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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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!
Paul Blunden's picture
Paul Blunden
27th Aug, 2018
this is a very good recipe I loved it!
18th Jun, 2018
This recipe was useful for visiting vegans, they loved it. The texture was dense and it needed an extra 15 minutes on the time. It rose beautifully, the colour was a little pale but you couldn't see this once it was iced. Left overs were heated in the microwave for 20 seconds and served with cream for a very nice pudding. I used a 2 lb loaf tin with baking parchment liner. There's no way it would fit in a 1lb tin! The recipe says it serves 12, as the texture is dense you would only need a small piece really but 12 would be stretching it a bit!
30th May, 2018
I made individual small cakes which needed approx. 10 minutes baking time. Topped with wafer daisies, they looked really pretty and disappeared very quickly! Made 22 small cakes. The next batch I make i’ll freeze without icing, then defrost and ice before serving.
Roz Chan's picture
Roz Chan
12th May, 2018
Hmm, not to sure with this. I thought it too dense and flavourless. Of course it tasted lemony and I used 2 of them but could have also used a few drops of vanilla to make up for lack of butter flavour and egg richness...a miss for me! I cut a slice and threw the rest in the bin...
28th Apr, 2018
it was ok i guess, it was kinda flavorless. the glaze saved it, but maybe there should've been an egg replacement instead of the complete removal of them; the cake turned out very thicc and dense. it was fine i suppose but not the best. i'd rather eat an absolute walnut.
2nd Apr, 2018
Followed the recipe as it is, and the cake disappeared in 10 minutes, polished off by 5 people. :D


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