Vegan Lemon, Poppyseed & Blueberry Cake

I wanted to bring out a fun twist to some lovely traditional flavours for Spring alongside our new flamboyant range of Spring Cocktail inspired flavours.

Lemon and Poppyseed cake has been one of my new favourites since about a year ago, when a friend from work brought in THE best cake I've ever had. I've tried so hard to recreate her beautiful creation, and lovingly named it 'The Samantha' after her. But truth be told, none of my replications have ever met her standard.

So I've been working on a little twist to the original flavour. I've been experimenting with different berries to adjust the texture and add a little tartness to the zesty lemon flavours. I've also played around with a lovely topped coulis in favour of the lemon drizzle some people include in the traditional Lemon & Poppyseed.

This has sprung up a whole new range of zesty lemon based flavours I'll be bringing out in the coming months, especially because the base recipe for this cake makes a lovely light and lemony vegan sponge.

So if you're itching to try this recipe, do it with some of your own flair. Chuck in your favourite fruit instead, maybe try out orange instead of lemon. There are countless substitutions you could use in this recipe to really make it your own.

Ingredients - Sponge

220ml Vegan Milk

200g Caster Sugar

75ml Vegetable Oil

250g Plain Flour

2 tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 a Lemon's Juice

1 Lemon's Zest

100g Blueberries

4 tbsp Poppyseed

Ingredients - Glaze

200g Icing Sugar

1/2 a Lemon's Juice

Water as Needed

Method - Sponge

1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease and line a cake tin with oil or vegan spread and greaseproof paper.

2. Next, make your vegan egg alternative, or 'vegan buttermilk' by combining the vegan milk and lemon juice in a jug. Give it a quick whisk with a fork and set aside for at least five minutes to thicken.

Tip: I like to leave this for a little longer. Vegan milk tends to curdle with just about anything, but that's what we want here so don't be worried when it looks gross! Just make sure to give it a good mix before adding to the dry mixture later so it's smooth.

3. Put the sugar and vegetable oil in a standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on a low speed until well incorporated. Add in the plain flour, baking powder, poppyseed and lemon zest and mix until grainy and sand-like. Be sure to scrape off any bits from the sides of the bowl as you go.

4. Maintaining a low speed, slowly add the vegan buttermilk a little at a time. Once fully incorporated, set to a medium - high speed and beat to introduce a little air to the mixture for about 1 minute. Be careful not to over-beat to avoid sinking later on.

5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the blueberries by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake for about 45-55 minutes, checking after the former. The sponge should spring back when touched, and an inserted skewer should come out clean. Once cooked, allow cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning over to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Method - Glaze

1. Remove the greaseproof paper and place the sponge right side up on a wire cooling rack. Place a layer of foil or cling film under the rack to protect the work surface beneath.

2. Take the icing sugar and stir in the lemon juice. Add in some cold water bit by bit, continuously stirring until you have a smooth, thick mixture that runs from a spoon easily.

3. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake until completely covered and leave to set completely for about an hour.

4. You can add some decoration to the cake by popping on some candied lemon twists, or a dollop of blueberry coulis when serving. Alternatively, a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream would pair really nicely with the fresh flavours.

We hope you love our recipes as much as we do! If you try them out yourself, don't forget to tag us in your Instagram @ThePaletteNewcastle! We love seeing new and exciting versions of our cakes!