This lemon tiramisù is a fresh and light variation of my Best Vegan Tiramisù. It’s an elegant dessert and easier to make than you might think. A great alternative to cake, especially if you are not a fan of buttercream. All parts of the recipe are made from scratch and there aren’t any complicated ingredients involved.
And now that I have got your attention, I want to thank you for being here! I am usually not that comfortable talking about myself. But today I wanted to talk about a few things that have to do with the ups and downs of this blog. This site has been here a while (originally since 2007) and the project has lots of good and bad times. I started out as a food blogger in a tiny vegan online community. Back then we all seemed to know each other. I loved it because I did not know any real life vegans. Especially not in Germany.
I did make quite a few friends from other blogs or in vegan online forums. Most of them lived abroad. That was very exiting to me. Back in school I had a lot of pen pals from all over the world. And now it was even easier to connect with like-minded people. It was also great to know there were people with the same problems and the same questions. I got advice for all things vegan and many baking and cooking tips, too.
Seitan is my Motor started to grow. I found my passion for vegan baking and for photography. Also, I was determined to turn every treat I knew into a vegan version. I loved to experiment with new baking and cooking techniques and with new ingredients. It was so much fun to come up with new recipes week after week, year after year and to share my love for vegan food with other people. (You can read more about my recipes on my about-page.
Then fellow bloggers started to turn their blog recipes into cookbooks. After that some monetized their blogs. At that point I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I wasn’t on board with making money from blogging. Especially since I was still pursuing my PhD in German Literature Studies. And because I always thought blogging wasn’t a real job. Well, it turned out that German Literature Studies wasn’t a real job, at least not for me. I finished my degree, took a year of parental leave and then started to search for a job.
While I was writing my thesis this vegan baking blog always was a great diversion for me. It was a way to be creative, to do things my way and to connect with other people. But then blogging became a job for many people, they made a living from it. I wasn’t really sure what to think of that. Back then I thought it was kind of dishonest, especially in this tiny vegan food niche. Which of course turned into a huge trend along the line.
I neglected my blog and then came back to it a couple of times. I never really made my mind up. There was lots of private stuff going on. In 2011 my daughter was born and I raised her together with my husband (I call him that although we are not married). I looked for a job, I found a job, I hated it. I found a similar job and hated it too. After two really not so nice years I ended up in a completely different sector: Organic food. I now work for a consumer cooperative. We sell organic groceries, produce, and non-food. We’re like a regular health food store (or eco- grocer) with members instead of customers. These members pay a monthly fee to get their purchases for a discount price and they can participate in decision making.
I got really caught up in work and family and just life. Also, a little more than a year ago, I messed up this blog pretty badly by installing a new plugin.
This discouraged me quite a bit. There was so much content that I had lost. And I had no energy to restore it. (I am at peace with it now.) From that moment on, I spent most of my time on Instagram, thinking I wouldn’t have to spend so much time on there. What I mean by that is that I thought I only had to take pictures for Instagram. Not write down a whole post in two languages, type a recipe into a recipe plug twice, edit the post etc.
But after trying again and again I was just spinning my wheels on IG. I wasn’t really able to connect with people. That’s not their fault though. It’s me not being cut out for the format. It’s too fast and there is just way too much content. I don’t think I ever appreciated the content I found there enough. I think Instagram is hard. It seems too superficial to me. I often feel overwhelmed. Everything gets lost in the maelstrom. And we do, too. But that’s not how it has to be, right? I just needed to dust off my blog for good again and I am back to doing what I really like.
Also, there’s another thing why I am back on this site. Even though I work full-time and my kid is in second grade, or maybe because of it, I need something else. I want something for myself again. Something where I can do whatever I want the way I want it to. And I remembered that I don’t have to get annoyed by Instagram because it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t have to play be the rules. Instead, I can make my own rules.
I am back to blogging because I think I have something great here. Some of you have been reading this little site from the start. You witnessed all the ups and downs, you endured my absenses, my false promises to come back. You didn’t even complain when I sent you those 100 emails all at once. (For those who don’t know the story, read the post I linked above.) Finally I realised that I have a great community right here in my little corner of the internet.
