Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe

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The best ever vegan lemon olive oil cake with lemon curd, cream cheese frosting, lemon blueberry sauce and fresh blackberries. Extra lemony, lusciously beautiful, the perfect cake for any special occasion, from summer parties to Christmas dinner, make this a new family tradition!
 
This vegan olive oil cake has been one of my most requested recipes to veganize to date! So I really took my time testing and retesting to make sure it was at least as good if not better than the original vegetarian version. It’s 100% there you guys and I hope you give it a go soon!

What is an Olive Oil Cake?

A simple moist cake that uses olive oil instead of butter as a main ingredient for its fat content. It ads tons of moisture and beautiful fruity flavor but you won’t really be tasting the olive oil per se. It’s the perfect lemon cake for Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, Summer Garden Parties, Thanksgiving and Birthdays! It’s the Cake!

Easy and relatively quick to make in spite of the multiple steps and components. I wanted to go all out with the fillings and really indulge here, however the cake is perfectly delicious on its own with a heavy sprinkling of powder sugar and a double espresso. That being said, don’t feel like you have to go all if you don’t want to. It’s ok to keep it simple or make these vegan brownies instead!

 

How to Make Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Cake

  1. You’ll only need one 9 inch spring form cake pan to bake one cake from which we are going to make a two layer cake.
  2. Start by making your fillings a day in advance if possible. The lemon curd, cream cheese frosting and blueberry sauce all need to be chilled completely before assembling the cake.
  3. Bake the cake according to the easy recipe and allow it to cool off completely before slicing in half and dressing it up with all the fillings.  

Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Cake Fillings

  • Lemon Curd – For extra lemony flavor I used my eggless mango curd recipe as the base filling in lieu of the classic lemon curd.
  • Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting – Whipped plant based cream cheese mixed with whipped coconut cream yields the most luscious dairy-free frosting reminiscent of mascarpone.
  • Blueberry Sauce – Fresh blueberries and lemon juice are cooked down together with maple syrup and vanilla for an extra layer of berrylicious flavor. This also adds extra moisture to the cake so don’t skip it. Alternatively raspberries or strawberries can be used instead of blueberries.
Lemon cake fillings

The Cake Batter

It’s a rich batter made with extra light olive oil and full fat coconut milk whisked together with lemon, sugar and vanilla. It’s perfection really, and it comes together in no time. The wet and dry ingredients are combined separately then folded together just before baking.

The Baking Time

Keep a close eye on your cake and check for doneness at the 45 minute mark. For some reason sometimes it takes longer than other times, just take care not to overtake it. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or almost dry when the cake is ready.

Garnishes

I used fresh blackberries and lemon thyme blossoms, you could choose raspberry or candied citrus instead, favorite edible flowers, whatever is having a moment. 

Sliced lemon cake with blackberries

On Storage

  • The cake can be kept at room temperature for a few days without the fillings and frosting. Wrap in parchment paper or place in a cake box.
  • Once filled the cake must be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. Because of the cream cheese frosting and blueberry sauce I don’t recommend keeping it at room temperature for more than a couple of hours.
  • Freezing – If desired the cake can also be frozen without any of the fillings. Wrap in parchment paper or place in a freezer proof lidded container.

Serving + Make Ahead

This berry lemon cake is best served after being chilled for a couple of hours for all the fillings to properly set. In my opinion it gets better with time and tastes even more delicious the second day which makes this a great make ahead show stopper dessert.
Vegan Lemon Cake with olive oil, lemon curd, cream cheese frosting and berries.
Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Cake
5 from 5 votes

Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Cake

The best ever vegan lemon cake with olive oil, lemon curd, cream cheese frosting, lemon blueberry sauce and fresh blackberries.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:25 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
chill time:1 hour
Total Time:2 hours 15 minutes

Equipment

  • 9 Inch Spring Form Cake Pan

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

Cake Fillings

Lemon Blueberry Sauce

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 3/4 lb vegan cream cheese
  • 1.5 cup whipped coconut cream stiff (store bought is great)
  • zest from 1 lemon

Garnishes

  • 1/4 cup edible flowers
  • 1 lb fresh blackberries

Instructions

  • Prepare the lemon curd in advance and refrigerate until needed. This step can be done a couple of days in advance.

