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Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

You’re going to love this vegan lemon drizzle cake! It’s very moist but at the same time, light and airy. Just how good lemon cake should be!

two slices of lemon cake on plates

A Foolproof Recipe

I first created this recipe on a whim last summer.

I was pottering around the kitchen and threw some ingredients in a bowl, hoping it would make a delicious lemon drizzle cake.

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?

A square slice of cake with a yellow flower on top

If you’re new to baking vegan desserts, you might be wondering how to bake without eggs or dairy. But I promise you, it’s SO easy!

For this recipe, I simply used vegan butter instead of dairy butter, and plant-based 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I had originally made this recipe using chia seeds as an egg replacer but I wasn’t completely happy with how the seeds affected the texture of the finished cake.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 plant-based milk, it added a lot of moisture without making the cake dense.

This perfect pair is also great for helping the rest of the ingredients bind together!

How To Make Dairy-Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

Step 1:

The first step is to “cream” 200g (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) of butter and 200g (1 cup) of caster / superfine sugar together. I used a vegan butter replacement for this lemon drizzle cake which was a super simple switch. The consistency and flavour is exactly the same (none of my non-vegan family can tell the difference!).

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.

creaming the butter and sugar together in a bowl

Step 2: 

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 too 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.

Step 3:

Now add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 250ml (1 cup) of plant-based milk. 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.

lemon zest in bowl with cake batter waiting to be mixed

Step 4:

Pour the mixture into a tin.

For this recipe, I used an 8×10-inch pan. This is simply because you can squeeze more servings out of a rectangular pan than you can from a loaf tin!

Step 5:

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 bit longer and repeat as necessary.

cake batter in the baking tin

Step 6:

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 lemon with 2 tablespoons of superfine / caster sugar.

Step 7:

Once your cake is finished baking, while it’s still in the tin and still hot, pour over your 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.

Pouring lemon drizzle mix over the hot cake

Step 8:

Prepare your 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/powdered sugar (1 cup) and 2 tablespoons of cold water. It should be quite thick but still spreadable.

Step 9:

Spread the icing over your cooled cake, top with some extra lemon zest if you like, and you’re done.

The best lemon drizzle ever!

close up of lemon drizzle cake with icing

Want more vegan cake recipes? Try these!

FAQ:

How long will this cake last?

Up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Can I freeze it?

Yes, this recipe can be frozen!

It can be frozen with or without the icing. Either way, it’ll still taste great! If you freeze it without the icing, you can just whip it up on the day, an hour or so before you want to serve it.

You can either wrap the cake in freezer wrap or store it in slices in an airtight container.

To thaw the cake, transfer it to a plate and leave it at room temperature for around 2 hours, until it’s soft and fluffy again.

Can I make this cake gluten-free?

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.

slice of lemon drizzle cake with a spoonful of cake beside it

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know if you try it at home by leaving a review below or tagging me on Instagram @bakedbyclo!

Happy baking!

xo

slice of vegan lemon cake
4.87 from 29 votes
Print

Vegan lemon drizzle cake

A deliciously moist lemon drizzle cake that's vegan-friendly and tastes just like the classic!

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword dairy free lemon drizzle cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 People
Calories 215 kcal

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 200 g Caster sugar (1 cup)
  • 200 g Vegan butter (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 225 g All purpose 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 (optional)

  • 130 g Icing/powdered sugar (1 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • Lemon zest, to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C/325°F if using fan or convection oven). Line or grease an 8×10-inch pan.

  2. Cream together sugar and butter. Fold in the flour, baking powder, lemon juice, and milk. 

  3. Add the lemon zest and fold in gently. 

  4. Spoon the mixture into the pan and bake for around 40 minutes until golden brown. A toothpick/knife through the centre will come out clean when it's done.

  5. 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.

  6. When the cake is completely cool, remove it from the tin. Prepare your icing by mixing the icing sugar and water together.

  7. Spoon the icing over the cooled cake and top with additional lemon zest.

  8. Leave the icing to harden for around 30 minutes or so, then cut into squares and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • ***Sub any other plant-based milk.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan lemon drizzle cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Sodium 160mg7%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 18g75%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 2g4%
* All values are an estimate only and will vary depending on the food brands used.
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Recipe Rating




Jacqui Sandeman

Wednesday 16th of June 2021

I can't wait to get started, they all look fabulous, and quite straightforward

Chloe

Wednesday 16th of June 2021

Thank you so much Jacqui! Let me know if you need a hand with anything :)

Jacqui Sandeman

Wednesday 16th of June 2021

It's amazing how much Vegan Cakes etc you can bake.

Abigail @ OhMyVegan

Saturday 27th of March 2021

Really delicious recipe! It has a texture like a lemon brownie would have. Very moist and rich. It also lasts a long time before getting dry. Excellent recipe all around!

Chloe

Saturday 27th of March 2021

Thanks so much Abigail :)

Imogen

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Hi. I’m wondering if this recipe could be made with coconut oil as i don’t have any vegan butter? Thanks,Imogen

Chloe

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Hey Imogen! I don't really bake with coconut oil that often so I'm honestly not sure how it would turn out, sorry. I'd recommend using my vanilla sheet cake as the base for this recipe instead as that one is tried and tested with oil. If you don't have vegetable oil, that can be switched 1:1 for coconut oil if you don't mind the flavour. Hope that helps! xo

Cheri

Friday 14th of August 2020

Thank you for your prompt response! I look forward to letting you know how they turn out.

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