Vegan lemon and poppy seeds upside down cake

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All through the month of January, I set myself the challenge to only develop vegan recipes for my Bake Along Tuesday’s on Instagram! Some vegan recipes were very successful, and some … let’s say a little less! But I guess that is the fun of recipe testing, especially with vegan / plan based ingredients you are not used to bake with.

This Lemon and Poppy seeds upside down cake was a clear winner. The secret to this vegan cake is in one ingredient, coconut yogurt. I based the recipe on my classic french yogurt cake and made it vegan. It tastes just like a classic lemon and poppy seeds cake, but even more moist and light. You will only need 20 minutes to prepare it and it really looks impressive!

A few thoughts on vegan baking

Now, let’s talk quickly about vegan and plant based baking. Essentially, the two main animal ingredients you will use (transformed or not) are eggs and milk. Which of course is animal farming ( my parents have a egg farm, so I kind of know what I am talking about) but unlike meat of fish, you don’t eat an animal. I like to read about the impacts between a balanced non vegan diet and a vegan diet on the planet. SO many information/ misinformation that are difficult to navigate. But being conscious of what we consume is more important than anything, whether it is a vegan or non vegan product.

I have gone vegan for Veganuary a couple of times in my life. I even wrote one of my first blog post about it here. Although it was a great experience, I don’t think I necessary feel like it is for me. I mainly try to have vegetarian 3/4 days a week, and buy the best meat or fish we can afford. Shopping local and in season is my priority.

The conclusion to that, is that I don’t think that “normal” home baking has a particularly enormous impact on the planet, and even might create the opposite ( Palm Oil, more processed products, intense farming – look into coconut farming, etc etc). I’ll continue to bake and enjoy my “classic” baking using eggs and butter for these reasons 🙂

Time for the recipe!

Quantity: For 8

Utensils: a 15 cm square tin


  • 220g of caster sugar
  • 225g of self raising flour
  • 60ml of soya milk
  • 200ml of coconut yogurt
  • 60ml of vegetable oil
  • one tsp of baking powder
  • one tsp of vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • a tbsp of poppy seeds
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 1 extra lemon
  • 4 tbsp of additional sugar


1* Thinly slice the oranges and 1 lemon and place at the bottom of your tin lined with grease proof paper (15cm by 15cm of loaf tin) and sprinkle with the additional sugar. Place in the oven at 180C and leave to cook for 15 min.

2* in a bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and the salt. In another bowl, mix the yogurt, soya milk, vegetable oil, lemon juice and zest. 

3* Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix with a spatula. 

4* Finally, pour the batter over the candied lemon and oranges and cook for 40min at 180C until fully cooked. 

5* Turn upside down, and gently remove the grease proof paper on top. Et voilà! 


1 Comment

  1. Sarah
    April 1, 2022 / 9:35 am

    I love this recipe, I have made it 4 times now! It’s so simple to make but looks gorgeous cut into squares, and it’s delicious, absolute winning recipe! I normally just use normal greek yoghurt instead of coconut, almond milk instead of soya, and chia seeds instead of poppy, and it still works really well. I sometimes make a little syrup with lemon and sugar to pour on top as well. Definitely recommend!

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