The Lemons of Life: A Cake Recipe


When life gives you lemons, your days can taste a bit sour.  Luckily, lemons give cakes an oomph, a zing, a tart temptation.  So, when you’re caught in a downpour of polluted rain and you have no umbrella, instead of accepting anguish, why not bake a cake?  That analogy didn’t land quite how I intended, but the lesson remains true — life is too short to spend every day sour. And sugar, spice, vanilla, and an oven pre-heated to 350F can fix that.

Before beginning the baking process, let’s set our computer desktops to a tropical, beachy background, pretend we’re in Fiji (ha — Gigi in Fiji), and queue up Jack Johnson on Spotify.  Good, now that we’re settled, let’s bake. Specifically, let’s bake a vegan ice-box lemon blueberry cake.

Hey, you!  Wipe that drool off your chin.  Contain yourself!

A bit about icebox cakes: icebox cakes are refreshing, cold, and sweet.  A delightful dessert on a southern summer day, this cake has a spongy cake foundation, a velvety layer of cream, and a fruity drizzle.  Now, remember — this is a cake, not an ice-pack. If you start to get sweaty during the baking process, stick your head inside the freezer!  

Plus, since this recipe is vegan, it’s considered a “healthier” dessert.  Why? Simply because there’s no acne-producing dairy or cholesterol-filled egg yolks inside — YUM!

Alright, alright, enough jibber-jabber. Do you have a fork in your hand? Cause we’re about to dig into this recipe (okay, that was a terribly lame pun, I’m aware.  But I’ve reached my daily limit of clever wordplay, give me a break!)

Icebox Lemon Blueberry Cake

Cake Ingredients:

2 ¾ cup rice flour

1 ¼ cup canned coconut milk + 1 TB apple cider vinegar

1 ½ cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)

⅓ cup vegetable oil

1 TB baking powder

½ tsp himalayan salt

Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 350F

  2. Sift together dry ingredients.

  3. Whisk in wet ingredients until combined (there is no gluten in this recipe, so don’t worry about over mixing).

  4. Pour into 2 8” bowls and bake 20-30 min, until cooked in the center.

  5. Let cool completely.  Refrigerate until other ingredients are prepared.

Icebox Filling Ingredients:

½ cup lemon juice

2 cans (28oz) condensed coconut milk

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp vanilla extract (optional but obviously recommended)


  1. Refrigerate cans of coconut milk overnight

  2. In a mixing bowl, mix coconut milk on high with zest and vanilla.

  3. Slowly pour in lemon juice and continue to whip.

  4. Freeze until all other ingredients are prepared and cooled.

Blueberry Drizzle Ingredients:

1 cup blueberries

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup water

1 TB cornstarch (or tapioca starch)


  1. In a pot, whisk together cornstarch and 1 TBSP water.  Slowly pour in the rest of the water, then the maple syrup.  Add in blueberries.

  2. Bring to a simmer, stirring every so often.

  3. Once blueberries are softened, mash with fork to your preference (whether you’d like your drizzle chunky or smooth is up to you!)

  4. Let cool completely.  Refrigerate.


Smooth icebox filling atop COOLED cake, then drizzle over the blueberry drizzle.  Best served immediately. If you’d like to prolong your cake-less day, keep in freezer until you’re ready to devour!  Top with Cocowhip for extra decadence!

If you make this recipe, leave a comment on this post.  I’d love to know if a sour lemon was able to put a smile on your face (and if you enjoyed the cake!)


Gigi Nally

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