A vegan lemon cake loaf cut into slices

Vegan lemon cake

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(185 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus cooling


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
  • Dairy-free
  • Egg-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: Per serving

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


  • 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



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

For the icing

  • 150g icing sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced



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


  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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3rd Apr, 2020
Can't believe how easy this cake was to make and how delicious it is! I increased the lemon as we like lots of lemoniness but the recipe is surprisingly great.
31st Mar, 2020
This is a super easy and reliable recipe! It's so delicious and the light sponge melts in your mouth. My partner had never made a successful cake until I gave him this recipe to try. As with any lemon cake recipe, ADD EXTRA LEMON. I swap out some of the water for extra lemon juice and add more zest. Cooking time is very dependent on your oven. My mum has to bake hers for around 40 minutes but it takes slightly less than suggested for my oven. Not sure why other people are complaining cooking times. Just do a skewer test!
7th Mar, 2020
Love this recipe, second time better than the 1st. Would say especially to previous comment always do skewer test first and cooked for 35 mins. Def a keeper!
5th Mar, 2020
I didn't read comments before I made it. Was excited when it had risen. After 30 mins I opened oven and it collapsed. Liquid in the centre. Needs much longer. I don't understand why that hasn't been adjusted in recipe. Frustrating.
8th Mar, 2020
same with me...needs longer in oven. Was amusing for friends however
Tatiana Viegas's picture
Tatiana Viegas
24th Nov, 2019
I have lost count how many times I have done this cake, always come out amazingly! So simple and quick to make! Just make sure you don’t forget to add the water as it is not listed in the ingredients but it says to add in the “method”. It seems that a lot of people forget to add the water. I would suggest BBCgoodFood to just add the water together with all of the other ingredients. Once I have excluded the lemon and replaced the sugar with coconut sugar instead and it come out like caramel flavour everyone loved it. When I need to do a quick cake or cupcakes this is the recipe that I always use :) !
Bethan Lygo's picture
Bethan Lygo
2nd Nov, 2019
Needed longer to bake than the recipe said. Was absolutely lovely though. Added extra lemon. Tasted fantastic!!
Susan Tate's picture
Susan Tate
1st Nov, 2019
Waaaay too much sugar, not nice!!!
22nd Oct, 2019
I tried this recipe for a vegan friend. So easy and even more delicious. I make it regularly because I have a lemon tree in the garden and it comes out perfectly every time. 10/10.
Tricia Moynihan's picture
Tricia Moynihan
22nd Sep, 2019
As others have said, there was too much mix for the 1lb loaf tin, however I would stick to using that size, but put some mix into cup cake papers, as it’s not a massive amount over. Instead of the icing, I used the topping from a regular lemon drizzle cake on this site, and it is delicious. I’ll certainly be making it again.


14th Sep, 2017
If you use coconut oil, what volume ( once it is liquid - or do you use it non liquid) thanks.
27th Apr, 2018
Hello marie, i think you could measure it at a room temperature state
2nd Jul, 2017
Does this cake freeze well?
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!
20th Dec, 2017
I have never had that problem with this cake :)
10th Jan, 2018
How much vegetable oil goes into the cake? I am assuming this has been missed off?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Jan, 2018
Thanks for your question. It's 100ml, you use extra to grease the tin.


Gracie's Mum
9th Feb, 2017
19th Jan, 2018
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.


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