Blueberry Sauce

  • Combine the blueberries, lemon juice, vanilla and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the blueberries start to burst, a couple of minutes or so. Remove from heat, allow to cool and refrigerate until needed.

Make the Cream Cheese Filling

  • Use a mixer with a whisk attachment to whip the cream cheese on medium low speed until soft and creamy.
  • Using a spatula fold the whipped coconut cream into the whipped cream cheese until combined. Make sure to not over mix. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the cake.

Bake the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350”F.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest and sea salt.
  • In another bowl whisk the olive oil, coconut milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour on top of the dry ingredients and using a spatula fold just until combined. Do not overmix as that will result in a dense cake.
  • Lightly oil the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan and line with parchment paper cut to size. Place on a baking sheet.
  • Pour the cake batter inside the cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and allow to cool off completely. Once cooled remove from the springform pan by releasing the sides first, then remove the bottom. (this step should be really easy specially if you lined the bottom with parchment paper).

Assemble the Layer Cake

  • Use a serrated knife and very carefully slice a thin layer off of the top of the cake to remove the crust and expose the soft center.
  • Proceed with care and now slice the cake in half as to have two circles. Place the bottom part on a plate or cake stand, whatever you want to serve your cake on.
  • Spread the lemon curd on top of the bottom layer of the cake. Spoon half of the cream cheese filling on top followed by half of the blueberry sauce and a few fresh blackberries.
  • Add the second cake layer and cover with the remaining of the blueberry sauce. Top with the remainder of the whipped cream cheese mix and use the back of a spatula to spread it around as best as you can.
  • Sprinkle the top of the cake with the fresh blackberries reserving some to decorate the sides of the cake by gently pressing each berry into the filling on the sides.
  • Garnish with edible flower blossoms and chill for a couple of hours or overnight before serving.

Notes

  • Keep it Simple - This cake is also absolutely delicious with just a sprinkling of powder sugar on top.
  • Lemon Glaze - Alternatively you can skip all the fillings and frosting and cover the cake with a simple lemon glaze made with 1 cup powdered sugar + 1/4 cup cashew milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice. Whisk until smooth and pour over the cake once it has cooled down completely.
  • Line the Cake Pan - To prevent the batter from sticking line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper cut to fit the size and shape of the pan.
  • Avoid Over-Mixing - Folding your ingredients is key here to avoid a dense heavy cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 542kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Sodium: 396mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: lemon cake, olive oil cake, vegan cake
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 542kcal
Author: Florentina

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23 Comments

  1. An absolutely amazing cake, the flavors are fantastic and it’s really not that hard to throw together, if just has a lot of steps if you want to make it with all the layers.

    1. Hi Dee, I have not tried it with gluten free flour so i wouldn’t want to mislead you in any way, i’ll have to test it first.

  2. Absolutely incredible! I made this for a predominately non-vegan group and they said it was one of the best cakes they have ever had. Perfectly balanced, nice texture and not too sweet.

    1. I am beyond excited that the cake was such a success with everyone. Literally doing the happy dance at my desk right now hahah

  3. I have a question about the whipped coconut cream for this recipe. Are you using a store bought whipped coconut cream or are you making it with coconut cream from a can and some powdered sugar for sweetness? Or maybe no sugar? Looking forward to making this cake tomorrow 🙂

    1. I will take a shortcut and use store bought whipped coconut cream here just because there are a few steps in this recipe already. You can most definitely whip the cream with a chilled whisk preferably in a mixer until stiff and sweeten to taste with powder sugar. Start with one cup of coconut cream and 1-2 tbsp powder sugar. Report back!

      1. That’s what I had to do. The coconut cream I bought would not whip, and I didn’t know about adding the powdered sugar either. Fortunately I had a vegan chilled whipped topping on hand and substituted that for the coconut cream.

  4. I would like to make this cake tonight however I don’t own a springform pan? Do you have another variation or suggestion on how to make it without it? I was thinking of attempting with just 2 cake pans. Thoughts? lol Thanks!

