It's officially Summer!
The Summer Solstice, is the longest day of the year, also known as Litha.
For thousands of years, in many cultures, it has been observed as a celebration of the sun's life giving rays on the longest day of the year. It derives it's name from the Roman latin words "Sol", which means sun and "stitium", which means to pause. It is believed to be an auspicious and sacred time for unions, love, marriage, fertility and abundance in all areas of life. Much of its rich symbolism and folklore has been best preserved through collective culinary heritages.
What better way to make the longest day of the year sweeter, than to pause and eat cake?
Each of the main ingredients of this scrumptious vegan cake are linked to the ancient lore of Summer Solstice myths and spiritual rituals.
Poppy seeds were often used to induce relaxation, to attract love, luck, fertility, and wealth. Lemons represent new beginnings, fertility, love and friendships. Below is my vegan version of a lusciously light lemon and poppy cake, that makes a delightful treat for any Summer garden soirée or beach party.
Luscious Litha Vegan Lemon & Poppy Cake
Prep time: 15 min. Cook time : 30 min. Total time: 45 min.
Serves 10 - 12 people. *You will need a stand mixer or hand mixer for best results.
2 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour (330g)
1 1/2 cups White Granulated Sugar (300g)
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Poppy Seeds (34g)
1 1/2 cups Oat Milk (360ml) or other non dairy milk
1/2 cup Canola Oil (120ml)
1 Tablespoon Distilled Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 teaspoons Lemon Extract
2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest
Lemon Buttercream Topping:
1/2 cup Vegan Butter (112g)
4 cups Powdered Sugar (480g)
2 teaspoons Lemon Extract
2-3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice Freshly Squeezed
3 Tablespoons Lemon zest to garnish
Edible flowers of your choice
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and spray two 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Sift all purpose flour into a mixing bowl. Add white granulated sugar, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds and mix together.
Add soy milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest and mix into a batter. Only mix until the ingredients are combined, don't overmix.
Divide the batter evenly between two 20 cm (8-inch) cake pans (sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with parchment paper along the bottoms).
Bake at 180°C for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out fairly clean. ( Vegan cakes will often seem a bit more wet, even after allotted baking time, don't overcook!, so some crumbs on the toothpick are ok and will harden as it sets).
Let the cakes cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Add vegan butter to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat it until smooth.
Add powdered sugar, lemon extract and lemon juice and beat it in until fluffy and smooth.
When both cakes are completely cool, frost with the lemon frosting, sprinkle with lemon zest and decorate with edible flowers.
Allow to set in fridge for 30 to 45 minutes before slicing and serving.
Have a magical Summer Solstice!!