You must try this delicious, lemony, aromatic, and moist tea cake at home. Even though I substituted the refined flour with whole wheat flour, butter with olive oil, eggs with applesauce, and milk with oat milk, the cake turned out just perfect – soft and moist but tender.
Also, this cake is vegan too. That makes it even more special because it feels like you are fulfilling your cravings consciously 🙂
I am not very fond of cakes but tea cakes are something I do enjoy occasionally. They feel light, not very sweet, and just a perfect companion for your hot cup of coffee. Are you also craving? Jatin loves cakes, desserts, or anything sweet. He was asking me to bake tea cakes at home but I was just procrastinating. Now I don’t know why.
I made this tea cake when my neighbor got covid and I was giving them some home-cooked food. Her daughter is fond of my cooking and used to eagerly wait for the food. It was a Sunday evening and I decided to make something special for the little girl. She was homebound because her mom got covid. So, I decided to make my special tomato pesto pasta and also baked this tea cake. She had a little party of her own in her home. She loved it and I loved her excitement and happiness. Even we loved the cake and it was finished in just a day. I had to bake another one the next day.
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Tips to bake it right
- Room Temperature: Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature. It is very important in baking.
- Measure Accurately: Correctly measuring the ingredients is very important. Adding extra flour is one common mistake. Fill your measuring cup with the flour using a spoon and then level it off with a knife. For better results, always use a kitchen scale.
- Sifting: Sift the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. This ensures that there are no lumps in the batter. Sometimes the flour or the sugar looks just fine until you sift them.
- Over mixing: This is something that happens accidentally. Over mixing crushes all the air bubbles and you end with a dense cake. To ensure that the cake is light, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until they are just combined. That means you don’t see any dry ingredients left in the bowl.
- Leavening Agent: Baking Powder & baking soda helps the cake rise. Double-check to make sure they are not expired.
- Baking Time: Baking time depends on a lot of factors. Every over bakes at a different time even at the same temperature setting. So be careful with that. After around 40 minutes, insert a toothpick at the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven. If the toothpick doesn’t come out clean, let it bake for another 10-15 minutes. Also, the time of baking also depends on the baking tray size.
- Flour: You can use any other flour of choice (all-purpose flour, almond flour, oat flour) but you need to understand the texture of the batter needed. Every flour has a different liquid-absorbing capacity. Hence, you can not just change one ingredient and keep the rest of the ingredients exactly the same. I would suggest trying the same recipe first and then start making adjustments. Also, the texture of the cake may change with different flours.
- Caster Sugar: I added powdered white sugar to this recipe. But you can even add date syrup, maple syrup, or jaggery. Adjust the sweetness as per your taste. The liquid sweeteners are natural and perfect to make the cakes soft and moist. But then you need to adjust the quantity of other wet ingredients.
- Applesauce: It is a great substitute for eggs. You can even use flax egg, chia egg, or curd instead.
- Oat Milk: Use any plant-based milk (or dairy milk) of choice.
- Olive Oil: Instead of olive oil, you can use any other unflavored cooking oil.
How to keep the whole wheat cake extra soft and moist after baking?
Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven. Let it rest for 5 minutes and then take it out of the baking tray and keep it on the cooling rack. Cover the cake with a towel on top. This traps the moisture inside and makes the cake even softer.
Why do my cake become soggy after baking?
If you let the cake rest in the baking tray, condensation happens and forms water droplets inside the tray. This makes the cake moist and soggy from the bottom and the edges. That is why, remove the cake and place it on a cooling rack and let it cool down completely.
Can I make it in the Microwave?
Yes. Of course. If your microwave has a convection mode, you can easily bake this cake in it.
To bake this cake in the microwave, you just need to preheat the microwave to 180°C for around 10 minutes. Once preheated, place the baking tray in it and let it bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Now, every machine is different. So, keep an eye on it and once you see the golden edges, insert a toothpick at the center to check if it is fully baked.
