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Lemon Champagne Celebration Cake

Spring is officially here. I'm not sure we actually need any additional reasons to celebrate, but in case you have a special occasion coming up, this cake is the perfect celebratory companion. I get a double whammy of joyful celebration on the first day of spring because it is also my oldest daughter's birthday! So, this year, in honor of her birthday and the fact that she's a mature and beautiful teenager, I thought I would make her a mature and beautiful cake. To me, the lemon champagne cake is perfectly suited to this type of celebration. It's also ideal for weddings, anniversaries, or any event where you'd like your champagne to taste especially wonderful alongside your cake.

Here's the details- this cake is vegan, gluten free, nut free, seed free, soy free, and top 8 allergen free. It has no flavoring or extracts added to it- all of the flavor comes from actual lemons and actual champagne (or Prosecco, or whatever sparkling wine you have on hand). You will need to zest a few lemons, but aside from needing a zester, this recipe is incredibly simple and straight forward. Honestly, when people tell me that gluten free cake is impossible to make, or that gluten free AND vegan cake is always going to be dry and terrible, it blows my mind. This cake is moist, tender, flavorful, decadent, rich while still being light and refreshing, and has pleased many crowds who were unaware of its status as an allergy safe cake. So don't prepare yourself to suffer through gluten free drudgery with this cake. Prepare yourself for luxury.

I strongly recommend serving this cake with a glass of champagne, but a crisp sparkling water works too. Choose your own adventure!


Lemon Champagne Cake

1.5 Cups Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend

1 Cup Sugar (I used organic cane sugar from Trader Joes)

2.5 teaspoons baking powder

0.5 teaspoons salt (I used Himalayan Pink salt)

0.5 teaspoons xanthan gum

0.5 Cups Champagne

0.5 Cups Oil (I used avocado oil but truly any liquid, flavorless oil will work)

0.5 Cups Applesauce (plain, unsweetened)

2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

Don't preheat your oven yet. Seriously, this batter bakes up best when it sits for 15-20 minutes after mixing, so wait to preheat until after the batter is assembled.

Put all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk together until evenly mixed. Juice a couple small lemons or possibly only one large lemon, and zest their rinds. Measure out two tablespoons lemon juice, and two full teaspoons of lemon zest. Make sure you have more lemons on hand to make the frosting.

Add the champagne, oil, applesauce, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the dry ingredients. Whisk everything together until fully combined. The batter should be thick but not stiff. Whisk this batter thoroughly, making sure there are no patches of flour hiding out. Don't worry about over mixing, because there is no gluten to over develop.

Once the batter is done, preheat the oven to 325. Let the batter rest while the oven heats up. After 15 minutes or so, give the batter one more thorough whisking. Then divide the batter between two 8 inch round cake pans (sprayed with oil), or line a dozen cupcake tins and divvy out the batter.

If you're making cupcakes, bake at 325 for 25 minutes. If you're making cakes, bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes. Check the cake at 35 minutes. Does it spring back? Does a fork come out clean? You're good to go.

Let the cakes or cupcakes sit on the stove or on cooling racks until fully cooled. Do not frost a warm cake. It won't go well!

Lemon Champagne Frosting

0.5 Cups Organic Palm Shortening (I use Spectrum brand)

1lb Powdered Sugar (this is a standard bag of powdered sugar. I use organic powdered sugar from Wholly Wholesome or Trader Joes)

0.5 teaspoons salt

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons Champagne

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Put the shortening into a large bowl, or the bowl of stand mixer. Add the salt and liquids and zest, and beat together a bit with an electric mixer or the whisk attachment for your stand mixer. Then add the powdered sugar, approximately a cup at a time. Ideally, sift the powdered sugar. Don't have a flour or sugar sifter? No problem! Take a whisk and use it to force the sugar through a close-knit strainer. Don't have any of that or feel like doing any of that? No worries. Beat the heck out of the frosting and accept that you might have a few lumps. The frosting, as it whips, should pretty much just come together. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times with a spatula. Otherwise, it's a very straightforward process. If the frosting seems too dry or thick, add a little bit more champagne, one teaspoon at a time. You should use the entire bag of sugar, but if you have a little left in the bag and your frosting looks perfect, just let it be.

Now, the choice is yours. Will you stack the cakes and frost them? Will you divide the frosting across your dozen cupcakes? Will you use a piping bag or a spatula or a spoon or a butter knife? I won't tell you how to proceed. But however you assemble this cake, it's going to be delicious.

Serve this cake with afternoon tea. Serve it at an elegant picnic. Throw a small wedding. Dish it out at Easter brunch! Bake this for your best friend's birthday. This cake is so easy, so versatile, and so delicious. I hope you love it!



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