Servings: 12

Prep time: 15 mins

Total time: 60 mins (45 if millet is pre-cooked)

Lemon millet cake

Tempting and wholesome, this date-sweetened cake combines a moist zingy sponge with a crumbly topping, and no added oil or sugar in sight!


snack, healthy dessert

vegan, vegetarian, oil free, refined sugar free, kid friendly, gluten free, nut free, nut free option, soy free, party food, entertaining, picnic, baked



  • ¼ cup (heaped) dry millet or 1 cup precooked

  • 12 dates, soaked in a cup of water

  • 1½ cups wholemeal or spelt flour

  • 1 level tbsp baking powder

  • ¼ cup plant-based milk

  • 6 tbsp aquafaba (see chef’s note)

  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • Optional: 2 tbsp poppy seeds

For the topping:

  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • ¼ tsp cinnamon


  1. Rinse the millet, then put it in a small saucepan with 1 cup of boiling water, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed. Fluff and set aside to cool until ready to use.

  2. Put the dates in 1 cup of warm water to soak for around 10 minutes.

  3. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

  4. Combine the flour and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.

  5. Blend together the dates with their soaking water (a hand-held blender works well)

  6. Add the plant-based milk, aquafaba and vanilla essence to the blended dates.

  7. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour and baking powder and gently combine, then fold in the cooked millet, lemon zest and optional poppy seeds.

  8. Dollop the batter into the lined cake tin.

  9. Combine the chopped walnuts, maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle over the cake.

  10. Bake for 30 minutes at 180°c.


Cooked quinoa or couscous can be swapped in for millet in this recipe.

Chef's tips

Aquafaba is the viscous liquid from a can of chickpeas, and it is a fantastic egg-replacer. I keep 6-tbsp sized portions in the freezer to defrost when needed.

You can reduce the cooking time of the millet to around 10 mins by pre-soaking it in water overnight, but this is optional.


Catherine Laurence

Catherine Laurence

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