This vegan Lemon Olive Oil Cake is sweet-yet-tart, rich, zingy, and supremely lemony and is so tender and moist that it practically melts in your mouth. It’s easy to make and requires just 10 ingredients! Serve as a sweet snack or breakfast, or dress it up with the strawberry compote.
Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a 9x5-inch (23x13 cm) or 8x4-inch (20x10 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving some paper overhang to use as handles.
Zest the lemons to get 1 tablespoon of zest. Set aside. You’ll use more zest to finish the cake (and if making the Strawberry Topping).
Juice the lemons to get ¼ cup (60 mL) of juice and combine with the oat milk; set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This is the vegan “buttermilk.”
Pour the aquafaba into a medium bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, whip the aquafaba on medium speed for 45-60 seconds, until uniformly foamy. Wipe the bowl out to use again in the next step.
To the medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk well to ensure the leaveners are well-combined.
In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and olive oil. Mix using the electric mixer until well combined. Add in the whipped aquafaba and mix again until incorporated. Add the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and vanilla, and mix again until combined.
Add half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, beating on low speed until well- combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until almost smooth, then switch to a silicone spatula to finish combining. Important: do not overmix to prevent the cake from becoming dense. The finished batter should be light and airy.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top with the spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center top (insert the toothpick at a slight angle) comes out clean and the top is lightly golden. I always check a few minutes before 35 minutes.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Then use the parchment paper handles to lift the cake out of the pan and onto the wire rack and cool for another 10 to 15 minutes.
If you made the strawberry topping, spoon the strawberry compote over the cooled lemon cake and then top with the macerated strawberries. Finish with some extra lemon zest on top.
* You might need a third lemon if making the Strawberry Topping, depending on their size and juiciness.