Dairy Free Lemon Layer Cake and Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting

dairy free lemon layer cake with dairy free cream cheese frosting


3 cups of flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of margarine
1 3/4 cup of white sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup of almond milk + 1 tsp of vinegar
1 TBSP of lemon zest
1/3 cup of lemon juice

Bake cakes at 350F for 30-32 minutes (till toothpick comes out clean in the center)
Using three 9" pans, diving batter evenly

1 cup of margarine
8 oz of dairy free cream cheese substitute
2 TBSP of lemon juice
5 cups of icing sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
1/4 tsp of salt


Don’t you love the recipe is at the top?? Now, you want to know my big mistake or rather the discovery!

The little girls and I have been playing around with recipes we find online trying to find something that feels like spring and cakes with fruit seem to be the front runners!

When we began the lemon cake, I quickly remembered I didn’t have the little citrus do-hickey that allows you to juice the lemons efficiently but because I bought three lemons, hand squeezing was all I needed to do! That wasn’t the big oopsie…

lemons on a wood cutting board and copper measuring spoons


Replacing the dairy is always a risk that the recipe will not turn out! The original recipes we found asked for buttermilk but resources said simply add either vinegar of apple cider vinegar. I had white on hand and went with that.

Now, the Daiya cream cheese spread was the risk! I had no idea how ti would taste of go but thought, hey! It is only frosting and can easily be scraped off if it really tastes bad.

Silk Almondd milk and Daiya cream cheese spread for dairy free baking

Baking the Cakes

I mixed my dry ingredients in one bowl and then sugar, margarine in another. Added the eggs, vanilla, lemon and then the dry. Once all mixed together I slowly added the ‘buttermilk’ (almond milk with a teaspoon of vinegar).

Poured into three pans and then placed in the hot oven. Every 15 minutes I would slowly open the oven and rotate the cake position, so they all cooked evenly and a little more flat than usual.

They came out smelling DIVINE! I let them cool about 10 minutes in the pans and then flipped them out (I also lined my pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray so they wouldn’t stick). Allowing them to cool on the counter and drying racks.

three round cakes cooling on a rack with lemons that were used in baking next to the racks

The Frosting was an Adventure

The frosting became my new problem child. It started with mixing the margarine and dairy-free cream cheese. It looked lumpy and separated. Flipped my mixer on high until it was a smooth consistency. Added the vanilla and lemon juice and then the icing sugar slowly.

The result was a beautiful smooth cream cheese frosting that my dairy-free belly and taste buds were a little too excited about! So good! Great consistency and texture!

Fired up the icing bag, began my normal process for icing and cake and then disaster. You know that scene in Sleeping Beauty when the fairies try to make a cake and it is sliding apart. Yup, in real time I watched the frosting ooze from the cake middles and the layers slide off the cake.

a frosted layer cake being cut with a silver cake cutter and next to a vintage plate with rosebuds

Not a Solid at Room Temperature

The cakes were cool! The room was cool! That fake cream cheese did stay a solid at room temperature! Frosting the cake meant throwing it in the fridge for 10 minutes and then taking it out and working on it for 2-3 minutes and repeat!

In a deeper glass pan, this frosting would have been 100% ideal…three layer cake not so much! The bright side was it tasted great, the kids enjoyed it immensely and I can see myself making this lemon flavored dairy dree cake again!

a lemon favoured triple layer cake in a farmhouse style dining room

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DIY, massive (slow) renovation on a budget, momming 5 little ones, farmhouse & vintage goodness, Canadian Mom blogger

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