If the toothpick comes out clean, it means the cake is perfectly baked. But if it doesn’t, bake it for a couple of extra minutes.
How to store this tea cake?
You can store it in an air-tight container. Leave them at room temperature on your kitchen counter for two days (depending on the temperature at your place). You can easily refrigerate them for a week.
The best part of this cake is that it remains soft even on refrigeration. This is because it has no butter in it.
Can we freeze this cake?
I never froze any cake but my friend does. You can surely freeze this lemon cake. Just slice them up and put them in an air-tight container or zip-lock bag. Put it in the freezer. Whenever you want to enjoy it, just take it out and heat it in your microwave. You can freeze it for up to a month.
Is this recipe vegan?
Yes. It is a 100% vegan and plant-based recipe. I used applesauce instead of eggs, olive oil instead of butter, and oat milk instead of dairy milk. All the ingredients used in this recipe are plant-based.
Tools & Equipments Needed
- Baking Tray – 25 x 11 x 7 cm cube
More recipes to try
Now you are all ready to make this healthier and delicious teacake at home. It is perfect for your sweet cravings in this lovely rainy season. You don’t need to wait for your cheat days to enjoy this deliciousness. Grab all the ingredients, and let’s get baking.
If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @thefearlesscooking. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.
Happy Baking 🙂
Eggless Lemon Tea Cake (made with whole wheat flour)
Soft. Moist. Vegan.
- 220 g Whole Wheat Flour (Aata)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 120 g Caster Sugar
- 50 g Olive Oil (or any)
- 150 g Applesauce
- Lemon Zest of 3-4 Lemons
- 90 ml Lemon Juice (2-3 Lemons)
- 150 g Oat Milk (or any)
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Sift all the dry ingredients together (except sugar). Keep it aside.
- In a large bowl, add oat milk and sifted caster sugar. Mix well until sugar is dissolved.
- Add other wet ingredients and mix well.
- To the same bowl, add the sifted dry ingredients and mix everything well until just combined.
Do not overmix. It makes the cake dense.
- Add the cake batter to a lined baking tray. Smoothen out the top surface. Tap the tray a few times.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Preheat the oven to 180°C, top-bottom. Check after 45 minutes. Do not open the oven door in between.
- Once it is baked, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, remove the cake from the tray and place it on the cooling rack.
- Once it is cooled down completely, remove the parchment paper, slice and enjoy :)
We often make the mistake of replacing refined flour with whole wheat flour in the recipes. We generally replace it with the exact same amount. Now that’s the key problem. Every flour has a different absorbing capacity. & whole wheat flour absorbs more moisture than refined flour. The result – dry and crumbly cake. Understanding the texture is more important. Hence, try the exact same recipe first. understand the texture and the consistency and then start making adjustments.
Even without eggs, you can make extremely soft and moist cakes. Here are the egg replacements in cakes, muffins, and brownies:
- Flax Egg: 1 Flax Egg = 1 Tbsp of ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp of water. Mix & let it rest for at least 15 minutes. It will thicken. Replace 1 egg with 1 flax egg.
- Chia Egg: 1 Chia Egg = 1 Tbsp of ground chia seeds + 3 Tbsp of water. Mix and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. It will thicken. Replace 1 egg with 1 chia egg.
- Yogurt or Buttermilk
If you take out the cake before it is perfectly baked, it will sink at the center. If you keep opening the oven, then again your cake will sink at the center. To check if the cake is perfectly baked, insert a toothpick at the center. If it comes out clean, it is perfectly baked.
This generally happens because of the high oven temperature. If the temperature is too high, the outer surface gets baked faster and forms a layer. The steam that is produced while baking pushes that layer to escape. Hence, the cracked surface.
To get that perfect cut, let the cake cool down completely and set well. It takes a couple of hours. It’s a lot of time to wait and enjoy the cake. But, patience is the key. After getting baked at such a high temperature, the cake needs that much time to settle down completely. Once it is rested for around 3-4 hours, you will get a perfect slice.