A vegan lemon cake loaf cut into slices

Vegan lemon cake

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(48 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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stonefruit
2nd Apr, 2018
5.05
Followed the recipe as it is, and the cake disappeared in 10 minutes, polished off by 5 people. :D
Andrew Harris's picture
Andrew Harris
17th Mar, 2018
5.05
such a brilliant recipe, have been making 2 a week for the partner since we discovered this - we have a lemon tree in the garden, so we are doubling and tripling up the lemons in the cake and in the icing, gets better with a lot more lemon
Deborah Sykes's picture
Deborah Sykes
13th Mar, 2018
5.05
I adjusted the recipe somewhat and it was much nicer than the original lemon cake. Made small loaf cakes. First I boiled a tangerine for 45 minutes in water to soften, blended it and, together with the grated rind of half an orange, added it to the mixture. Did not use lemon at all. I only used 225g SR flour replacing the other 50 grams with ground almonds. I used melted Trex and reduced the sugar to 150g. I used 25g of sugar and clementine juice to make a syrup which I poured over when cakes still warm. Cooked cakes for 15-20 mins. Decorated with dribbled orange icing. Made for a vegan friend. Great.
Jane Brown's picture
Jane Brown
14th Mar, 2018
Do you think this would work using lemon instead of clementine? I love Lemon Drizzle Cake and would like it to turn out similar.
Cole Kennedy's picture
Cole Kennedy
3rd Mar, 2018
3.8
Made this cake today for a bit of an indulgent treat - lemon cake is my absolute favourite - taste = 10/10 so follow the recipe, because it’s a taste sensation. Presentation = 3.5/10 haha! The cooking time of 30 mins I wouldn’t say is correct. I ended up opening oven after 30 mins to a slightly sunken middle and very soggy inner, so ended up putting it back in for a good 20-25 mins more which meant the inside was PERFECT but the outside very crunchy, which is of course tasty, but when you cut it it falls apart.. So if you’re not caring about presentation and want a delicious, easy and quick cake, then go for it!
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.

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cllewell
19th Mar, 2018
Do you think this recipe would work using yoghurt instead of oil? If so, how much would you use (the same weight for weight substitution - i.e. 100g for 100ml?) - I'm curious! Thanks for your help :)
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
19th Mar, 2018
Thanks for your question. Fats such as oil and butter help to create and maintain the lightness in a cake's texture. Yogurt as a substitute unfortunately will not work in this way.
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?

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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.