The Best Vegan Lemon Cake Recipe! This simple pound cake is moist, fluffy, bursting with fresh lemon flavor and so easy to make in one bowl! Topped with strawberry glaze or traditional lemon icing you will love it after just one bite! (This post contains helpful tips on how to make the perfect vegan cake!)
The BEST Vegan Lemon Cake
I have baked so many vegan cakes over the past few years, and this lemon cake is one of the best! It’s moist, pillowy, and ultra tangy, just as a perfect lemon cake should be. You can even get creative with this basic recipe. For example, add poppy seeds or blueberries into the batter, top it with strawberry, blueberry, or traditional lemon glaze. You can also make lemon cupcakes, muffins, or even a layer cake instead of a loaf.
Anyway, whatever you’ll bake, no one will ever notice that this lemon cake is made without eggs and dairy!
Tips for making the best vegan cake!
While the recipe itself is super easy, there are some important key facts in making the best vegan lemon cake. But when you follow the instruction exactly, your cake will be as amazing as mine!
- Prep your baking pan
- Measure exact!
- Sift/whisk the dry ingredients
- Stir together the wet ingredients
- Do not overmix the batter!
- Keep the oven closed
- Do a cake test!
- Cool completely
Why is that so important?
I will now explain the details for a better understanding. So please continue reading if you’re curious about the secrets of vegan baking I have learned over the past few years…
How to make Vegan lemon cake
Step 1: Prepare your baking pan
Before you start with this lemon cake recipe, grease and line your pan with parchment paper. This will guarantee your cake comes out easily.
Step 2: Making the batter
First of all, be sure to measure exactly! Otherwise, your result will be different than mine. Actually, just a little bit more or less of flour, milk, etc. can make a huge difference. So as always I highly recommend measuring the ingredients in metric measurements rather than cups. You can simply click on the word “metric” right above the ingredient list in the recipe card below.
Start to sift, or at least whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. This not only helps to avoid lumps but it also ensures that the raising agents are evenly combined with flour. Then mix in the sugar to combine.
Next, stir together the wet ingredients before adding them to the dry ingredients. So you can make sure that the flour mixture incorporates evenly with the wet ingredients. Besides non-dairy milk and canola oil, I’ve also added some non-dairy yogurt which makes the lemon cake perfectly moist. However, you can also skip the yogurt and use more milk instead.
When you add the dry to the wet ingredients, be sure to stir until just combined. A few small lumps in the batter are totally okay but please avoid overmixing! Also, be sure to use a spatula or whisk but please do not use an electric hand mixer! If you skip this step, your cake will be dense rather than fluffy.
Step 3: Bake
The cake needs constant heat to rise properly so please do not open the oven during baking. If you notice the top of your cake is getting too brown you can briefly open the door and cover it. But it’s definitely not necessary to open it more often than that until the baking time is over.
Since all ovens vary, I highly recommend doing a cake test before removing it from the oven by inserting a skewer into the center of your cake. When it comes out clean, your lemon cake is done. Otherwise, bake it 5-10 minutes longer, then test again.
Step 4: allow to cool
This vegan lemon cake contains no eggs or other binders like cornstarch, soy flour, tapioca starch, etc. So it’s very soft and fluffy when it’s freshly baked and still warm. But when you give your cake enough time to cool, then it’ll get easier to cut.
Strawberry Lemon Glaze
When there are fresh strawberries around, I really love to enjoy anything with them! So I topped my vegan lemon loaf with a quick and easy strawberry lemon glaze here which is just made with icing sugar, fresh strawberry juice, and lemon juice. However, you can also skip the strawberry juice and substitute more lemon juice instead to make a traditional lemon icing. Alternatively, feel free to make a purple blueberry glaze or a vegan cream cheese frosting with toasted almonds or whatever topping you like!
Make-Ahead & Freezing Instructions
Unfrosted lemon cake may be kept at room temperature for two days when covered loosely with foil or stored in an airtight container.
To freeze the unfrosted vegan lemon loaf, simply wrap it up in cling foil tightly, then put it into a ziplock bag to avoid freezer burn. To serve, thaw in the fridge or at room temperature. Once thawed, top with your favorite glaze or enjoy as it is!
This Vegan Lemon Cake is:
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Easy to make
- Comes together in one-bowl
- Soft & pillowy
- Loaded with zesty lemon flavor
- Topped with strawberry glaze
- So delicious!
- The perfect dessert for spring, summer, and just any time!
Looking for more simple vegan cake or loaf recipes? Then make sure to check out the following:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Cake
- Best Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Raspberry Almond Orange Cake
- Apricot Cake with Coconut
- Vegan Marble Zebra Cake
If you try this Vegan Lemon Loaf, please leave me a comment below sharing how you liked this recipe! And if you take a picture of your yummy loaf and share it on Instagram, please make sure to tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka, so I won’t miss your post! Happy baking!
Vegan Lemon CakeAuthor:
You do not have a fitting cake pan at hand right now? Try my Cake Pan Conversion Calculator!
Vegan Lemon Cake
- ½ cup (120 ml) non-dairy milk
- ½ cup (120 g) non-dairy yogurt or sub more milk
- 1 lemon ¼ cup juice + 1-2 tbsp zest
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour (*see notes)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
- ½ cup (125 ml) canola oil or other neutral oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (100 g) strawberries (fresh or frozen) you’ll need 1-2 tbsp strawberry juice, or use only lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp (1 tbsp) lemon juice
- 1 ⅓ cup (150 g) powdered sugar
Note: For the best results, I recommend measuring the ingredients in grams. Also, make sure to check the step-by-step pictures + vegan baking tips above!
Vegan Lemon Cake
- Preheat your oven to 355˚F (180˚C). Grease and line an 8.5-inch loaf pan.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Then, whisk in the sugar to combine. Set aside.
- Add the non-dairy milk, non-dairy yogurt, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract to a measuring cup and stir to combine. Then pour it into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. (Please do not overmix, or your lemon cake will be dense).
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing out evenly. Gently, tap the pan a few times on your work surface to remove any air bubbles and level out the top.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of your cake comes out clean. (If it gets too brown during baking, cover loosely with a piece of parchment paper).
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, then remove onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- Place the chopped strawberries in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they have become soft enough to mash, about 2-3 minutes. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl and push the strawberry puree though, leaving any seeds/large chunks behind. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the strawberry juice (you can use the rest as a topping for pancakes, waffles, or enjoy with non-dairy yogurt). Allow to cool completely before using it.
- Stir together the powdered sugar, strawberry juice, and lemon juice until a smooth paste forms. (If it's too thick, add more lemon juice. If it's too watery, add more powdered sugar).
- Pour the glaze over your cooled lemon cake.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Flour: To make this lemon cake gluten-free, I recommend using a gluten-free flour blend 1:1. If using a heavier flour, such as whole wheat flour, your cake won’t get as fluffy and soft as when using a lighter flour. Also, please make sure to adjust the liquid as needed, because different flours absorb different amounts of liquid.
- The baking time may vary, depending on your oven or pan or if you cover the cake during baking. So please make sure to do a cake test before removing it! Also, remember the longer you bake the cake, the crumblier it gets. So try to avoid overbaking if you want a moist cake.
- Please read my blogpost for storage and freezing instructions + helpful tips on making the perfect vegan cake!
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