A beautiful vegan lemon chia seed cake that radiates sunshine. With marbled layers of turmeric infused yogurt cake, speckled with chia seeds, this lemon loaf cake not only tastes good and has a unique texture, but it’s also easy to make and contains no eggs.
I’ve shared a couple of lemon cakes or muffins before like these Coconut Lemon cupcakes with buttercream frosting from a while ago. If you’ve not tried these ones yet, you should too. The difference in this recipe is the addition of chia seeds and swapping the non-dairy milk for yogurt.
Vegan Turmeric Lemon Chia Seed Cake
Can the yogurt be substituted?
Yogurt adds moisture and boosts the tanginess in this cake which really adds to the flavour. You can use store-bought vegan yogurt or this homemade soy yogurt. If you don’t have any yogurt on hand though, you could use non-dairy milk too, and I’d recommend canned full fat coconut milk. If you’re using anything thinner, then you might need to reduce the amount by a tablespoon or two.
What are the chia seeds for?
As for the chia seeds, you could leave them out if you don’t have any. You can also substitute with poppy seeds or basil seeds. In this cake, they do not act as a binding agent. I add them in for the nutritional benefits.
Since chia seeds absorb moisture, the amount of liquid in this cake batter is slightly more to make up for that, so that the cake doesn’t turn out dry. So, if you are going to be changing the quantity of chia seeds in this recipe, that is something to keep in mind and account for.
In fact, in my experience of making eggless cakes, I’ve not found it necessary to have a binding agent; cakes tend to hold pretty well together with the right ratio of dry to wet ingredients. This easy delicious Apple and Orange Loaf cake, which is also a fan favourite from this blog, is proof of that. That’s another recipe to try if you haven’t already.
Can you taste the turmeric in this cake?
Only a small amount of turmeric is used in this recipe, and the taste doesn’t come through; it’s mainly for colour than anything else. So, it is optional; you can leave it out if you wish and just make a plain loaf.
How to get the semi-circular pattern?
To get the semi-circular marble pattern as in the photo, the batter is dropped along the middle of the loaf pan lengthwise. Try not to spread it to the sides and keep adding the layers along the middle of the pan only. As you add more batter alternatively, it will spread on its own to the sides of the pan while sinking to the bottom from the middle. This creates that semi-circular pattern. Once all the batter is in the loaf pan, don’t mix or spread it, just gently tap the pan before placing it in the oven.
About the sugar content and glazing
The sugar in this cake is generally much less than what most cakes call for. For my own preference, I usually add about 200 g (one cup) of sugar, as the glazing makes up for the additional sweetness. However, if you have a sweet tooth, then add a tad more as per the recipe, or up to 300g (1½ cups).
- 320 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Zest from one lemon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 60 ml (¼ cup) thick vegan yogurt (substitute with 60 ml (¼ cup) thick full-fat coconut milk, or other non-dairy milk)
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) non-dairy milk or water
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- 60 ml (¼ cup) coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or sunflower oil
- 250 g (1¼ cup) blond cane sugar, see notes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the turmeric part:
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
For the white part:
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 100 g (¾ cup) confectioners or icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, adjust as needed
- Preheat the oven at 200C/400F.
- Prepare a baking loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch) by greasing and flouring it. Then, set it aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together.
- In a 2-cup size or larger measuring jug, whisk the lemon juice, vegan yogurt, water and tapioca starch together until well combined. Then add the oils followed by the sugar and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, fold and mix gently, do not whisk, until all ingredients are well combined into a smooth batter.
- Divide the batter in two equal parts. You may spoon out half of it into the measuring jug.
- Add the turmeric powder to one part. Then, add the chia seeds to the other part.
- Alternatively add a layer of white batter followed by a layer of turmeric batter, until all the batter is used up. To get the semi-circular pattern, try dropping the batter along the middle of the pan lengthwise. Keep adding the layers along the middle of the pan only, and don’t mix or spread it.
- Tap the loaf pan gently. Then, place in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Then, lower the oven temperature to 180C/350F and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely before adding the glazing.
- For the glazing, mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Adjust the consistency, by adding a little more lemon juice if needed, to a drizzling or pouring consistency. Drizzle the icing on the cake and decorate with lemon slices. Enjoy!
This cake isn't overly sweet. So, you may adjust the sugar to less or more, 200 - 300 g (1 - 1 1/2 cups). If you're leaving out the glazing or have a sweet tooth, you may want it a tad sweeter than what is called for in the recipe, closer to 300 g.