Nigella Lawson’s Vegan Lemon Tendercake attempt! 

As I mentioned in my previous post, on Saturday night we went to our friends Thanksgiving dinner over in Campbeltown. Usually everyone who is going takes one dish with them for everyone to try, so this year, after watching a Nigella Lawson show during the week, I thought I’d try my hand at her Vegan Lemon Tendercake with blueberry compote. It was actually divine (not much to look at as you will see in my later pictures!).

On Saturday morning I prepped the sponge part of the cake, then took everything else with us on the 3 hour journey, ready to finish off before serving. The light in my friends kitchen wasn’t the best for photographs, and there wasn’t must space to get a good photo in (mainly due to the copious amounts of food dotted everywhere!), but trust me, it is absolutely stunning. I made some small amendments to the recipe that Nigella gave, so see my process below: 


For the cak

225g/8oz plain flour

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp himalayan salt

150ml/5fl oz vegetable oil

150g/5½oz caster sugar

275ml/9½fl oz coconut milk 

2 lemons, zest and juice

1 tsp vanilla extract 

For the compote

150g/5½oz blueberries

1 lemon, juice only

1 tbsp caster sugar

1½ tsp cornflour

For the topping

250g/9oz coconut  milk (thick bit)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2½ tsp icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease the sides of a spring form cake tin with vegan margarine and line the bottom with baking paper.

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl.

  1. Whisk the oil, sugar and coconut milk together in a jug, followed by the lemon zest, juice of 1 lemon, and the vanilla extract.


  1. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, whisking to combine, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30–35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and leave the cake to cool completely in its tin. 

  1. To make the compote, put the blueberries, juice of 1 lemon, caster sugar and 50ml/2fl oz of cold water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring gently every now and again, for a coupleof minutes until the blueberries have softened. Remove the pan from the heat.

  1. Mix 1½ teaspoons of cold water with the cornflour in a small cup and stir the paste into the compote. Put the pan back over the heat and stir gently for about 30 seconds until bubbling and thickened. If you feel it has become too jammy and thick, simply add a little more water and stir it in over the heat. Pour the compote into a small heatproof bowl or jug to cool and set.
  1. Just before serving, remove the cold cake from its tin and place on a cake stand or plate.
  1. Mix the coconut milk and vanilla together, spoon the icing sugar into a tea-strainer, then sieve it over the yoghurt and stir it in before spreading and swirling this soft mixture over the top of the cake. Loosen the blueberrycompote a little with a fork and gently spoon on top, leaving a gleaming white frame. Serve immediately.


As you can see, my compote and cake ‘icing’ was a little runny. I think the issue here was I didn’t use enough cornflour in the compote, and I think the recipe calls for coconut yoghurt for the topping as opposed to coconut milk, but I am happy with the end result. The cake was delicious and enjoyed by all the guests despite being vegan! This is definitely one for the recipe book and to bring out again and again (I will master it next time!)


4 thoughts on “Nigella Lawson’s Vegan Lemon Tendercake attempt! 

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