This easy to make vegan blueberry cake looks incredibly impressive and it is soft & fluffy. Bursting with juicy colour and flavour, this eggless blueberry cake is an absolute winner.
This recipe was first published in July 2020 and updated in February 2021.
THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY INDIGO HERBS
This vegan blueberry cake with fantastically pretty bilberry icing received instant praise from all of my family. My husband is rarely impressed by cake so I take his compliments particularly seriously.
I generally love adding fruit to cakes in whatever form that may be, fresh or dried. But in this instance, I've discovered a new trick - fruit powder - it works wonders in cake baking.
What Makes this Cake Special
Fruit powder is freeze-dried fruit that has been ground to a fine powder. I've been keen on the idea of baking with them, but I wasn't quite sure how they would work out in a sponge cake. So I decided to make a vegan blueberry cake using some bilberry powder I picked up from Indigo Herbs to see.
I sprinkled some powder directly into the batter for this eggless blueberry cake to amplify the fruity flavour and then I used a little more to create a strikingly colourful icing. There's no need for artificial colouring gels in this eggless blueberry cake.
It worked a treat. The result is a light and fluffy sponge cake that is speckled with dark nuggets of fruit and loaded with tangy flavour.
To say it is a winner in the looks department too is stating the obvious. This eggless blueberry cake is no shrinking violet.
What's the Difference Between Bilberries and Blueberries?
Why do I keep mentioning bilberries? Shouldn't I just be talking up blueberries? You'll notice that I do, in fact, use dried blueberries and dried bilberry powder in this vegan blueberry cake recipe.
That's because bilberries, also known as European wild blueberries, are part of the same plant family as blueberries. There are, however, some marked differences between bilberries and the cultivated blueberries that are readily available in supermarkets:
- Bilberries are usually smaller in size and darker in color than cultivated blueberries
- On the inside cultivated blueberries have flesh that is white, light green, or yellow. Bilberries, however, are dark blue-purple both inside and out
- Cultivated blueberries have a gentle, sweet and vaguely floral quality to the flavour
- Bilberries are more intensely flavoured than cultivated blueberries, with a tangy and only mildly sweet flavour
In essence, bilberries are really a more vibrantly flavoured sibling of the common cultivated blueberry. So they are the ideal partner to include in a recipe involving blueberries.
The taste of both these berries naturally intensifies when they are dried, so a handful of dried blueberries and a sprinkle of bilberry powder adds quite a punch of flavour to this vegan blueberry cake recipe.
The majority of ingredients for this eggless blueberry cake are likely to hand without extra effort if you have a well-stocked baking cupboard. There will just be a few items you'll need to gather before baking can start.
I decided to use both dried blueberries and bilberry powder in this vegan blueberry cake. The blueberries add visual and textural interest and a mild, sweet flavour whilst the bilberry powder adds an extra burst of fresh, tangy fruitiness to the cake and colours the icing magnificently.
Note that vegan buttermilk is a homemade combination of almond milk and lemon juice. This acidic liquid helps activate the raising agents in the cake. Other plant-based milk alternatives will also work, but they may not all curdle as well as almond milk does.
I know that salt has a bad reputation health-wise, but due to the use of oil rather than butter in the vegan blueberry cake recipe, a small amount of salt makes a world of difference to the final taste of this recipe. The cake does not taste salty, but this ingredient does help draw out flavour in the cake.
Icing is optional for this cake but, by golly, does it provide a pretty finish to it! I've made a simple water icing from icing sugar, water and bilberry powder.
Step by Step Instructions
It doesn't take long to make this dairy-free and eggless blueberry cake, but it's important to follow the instructions carefully to achieve the best result:
Step 1: Begin by making the buttermilk - put the almond milk and lemon juice into a small bowl, stir and leave for 5-10 minutes to curdle
Step 2: Take 1 tsp of the flour and toss the dried blueberries in it. Set aside
Step 3: Pour the rest of the flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl along with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Mix briefly with a balloon whisk
Step 4: When the buttermilk has curdled stir in the oil and almond extract
Step 5: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix with the balloon whisk for around 1 minute until the batter is just smooth
Step 6: Pour ½ of the batter into a prepared baking tin and sprinkle ½ of the blueberries and ½ of the bilberry powder over it
Step 7: Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the remaining batter over the cake (it won't cover it entirely). Add the remaining blueberries and bilberry powder
Step 8: Spoon the remaining batter over the top and use the back of a teaspoon to ensure that all of the blueberries are covered. You might notice a few streaks of bilberry powder on the top. This is fine - it adds to the charm of the cake in fact
Step 9: Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until the cake is well risen, golden and a cocktail pick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the tin before unmolding carefully. The sponge is quite delicate, so remove the parchment slowly rather than ripping it off quickly
Step 10: Put the icing sugar and bilberry powder into a small mixing bowl. Add just enough water to form a soft icing that drips from the knife easily. Begin by adding ½ tsp water and keep adding more in ¼ tsp increments until you are happy with the consistency
Step 11: When ready, drizzle the icing over the top of the cake then top with dried blueberries and almond slices if desired. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes before serving
Tips and FAQs
- As with all baking measure out ingredients accurately and follow the recipe carefully. I highly recommend digital scales to enable using weight measurements - it's so much more accurate than using cups
- Each ingredient has its place and purpose in this recipe. Leaving things out is really not advisable
- Use the tin size specified (8-inch round, deep-sided spring-form). Trying to cram the batter into a smaller tin could lead to it overflowing in the oven. It could also end up having an underbaked middle. Similarly, problems can arise if a tin that is too large is used. The cake will be shallower and likely need a different length of time in the oven
- Always grease and line your baking tin, even if it is non-stick. Getting your cake out will be so much easier if you do this
- The cake needs to cool completely in the tin before unmoulding. Do this carefully as the cake is quite delicate
- Do not put the icing on until the cake is completely cold since water icing will sink into a warm cake
- Vary the flavour - dried blueberries partner well with raspberry fruit powder too
Frequently Asked Questions
As presented, this vegan blueberry cake contains almond milk, almond extract and flaked almonds, so it will need modifying before it is safe to eat for anybody with a nut allergy.
