I was reviewing some of my dessert recipes and I realized that I bake a lot of chocolate desserts. I mean, A LOT of chocolate. But can you blame me? It's a (mostly) universal crowd pleaser. And more importantly, I love it.
But, since I like to push myself out of my comfort zone, I decided to bake the furthest thing from a chocolate cake. A lemon cake! With matcha frosting! And it's kind of healthy! Emphasis on kind of. This is still a cake, people.
Here's what I did to make this cake a little healthier.
- Swap all-purpose flour for a combo of almond flour and a gluten-free flour blend. If you aren't gluten-free or don't care about gluten-free, feel free to use plain all-purpose flour.
- Use heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil instead of vegan butter or vegetable oil. Plus, lemon and olive oil are a perfect pairing in a cake. Or in a salad dressing. Or in a marinade.
- I used minimal (relatively speaking) sugar. This cake uses 2/3 cup of sugar, which is not very much for a cake.
- The frosting is basically a superfood. Hello, matcha powder! And it's made with healthy fats like coconut oil and cashews and uses a minimally refined sweetener.
This is one of those cakes that would be perfect for teatime. It's light and refreshing enough to be an afternoon snack but still sweet enough to go well with a strong cup of tea. I suspect that most people don't actually have "tea time" where they sip a freshly brewed cup of tea in their grandmother's china while they daintily eat a piece of cake, but you get my point. J/K, the Queen of England definitely does this. Queen, are you reading??
Oh, and if you're wondering - why aren't there more photos of this beautiful cake?? Welp, it's because, as soon as I took the first five photos, my carbon monoxide alarm unexpectedly went off. After panicking for a good five minutes and trying to detect the undetectable poison in the air, I spent the next 30 minutes trying to quiet the damn thing. Turns out, it had malfunctioned and it would not stop beeping until I beat the heck out of it. As you can imagine, after this ordeal, I was in no mood to do anything expect devour this cake with my hands. Very unlady like. Sorry, Queenie.
I hope you enjoy this simple yet refined healthy-ish cake :)
Vegan, Gluten-Free Lemon Cake with Matcha Frosting
Makes one 9-inch round cake
- 1 cup fine almond flour or almond meal
- 1 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup organic granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175°C. Grease and flour one 9 inch round cake pan.
- Pour the oil, sugar, milk, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the ingredients on medium speed until well combined.
- Whisk together the almond flour, flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt into a medium bowl. Spoon the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing on low speed until smooth.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove the cake to a wire rack to cool.
- Once the cake is completely cool, spread the matcha frosting onto the cake.
- 1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk, chilled (solid part only)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 -5 tablespoons raw coconut nectar (or maple syrup or agave nectar)
- 2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
- Drain the soaked cashews. Place cashews in a food processor and blend until a paste forms, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the matcha powder to the food processor. Continue to blend for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is creamy and smooth, adding the matcha powder at the end and blend until you have a soft green color.