Nigella’s vegan lemon tender cake recipe

This cake made its way into my life from within the depths of Nigella‘s 2018 cookbook, “At My Table” which was gifted to me as a birthday present and which I cherish as if it were a child.


Though, this recipe really captured my imagination when it was brought to life in the BBC’s teleseries of Nigella’s show, “At My Table”. The visual romance of the cake made me leap up from the couch and grab my book off the shelf to find and flag the recipe. I think I’ve made this cake almost half a dozen times in the months since I first laid eyes upon it. And I will continue to make this cake lovingly and faithfully.

I love this cake simply because it is delicious and so easy to make. The cake itself is remarkably light in texture, but so multi-toned in flavour. The brilliant collision of coconut with calming vanilla is a velvety smooth blanket that is spiked with flecks of pointed lemon, all of which keeps you constantly guessing and immensely gratified with each mouthful.

And as if things weren’t already good enough, the raspberry compote and coconut yogurt topping is the perfect finish to a beautiful cake. What I love most of all is the pristine snow-white finish of the coconut yogurt which elicits the eye and begs to be beheld as if a slate of impossibly white granite stone.

So, it is with much excitement and immense fondness that I reproduce Nigella’s recipe here with my sincere blessing for the love affair with this cake that no doubt awaits you…

There she is in all her glory

Vegan Lemon Tendercake

Ingredients for cake

  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150 ml vegetable oil (save a brush stroke for greasing the tin)
  • 275ml coconut milk
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for cake topping

  • 250g coconut yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons icing sugar

Ingredients for compôte

  • 150g fresh blueberries
  • 1 lemon juice (juice only)
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornflour


  1. Preheat your fan forced oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line and grease a 20cm spring form cake tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift and combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, salt and sugar.
  3. To the dry ingredients, add the oil, coconut milk, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  4. Whisk the ingredients together until pale gray and smoothly combined.
  5. Pour the batter into your pre-lined and greased cake tin.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes (*my experimentation has concluded that 33 minutes is optimum- for my oven, anyway).
  7. While the cake is baking, make the compote by placing the blueberries, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, caster sugar and 50ml cold water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once just boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer, stirring gently occasionally. Once the blueberries have softened, take the pan off the heat.
  8. Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of cold water with the cornflour in a small separate cup and then stir the combination through the blueberry mixture. Put the pan back onto the heat and stir gently for about 30 seconds until the compote is bubbly and thick. You can add a little more water if the compote becomes too thick/jammy.
  9. Once the cake is finished baking, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
  10. While the cake is cooling, simply mix together coconut yogurt, vanilla and icing sugar (sifted through a tea strainer) together.
  11. You can then decorate the now cooled cake by spreading the coconut yogurt mixture on top of the cake and then adoring it with some blueberry compote on top.

This really is a magnificent cake and I hope you love it as much as I do.

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