I want you to know that I am very grateful for everyone who comes here to read my posts, make s my recipes, follows me on Social Media, shares my recipes, or recommends my site to their friends. I want to thank those of you who did send me copies of the recipes I had lost. You told me how important these were to you, how often you had made them, how your familiy liked them and all those things. I want you to know that the emails you sent me, always made my day. They also left me stunned because I couldn’t believe that my recipes really meant something to you.
So, here I am. Adding another recipe to this blog that has been here for 13 years. It’s a very summery recipe, celebrating the light colours of summer and the flavours of freshly made lemonade that you might sip on a hot evening. It’s a bit easier to make than my classic tiramisu recipe. I got a couple of emails asking me how to replace chickpea flour in my sponge cake recipe. This sponge has no chickpea flour. It’s a bit denser than usual, but that doesn’t really matter because the sponge gets soaked in liquid.
If you make this lemon tiramisù leave a comment below. This is very helpful to other readers. And please share your photos with me on Instagram, tag @seitanismymotor and #seitanismymotor. I love seeing your pictures and comments!
Vegan Lemon Tiramisù
For the cake
- 150 g boiling water (⅔ cup)
- 150 g sugar (¾ cup)
- 4 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
- 125 g all-purpose flour (1 cup)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 50 g cornstarch (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
For the filling
- 200 g cashews, raw (1 ¾ cup)
- 625 g soy yoghurt (2¾ cups)
- 100 g powdered sugar (¾ cup plus 1 tbsp)
- 4 tbsp elderflower syrup, or 50 g powdered sugar (⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 110 g coconut oil, refined
- 110 ml lemon juice (⅓ cup + 2 tbsp) (juice from three medium lemons)
- 2 tbsp elderflower syrup (cordial) or 1 tbsp sugar
- 1-2 tbsp grappa, optional
- The night before, soak your cashews in fresh water and set aside.
- The next day drain the cashews and place in a blender.
- Add remaining ingredients for the filling and purée until very smooth.
- Place in the fridge.
- Line two small baking pans (13 x 12 cm) or one larger pan (28 x 18) with parchment paper or grease them very well.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- In a bowl, combine sugar and boiling water to dissolve.
- Add oil and whisk well.
- Stir in flour, baking powder, and starch.
- Pour batter into pans and bake for 15-20 minutes. (Or 10-15 minutes, if you chose a single large pan.)
- Please watch the batter carefully, it tends to burn easily.
- Make sure the sponge is properly baked by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the pans. (It should come out clean.)
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool on a rack.
- Cut the sponge into two layers and place one layer on the bottom of each pan you just used for baking.
- Mix lemon juice, elderflower syrup, and grappa and and pour 3-4 tbsp on top of each layer. Make sure not to drown the sponge in liquid.
- Remove the filling from the fridge and pour a quarter into each pan.
- Place the remaining sponges on top, add another 3-4 tablespoons of soaking liquid and top with the remaining filling.
- Cover the pans and let the tiramisú sit in the fridge over night. That way the filling gets all firm and creamy.
If you like berries, you can also try my raspberry tiramisù.
I tried this recipe a few months ago and it was lovely! I also love your traditional tiramisù so now I just need to find an excuse to make the raspberry version.
Your thoughts about blogging resonated with me as well. I always loved blogging and especially reading other people’s blogs, but I would keep adding way too many to my feed reader and then I couldn’t keep up. I find Instagram similarly overwhelming, haha. But I do want to get back into reading blogs. I’m going to create a new folder with some of my favourite sites and will definitely add yours too! I’m glad you’re still blogging and creating beautiful recipes. :)
I am glad you like the recipe, Bonnie!
Yeah, I get so overwhelmed, too. My feed reader is collecting dust as I don’t dare to open it.
You are so sweet remembering! That was the sub I would have chosen, but glad to know that is what you would have suggested as well.
I love this post.
