Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake
You’re going to love this vegan lemon drizzle cake! A moist, dairy-free sponge cake flavoured topped with lemon sugar drizzle and water icing.
I first created this recipe on a whim last summer. I had recently baked a lemon drizzle box cake mix and felt inspired to create my own.
I was pottering around the kitchen and threw some ingredients in a bowl, hoping it would make a delicious dairy-free lemon drizzle cake. And to my surprise, it did.
I actually shocked myself that it was that easy! Usually, when I’m experimenting with new recipes for the blog, it results in at least 1 or 2 failures first. And a lot of wasted time and ingredients.
But this recipe was so easy and foolproof that I believe anyone can make it! (Yes, even those of you who say you can’t bake!)
And the taste is absolutely perfect! It’s super moist inside but still has that airy, crumbly texture that you’d expect from a cake.
I amended my original recipe slightly to include some thicker icing on top. As much as I love it with just the drizzle, the texture of the icing and the sponge together tastes incredible!
Want more lemon drizzle recipes?
- Lemon drizzle cookies
- Mini lemon drizzle loaf cakes
- Lemon drizzle loaf cake
- Gluten-free lemon drizzle muffins
If you’re new to baking vegan desserts, you might be wondering how to bake lemon cake without eggs or dairy. But I promise you, it’s SO easy!
For this recipe, I simply used margarine butter instead of dairy margarine, and dairy-free milk instead of cow’s milk.
Making the cake fluffy without eggs
I had originally made this recipe using chia seeds as an egg replacer but I wasn’t completely happy with how the seeds affected the texture of the finished cake.
It was more chewy and less fluffy than I would like. So instead, I used some baking powder to help it rise more.
The baking powder gave the cake the leavening effect that eggs have, and coupled with the dairy-free milk, it added a lot of moisture without making the cake heavy or dense. This perfect pair is also great for helping the rest of the ingredients bind together so it’s not crumbly or dry.
How To Make Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake
The first step is to “cream” 200g (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) of dairy-free margarine and 200g (1 cup) of caster/superfine sugar together.
The term “cream” in baking basically means just to create lots of air between the butter and sugar.
All you need to do is smear the butter along the sides of the bowl with your spoon until the sugar is completely combined. It will be a pale yellow colour with a light and fluffy texture when done properly.
Because this is an eggless lemon drizzle cake recipe, I used a bit more fat (margarine) than usual. My go to brand is Vitalite. The consistency and flavour is exactly the same and none of my non-vegan family can tell the difference!
Next, fold in 225g (1 + 3/4 cups) of all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder. The easiest way to fold dry ingredients into a cake mix is by doing a figure of 8 with your spoon until everything is combined.
Folding the flour allows us to keep as much air in the cake as possible so it doesn’t come out dense once it’s baked.
It may be a little dry at this point so don’t worry if you can’t fully mix it all in.
Now add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 250ml (1 cup) of dairy-free milk. I recommend unsweetened soy milk for best results.
Mix until everything is well combined. You should end up with a smooth and creamy cake batter.
Add in the zest of 1 lemon and gently fold it into the cake batter.
Pour the mixture into a tin.
For this recipe, I used an 8×10-inch pan. If you use a different sized tin, you will need to adjust the ingredient quantities accordingly or the cake will come out under/overcooked.
Bake your cake for around 40 minutes.
It should come out a light golden brown colour. You can test if it’s ready by putting a toothpick or small knife into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.
If there’s still some cake mix on the toothpick/knife, pop the cake back in for a few minutes longer and repeat as necessary.
While the cake is baking, you can prepare your lemon drizzle mixture, which will be poured over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
To do this, you just need to mix the juice of 1/2 a lemon with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar.
Once your cake is finished baking, while it’s still in the tin and still hot, pour over the lemon drizzle mixture.
Once the cake has cooled completely, you can remove it from the tin and either place it on a wire rack or on a plate.
For the icing
You can totally miss this step out (the cake still will taste amazing) but I love the extra dimension the icing brings.
To make your icing, mix together 130g icing sugar (1 cup) and 2 tablespoons of cold water. It should be quite thick but still spreadable. If you like it extra lemony, use lemon juice instead of water.
Spread the icing over your cooled cake, top with some extra lemon zest if you like, and you’re done. The best lemon drizzle cake ever!
