Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake

NFNut FreeOFOil FreeVVegan
5 from 7 votes
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This Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake is studded with fresh blueberries and bursting with bright lemon flavors. A lovely snack cake for spring and summer! Vegan.

Treat yourself to this rustic Blueberry Lemon Cake with a tender cornmeal crumb. Its bright lemony flavors and bursts of fresh blueberries keep things refreshing and not too sweet, while the light and fluffy texture will have you indulging in slice after slice. Perfect for dessert, breakfast, or whenever you need a sweet treat!

Table of Contents
  1. Lemon and Blueberries Together At Last
  2. Ingredients for Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cake
  3. How to Make Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. How to Store Leftover Blueberry Lemon Cake
  6. Substitutions and Variations
  7. Recipe FAQs
  8. Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake Recipe

Lemon and Blueberries Together At Last

I love a good lemon dessert any time of year (hello, Vegan Lemon Bars 😍), but berry season is particularly perfect. As soon as fresh blueberries start taking over the farmer’s market, that’s my sign to whip up this Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake! Soft and fluffy, with delightful lemon flavors and a ton of fresh blueberries, how could I resist?

What I love most about this blueberry and lemon cake is that it’s all about simplicity. You won’t find any fancy baking techniques or thick layers of frosting here! Rather, it’s a rustic one-layer cake with a light dusting of powdered sugar on top and just the right amount of sweetness. In other words, the perfect compliment to a sunny summer day.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be enjoying slice after slice throughout spring and summer. It’s perfect for dessert but also secretly makes for a lovely and indulgent breakfast!

Ingredients for Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cake

This one-layer lemon cake is easy to make mostly with baking staples, plus a couple of fresh ingredients. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Blueberries: fresh blueberries are the way to go! Look for plump and juicy blueberries at your local farmer’s market or grocery store when they come into season from late spring through summer.
  • Lemon Juice and Zest: lemons and blueberries are a match made in heaven. Here, the lemon juice and zest are combined with non-dairy milk to make a vegan buttermilk mixture, giving the cake a nice pop of citrus and tang while also helping it rise and fluff up.
  • Flour: all-purpose flour is all you need for a light and fluffy crumb.
  • Sugar: granulated white sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness. Cane sugar should work well, too.
  • Cornmeal: opt for fine cornmeal, NOT medium-grind or stone-ground. The finer it is, the smoother and lighter the crumb will be.
  • Oil: olive oil is my oil of choice for its added depth of flavor. You can also use a neutral-flavored oil, like vegetable oil or canola oil, or melted unsalted vegan butter. If you use salted vegan butter, reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Powdered Sugar: a light dusting of powdered sugar on top of the baked and cooled cake is a simple yet sophisticated decoration.

How to Make Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake

  1. Mix the milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl to make the vegan buttermilk. Set aside to let it curdle.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix until combined, then fold in half of the blueberries.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Top it with the remaining blueberries.
  5. Bake the cake until it has risen and is golden brown on top. Let it cool in the cake pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Decorate the cooled cake with powdered sugar, then slice and serve.

Caitlin’s Cooking Tips

  • Don’t let the blueberries sink: After rinsing the blueberries with water, dry them very well by gently dabbing them with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Absorbing any excess moisture will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. If your blueberries are particularly juicy, you can also toss them in a little bit of flour before folding them into the batter. 
  • Bake with cake strips: Baking cakes with cake strips is my secret weapon when it comes to an even rise and bake! 
  • Make a layer cake: Simply double this recipe and bake the cake layers in two 8-inch cake tins. Slather each layer with this Creamy Cashew Frosting or vegan vanilla buttercream frosting once they’re completely cool.

Serving Suggestions

Its fresh and tart flavors make this lemon blueberry cake a must-have treat during spring and summer. Enjoy a slice with a cup of tea or a glass of this Blueberry Lemonade, bring it with you to the bridal shower or July 4th party, or treat yourself to a slice for breakfast! You really can’t go wrong.

If you’re looking for more lemon and blueberry treats, you’ll love these Lemon Blueberry Muffins, these Lemon Poppy Seed Overnight Oats, and these Vegan Blueberry Pancakes!

How to Store Leftover Blueberry Lemon Cake

This cake is best stored in the refrigerator or freezer to keep the blueberries fresher longer. Store the whole cake or individual slices for up to 3 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Make sure the cake is completely cool before covering it or transferring it to an airtight container. If freezing, wrap the cake or slices in plastic wrap before placing it in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag.

Allow the leftovers to thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the fridge overnight before serving.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Add Lavender: Fold 3 to 4 tablespoons of culinary lavender into the batter when you add the blueberries.
  • Nut-Free Option: Omit the almond extract from the recipe.
  • Oil-Free Option: I have not tested an oil-free version of this cake, but you can try using an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce as a substitute. Keep in mind that the cake may not be as moist and delectable without the oil.
a slice of blueberry lemon cake served on a plate on a burgundy backdrop with blueberries and flowers placed as decoration

Recipe FAQs

Does this blueberry cake work with frozen blueberries?

Yes, this recipe also works with frozen blueberries, although they’re more likely to bleed into the batter. Do not thaw the frozen berries ahead of time. Instead, add them directly from the freezer to the batter in step 5 of the recipe and add an extra 5 or so minutes to the bake time.

Can it be made gluten-free?

