Go Back
Vegan lemon cupcakes topped with lemon frosting.
Print Recipe
4.99 from 56 votes

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

Light and fluffy vegan lemon cupcakes with a lemon buttercream frosting. Moist, packed with lemon flavor and super simple to make.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Baking, Cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 407kcal


  • 1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour (220g)
  • 1 cup White Granulated Sugar (200g)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Soy Milk (240ml) or other non-dairy milk
  • cup Canola Oil (80ml) or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Distilled White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest

Lemon Buttercream Frosting:

  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar (480g)
  • ½ cup Vegan Butter (112g)
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  • Sift all purpose flour into a mixing bowl and add white granulated sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix together.
  • Add soy milk, canola oil, white vinegar, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest. Mix into a batter. Don't overmix.
  • Divide the batter evenly between 12 cupcake liners.
  • Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • Prepare your frosting by adding the powdered sugar, vegan butter, lemon extract and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the bowl of your stand mixer. Start at slow speed and gradually increase speed until smooth and thick. If it's too thick, add the remaining lemon juice a drop at a time until you reach the right consistency.
  • When the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe on the frosting and serve.



  1. Measure the flour correctly. For the perfect light and fluffy cupcakes it's crucial that you don't accidentally use too much flour. So it's perfect if you weigh out your flour on a food scale. If you don't have a food scale though then the next best thing is to use the 'spoon and level' method. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level off the top with a knife. Don't scoop the flour and don't pack it into the cup.
  2. Lemon extract - this really pops the lemon flavor! If you can't get hold of it, you could just use lemon juice but it won't be nearly as flavorful.
  3. Lemon zest - we used 1 tablespoon of lemon zest in this recipe, which is usually what you'd get from 1 medium sized lemon.
  4. Don't overmix the batter. Mix it until just mixed and then stop mixing. Over-mixing can affect the texture and rise of your cupcakes.
  5. Bake right away. As soon as the batter has been divided between your cupcake liners, bake them right away. Letting the batter sit too long can also affect the texture and rise of your cupcakes.
  6. Gluten-free: To make these cupcakes gluten-free the best thing would be to use a gluten-free all purpose baking blend in place of the regular flour. 
  7. Storing and freezing: Keep them covered at room temperature where they will stay fresh for 2-3 days, or keep them in the fridge (covered) where they will last up to a week. They are also freezer friendly (frosted or unfrosted) for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.
  8. This recipe has been updated with new photos and extra tips but the recipe itself is the same. 


Serving: 1Cupcake | Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 260mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg