Receta Birthday Lemon Cake with Chocolate Ganache

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Vegan baking can be a little bit tricky. Sometimes the batter won’t rise, and the result will be more fragile and delicate than with eggs and dairy. This cake really had a very delicate, spongy texture but it rose perfectly. I suppose it was because of the soy yogurt, which I never used as a binder before but that worked perfectly this time. Just be careful if you have to transport it (like I did). I doubt you can call it a Sacher Torte anymore (which was what Celine’s was trying to replicate, an Austrian dessert and a non-vegan childhood favorite): I left out the cocoa powder and substituted with ground almond, coconut and lemon zest. I also added lemon juice and olive oil instead of canola oil; used plum jam and lemon icing for the filling and a more solid chocolate cover.

I’m sure that Celine’s version was excellent, but this one was a hit too. It looked so good that my mother has already ordered one like this for her birthday!

Inspired in Celine’s Chocolate Cake (with Sacher Torte variation and Chocolate Ganache):

Tiempo para Cocinar:


  • 1 cup (240 g) vanilla soy or other nondairy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbspoon powdered almond
  • 2 Tbspoon dry coconut
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
  • **********************************
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) plain soy or other nondairy milk (**I used a little bit less because I wanted mine to have a hard layer of chocolate)
  • 1 cup (176 g) nondairy semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pure maple syrup or (42 g) agave nectar


  1. -Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grase a 8 inch (20-cm) round cake pan with margarine or oil.
  2. -In a big bowl mix first the wet ingredients: soy yogurt, oil, vainilla extract and lemon juice.
  3. -Sift in the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. I substituted the cocoa powder with powdered almond, dried coconut and lemon zest. The ingredients must be incorporated, but be careful no to overmix it.
  4. -Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in pan to cool a little bit before attempting to remove.
  5. **********************
  6. Sacher Torte Variation:
  7. -Double the cake recipe, bake in two separate 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans or in one but twice (which was what I did). -Spread with your favorite filling one of the cakes and top with the second. I used plume jam and lemon-soy milk icing, but you can use the one you like the most (Celine’s recipe called for all-fruit rasberry jam, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, if you want a Sacher Torte)
  8. **I added two tablespoon of cardamon-cocoa powder to one of the layers to create a contrast, but it’s optional.Decorate with Chocolate Ganache.
  9. *******************************
  10. Chocolate Ganache
  11. -Bring the milk to boil in a saucepan and remove from heat. Add the chocolate and stir until meled. Add the maple syrup or agave. Let cool a little bit, or it will be too liquid to spread on the cake.
  12. -You can cover absolutely all the cake (like Celine did) or only the top; I did the last because it was easier to transport. Decorate or write your “happy birthday” if you want to at this point, before it cool and solidify completely; I used kiwi slices, pine nuts and coconut.
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