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Sliced vegan lemon cake on a white cake stand.
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4.93 from 141 votes

Vegan Lemon Cake

This vegan lemon cake with velvety lemon buttercream frosting is moist and fluffy and will make all your lemon cake dreams come true!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 512kcal

Ingredients

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

For Decoration:

  • Lemon Zest

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 92.8g | Protein: 3.8g | Fat: 14.2g | Saturated Fat: 2.2g | Sodium: 400mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 69.5g