Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I spent the last four Thursdays taking a beginners sewing class. I’ve sewn a few things in my lifetime (quilts, pajama pants, a purse) but I’ve never actually made anything 100% on my own. My mom was always by my side, fixing or finishing things up when I would get frustrated. I’m a big girl now, so I figured it was time to review the basics and get comfortable with the sewing machine again in hopes to do a few projects that I can call my own.

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My sewing class was filled with three women, similar to me in that they had a bit of background but just wanted to get more comfortable actually hemming or making something completely on their own. Cutting fabric is scary if you don’t know what you are doing!

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During every sewing class, our teacher, Lily, would serve us some delicious green tea. We asked her where she bought it in hopes to buy some for ourselves, but her tea was all the way from her dad’s tea shop in China. Our conversation then turned further away from sewing class, onto Chinese tea exports, which then blossomed into opium exports, which then got us talking about poppies. Talk about poppies and opium reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine fails her drug test for her new job, and it was all because she ate too many poppyseed muffins. The ladies hadn’t seen the episode, but this conversation left me with an unexplainable longing for a poppy seed baked good. Straight from class, I headed to the store so I could fulfill this weird craving.

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See how my mind works? I can always relate anything I’m doing back to food. Because food is always top of mind, even in sewing class. 

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This is going to be a new staple in my sweet breads repertoire because it’s easy, delicious, and vegan. Combine wet ingredients, dry ingredients, and then combine wet and dry. Bake. So easy. 

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 Vegan lemon poppy seed cake. Or bread. Whatever you want to call it is fine by me. 

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Elaine probably won’t be passing her drug test again after a loaf of this bad boy. 

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Serves 12
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake is great for breakfast, snack or dessert!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
  1. 1 cup rice milk
  2. 3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  3. lemon zest from 1 large lemon (or 2 if you like more lemon flavor)
  4. ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  5. ¼ cup vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. ¾ cup granulated sugar
  8. 2 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
  9. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  10. ¼ tablespoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F or 190C. In a medium bowl, combine the rice milk and lemon juice. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to create a “buttermilk”.
  2. While the milk and lemon mixture is resting, combine the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a small well in the flour mixture.
  3. After the 5-10 minutes, stir in the lemon zest, applesauce, and oil to the lemon milk mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the well. Lightly stir the ingredients together until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into your bread loaf pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted to the center of the bread and comes out clean. Let cool on a wire cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  1. These can easily be made into muffins, but remember to cut the bake time down to 15-20 minutes.
Adapted from Eggless Cooking
Adapted from Eggless Cooking
Caitlin Ball

8 Responses

  1. That is so fun that you are taking a sewing class! I’ve always wanted to learn to sew. I can do some super simple stuff with a needle and thread by hand in a pinch, but am clueless when it comes to sewing machines. This lemon poppy seed bread looks delicious!

    1. There was probably a girl scout sewing badge that our moms should have made us do! Ahh never too late to learn I guess…

  2. WOW! brings back memories of my Mom dropping me off at Mrs. Tokanga’s in downtown San Jose to learn to sew every Saturday morning. I still have the suit I made (red plaid Dunn Tartan) from high school.
    Now I have to figure out how to substitute the sugar in this recipe? Any ideas – today starts lent and a good time to give up ye old sugar till Easter – Any ideas?

    1. I’ve seen that suit! haha maybe it will come back in style one of these days.

      Hmm, I think if you made this sugar-less, you may eat more because it won’t be satisfying. Try some of my date ball recipes- those are much better because they are what they are, not a worse version of the real thing!

  3. I’m pretty sure my husband knows his way around a needle and thread better than I do! Maybe it’s time I took one of these classes….

    The lemon poppyseed combo is one of my favorites. What a lovely loaf!

    1. haha, maybe not…it’s a good excuse to have your husband fix that button… “But honey, you are soo much better at it than me!”

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