There are three changes necessary to make it nut-free: (1) replace the almond milk with oat milk (the buttermilk may not curdle in quite the same way but the resulting cake will still be delicious) (2) use vanilla extract instead of almond extract and (3) omit the almond flakes from the decoration
Once assembled this cake is best stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
The cake itself will stay fresh for up to 4 days, but the icing may discolour after 48 hours (especially if the weather is hot). For this reason, I suggest consuming within 2 days to ensure this cake is eaten at its best.
If intending to freeze this cake, do so before adding the icing and decorations.
Once baked, let it cool completely, then wrap in clingfilm and freeze for up to 6 weeks.
Defrost fully before proceeding to ice and decorate it.
More Vegan Recipes you May Enjoy:
- Ginger Loaf Cake with Orange & Almond
- Shepherd’s Pie with Lentils
- Lemon Elderflower Cupcakes
- Carrot and Lentil Soup with Coriander
- Rice Pudding with Spiced Pears
Have you made this vegan blueberry cake? I hope you enjoyed it - let me know how you got along by leaving a comment or rating below. You can also show me your creation on Instagram by tagging me @jane_littlesugarsnaps.
Vegan Blueberry Cake
- A deep-sided 8-inch circular springform cake tin
For the Cake
- 250 ml Almond milk
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 250 g Plain flour All-purpose
- 180 g Golden caster sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda Baking soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 80 ml Vegetable oil
- ¾ tsp Almond extract
- 30 g Dried blueberries
- 1 ½ tsp Bilberry powder
- 100 g Icing sugar
- ½ tsp Bilberry powder
- 15 g Dried blueberries
- 1 tbsp Almond flakes
Bake the Cake
- Begin by making the buttermilk - put the almond milk and lemon juice into a small bowl, stir and leave for 5-10 minutes to curdle
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven 180C/ 350F/ GM4 and grease and line a deep-sided 8-inch springform cake tin with baking parchment
- Take 1 tsp of the flour and toss the dried blueberries in it. Set aside
- Pour the rest of the flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl along with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Mix briefly with a balloon whisk
- When the buttermilk has curdled stir in the oil and almond extract
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with the balloon whisk for around 1 minute until the batter is just smoothP
- Pour ½ of the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle ½ of the blueberries and ½ of the bilberry powder over it
- Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the remaining batter over the cake (it won't cover it entirely). Add the remaining blueberries and bilberry powder
- Spoon the remaining batter over the top and use the back of a teaspoon to ensure that all of the blueberries are covered. You might notice a few streaks of bilberry powder this is totally fine (it adds to the charm of the cake in fact)
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake is well risen, golden and a cocktail pick inserted into the centre comes out clean
- Let the cake cool completely in the tin before unmolding carefully - the sponge is quite delicate, so remove the parchment carefully
Decorating the Cake
- Put the icing sugar and bilberry powder into a small mixing powl and add just enough water to form a soft icing that drips from the knife easily. Begin by adding ½ tsp water and keep adding more in ¼ tsp increments until you are happy with the consistency
- Check the colour of the icing. Add a little more bilberry powder if you want to deepen the colour
- When ready, drizzle the icing over the top of the cake then top with dried blueberries and almond slices
- Allow to set for at least 30 minutes before serving
- Store for 48 hours in an airtight container at room temperature
Making this cake nut-freeMake the following changes to make this vegan cake nut-free:
- replace the almond milk with oat milk (the buttermilk may not curdle in quite the same way but the resulting cake will still be delicious)
- use vanilla extract instead of almond extract
- omit the almond flakes from the decoration