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Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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This recipe came from the Sweet Gratitude book.  I followed the directions every step of the way.  I was too scared to deviate. :)  I have always wanted to try making this but never had enough nut pulp saved up.  In the past few days I had to make quite a bit of almond milk and in my weirdness I popped all the skins off of the almonds before I made the milk.  It’s not required I just find it therapeutic for some reason.  After making the nut milk I was left with some of the most beautiful, pure white almond pulp.  Anyway, I wanted to save this pulp for just the right cake and not taint the color very much.  That is when I stumbled upon this recipe.  At first to make a raw cake like this it may seem like a long process, and granted if you didn’t already have nut milk and date paste made up, it would take a chunk of time.  Thankfully, I had these staples pre-made and it was actually a breeze to make.  Once I have one or two of them under my belt it will only get easier and quicker.  As is I studied every line each step of the way.

The “cake batter”  tasted lovely and I can’t wait to see how the flavors meld together.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 24 oz date paste (weight)
  • 3/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 8 cups moist almond pulp (remains left over from making nut milks)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice, fresh
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds


  1. Using your MIXER; add the date paste, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Start mixing at a low-speed first than higher until you have a creamy and very smooth consistency.  This will take a few minutes.  Allow more time if necessary.  You want a “cookie-dough” consistency; light, whipped and creamy.  This process can take 5-15 minutes.  If you notice that the batter is getting dark and too oily, stop and move on to the next step.  This is usually a sign of being over processed.  Not to worry, it won’t affect the flavor.
  3. Turn the mixer off and add the nut pulp/flour, almond milk, lemon juice, and poppy seeds.
  4. Begin mixing at a low-speed.  Mix for 5 minutes or until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Increase speed to medium or high and continue mixing for 5-15 minutes.
  5. The cake batter should be soft in consistency and rather light to the touch.  Mix longer if the mixture feels heavy.
  6. During this process you can start to make the frosting.



Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked 2 hours
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice, fresh
  • 3/4 cup raw agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp lecithin powder **
  • 1 cup raw coconut oil, melted **


  1. Add to blender all ingredients except the coconut oil and lecithin.  These will be added at the very end.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy (3-5 minutes)
  3. While your blender is running, drizzle in the coconut oil and then slowly add the lecithin.  Blend well but don’t over process.
  4. Proceed to cake assembly directions.



Cake Assembly:

  1. Divide cake better into two equal portions.
  2. Lightly grease the cake pan with a little coconut oil.
  3. Place one portion of the batter on the bottom of the pan. Spread an evenly, flat layer.  Keep the remaining cake portion out at room temperature until ready to use.
  4. Pour 2 1/2 – 3 cups of liquid frosting onto the first cake layer.  This will be the middle layer of the cake.
  5. Place the cake pan in the freezer.  Set until frosting is firm (1-2 hours).
  6. Pour the remaining frosting in a container, and set in the freezer until firm (1-2 hours).  Move to fridge once set, don’t allow it to get solid.
  7. Remove cake pan from freezer.  Take the remaining portion of cake batter and spread evenly on top of the middle layer of frosting.
  8. Set cake back in freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Remove cake from freezer and then from the pan.
  10. Frost the cake to your liking.


I had a little bit of extra batter left over so I made a few cupcakes.  How adorable!

Yumm…Sorry had to taste test!

33 thoughts on “Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. Andrea says:

    Does this cake need to be refrigerated once it’s assembled? It looks delicious! :)

  2. Cin says:

    Hi Amie-Sue!

    I love, love, love your website! My husband and I have been raw foodists for nine months now, and your site has been the most exciting and informative resource by far. I’m on your site several times a day just studying recipes!

    My questions about this cake are two-fold. First, I don’t have almond pulp, but I do have almond meal. How will this affect the end product? Second, the pictures look like you are using a super deep springform pan. Is it just a trick of the photography? I’ve looked for a really deep springform pan and can’t find one.

    Thanks for your time and for having such a wonderful website and resource!!!


    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Cin,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. :) Gourmet raw foods can be such great additions to add to ones diet, I am thankful that the recipes I post and share are an inspiration for you. That is why I do this! So again, thank you!

      Regarding the cake. You asked if you could use almond meal instead of almond pulp. The answer is yes but personally, I wouldn’t. The reason being is that it will effect the texture greatly. The beauty of almond pulp is that it is light and airy where almond meal becomes very dense. It shouldn’t change the flavor to much, maybe a tad, but it will change the over-all texture. I don’t get to make these cakes often because it takes me a while to stock up on almond pulp. :P I have SOOO many recipes sitting in the hopper waiting to be made but they use almond/nut pulp. Do you and you husband drink or use much nut milk? I have been known to make oodles of milk, then freeze it in quart size Zip-locks just so I can get the pulp. lol

      The pan that I am using in this photo is a tall baking pan. It isn’t a Spring form pan but it does have a bottom that removes. You end up dividing the batter into two sections so you could use two pans. Chill them, then frost and assemble. I LOVE tall cakes, but a person doesn’t have to make it that way. the bigger in diameter the pan, the thinner the layers…all is good! I hope that helps.

