A vegan lemon cake loaf cut into slices

Vegan lemon cake

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(116 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
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  • 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 fruits…

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 fruits…


  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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Chloe's picture
12th Jul, 2019
Love this vegan lemon cake - my gran baked it for my birthday and it was delicious. I've since made it with pink grapefruit instead of lemon for a bake sale and it was so good people have been asking me for the recipe ever since!
missrosewilde's picture
29th Jun, 2019
Love this recipe! So simple and the cake is delicious. The first time I made this cake I used one lemon as the recipe says, was nice and lemony, second time I used two lemons and it was even better! If you’re using the juice of a whole lemon for the mixture you might want to add a little less water. I baked this in a fan oven (which I recommend) but I extended the cooking time to around 50 minutes.
Kara Wright's picture
Kara Wright
20th Jun, 2019
I thought this cake was crumbly and lacked substance. It really needs eggs (either actual eggs or linseed) to help bind the ingredients and give it more density
17th Jun, 2019
Just delicious, I've made this cake at least 10 times!
7th Jun, 2019
I loved this cake! I made it in a silicone loaf 'tin' and the cooking times were spot on. My colleagues loved it. You would not know this cake did not contain eggs or butter unless someone told you. Beautifully light and fluffy, I can't wait to make it again.
Angela Hennel's picture
Angela Hennel
19th May, 2019
I was looking for both egg-free and vegan baking recipes to feed a crowd that includes mostly non-vegans. This one is lovely - I made 12 large cupcakes from the recipe, I have no idea how long I left them in the oven for but they turned light brown on top before I took them out of the oven.They are light, lemony, and delicious.The bonus is it's a quick and easy recipe that requires no special ingredients.
Jen Gray
5th May, 2019
I’ve just made this, but with orange rather than lemon (didn’t have a lemon!). I’m not a regular baker, but this was easy and tastes great. Could probably have used a bit more orange juice & zest, but it rose, is moist, and tastes lovely.
20th Mar, 2019
This is one of my favourite cakes to make! My whole family, where the majority aren't vegan, love it too! I always cook for a little longer than the recommended 30 minutes. I tend to leave it in the oven for the full 30 then cover in foil (so the inside continues to cook without the outside burning) and stick it back in for another 15 minutes or so. I also use a full lemon for the cake mixture and add some lemon juice too to make it extra lemon-y! I've also found that after numerous times of baking, rapeseed oil tends to help the cake bake and taste better.
17th Mar, 2019
A really lovely, light lemony cake. I doubled the ingredients and made two. They rose beautifully in the oven, although I did cook them for longer than the recommended time. Both cakes were eaten as soon as they were cool. I would definitely make again.
A Shah's picture
A Shah
11th Feb, 2019
I just tried this cake over the weekend. Mixture was lovely but cake did not rise.. I am disappointed. Checked all ingredients and quantity..am I missing something? Also cake tasted like lemon marmalade.


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.


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