegan butter, powdered sugar, and plant-based milk. Alternatively, you could make a vegan cream cheese frosting by using vegan cream cheese in place of the butter. Another option would be to serve the cake with a drizzle of vegan honey or agave nectar, or even a raspberry puree.
If you’re looking for a healthier frosting option, you could try making a vegan frosting using avocado. Simply blend ripe avocado with cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. This frosting is not only vegan, but also gluten-free and packed with healthy fats.
Serving suggestions and presentation ideas
This vegan lavender lemon cake is a beautiful dessert option that’s sure to impress your guests. Consider serving it with a side of fresh berries or a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. For a more visually appealing presentation, you could dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar or even sprinkle some additional dried lavender on top.
Another great way to serve this cake is by pairing it with a cup of hot tea or coffee. The subtle floral notes of the lavender complement the warm, comforting flavors of these beverages. You could also try adding a dollop of vegan whipped cream on top of each slice for an extra indulgent touch. No matter how you choose to serve it, this vegan lavender lemon cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Variations on the recipe: using different citrus flavors or herbs
This vegan lavender lemon cake recipe can easily be adapted to use different citrus flavors like lime or grapefruit. You could also experiment with different herbs like rosemary or thyme in place of the lavender.
Frequently asked questions about baking vegan cakes
Some frequently asked questions about baking vegan cakes include:
- What can I use as an egg substitute in vegan baking? Flax eggs, chia eggs, applesauce, or mashed bananas are all excellent egg substitutes in vegan baking.
- Can I use all-purpose flour in vegan baking? Yes, all-purpose flour can be used in place of traditional flour in vegan baking recipes.
- How can I make vegan frosting? You can make vegan frosting by using vegan butter in place of regular butter and plant-based milk in place of dairy milk.
- Can I use almond milk in place of regular milk in baking? Yes, almond milk can be used in place of regular milk in most baking recipes.
How to store and freeze your vegan cake
Store your vegan lavender lemon cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze the cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil before placing it in the freezer. It should keep for up to 2 months.
Creative ways to use leftover cake
If you have any leftover cake, you could use it to make cake pops or truffles by crumbing the cake and mixing it with frosting before shaping it into small balls. Alternatively, you could use the cake as a base for a fruity parfait by layering it with fresh berries and vegan yogurt.
Lavender lemon cake recipe variations: cupcakes, muffins, and more
This vegan lavender lemon cake recipe can be adapted to make cupcakes, muffins, or even mini loaves. Simply adjust the baking time accordingly and watch closely to ensure they don’t overbake. You could also experiment with different flavor variations, like adding blueberries or raspberries to the batter.