      Let me know if you have any more questions. I will always help when and where I can. Many blessings! amie sue

  3. Cin says:

    Hi Amie Sue! That you so much for the very thorough response! It is incredible that you care enough to take so much time to help. If you don’t already know this, it is amazing of you and very much appreciated!
    I went ahead and made the cake with almond meal. I get on a roll and can’t stop myself from wanting to be in the kitchen creating. It was as you said. That cake turned out extremely heavy/dense. The flavor is very nice, but I can tell by your pictures and desciption that the texture is way off.
    My husband and I use maybe 5 to 6 cups of almond milk a week, and I really can’t think of a reason that we would up that quantity. I suppose if I didn’t use vanilla bean or dates in my milk I could use it as a water substitute in more of my recipes. I didn’t realize that I could freeze the milk, so thank you for making me aware of that option.
    As for the really deep pan… I also love tall cakes. I did end up using two spring form pan and stacking them at the end. It worked out very nicely! The cake was GORGEOUS!!!! It was so pretty that it made me sad that I didn’t use the almond pulp and have the complete package. Oh well. It was fun to make, and I will make it again as soon as I can work out a way to amass 8 cups of almond pulp.
    Again, thank you so much for your guidance. I love being raw. It has given me food freedom and health that I never thought possible. Knowing that I have raw community support and resources makes it that much sweeter!!!!


    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Cin,
      You are more than welcome. I am glad that I can be of help…:) I appreciate you equally!

      I am sorry to hear that your cake turned out dense… but in some ways it was good that you tested it out so you have a first hand understanding as to what different textures can do to the end product. :) We all live and learn. Keep saving up that pulp in the freezer…that’s what I do. I have thought of going into the nut milk making business just so I could get the pulp. lol I dream.

      Have a blessed evening… we put 600 miles on the truck today, I am tuckered out! amie sue

  4. Robyn says:

    Hi Amie Sue!

    I am stirring up a storm of wonderfulness in my kitchen this afternoon and of course I am on your site to inspire! I have been looking at this cake recipe for a few days and today is the day!

    I just have one question….regarding the date paste… I don’t have a kitchen scale, any idea how much date paste (in liquid measurement) makes up a weight measurement of 24 oz?


  5. Gail Grini says:

    How many cups of soaked almonds makes 8 cups of pulp?

    • amie-sue says:

      Gail, this is a rough estimate but 2 cups of almonds will yield about 1 – 1 1/2 cups of pulp, just depends on how much liquid you squeeze out of it when making nut milk and how tight you pack the measuring cup. amie sue

  6. Lynda says:


    Everything on your website looks so delicious. I’ve been intimidated by some of the recipes thinking they are probably too hard for a raw beginner but I’ve found some courage after looking at this lemon poppy seed cake. I’m going to make it this weekend.

    I am curious. when you take something raw to an event do you announce that it is raw? I think I would like to make this for Christmas dinner. I don’t think I want to tell them anything because I don’t want them to prejudge.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Lynda,

      Things can see, intimidating when they are new, but trust me… with a few basics under your belt you will be well on your way to creating amazing raw foods! So stay courageous. :) Over the years I have learned to not announce that I am serving or bringing a raw dish.. unless it is a potluck or even that is geared strictly towards that. The reason being is because just the name can be off putting to people. For the typical SAD eater, when they hear raw, they think carrot sticks or imagine that it will taste like grass. So before they even get one bite of it, they are already creating an outcome in their mind. Either just present the cake, or present it as gluten-free, dairy-free, etc. That is now more mainstream. Besides, when was the last time you asked someone about their baked cake and they responded. “I know it looks gorgeous, it’s because I cooked it? ” or “Would you like a piece of cooked cake?”…. I hope this helps. Have a wonderful Christmas dinner!

  7. Ludia says:

    Hello, Amie-Sue,

    Happy New Year to you!

    I am going to make this next, as cupcakes (licking her chops), and I have almond pulp, but I dehydrate it. From the comments above it seems that you are using fresh almond pulp? If so, I should re-hydrate mine? I wonder what yor thoughts are on this,


    and I am looking forward to uncooking from your website more than ever this year!



    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Ludia..

      I haven’t tried that before…”rehydrating almond pulp once dried”. I mean, I use it in recipes that call for liquid and all but this would be different. Personally, I wouldn’t. I don’t think it would hydrate to the same value as moist almond pulp, which would change the texture of this cake. As a test for yourself to see with your own eyes…. make a glass of nut milk for yourself and set the wet almond pulp in a bowl. Then take a small amount of the dehydrated almond pulp and add water to it…. you will notice a difference. In some cases, I think it would be fine for to get this cake texture, I wouldn’t do it. I hope this makes sense. Let me know. Happy New Year! amie sue

  8. Ludia says:

    Thank you for your thoughts. I think you are right. I will make some almond milk just so that I have pulp, when I’m back home.