    1. Hey Jordan, just use the regular round pan you have and line it with parchment paper so it is easy to remove the cake without breaking it. Once cooled off completely use a serrated knife to slice it in half and make 2 layers. Report back! ~ Florentina

  5. Hi there, I noticed that you used the photos of the cake from the original non-vegan recipe. Are there photos available of the cake made by using this recipe? Thank you!

    1. Maria, I made the vegan cake and mango lemon curd in my stories, they look absolutely identical so it be a waste of time to do an identical shoot lol. Are you having any issues making the cake that I could help with ?

  6. I was looking for a recipe to help me use up about 10 lemons that I had in the fridge when I came across this beautiful Lemon Olive Oil Cake. 😍 I have never made an olive oil cake before, I don’t think I’ve even ever eaten one but it was so beautiful I thought I would try it!! **Note**This cake has quite a few steps but it’s completely worth the work!!! 🙃
    I made the cake, lemon curd and the blueberry sauce the day before and made the cream cheese frosting just before assembling the cake. The frosting is like a vegan mascarpone made with cream cheese and coconut cream. I decorated the cake with a few blackberries and mint from my garden. It is AMAZING!! 🍋 Turned out so beautiful too!!!

  7. I made this recipe for a party this evening and I take full responsibility that it wasn’t fully “set”. Now my cake is a trifle, but does taste great (really quite great!). I do have a question about the finished cake on its own though: how tall should it have been in the pan as it seemed to not rise much as I expected. It is gorgeous, fresh, lemony and wonderful, but I thought it would have been a bit taller…..

    1. It is not a very tall cake, however i would check the baking powder and baking soda just to make sure they aren’t accidentally expired or closed to it.

  8. I have to say this cake was absolutely delicious but it was absolutely the biggest mess of a cake I’ve ever had to contend with. I think trying it again I’d do the following. First, lay down the coconut/whip cream first and then the other layers on top. It’s just so thick and it doesn’t spread. Maybe I would try whipped cream in a container versus using full fat coconut cream I whipped. It was so thick. The blueberry sauce was runny so I needed to drain a bit but still it created the top layer to slide off. Emphasizing how the cake needs to be cut perfectly in half is imperative as any slight slant leads to further slippage. Anyways, thanks for the challenge and wonderful flavor.

  9. Only frustrating part of this was the non explanation of the stiff whipped coconut cream….I have been whipping this for over 10 min only to read in the comments below that you used store bought a clarification would be helpful. Cant wait to finish and make.

  10. I had to substitute a store-bought whipped topping for the coconut cream in the recipe, but other than that I followed the recipe for Christmas. It was a huge hit!

  11. Made this cake for my best friends (who is vegans) birthday. Most people there weren’t vegan and they could not believe it tasted so good, and that I didn’t buy this from an expensive Artisanal Cake Store lol. There was going to be just under 20 people so I ended up doubling the recipe with the intention of making it 4 layers (very ambitious of me).

    I made separate batters for each cake as I only had one tin. The first cake batter turned out like a dough & the cake didn’t rise very much at all!!! The second cake was a runny batter and rose perfectly. I think I must had zoned out and put WAY too much olive oil in the first one. For the frosting I used a coconut based double cream from Sainsbury’s UK, which whipped PERFECTLY and was so delicious, like Mr Whippy’s ice cream.

    Because the first one didn’t rise much I made it into 3 layers instead. I was pretty rushed slicing them in half and one of them ended up crumbling!!! This was held together by the thick frosty but meant it wasn’t as neat as in the photos.

    Never the less I think this is the best cake I’ve ever made and it was super fun to make if you have the time. Everyone said it was the best vegan cake they’d ever eaten so an overall win.

  12. Hello! I am confused about the coconut whipped cream. I bought an aerosol can of whipped cream and I also bought a frozen tub. I also have canned coconut milk that I can whip myself. What would be best for this recipe?

    1. Hi Vanessa! If you have the whipped coconut cream in the tub or even the aerosol you should use that as it’s already whipped with a great texture. Coconut milk won’t whip into cream, you would have to use full fat coconut cream which you can whip until stiff peaks form. Hope that makes sense, let me know if you have any other questions ~ Florentina

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