I really want to make this for my birthday. I’m not sure what elderflower syrup is and I want to use it, I assume it’s a German product you use?
Hi Liz! Thank you.
I made my own syrup. If I hadn’t made my own, I would have used the Voelkel brand. But you could replace the syrup with something else like treacle mixed with water. Or even sugar mixed with water. (50:50 ratio)
I have followed your blog from the very beginning. I was always a silent reader. :-) I have a blog myself and I recognize your struggle with Instagram and blogging for money. I do not like Instagram either. I am on the platform because readers expect me to. When I speak to other bloggers about Instagram no one claims to like it. Everybody is feeling a certain pressure to keep pushing new content every single day. In stories and on the time line. You have to leave reactions at other peoples time line, to “be noticed” and to “be social”. One pr person once told me I should make bolder statements (aka make people angry) just to get more engagement. And that in a world that is already very black and white..
I am still on Instagram but treat it as a kind of portfolio. My core content is on my blog. That is what works for me, what makes me happy. It encourages me to read that I am not the only one that feels this way.
Wow, Laurie. That is so awesome! Thank you for following this site for so long. And thank you for your opinion. Your blog seems very versatile to me and that is also a problem with Instagram. it seems like you can never branch out because you have to keep your feed the same way somehow. So blogging is much better!
I agree you do have something great here, and I find comfort in your little corner of the internet. I appreciate how you take the time to know a subject before writing about it, and that you are humble when you do so. Regarding Instagram, I feel a similar lack of connection with people. I have wondered if it’s jealousy. For instance I might spend weeks or months researching a topic in order to eventually post accurate information, all for little engagement. Meanwhile I will see some dude who copied a recipe from a book get endless likes for what isn’t even his own content. Anyway, I too have come back to blogging a bit more. Even if no one reads it, I feel better about myself. One positive aspect of lockdown.
I miss the old blogging community, too, the one where it was a space of learning and sharing (remember the first vegan mofo?). I find a lot of blogs today to be similar in style to IG. That is, only words and no content. It’s content for the sake of content, with SEO first and love of food and information last. Where is there room for a conversation in that? Maybe there is and I am missing it.
Anyway, I have come back to read this post a few times in the last couple of days and I appreciate it. Much like the best prescription for disconsolateness is often finding friendship with a character in a relatable novel, your words resonate deeply and make me feel a little bit less alone. THAT SOUNDS SO CHEESY. Okay, I’m done. Got to go get started on my oil cleanse.
Wow, thanks Kip!
Yeah, maybe it has to do with jealousy. Often times I don’t get the popularity of so many things and are so unoriginal at the same time.
There is this vague marketing rule about Instagram that as long as you put out “great content” and “engage with your followers” you will grow your site there. Makes most people end up with a powerpoint presentation…they all look the same.
It seems IG mostly works in a marketing context. I mean, what is “great content” supposed to mean? “Growing your brand” doesn’t leave room for personality. Even though I have read countless times that you should “put your whole self” on the platform. I get it, companies want to market to people and for that they need real people. But after all, it’s just cookie cutter real people advertisement that gets old pretty fast.
There are exceptions though. Your hilarious comments always make my day. You’re not growing your brand though…
When people started to monetize their blogs, I felt exactly the same way. That’s probably because so many blogs seem similar to IG.They started the whole thing.
Yeah, the first vegan mofo was so awesome! When I decided to bring back my blog last month I started to feel equally exited. Almost like when I started to blog. I put my whole heart, my whole energy in it. And getting all your really fabulous comments on this post just makes me so happy. I am glad this resonates. I too fell much less alone now!
I just installed a feed reader again, so I can keep up with all you guys who are still in the little corner, too. Instead of scrolling through my feed I better spend my time leaving comments on your blog now:)
That lemon tiramisu sounds so yummy, fresh and innovative! Will definitely try it this summer because lemons are just the epitome of summer.
As I wrote to you on IG I completely get how you’re feeling about instagram and blogging – and how those two are so different. I feel the same way. IG is overwhelming and superficial, while the blogs I follow (like yours) are so “hyggelige”, in depth and something I enoy to read and follow.
