This vegan lemon cake with velvety lemon buttercream frosting is moist and fluffy and will make all your lemon cake dreams come true!
This vegan lemon cake is pure lemony perfection!
Jaye was saying it’s exactly like the lemon cake his grandmother used to make! Which is high praise considering his grandmother was quite the chef.
The recipe is based on our vegan vanilla cake, with lots of lemon flavor added in via lemon zest and lemon extract and of course, a delicious lemon buttercream frosting and lots of lemon zest as decoration.
It’s super easy, and will happily fulfil all your lemon cake dreams!
When looking around the web at lemon cakes in general, I saw a lot of lemon loaf cakes.
But that isn’t what comes to my mind when I think of a lemon cake, to me a lemon cake is a lemon layer cake, and a lemon loaf cake or a lemon pound cake is the loaf cake. Anyway, just saying because I hope you didn’t come to this page hoping for a loaf cake.
If you did, well don’t worry, we also have a gorgeous vegan lemon pound cake.
I went with two 8-inch cake pans for this cake. The layers are really fat and beautiful. This cake also works perfectly in 9-inch cake pans.
I didn’t use a flax egg in this cake, which I also don’t use in my vanilla cake recipe that I based this recipe on. I don’t find I need it in this recipe and I don’t want it to affect the color.
In light colored cakes, a flax egg can affect the color leading it to look a bit spotty, so in this case it’s best to leave it out.
So there isn’t any specific egg replacer in this recipe, unless you count the baking soda/vinegar combination, which definitely acts together to create some crucial baking science that causes the cake to rise beautifully. It all just works.
You can use a gluten-free all purpose flour blend to replace the regular flour in this recipe. If it comes out a bit dry (gluten-free flours can absorb more moisture) then increase the oil a little.
Yes you can. This recipe will make 18-24 cupcakes. Or for a perfect 12 cupcakes see our vegan lemon cupcakes recipe.
Sure you can, but the lemon flavor will be lessened quite a bit. I do recommend getting some lemon extract if you possibly can.
Storing and Freezing
Keep it stored in an airtight container at room temperature where it will stay gorgeous for a 3-4 days or keep it covered in the fridge where it will last for up to a week.
The cake is also freezer friendly for up to 3 months. You can freeze it either frosted or unfrosted. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
More Gorgeous Vegan Cakes
- Our vegan white cake is a classic 8-inch beauty which is pretty much a vanilla cake, just with attempts to make it even whiter in color.
- Our recipe for the best vegan chocolate cake can be made in either 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans and our easy vegan chocolate cake adapts well to multiple different cake pans.
- Our vegan banana cake can be made as a 9×13 sheet cake or a 2-layer 8-inch cake. It’s also topped with a delicious lemon frosting.
- Our vegan coffee cake isn’t just a cake to eat with your coffee, it’s actually a coffee flavored cake! Topped with a kahlua frosting it’s a real treat.
- Our vegan red velvet cake has a beautiful vibrant color and it’s perfect for special occasions and our vegan carrot cake is always very popular.
- Want to have an English tea? Make this delicious vegan Victoria sponge cake!
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Vegan Lemon Cake
For the Vegan Lemon Cake:
- 2 ⅔ cups All Purpose Flour (330g)
- 1 ½ cups White Granulated Sugar (300g)
- 1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ¾ tsp Salt
- 1 ½ cups Soy Milk (360ml) or other non-dairy milk
- ½ cup Canola Oil (120ml) or Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tbsp Distilled White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 tsp Lemon Extract
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Zest
For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
- 4 ½ cups Powdered Sugar (540g)
- ½ cup Vegan Butter (112g)
- 2 tsp Lemon Extract
- 3 ½ Tbsp Lemon Juice
- Lemon Zest
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray two 8-inch* cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Sift the all purpose flour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, baking soda and salt. Then add the soy milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon zest. Whisk with a hand whisk briefly until nicely combined and no big lumps remain. Don't overmix, tiny lumps are okay.
- Divide the batter between the two cake pans and place into the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the pans and place onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare your frosting by placing the powdered sugar, vegan butter and lemon extract and lemon juice* into the bowl of an electric mixer. Start off at slow speed, gradually increasing speed until thick and smooth.
- Frost the cooled cakes and decorate with lemon zest.
- Measure the flour correctly using the spoon and level method or by weighing it on a food scale. For the spoon and level method, spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level off the top with a knife. Don’t scoop it and don’t pack it into the cup.
- You can switch the canola oil for another vegetable oil if you prefer. We have made this with various oils including a light olive oil and it has come out great.
- 2 Tbsp of lemon zest is from about 2 lemons, but it does depend on the size of the lemons, if it’s a large lemon you might get 2 Tbsp worth of zest from 1 lemon.
- You might not need all the lemon juice in the frosting. I used all of it, but how much you need will largely depend on the brand of vegan butter you use. If you use a firmer type of vegan butter (lower water content) you will need more lemon juice, whereas if it’s more of a soft spread (higher water content) you may need less. So this will require a little flexibility.
- This cake recipe can also be made in 9-inch cake pans with no other changes. The layers will be slightly thinner, but perfect! The cooking time will be 25 minutes.