  9. Blanka says:

    Dear Amy,
    can I ask you which attachment for the mixer you used? Pastry or the one you whip cream with?
    I have tried two of these cakes and the batter is always very heavy, doesn’t come even close to a light whipped like texture…. As I salivate over your pictures on a regular basis I would appreciate any help to be able to make a better cake myself (I do have the Sweet gratitude book and have followed their recipe).
    Thank you very much!

  10. Blanka says:

    I just looked at the pictures and see that you use the whipping attachment – perhaps that is where I went wrong!
    Please ignore my question – have found the answer.
    And you are still amazing!!
    XX, Blanka

  11. Wendy says:

    Hi Amie-Sue!

    I plan to make this cake very soon and saw a post about someone asking about how much is 24 ounces of weight in liquid measurement. I was wondering the same thing or in cups. I know 24 ounces=3 cups. Would that be the same thing by weight? I do not have a kitchen scale either.


    BTW, your website is great! Very glad to have come across it!1

    • amie-sue says:

      Aaah Wendy, I am sorry, this comment got buried!

      To be honest, I can’t answer this question right away. I can’t remember cup wise what it was and I have packed my scale so I can test it for you. ARGH. I am very sorry! I will see what I can do though to get an answer. It’s not as easy as just converting it over to cups because date paste is heavy. I feel horrible, but I will be back soon with an answer. I will go buy a darn scale if I have to. lol

  12. Wendy says:

    Hi Was the almond flour you used wet almond pulp or dry?

    • amie-sue says:

      It was moist Wendy, I made the change to the recipe to help. Are you going to make this cake? Have a wonderful evening, amie sue

      • Wendy says:

        Yes! I was shocked at how “genuine” this looked when I came across your site and just had to make it. I have been looking over the ingredients/process of how you made it and want to make sure I get this right.

        My mother wanted it for mother’s day but I could not make it for her as I did not have the things I needed. I have already ordered all the things I need to successfully (hopefully!) make it for this weekend even the turmeric to get the yellow color for the frosting. Now all I need now is the right pan, as I like the tall cake.

        What size is the pan you used in the photo?

        • amie-sue says:

          Hi Wendy,

          I have a high walled cake pan, I think it it is 8″ high (I have it packed right now so I can’t go measure it)…. you can use any cake pan to your liking. If you use a high walled pan, you might have a little batter left over which as you can see in my post, makes great cupcakes as a bonus. :) Enjoy!!!

  13. Wendy says:

    P.S. Your website is great!!

  14. Jenn says:

    Hi, i only have hand mixer. Will food processor work in place of mixer with whipping attachment?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Jenn,

      I would almost use the hand mixer instead of the food processor just for the fear of the power and action of the food processor creating it into more of a paste. I haven’t ever tried it so I am not 100%, but my gut tells me to use the hand mixer. Have a happy day! amie sue

  15. Liga says:

    Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!
    I made it a few years ago on my birthday. It took me 3 days to complete it as I made everything from the scratch – date paste, almond milk (I had to soak almonds), soaked the cashews and didn’t have a mixer. I used a slow juicer to make almond milk, date paste and cashew paste. Then mixed everything else by hand. Nevertheless it did not affect the consistency or the taste. The cake turned out perfect, too beautiful and too delicious. There were 18 people who had a piece of the cake, and none was left for me. Luckily one of my friends shared his piece with me. I have to admit – it was divine!
    Haven’t made it since then. It’s a big commitment :) Maybe I will gather all my strength and make it again for another special occasion, but this time I will set aside my piece before serving anyone else ;)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Liga,

      I do agree that this cake is what I refer to as a “labor of love” :) I find that it is worth the time and effort for sure. Thank you for sharing this, I really appreciate it. I hope that you are having a wonderful day! amie sue

  16. Elodie says:

    Hello Amie-Sue,

    Thank you for sharing with all of us your gorgeous and decilious recipes! I tried many of your recipes and my family (one wonderful husband, 3 young children who want to eat food that looks and taste good) loved all of them.
    Now my son will have a birthday in 2 days and I live in Austria. I did look for the lecithin powder everywhere, but did not find it. Online they do not deliver in Austria… so my question is, if I make this dessert without the lecithin powder would it work? Thanks!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Elodie,

      Thank you for the kind words. I love being a part of your families meals. :)

      Yes, you can make it without the lecithin. I hope you enjoy the cake. Keep me posted. Many blessings to the birthday boy! amie sue

      • Elodie says:

        Thank you for your reply! The cake was beautiful and tasted good too! Our 12 year-old son was delighted :) I decorated the cake with mango and pineapple that I cut in Star Wars shapes!

        • amie-sue says:

          Love it, love it, love it Elodie. Thanks for letting me know. :) You are so creative. hehe Blessings, amie sue

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