Thank you for some very inspiring 10 years, as long as I’ve followed you. I almost can’t wait to see what recipes you’ll share here on your blog; I’m so happy that you’re coming more back to your blog and you’re feeling happy/content about it :)
Thank you so much, Ditte! I could bite my as (as we say in German) that I stopped reading blogs and spent way too much time on IG these last few, well, years. I’ll go and catch up with all of you.
Can I ask you how you follow blogs these days? Do just just subcribe to their newsletters or do you use a feed reader?
Hi Constanze. I’ve just bookmarked all the blogs I followed and every weekend I make a cup of chai latte / tea and go through all of them – those with new content I read :) I subscribe to some newsletters, but that’s only when the blogger has written more about what I can expect from the newsletter.
You shouldn’t bite your ass (like that saying, haha) because you stopped reading blogs, everybody did that… but I think that blogging will slowly get back on its feet (at least I hope so much).
That sounds like a good plan. I’ll try to make a similar habit. Maybe you are right about blogs coming back. That would be awesome, wouldn’t it?
I love reading your blog, your recipes are always so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your journey over the past few years. I love IG but I use it and engage in it in a very different way to blogging. Blogging will always be a special place for me. Reading and writing.
And I am very happy to see this recipe! Any time I see vegan tiramisu on a menu I always go to order it, but then I have to stop myself because I don’t like coffee or alcohol… so you know, step away from the traditional tiramisu! I love seeing fruity versions of it instead! I’ve made a couple of traditional recipes swapping the coffee out for chai before as well, which was pretty fun. It’s such a gorgeous dessert!
Next time I go to Ikea, I’d better pick up some Elderflower syrup.
Thank you, Susan! Theoretically there are so many great ways to make some kind of tiramisu spin off, I am glad you like this one.
P.S. I forgot to mention in the recipe that you can use margarine instead of coconut oil. I remembered your allergy but forgot to edit my post.
I am delighted that you have come back to your blog! Instagram is very ‘popular’, with people writing a few popular words as a comment to a picture. A bit ‘hollow’ but I understand why people like it: it is fast – just like the incredibly fast world we are living in today.
I am going to print this recipe now and I wish you a very nice weekend; temperatures are quite high today in The Netherlands but thunder is coming in a moment, lower temperature = better baking!
Thank you so much, Yvonne! Yeah, it’s very fast while I am slowing down. Super hot here in the East of Germany, too. I hope it cools down for you with that thunderstorm. Please let me know what you think of the recipe.
Wow, when I made your tiramisu a month ago I thought ”how amazing would this be with lemon cake”. And here it is, haha. I can’t wait to make this, it sounds delicious. And I am happy to hear you got back to it and are finding joy in posting recipes again.
Ha, ha. That is really amazing, Sarah. Great minds and all.
I love your blog so much and am always so excited to see a new post light up in my feed! Your recipes have become staples at family holiday gatherings of mine over the years, and I always look forward to your new recipes and reading your perspective on them. Can’t wait to try this one! :)
Thank you so much, Michelle! I’d love to know what those favourite recipes are that you share with your family.
Thank you for sharing your story:) I am also not a big fan of Instagram. It feels a bit artificial. I really love your blog, and, your recipes. I am American, but, German/Dutch on my dad’s side, and, I love being able to see such different recipes compared to most of the American vegan blogs I subscribe to. Please keep them coming:) Take care.
Thank you, Kristi! If you have any recipes you’d like to see, please tell me. I am always looking for ideas. I have heard from several people they find it artificial although everybody claims that IG is about “being yourself”. But I assume you’d a little more space and a little less speed for that. It doesn’t always work great in a feed where you have to compet with so many others.
Thank you! I enjoy your blog. This recipe looks delicious!
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jenny!
Thanks for sharing your journey Constanze! I recently came across your blog and love your work both the recipes and the photography! It’s nice that you got back to doing what you like :)
Hello Sarmishta, thank you! And thanks for making my other tiramisù recipe!