Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake

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vegan strawberry lemonade cake with pastel frosting

♫ Listening to: Cold War by Blaqk Audio ♫

This vegan strawberry lemonade cake features 2 layers of lemon cake, strawberry filling, lemon vanilla frosting, candied strawberry lemon slices, and chocolate covered strawberries.

I made this for my friend Jessica’s birthday, and it was a huge hit! It took me a few days since I only worked on it nights after work, so start on it early.

This recipe makes a double-layer 8” or 9” round cake.

Table of Contents

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Vegan Candied Pink Lemon Slices Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups organic sugar
  • ½ pint strawberries
  • 2 lemons, washed and sliced thinly

Vegan Candied Pink Lemon Slices Directions

Thinly slice 1 ½ - 2 lemons.

Blend 2 cups of water with ½ pint of strawberries.

Heat the strawberry water in a large shallow pan (use the pan with the largest diameter), along with 2 cups of sugar, whisking until sugar is dissolved.

Lay the lemon slices in the liquid, making sure they don’t overlap.

Flip the lemon slices over after simmering for 15 minutes, and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Remove the lemons from heat once they start to become translucent, and remove each slice from the pan, placing them onto parchment paper to dry.

Leave until dry and sticky (or refrigerate to speed up the process).

Save the leftover liquid for making strawberry lemonade preserves.

Vegan Candied Pink Lemon Slices Video

pink strawberry candied lemons

Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake Filling Ingredients

  • leftover liquid from making candied lemon slices
  • 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
  • 1 pint strawberries

Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Preserves Filling Directions

Process the cleaned and destemmed strawberries in the food processor.

Whisk together the processed strawberries, the liquid leftover from making candied lemons, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

Heat the mixture over medium heat for 20 minutes, whisking constantly the entire time.

strawberry lemonade preserves

Transfer to glass jar and leave out until cool before refrigerating.

strawberry lemonade preserves

Vegan Lemon Cake Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (~3 lemons)
  • zest from 5 lemons
  • ⅔ cup sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups nondairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or sub white vinegar)

Vegan Lemon Cake Directions

Grate the rind off of 5 lemons if you haven’t already. The rind is just the yellow part, so when you’re done, the lemons should be white.

lemon rind

Juice the lemons if you haven’t already. You’ll probably have lemon juice leftover, but that’s okay because you’ll need some for the frosting anyway.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Coat 2 8" round cake pans with any vegetable oil (or vegan nonstick spray).

Combine vinegar and nondairy milk and let sit.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into another bowl.

Add the oil, sugar, lemon juice and zest (it’s easier to zest the lemons before you juice them), and vanilla to the nondairy milk mixture and stir well.

Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet, mixing continuously. Stop mixing when you can no longer see any dry ingredients.

Pour half of the batter into one of your 8" round cake pans and the other half into the other.

vegan lemon cake batter

Bake for 35 minutes, until when you insert a toothpick into the center of one, it comes out clean. (If making cupcakes, bake for 18-20 minutes.) Set the 8" round cake pans on cooling rack to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Then remove from pan and set the cakes on a cooling rack.

vegan lemon cake fresh from the oven

Vegan Lemon Frosting Ingredients

  • ¾ cup vegan butter or margarine (if you avoid soy, buy the soy-free earth balance; otherwise buy the organic whipped earth balance)*
  • 1 cup organic palm shortening*
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 cups organic powdered sugar*
  • vegan food coloring (I used Color Kitchen natural food coloring )
  • 9 chocolate covered strawberries and 8-12 candied lemon slices for garnish (optional)

Vegan Lemon Frosting Directions

Whisk the spectrum sustainable organic palm shortening and margarine for 1 minute using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer.

Sift in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing for at least minute between each addition.

Add the vanilla and lemon juice, and mix for 2 more minutes.

vegan vanilla lemon frosting

Use the uncolored frosting to assemble the cake and complete the crumb layer of frosting.

vegan vanilla lemon frosting crumb coat

vegan vanilla lemon frosting crumb coat

Fill the 2 cake layers with strawberry lemonade preserves using the method pictured below to keep the preserves from oozing out the sides. (You’re basically just using buttercream to create a barrier.)

layering cake with strawberry lemonade preserves

layering cake with strawberry lemonade preserves

Frost the crumb layer of the cake.

frosting the crumb layer

frosting the crumb layer

Chill the crumb layer to harden to touch while you color the remaining frosting.

Divide half of the frosting equally into 2 bowls.

Add vegan food coloring to each bowl and mix until completely combined.

coloring frosting

Decorating the Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Spread one color of the frosting around the bottom of the cake and the other color around the top.

frosting the vegan pastel cake

Spin the cake while smoothing out the icing with an offset spatula.

frosting the vegan pastel cake

Pipe icing around the perimeter of the cake.

frosting the vegan pastel cake

frosting the vegan pastel cake

Decorate with whatever you have (I used candied lemon slices and chocolate covered strawberries).

decorating the vegan pastel cake

decorating the vegan pastel cake

decorating the vegan pastel cake

decorating the vegan pastel cake

decorating the vegan pastel cake

If you like lemon, you might also like my loquat cake with lemon curd filling. If you like strawberry, you might like my strawberry cheesecake cookies and my strawberry ice cream popsicles.

decorating the vegan pastel cake


* I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook, but I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to purchase all organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter - when buying the organic version is the only way to ensure that the item is vegan.


Your website/recipes are so well done! I can't wait to try some out. Thank you!
HeavyDoseOfLavender -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I can always immediately tell when a recipe is yours, I love your style! Thanks for all the recipes, I've made a few and they've all been great!
Consistent_Pea -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is adorable! I've seen your recipes a couple of times before and they're always so pretty and creative!
pepperohni -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