365 Recipes: Lemon Chiffon Cake for Mama

The Recipe: 
My mama, sadly, is allergic to milk protein. She’s also a big lover of lemon cake with cream cheese frosting. So last year I made it my mission to invent a milk-free lemon cake with vegan-cream-cheese frosting. This year I perfected it– the only thing I wish I’d done, but didn’t was to buy lemon curd and spread it between layers. That would’ve taken this from good to great. But this frosting exceeded my wildest dreams. It’s pillowy and lemony and the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Try it; you won’t be sorry.

The Ingredients:
For the Cake:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup wheat bran
2 cups minus 4 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 tablespoons vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Zest from one lemon
For the Frosting:
8 oz Daiya dairy-free cream cheese
1/2 cup very soft butter (slightly melted in microwave if need be)
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons lemon extract
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon

Lemon curd for filling

The Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all dry ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk together thoroughly. Add lemon zest and whisk through.
2. Combine all wet ingredients in a graduated measuring cup. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk together thoroughly.
3. Pour into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until top is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool.
4. With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add lemon juice, extract, and zest (reserve a little to garnish the cake), and whisk until combined. Add icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating until incorporated before adding next cup.
5. Ice the cake, spreading lemon curd between the layers. Garnish with strawberries, mint leaves, and lemon zest. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.

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