A vegan lemon cake loaf cut into slices

Vegan lemon cake

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(129 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…

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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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.
Carolyn Morris's picture
Carolyn Morris
28th Dec, 2018
Super easy recipe - we all enjoyed it. Light and fluffy. Now I know the recipe works it will be easy to adapt it - next time will do a drizzle topping. Will be definitely making it again. It does need an extra 10 -15 minutes in the oven.
Krys Jade's picture
Krys Jade
8th Dec, 2018
Delicious, soft, lemony and light! However, I would definitely agree you should add 15 mins to the baking time and be careful when cutting as it's not the most sturdy cake.
Montana Rose's picture
Montana Rose
3rd Dec, 2018
Lovely lemon cake, very quick to make, I added more lemon juice to the icing than suggested
23rd Nov, 2018
There’s an ingredient missing from this recipe, there’s not nearly enough wet ingrdients, I made the mix and it was a sandy mess, double checked I’d used the right amount and still the same problem
Kathryn Pugh's picture
Kathryn Pugh
28th Feb, 2019
I made the same mistake - in the method it tells you to add water to the mix but it isn't in the ingredients list
26th Sep, 2018
The cake is absolutely lovely. Instead of the zest I juiced 1 and a half lemons to put in the cake and it was so moist. Lovely. I also swapped out the water for soya milk and that worked very well. The only thing that doesn't work is the icing. Every time I've gone by this recipe the icing has curdled and been unusable. I have no idea why so I just stick for the traditional lemon-granulated sugar topping which is much nicer.


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