Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray two 8-inch cake pans (see notes*) with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
To make the vegan buttermilk add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to a measuring jug and then add soy milk up to the 1 cup (240ml) line. Leave to sit for a minute, it will curdle into buttermilk.
Add the buttermilk, vanilla, oil, vinegar and red gel food color into the mixing bowl and mix in.
Use a hand whisk briefly to get rid of any large lumps.
Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Transfer the cakes to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
While the cakes are cooling, add the powdered sugar, vegan butter, lemon extract and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to an electric mixing bowl and starting at slow speed gradually increase speed until the frosting is thick and smooth. If needed add more lemon juice (see notes*).
When the cakes are completely cooled, frost and decorate with cherries (optional).