Want more vegan cake recipes? Try these!
Up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Yes, this recipe can be frozen with or without the icing. Either way, it’ll still taste great! If you freeze it without, you can just whip the icing up on the day, an hour or two before you want to serve it.
To freeze the cake, either place slices into an airtight container or freeze the whole cake on a lined baking tray. Once frozen, you can wrap it tightly in cling film or tin foil and return to the freezer.
To thaw the cake, transfer it to a plate and leave it at room temperature for 1-2 hours, until it’s soft and fluffy again.
Yes! You can switch out the flour for self-raising gluten-free flour. Check out my vegan gluten-free lemon drizzle cake post for exact quantities and instructions.
I hope you enjoy this dairy-free lemon drizzle cake. Let me know if you try it at home by leaving a review below or tagging me on Instagram @bakedbyclo!
Happy baking! xo
Vegan lemon drizzle cake
A deliciously moist eggless lemon drizzle cake that tastes just like the classic!
For the cake
- 200 g Caster sugar (1 cup)
- 200 g Vegan butter (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 225 g Plain flour (1 + 3/4 cups)
- 2 Teaspoons Baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon juice
- 250 ml Soy milk (1 cup)
- Zest of 1 lemon (save a little to top the cake with)
For the drizzle
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 Tablespoons Caster sugar
For the icing
- 130 g Icing sugar (1 cup)
- 2 Tablespoons Water (or lemon juice if you like it extra lemony!)
- Lemon zest, to garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C/325°F if using fan or convection oven). Line an 8×10-inch tin with baking paper.
Cream together the sugar and butter. Fold in the flour, baking powder, lemon juice and milk.
Add the lemon zest and fold it in gently.
Spoon the cake mix into the tin and bake for around 40 minutes until golden brown. A toothpick through the centre will come out clean when it's done.
While the cake is baking, make the drizzle by mixing together the lemon juice and sugar. Pour this over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, while it's still hot.
When the cake is completely cool, carefully remove it from the tin.
Prepare your icing by mixing the icing sugar and water together. Spoon it over the cooled cake and top with some lemon zest.
Leave the icing to harden for around 30 minutes or so, then cut into squares and enjoy!
- Soy milk works best but other plant-based milks will work too.
- The cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- You can make this cake in a 1lb loaf tin- just bake for an extra 5-10 minutes.
Tuesday 14th of March 2023
Hi Clo: I followed your step by step instructions for the vegan lemon drizzle cake. In Step 6, for the drizzle itself, the recipe says to mix the juice of 1 lemon with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. I did this and it made a very wet cake that I was unable to slice and use for my intended purpose (though I’ve frozen it and will use it instead as a pudding). I afterwards saw the list of ingredients given further down the page which says, for the drizzle, to use the juice of 1/2 a lemon (not 1 lemon as stated in Step 6). Anyway, I’m writing in the hope that this typo can be corrected so that nobody else is similarly disappointed! Thanks, Clo, and best wishes, Richard
Wednesday 15th of March 2023
Hi Richard. I am so sorry for this mistake and that you were unable to use your cake as intended. I have rectified the typo now. Thank you so much for letting me know and for being so kind. :)
Sunday 15th of January 2023
Hi Chloe, big fan of your recipes. Just one question. For some reason the batter turned out extremely watery. Any clue why that might be? I am always very exact with my measurements of ingredients and this is the first time it has happened to me. I'm still going to bake it and see what happens.
Sunday 15th of January 2023
Hey! The only two things I can think of would be either using too much milk or melting the butter rather than creaming. What kind of butter and milk did you use? Hope it turns out OK! Let me know :)
Wednesday 28th of September 2022
Thank you so much for this recipe, its my absolute favourite! I also use it for muffins and sometimes add raspberries or blueberries😍
Thursday 29th of September 2022
That sounds delicious! Thank you so much for your comment :)
Sunday 26th of June 2022
The whole family finished this in one day. It is such an amazing recipe! Thank you.
Sunday 26th of June 2022
So glad you enjoyed it Abbi! Thank you for your review :)
Wednesday 30th of March 2022
Why is there no salt in the cake batter?
Thursday 31st of March 2022
You can add salt if you like, I don't usually use it.