This vegan lemon cake is moist, tender, and bursting with lemony flavor! Simple to make and perfect with a cup of tea.
Confession: I wasn’t super excited about making this vegan lemon cake. I made it for you guys! I know lots of people love lemon cakes and figured you’d all want a vegan version. Lemon isn’t my particular favorite, but I was willing to take one for the team.
But that was before I tasted it. Holy moly, this was one of the best cakes I’d ever had. Maybe I had just never had a really good lemon cake before. This cake, my friends, was all things good: tender, flavorful, and just sweet enough. And best of all, because it’s a simple bundt cake, it was pretty fuss-free. Yay!
What You’ll Need
- Non-dairy milk. Just about any variety that’s unflavored and unsweetened will work.
- Vegan yogurt. I used Silk almondmilk yogurt. Preferably use plain yogurt that’s unsweetened, though vanilla yogurt will work in a pinch.
- Lemon juice. You definitely want to use fresh squeezed for this recipe — it will give your cake the best flavor.
- Lemon extract.
- All-purpose flour. I haven’t tested the recipe with any other types of flour, so I can’t say if they’ll work.
- Baking soda.
- Baking powder.
- Vegan butter. You should be able to find this near the regular butter at your supermarket. Look for brands like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s. Make sure to bring it up to room temperature before getting started.
- Sugar. Use organic sugar to keep the recipe vegan.
- Vegan food coloring. This is totally optional — just use it if you want to add some yellow flavor to your cake. I used Watkin’s brand. You could also use a pinch of turmeric.
- Powdered sugar. You also want to make sure this is organic.
How to Make Vegan Lemon Cake
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this cake. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
- Stir your liquid ingredients together in a bowl or liquid measuring cup: milk, yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon extract. You can add the food coloring at this stage if you’d like, but I recommend holding off until the end so that you can have a look at the batter and decide if you need it (it’ll already be a bit yellow from the butter).
- Now whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Place the butter and sugar in another mixing bowl and beat them together until they’re fully combined.
- Begin adding the liquid mixture. Beat it in at low speed and add just a little at a time to prevent splashing!
- Continue beating in the liquid mixture until everything is blended.
- Now start adding the flour mixture, about a third at a time, beating in each addition before adding more.
- Continue beating the mixture just until a smooth batter is formed — it should only take about a minute. You can add some food coloring at this time if you’d like your cake to be a bit more yellow.
- Transfer the batter to an oiled and floured 10-inch bundt pan.
- Pop the pan in the oven and bake it until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. You can whip up the glaze in the meantime.
- You can use a knife to loosen the cake from the pan when it comes out of the oven, but wait until it’s completely cool before removing it from the pan and drizzling it with glaze.
Leftovers & Storage
Store any leftover vegan lemon cake in a sealed bag or container for up to 2 days at room temperature, up to a week in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
I haven’t tried making a gluten-free version, so I’m not sure. If you’d like to take a crack at it, try using an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.
I don’t recommend using regular whole wheat flour.
This is usually due to baking soda or powder that’s dated. Test your baking soda by sprinkling a small amount in a glass of vinegar. Do the same for baking powder, but using water. They both should fizz. If either doesn’t, it’s time to toss and replace it.
Most yellow food coloring is made from synthetic ingredients and does not contain animal products. To be safe, you may want to go with a product that’s specifically labelled as plant-based or vegan. A pinch of turmeric is also an option for adding yellow color to dishes like this.
Most regular supermarkets carry vegan yogurt either near the dairy-based yogurt, or in the natural foods section. If you can’t find it there, try a place like Whole Foods. Look for brands like Silk, Kite Hill, and So Delicious.
More Vegan Cake Recipes
Vegan Lemon Bundt Cake
- 1 cup unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk
- ⅓ cup unflavored and unsweetened vegan yogurt
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegan butter, brought up to room temperature
- 1 ¾ cup organic sugar
- ½ teaspoon yellow food color (optional)
For the Lemon Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
- Stir the milk, yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon extract together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer at high speed until blended.
- Begin beating the milk mixture into the butter mixture, adding a bit at a time and beating it at low speed to avoid splashing.
- Begin adding the flour mixture to the milk and butter mixture, about a third at a time, beating each addition in at high speed until fully incorporated.
- Add food coloring if desired, and continue beating the batter just until smooth, about 30 seconds to a minute.
- Transfer the batter to the bundt pan.
- Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Transfer the cake to a cooling rack. Loosen the sides from the pan with a knife, but leave the cake in the pan until it is completely cool.
- To make the glaze, stir the powdered sugar and lemon juice together in a medium bowl. Add some extra powdered sugar if it seems too thin, or some extra lemon juice if it seems too thick.
- When the cake has cooled, carefully remove it from the pan by inverting it onto a plate.
- Drizzle the cake with glaze.
- Slice and serve.