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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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.
25th Sep, 2018
Add more zest and juice for more flavour. I added the zest of one lemon to the icing as the cake itself wasn’t lemony enough. Next time I’ll also add more juice to the cake mixture in place of the water. I also didn’t line the tin which I will do next time - half stayed in the tin when I turned it out. Lovely cake otherwise - moist and the non-vegans loved it!
Tamara Hallett-Miller's picture
Tamara Hallett-...
25th Sep, 2018
I make this quite often, it’s a quick, easy and tasty cake. People can’t tell that it’s vegan so it absolutely stands up to non vegan lemon cakes. I tend to use an extra lemon for heating and half a lemon or so (depending on size) for juice. I also make it into a lemon drizzle 50:50 lemon and sugar heated in a pan into a syrup, poke holes all over the cake and pour it over when the cake is still warm.
17th Sep, 2018
Brilliant recipe. Super easy. Stands up to non-vegan bakes. I chose to add a teaspoon of vanilla essence to add a little more sweetness in the cake itself, following reading some of the reviews!
Nick Goult's picture
Nick Goult
29th Aug, 2018
This is an excellent cake recipe, everyone liked it. One of the best vegan cakes I have ever made!


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