Wednesday, July 4, 2012


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This was a cake I developed for a wedding 6 years ago.  I did a post on it at the time, but I removed it because, not only were the information links broken, and the recipe contained palm oil products, but I had written it in haste and it needed to be re-done.  So, here its is again, re-written and sans palm oil!

I must confess that, even though I've always loved to cook, I have never thought of myself as a sweet baker, really (yeast baking, yes, however). I never imagined myself making a wedding cake!  But, I have made a few since becoming a vegan, for family and for paying customers, and I'll wager that, though they might not look as slick and gorgeous as even the average supermarket bakery cake, they taste a heck of a lot better! 

In any case, I hope I have provided enough information to help the novice-- if not, I'm  sure you'll let me know! And I hope that the fact that I can manage this in my little kitchen, with my rather low self-confidence in this area of baking, will be reassuring.

It makes a great birthday cake, BTW.  My DIL made it once for the principal of the Denman Island Elementary School where she teaches. Said principal is a vegan and one of of our Vegan Dinner Group friends, and she remembers that birthday cake fondly to this day.  DIL, being the very creative person that she is, added rose water to the cake and decorated it with rose petals!

(about 50 servings)
A light and delectable wedding cake made with my basic moist vegan lemon cake, lemon curd filling and a lemon-scented “buttercream” frosting--all vegan. Since I am not a skilled cake decorator, I use fresh flowers.

For a 3-tiered cake to feed about 50 people, I made 3 x the recipe below. I made square cake layers, 4”, 6” and 8”, 2 layers of each. (Each tier was made of two cake layers, with lemon curd [recipe below] sandwiched between them. Since I only had one set of square pans, I made 1 1/2 times the recipe at a time and made the three graduating sizes cake layers, then I repeated that procedure once again. Ingredient lists for x 1 1/2 and x 3 are below the recipe.)


Baking times for layers, plus other baking data you might need to make different sizes and pan shapes: (I used 1 1/2 cups batter per layer for the 4” tier and baked.)  Baking times for various sized pans: (No time is given for the 4” pans, so start checking after 15 minutes or so.)

Some useful info about assembling and decorating wedding cakes:

THE COMPONENTS (recipes below):
Moist Vegan Lemon Cake
Vegan Lemon Buttercream Frosting
Vegan Lemon Curd (or, if you prefer, use the vegetable-based vegan lemon curd recipe here , but double the recipe just to be sure you have enough)

Two extra cakes I made for the wedding party:

Printable Recipe

Makes two 9" round or 8” square layers (5 c. batter)
(For the wedding cake, make 3 times this recipe for the cake I made, which made 15 cups, enough for 2 layers each of 4”, 6”, and 8” tiers. See below recipe for ingredient list x 3)

Make all the components (recipes below) well ahead of assembling time and cool them thoroughly.
NOTE: To measure the flour, stir the flour in the bag or container, then spoon it out into the cup measure and level off with a knife. Do not sift or pack down.

2 1/2 c. plus 2 T. white pastry or cake flour
1 1/2 c. granulated organic light sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. + 2 T. vegan butter, such as my Palm-Oil-Free Vegan “Buttah”
2 T. lemon juice
1 c. water
grated zest of 1 large organic lemon
3/4 c. non-dairy milk
1  1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pure lemon extract

NOTE: Use shiny pans so that the layers don't brown excessively..

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the pans by greasing with “Cake release”/Pan Coating (see below for recipe), and lining with baking parchment cut to fit the bottoms of the pans.

Mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegan butter, water, and the juice and beat with an electric mixer for a minute. Add the remaining ingredients and beat one more minute. (NOTE: the batter is runnier than the average cake batter-- don't worry!)  Divide the batter equally between the cake pans.

NOTE: To bake even layers, wrap the outside of the cake pans with Magic-Cake Strips . These insulate the cake pans and allow the cake batter to bake evenly.  Strips of wet kitchen towelling pinned together also work.

Bake 25 minutes, or until cakes test done. (See resources for baking times for wedding cake layers above, but use a cake tester until it comes out clean for best results.)

Cool on racks for 10 minutes, then loosen cakes and remove from pans to finish cooling, otherwise it might crack and fall apart from being too warm. To remove from pans, first, run a thin knife to loosen the edge of the cake layer from the pan. Then, place a wire mesh rack over the top of it and with a hand on each side of the baking pan and rack, quickly invert. Gently shake or tap the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon handle to help remove the cake layer. Carefully peel off the parchment liner and turn cake layer right-side-up to cool on a wire cake rack.


Have your layers cooled and trimmed. Have cardboard cake separators ready, bought or homemade.  For this relatively small tiered cake, I use plastic drinking straws cut to fit each double-layer tier (instead of dowels), to support the layers so that they don’t sink under the weight of the layers above (see photo just below). Sandwich each of two matching layers together with a generous layer of the Lemon Curd. (Make sure to carefully wipe off any lemon curd that oozes out between the layers.) Assemble the cake as instructed below.

Inserting straws
The straws in place and cut level with cake
Spread a thin layer of the Vegan Lemon Buttercream Frosting evenly over the top and side surfaces of all of the doubled cake layers. Allow them to dry (uncovered) in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes. That is the “crumb coat”.