Unfortunately, I haven’t tested a gluten-free version of this recipe. Experiment with a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour and let me know how it goes!

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
This Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cake is studded with fresh blueberries and bursting with bright lemon flavors. A lovely snack cake for spring and summer! Vegan.

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries rinsed and dried*
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 2 1/4 cups flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup oil or melted butter*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting the cake (optional)

Instructions

  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and spray or grease an 8” cake tin with butter or cooking oil. Rinse your blueberries and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Buttermilk: Add the milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest to a small bowl or measuring glass. Mix well to curdle the milk; Let this mixture sit for 3 to 5 minutes while you prep the dry ingredients.
  • Dry Ingredients: Whisk flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until evenly combined.
  • Combine: Use a spatula to form a well in the center of the bowl and add the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and almond extract if using. Mix well until almost fully combined; add half of the blueberries (1 cup) and fold into the batter.
  • Transfer: Transfer the batter into the prepared cake tin and spread evenly around the pan. Top the batter evenly with the remaining blueberries.
  • Bake: Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until the cake has risen and is golden brown on top. Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes to set. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  • Serve & Store: Once the cake has cooled you can sprinkle it with the powdered sugar, then slice and serve. This cake is best stored in the refrigerator because of the blueberries; store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or pre-slice and freeze for up to 2 months.

Recipe Notes

  • Blueberries: Rinse your blueberries well, but make sure they are fully dried before folding into the batter to prevent them from sinking in the batter. I like to spread the blueberries over a clean kitchen towel and rub them gently.
  • Frozen Blueberries: You can also make this recipe using frozen blueberries. Do not thaw the blueberries and add them directly from the freezer to the batter in step 5. Frozen blueberries will bleed a little more color when baking, and you make need to bake the cake for an extra few minutes as they will release more liquid.
  • Oil: I like to use olive oil for added depth of flavor to this recipe, but you could also use a neutral oil or vegan butter. If you are using salted butter, reduce the salt to only 1/2 teaspoon. I prefer to use oil in this cake as it gives it a slightly more moist texture.
  • Cornmeal: Make sure you use fine cornmeal for this recipe (not medium-grind or stone-ground) for the smoothest and lightest texture.
  • Cake Strips: I highly recommend baking your cakes with cake strips to encourage an even rise and bake!
  • Gluten-Free: I have not tested this recipe using gluten-free flour.

Nutrition

Calories: 430kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 6gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gSodium: 333mgPotassium: 143mgFiber: 3gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 108IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: blueberry cake, blueberry lemon caker, lemon cake, vegan blueberry cake
Course: Dessert
Method: Oven
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this last weekend with some Costco blueberries that were on the turn and followed the recipe exactly. It came out so well! What a delicious, fluffy cake! I can’t wait to make this again.

  2. 5 stars
    Turned out delicious! It had just the right light amount of sweetness and everyone loved it, including a couple people who don’t like overly sweet desserts! The fresh berries and lemon made it so nice and summery. I didn’t have fine cornmeal so I put the coarse ground one I had in the blender and it came out powdery like AP flour, and there was no grit in the cake. Will definitely need to make this again sometime!

  3. 5 stars
    Super easy to make and delishhh!! Perfect flavor combo for summer, with an iced coffee on the side. chefs kiss!

  4. 5 stars
    As soon as I saw your video on this I had to try. There is a more complex flavor in this between the lemon, blueberry, olive oil, and corn meal. The sweetness level was perfect. It was easy to make, and looked so pretty! Big hit with friends and family for 4th of July weekend!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this today and it was SO GOOD. My cake tin was a bit shallow so I split the batter and baked for between 30-45 min. I spit the batter unevenly, and the thicker cake was definitely better though both are really good. So incredibly moist and great crumble. Will make again!!

  6. 5 stars
    That was delicious! Moist, sweet and satisfying! I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 rice flour, plus subbed cornmeal for corn flour (just didn’t have any on hand). I also used half coconut and half date sugar. And they turned out so great! Thank you, Caitlin😊

  7. 5 stars
    I just made this today for the 4th of July! Let me start off by saying this cake tastes AMAZING!!! It’s so moist. I used olive oil as suggested, fresh blueberries and all as written. It is so so good! I’m not normally a cake person, but this is honestly the best vegan cake I’ve ever had.
    The only caveat was that an 8″ cake pan isn’t likely the best choice. I used a standard 8″ round Wilton pan with cake wraps and it overflowed. I have blueberries and some cake batter on the bottom of my oven I will be cleaning out later. Oops! I also had to bake it WAY longer, probably because it was so thick. Mine has more of a “rustic look” with the crispy edges that overflowed. I had a feeling this would happen when I filled the pan with batter and it was at the top. I almost switched to a bigger pan. Next time (yes I will definitely be making this delicious cake again), I will use a 9″ or even a 10″ pan.
    I highly recommend this one!

    1. Yes, you can substitute cornmeal if you’re allergic. Here are some alternatives:

      Almond Flour: Provides a slightly nutty flavor and a moist texture.
      Semolina: Gives a similar texture to cornmeal.
      Oat Flour: Adds a bit of sweetness and a soft texture.
      Coconut Flour: Use sparingly as it absorbs more liquid.
      Polenta: Make sure it’s finely ground.

      Adjust the liquid content as needed, especially if using coconut flour. Enjoy your cake!