Monday, October 5, 2015

Discovering aquafaba - Vegan Lemon Pound Cake

Pound cake is a favorite dessert from my childhood, and every family seems to have a prized recipe.  My Aunt Carolyn makes one of the best as does my friend Lisa.  Now, how to make this delicious treat vegan friendly...

I was inspired by Popsugar's recipe for a vegan version of Starbuck's lemon pound cake and research into aquafaba (canned chickpea water) as an egg substitute.  Vegan baking can have mixed results as the chemistry isn't always quite right when you substitute for an ingredient like eggs, let alone all the dairy products in a recipe.  The finished recipe can sometimes be quite dense and sometimes more soggy than the original version; usually still edible, but not always as satisfying as imagined. That being said, I've had mostly good success with my vegan baking adventures because I do so much research to learn from others' mistakes beforehand.  I am happy that the aquafaba worked well and that I again have a great pound cake recipe for special occasions.

Vegan Lemon Pound Cake

makes 12 slices

Lemon cake:
1 1/2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup almond meal (ground raw almonds)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil (coconut, olive, canola)
2/3 cup aquafaba (water drained from canned chickpeas)
Juice from half a small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
grated lemon rind from half a small lemon
2 teaspoons almond extract

Lemon Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
Juice from half a small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
grated lemon rind from half a small lemon
1 -3 teaspoons non-dairy milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. 
  2. Lightly oil or spray a large loaf pan.
  3. In the medium bowl add the milk, aquafaba, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, grated lemon rind and mix well.
  4. Make a well in your dry ingredients, pour in the wet and stir until just combined and fairly smooth. 
  5. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let sit for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool thoroughly on a wire rack.
  7. Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and rinding for the icing and drizzle in just enough milk until you have a smooth icing that is not too thin.  
  8. Drizzle icing on top of the completely cool cake.

I'll definitely be ready with this cake next spring when the strawberries are ripe in the garden to make a strawberry shortcake.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Hi! The cake looks fabulous. What if I don't have almond flour? Could I just add more flour?

    1. Hi Lillian,

      Yes, you could just use more flour. This will probably make a slightly lighter texture in the finished product...all good :o) Let me know how yours turns out. Thanks for reading!

  2. Hi! I just put the cake in the oven and the batter is very runny. Is it supposed to be runny? It resembled crepe batter. Thanks for your answer! Nikki

    1. Hi, Nikki!
      Mine was more like very thick pancake batter. Flours can be very different depending on how much humidity the is and type - whole wheat vs. Unbleached vs gluten free. You sometimes have to adjust the flour and liquid amounts slightly to get the right result each time you make a recipe. I hope you ended up with an edible result even if it wasn't exactly the same texture.

    2. Thanks Melinda! The taste was good but the cake was undercooked even after 90 mins in the oven. I do want to try it again with a cup almond milk to start with and maybe more flour. The taste was really good, just like the non-vegan pound cake I remember. Kitchen smelled lovely too :-)

    3. I'm glad you are not discouraged with the first result and will try again! I hope you can use the "failed" cake to make something delicious so it won't go to waste Perhaps you can cut it into cubes and make a bread pudding with it. You could also just cut it up or crumble it and spread it on a silpat or parchment paper and bake it further in a 350 degree oven to make cake "croutons" to use on yogurt, chia pudding or fruit salad.

  3. Trying this tonight for my faculty retreat tomorrow

  4. If the batter seems a little thin,add a bit more flour until the batter is thick. It should be pourable, but much thicker than pancake batter. (How much depends on the moisture content of your flour)