A vegan lemon cake loaf cut into slices

Vegan lemon cake

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(39 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus cooling

Easy

Serves 12

Try baking a vegan version of lemon cake. Light and zingy, it also works well if you replace the flour and baking powder with gluten-free alternatives

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal276
  • fat9g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars29g
  • fibre1g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.3g
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Ingredients

  • 100ml vegetable oil, plus extra for the tin
  • 275g self-raising flour
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1 lemon, zested, ½ juiced
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

For the icing

  • 150g icing sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Oil a 1lb loaf tin and line it with baking parchment. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and lemon zest in a bowl. Add the oil, lemon juice and 170ml cold water, then mix until smooth.

  2. Pour the mixture into the tin. Bake for 30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove and transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool fully.

  3. For the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Mix in just enough lemon juice to make an icing thick enough to pour over the loaf (if you make the icing too thin, it will just run off the cake).

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Comments, questions and tips

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hilaryys
11th Feb, 2018
1.3
Oh dear! Underbaked this and it developed a huge hole in the middle! Did the skewer test and it came out clean at 30 mins but clearly wasn't done. Would follow comments (wish I'd looked before!) and bake some more. I also would agree with those who made it more lemony. Made this for others but for myself will be going back to Mary Berry's lemon drizzle I'm afraid!
Julie Gage's picture
Julie Gage
10th Feb, 2018
Made this today for my allergy kids to have at grandmas and everyone loved it. It could have been more lemony but good texture. I substituted 50g of ground almonds in place of 50g SR flour. Also I cooked for about 45 mins at 160
Teresa Potter's picture
Teresa Potter
3rd Feb, 2018
5.05
Love this recipe. I do add extra zest to the mixture as it gives it more zing. I make this cake for the whole family, some if whom are not vegan, and they all love it.
graceh96
22nd Jan, 2018
0.05
Really simple to make and looks nice when baked. However the texture is quite doughy. Not as flavourful as I had hoped
lizbaines
15th Jan, 2018
0.05
Cake was absolutely awful. Bland and strange texture. I bake a lot but first attempt at vegan cake. Seemed so simple to make but really not at all pleasant. Very disappointed.
Kristen Jenkins's picture
Kristen Jenkins
13th Jan, 2018
My mixture came out thick like a cookie dough. Is this normal?
Mariaszaa
26th Jan, 2018
3.8
Make sure you measure exact amount of flour (best premium grade 00), u can try adding more lemon juice/water.
umapurohit
23rd Dec, 2017
Made it as per recipe, used Trex instead of oil So easy to make and tasted delicious!
katiesid
20th Dec, 2017
Yes, you can. Any flavourless oil works well.
isabellep
4th Dec, 2017
5.05
Best vegan lemon cake ever! In fact, best lemon cake!

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workingmum
11th Feb, 2018
I made this gluten free (for vegan and gluten intolerant colleagues) as per the suggestion in the magazine, by using Dove farm gluten free flour. My problem was that the oil and water seemed to separate during the baking and the cake turned out in two layers, a yellow layer on top and a white layer underneath. The top layer was ok, but the lower layer was dense and hard. Was this a problem caused by lack of gluten?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
12th Feb, 2018
We're sorry to hear the cake didn't work out for you. The lack of gluten should not have affected it in this way so we're wondering if perhaps the cake mixture wasn't thoroughly combined?
Kerry Kirby's picture
Kerry Kirby
6th Jan, 2018
Lovely recipe! Would I be able to substitute any of the lemon to make it a more vanilla Madeira cake? I love the Nigella traditional one but haven’t been able to find anything close vegan.
Asha Shasha's picture
Asha Shasha
22nd Dec, 2017
Can i substitute loaf tin to 22 cm square pan ?
Deeba Ashraf's picture
Deeba Ashraf
21st Dec, 2017
I have tried this recipe once before and it was great. Does it work well if you substitute limes for lemons?
Angela Henderson's picture
Angela Henderson
16th Dec, 2017
can I use sunflower oil instead of vegetable oil
mariemeldau
14th Sep, 2017
If you use coconut oil, what volume ( once it is liquid - or do you use it non liquid) thanks.
Sabeenabaker
2nd Jul, 2017
Does this cake freeze well?
zoekp
17th Jan, 2017
Does this cake go sticky at all? Every vegan cake I try and make goes back to looking like raw batter when it's touched!
katiesid
20th Dec, 2017
I have never had that problem with this cake :)

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Chlolou
28th Jan, 2018
3.8
Really yummy cake, it's worth adding the zest of 2-3 lemons and the juice of 1-2 for a more flavoursome cake, then making a drizzle with the juice of a lemon and 200g of icing sugar to keep the cake moist.
Paula Millard's picture
Paula Millard
20th Jan, 2018
5.05
Really easy recipe enjoyed by non vegans. Added lemon drizzle topping instead.
andy rich
3rd Oct, 2017
I used soda water and swapped the topping for lemon drizzle. The lemon drizzle was 110g sugar and three lemons.
Gracie's Mum
9th Feb, 2017
5.05
Zest of 2 lemons & i used coconut oil after reading an earlier comment & it was lovely. And so easy
Gracie's Mum
9th Feb, 2017
5.05
Lovely
llighton
19th Jan, 2018
2.55
Got the cake in the oven as I type. The tin size in the recipe is wrong - should be a 2lb loaf tin. Fortunately the baking paper seems to be holding the cake as it rises high above a 1lb tin.