In the wash of time, memory tethers us to buoys of emotion. We remember the moments we feel most deeply, and where, and how, and with whom. This began with the human we lived with most closely for at least the first nine months of our lives: Our mothers. We build the palace of our memory, our minds, and our emotional selves, from the beginning point of our maternal figure. 

This weekend, we celebrate mothers everywhere with Mother’s Day. Though, as a motherless daughter, the holiday brings up deep complexities for me, it’s easy for me to honor the beauty of mother figures everywhere. This simple vegan crumb cake is the perfect way to celebrate the mother figure in your life, or honor the mother within. Layered with a thick layer of almond cardamom streusel, it’s tangy, sweet, and exquisitely scented with cardamom and lemon zest.

Without any processed sugars, this cake is as delicious for breakfast or brunch as it is for dessert, as perfect for a quiet moment with tea as it is for a celebration with a scoop of ice cream. The recipe was heavily adapted from a method for vegan cupcakes by stellar vegan chef Renée Loux.



Strawberry Lemon Cake
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon melted raw coconut oil or vegetable oil of choice, like grapeseed or safflower
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, agave, or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon almond milk, or liquid of choice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups quartered strawberries
Cardamom Streusel
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 cup melted raw coconut oil or vegetable oil of choice, like grapeseed or safflower
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, agave, or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and oil and flour a 9” cake pan or pie dish. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. In a large bowl, beat the oil, maple syrup, almond milk, lemon juice and zest, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar.

  3. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet, and fold them in using a silicone spatula. Fold in the quartered strawberries. Pour into prepared cake pan or pie dish.

  4. In a high speed blender or food processor, grind the almonds into meal. Empty them into a medium bowl, and whisk with flour, sea salt, and cardamom.  Add oil, maple syrup, and lemon zest, and mix with a spatula until you’ve got a sand-like texture. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

  5. Bake about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Dietary Fiber

8 slices