"Crumb Coat" almost done, with lemon curd filling showing between layers

Place the second tier layers where you want them on top of the bottom layer.  Do the same with the third tier,  inserting 2 long drinking straws in through the top, smallest tier all the way down through the 2nd and1st tiers, to hold it all together and keep it from possibly slipping.  Cut the any bit of the straws peeking out level with the cake, using scissors .

Frost the assembled cake again with the final, thicker layer of frosting and decorate as desired.

Ingredient amounts for 3 x recipe:

7 3/4 c. plus 2 T. white pastry or cake flour< 4 1/2 c. granulated light organic sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. + 2 T. vegan butter, such as my  Palm-Oil-Free Vegan “Buttah”
6 T. lemon juice
3 c. water
grated zest of 3 large organic lemons
2 1/4 c. non-dairy milk
1 1/2 T. vanilla
1 T. pure lemon extract

Ingredient amounts for 1 1/2 x recipe 
(in case you have only 1 each of the graduated sized pans and need to bake the layers in two batches):

3 3/4 c. plus 3 T. white pastry or cake flour
2 1/4 c. granulated organic light sugar
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. + 1 T. vegan butter, such as Palm-Oil-Free Vegan “Buttah”
3 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 c. water
grated zest of 2-3 medium organic lemons
1 3/4  c. non-dairy milk
2 1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. pure lemon extract


Mix equal parts:
aroma-free coconut oil (such as Omega Nutrition brand)
vegetable oil
unbleached flour
(For a large amount, use 1 cup each.)

Use a hand immersion blender or electric mixer (a stand mixer if you are making a large amount) and mix until fluffy. Use a pastry brush to apply the coating on the inside of your pan--no need to flour after applying. Store the mix in a covered container in the refrigerator.

This is a creamy vegan “buttercream” with a lower percentage of fat than most “buttercreams”. This recipe makes a large amount for a big cake—you can cut in half or even by 4 for smaller cakes. It is plenty for the small 3-tiered cake pictured above. Chill until it’s time to ice the cake.

2 c. vegan butter, such as my Palm-Oil-Free Vegan “Buttah” (this works very well in frosting, BTW)
3 lbs. organic powdered sugar (such as Hains, Wholesome Foods or Florida Crystals), sifted (have a bit more on hand in case the icing needs thickening-up)
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. PLUS 3 T. water
2 T. grated organic lemon zest
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. pure lemon extract

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the vegan butter until smooth. Add 4 c. of the sugar, the water and lemon juice, the zest, lemon extract and vanilla. Beat until creamy. It may look curdled—don’t worry! Add the remaining sugar, a little at a time, as you beat it, until it holds it shape well and you can see “trails” in it from the beaters. Refrigerate, covered, until it’s time to ice the cake.

(Or, if you prefer, use the vegetable-based vegan lemon curd recipe here, but double the recipe just to be sure you have enough.)

This is the vegetable-based lemon curd mentioned above

Makes 2 c. (enough to fill between the layers for the cake above)
This makes a lovely cake filling—not too sweet, so it contrasts with the icing. It’s important to use freshly-squeezed juice in this recipe. (Use leftovers on scones or as a tart filling.)

1 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. water
1  1/2 c. granulated light organic sugar
4 T. cornstarch (you can get organic cornstarch)
1/8 tsp. salt
grated zest of 2 organic lemons
6 T. full fat soymilk, nut milk, or organic non-dairy creamer
2 T. vegan butter, such as my Palm-Oil-Free Vegan “Buttah”

In a blender, whiz together the juice, water, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Pour into a heavy saucepan with the zest. Whisk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a full boil. Boil 1 minute, not stirring. (OR microwave in a heat-proof bowl 2 minutes, whisk, then 2 minutes more.) It should be thickened and turning clear. Remove from heat. Add soymilk or alternate and vegan butter. Blend well with the whisk. Cool the curd, then refrigerate in a covered container. It thickens as it cools.



Vic Robinson said...

Wow! That is impressive! So awesome! Maybe I shouldnt be so anti-marriage! Hahah!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Vic! Happy Vegan Anniversary to you!

urban vegan said...

This is above and beyond, Bryanna! Yowsa. And I am a sucker for cake and for lemon so this is double-whammy love for me. xo

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Dynise! What would the world be without lemons?

Unknown said...

thanks that is very nice

Lucille said...

Wow! Bryanna! Real little chef d'oeuvre are those cakes! And they look so good!

Anonymous said...

Well with having my sons vegan wedding next June , l'm looking desperately for a wedding cake recipe and the expertise ! thank you for this and the detailed hints any more hints would be well appreciated. l just cannot find a vegan baker here in Turkey !

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! Light, fluffy, and delicious! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryanna,

I think, I will bake this cake for my wedding party. I´ll send the photos. Thanks for the amazing sommer-cake recipe.


Carla B said...

I found this recipe a few months ago and it was so successful!!!

I then lost the recipe and tried desperately to find it for three weeks so I'm overly excited to reencounter this.
This is incredible because I am making it for a couple's wedding - bride is vegan, groom is not. Groom is obsessed with a lemon blueberry triple layer cake I make with lemon custard and lemon frosting... except it has 8 sticks of butter. Their wedding dream is for me to veganize it. This custard and cake answered my prayers!!! The only thing I am disappointed about is the frosting, but maybe my expectations are too high because butter makes for an amazing consistency.

BIG TIP: for anyone wanting to balance the lemon flavor, add a pack of blueberries to the cake batter. Makes for an incredible mix of flavors!!!

Unknown said...

Tratare muy bueno