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Vegan Lemon “Crazy” Cake

March 25, 2016

By Kath Dedon


Cocoa “Crazy” Cake has always been a favorite of mine. So I was excited to find other flavors of crazy cakes on the Sweet Little Bluebird blog. I decided to try the Lemon “Crazy” Cake first.

Mary, the Sweet Little Bluebird blogger, uses regular all-purpose flour but I wanted to make it gluten-free. With a little searching, I found Jeanne Sauvage’s recipe for gluten-free Cocoa Crazy Cake and figured I could sub her gluten-free flour mix for the all-purpose flour.  I made the Lemon Crazy Cake using Mary’s recipe. I put the dry ingredients in the pan and then added the wet ingredients and mixed it all together right in the pan. (That’s what makes the cakes “crazy”.)

Mary’s Lemon Crazy Cake was very good, but it didn’t rise as much as my cocoa cake does. Comparing the two recipes, I realized that I use 1 tablespoon of vinegar and she uses 1 teaspoon. I wondered if that made a difference.  I also wondered if I had over-mixed the batter using the “crazy” method of mixing it in the pan. With the corners, it seems harder to me to blend the ingredients quickly. And it’s important to get it mixed quickly and into the oven because the vinegar starts reacting with the baking soda as soon as it’s added.

I made the cake a second time. This time I mixed the cake in a bowl and I also increased the vinegar and lemon extract. I was very pleased with the way the second cake turned out. So much so, that I asked Laura to make it for our Easter dinner. (Thank you, Laura! 🙂 )

If you are entertaining family or friends with food sensitivities, you may want to consider this Lemon Crazy Cake. It’s free of gluten, wheat, nuts, soy, dairy, and eggs, and yet it is quite delicious! And it’s nice to have a dessert that everyone can share.


Lemon Crazy Cake


Vegan Lemon Crazy Cake

(Inspired and adapted from recipes from Sweet Little Bluebird and Art of Gluten Free Baking blogs)


(print the recipe)


Serves 9


Dry ingredients

1½ cups + 3 Tablespoons gluten-free flour* (recipe follows)  (or use regular all-purpose flour)

1 cup sugar (I used maple sugar.)

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

Zest of one large lemon


Liquid ingredients

1 cup cold water

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ teaspoons lemon extract (do not substitute lemon juice)

5 Tablespoons oil


For serving

Powdered sugar to sprinkle on the finished cake (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

dry ingredients.jpg


3. Measure the liquid ingredients into a 2 cup measuring cup.

ready to add liquids.JPG


4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir quickly to blend it together. (It’s OK if there are still a few streaks of flour in the batter.)

5. Quickly pour the batter into an ungreased 8×8-inch square cake pan and get it in the oven.

6. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.

Cake number two


7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve.


*Jeanne’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix (found on her Art of Gluten-Free Baking Blog)

Jeanne says that 1 cup of her blend is 140g. So if you use this blend for the cake, you need 236g if you want to measure the blend by weight. Be sure to stir the blend together before measuring.

Mix together and store in the refrigerator:

1 1/4 cups (170g) brown rice flour

1 1/4 cups (205 g) white rice flour

1 cup (120g) tapioca flour

1 cup (165g) sweet rice flour (Mochiko)

2 scant teaspoons xanthan gum


In case you want to try mixing it in the pan, here’s how it’s done. Preheat the oven. Stir all of the dry ingredients together in an ungreased 8×8-inch square pan. Make 2 small indentations and 1 large indentation in the dry ingredients. When the oven is preheated to 350 degrees, measure the liquids. Have a cup of water ready to pour in. Pour the oil in the large indentation and the extracts in one of the small indentations. Then, and do this last, pour the vinegar into the other small indentation.  Immediately pour the water over all and quickly mix together. It’s OK if there are some streaks of flour in the batter. Put it in the oven immediately. Bake for about 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

Here’s how mine looked just before I added the water. (Maybe the time it took me to take the photo was part of the problem.)

wacky cake


Lemon Crazy Cake - Copy.JPG


3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2017 8:43 pm

    wonderful cake! I used 2 T lemon juice instead of vinegar and it had a great taste! I also made a rainbow cake by dividing the recipe in half and making 4 of them, in four colors, and baking them in 9″ cake pans.

    • November 5, 2017 5:19 am

      Great to know that lemon juice works! Thanks so much for your comment. I love the rainbow cake idea, too.


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