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This vegan lemon cake is sweet, moist, fluffy, and it’s gluten-free! Plus it’s topped with a delicious easy lemon glaze icing that takes less than 1 minute to make!
This vegan lemon cake is dedicated to my late grandmother Betty Joe “Honey” Hoskins. Lemon Cake was one of her favorite desserts and I guarantee this vegan and gluten-free version will become yours as well!
Gluten-Free Vegan Baking Tip
Vegan Gluten-Free baking can be tricky so it is important to understand that, all gluten-free flours ARE NOT made equally.
The NUMBER ONE gluten-free flour I recommend for this recipe is Trader Joes or “Baker Joes” All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. This is the only one I’ve used for this recipe and it works EVERY TIME. With this flour, you won’t get a distasteful “rubbery” or “gummy” like texture that you might get if you used a different brand.
Bob Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour could work for this as well as it is popular to use in the vegan baking. However, I have not personally tried it with this recipe.
It’s my theory that the potato starch added in these brands is what makes them work so well in vegan gluten-free baking. Potato Starch helps lightens the texture and gives bakery goods an airy texture.
You can also try making your own with Minimalist Baker’s DIY Gluten-Free Flour Blend (yes it has potato starch).
Ways to Serve this Lemon Cake
- This makes for the perfect Easter Dessert.
- Serve as a lemon bread without the icing alongside fresh berries for a healthy snack.
- Again omit the icing and serve for breakfast spreading it with homemade Strawberry Chia Jam or Blackberry Jam!
How to Make Vegan Lemon Cake:
*Please read detailed and printable recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions.
Make Your Flaxseed “Egg”
- First, we are going to make the flaxseed egg. Add ground (not whole) flaxseeds to a bowl of aquafaba. Aquafaba is the liquid from can chickpeas. (Photos 1 & 2)
- Mix together until fully combined and set aside. The mixture will gel up to a thick “egg” like consistency. (Photos 3 & 4)
Assemble Your Dry Ingredients
- Add your flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder to a large bowl. Make sure your flour and baking powder measurements are “leveled” NOT “heaping.” (Photo 1 & 2)
- Grab a grater or zester (I use Microplane Zester) and grate your Myer Lemons over your bowl of dry ingredients. Make sure you do not “over zest.” Lightly mix together all ingredients. (Photo 3 & 4)
Assemble Your Wet Ingredients
- In a separate large bowl, mix together melted butter, plant-based milk, the juice from squeezed lemons, apple cider vinegar, lemon extract (opt), and flaxseed egg. Mix together until fully combined. (Photo 1 )
- Then you are going to add your wet batter to your dry batter. Mix until fully combine. (Photo 2 & 3)
- Grab a greased 9 x 5-inch pan pour your cake mix into it. Bake for 45 minutes. (Photo 4)
Make Your Lemon Glaze
- To make the glaze take a medium-size bowl and add powdered sugar and squeezed lemon juice. Whisked together until fully combined. (Photo 1 & 2)
- Spread over cool cake and allow to sit for a few minutes before slicing. (Photo 3 & 4)
SUBSTITUTION, BAKE, AND STORAGE TIPS:
- DO NOT over mix! This will make your cake extremely dense and very unappetizing.
- Use Meyer lemons if you can. You could use regular lemons too but Meyer lemons are juicer and sweeter than your everyday lemons.
- Use the recommend all-purpose gluten-free flours above. I cannot guarantee the success of this recipe with any other brand.
- Do not skip the aquafaba. Aquafaba is the liquid from can chickpeas and it acts like egg whites. This will help make your cake fluffy.
- Do not skip the apple cider vinegar. The acids in the vinegar will help activate the baking powder helping your cake rise.
- Storage. Will store at room temperature cover with foil or plastic wrap for 24 hours. It will keep in the refrigerator for 5 – 7 days and in the freezer for 2 months. Always reheat in the microwave when refrigerated for best taste.
How Does This Recipe Help With Vegan Weight Gain?
This vegan lemon cake has 45 grams of “Curvy Carbohydrates” per slice and healthy carbs are essential for healthy weight gain.
Because we used gluten-free flour, the flour is much easier to digest. It is a dessert however which can cause excessive weight gain if you overindulge. So enjoy it sparingly but not as part of your everyday meal plan.
How Does This Recipe Help With Vegan Weight Loss?
It’s not a weight loss recipe but there are some things you can do to make it more weight loss (waste/weight release friendly).
- Omit the use of icing to save on the calories from the extra sugar and instead serve with berries
- Use a sugar substitute like monk fruit or erythritol in baking the actual cake.
- Or you can keep this recipe as is a and simply treat this dessert as an occasional treat, not a weight loss meal. 😉
I think grandma Honey would be proud I was able to create a vegan lemon cake with success. This dessert would be great for an Easter celebration. Enjoy!
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS RECIPE
I love love love this cake! I’ve made it several times and it’s now my go to dessert to impress guests with! 😀 Thank you! big hug from Belgium X – Sophie Jans
I made this today and it was delicious!! Thank you! I felt like it was perfect amount of sweetness, not too much. And I loved the icing! Thanks for sharing! -Susan
Made it today in cake tin using regular flour and I also added some frozen red currant to the batter. Turned out great! Super fluffy and moist. – Veronika
MORE LEMON RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
OTHER GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN DESSERTS
Vegan Lemon Cake
“Flaxseed Egg” Ingredients
- 2 tablespoon ground flaxseed note 1
- 6 tablespoons aquafaba (the liquid from can chickpeas) note 2
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest (zest from 2 Meyer Lemons) note 4
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (Trader Joe's or Bob's Red Mill brand) note 5
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup plant-based milk (any non-dairy milk of your choice)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons squeeze lemon juice (from the 2 Meyer Lemons zested earlier) note 4
- ½ cup melted vegan butter (the sticks work best for baking…½ would be one stick)
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract optional
- 2 Flaxseed Eggs (made earlier)
Lemon Glaze Ingredients
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons squeeze lemon juice (preferably from 2 additional Meyer lemons) note 4
Make Your Flaxseed “Egg”
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grab a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and lightly grease it additional vegan butter. This helps the cake pop out easily once done.
- Grab a can of chickpeas and drain the liquid from beans into a medium plastic container.
- Measure out 6 tablespoons in a separate small bowl and add your ground flaxseed. Whisk together until fully combine and set aside. Mixture will thicken to an “egg” like consistency as it sits.
- Store the remainder of your aquafaba in the refrigerator or freezer for later use or you can discard it.
Assemble Your Dry Ingredients
- In a large mixing bowl add ALL your dry ingredients; all purpose gluten free flour, salt, organic cane sugar, and baking powder.
- Grab 2 Meyer lemons and grate over bowl of dry ingredients. ONLY zest the outer yellow skin part NOT the white pith to prevent bitterness added to your dessert. Lightly stiff together all ingredients.
Assemble Your Wet Ingredients
- From the 2 zested Meyer Lemons, squeeze lemon juice into a measuring cup making sure to remove any seeds. (Use a manual citrus squeezer for convenience.)
- In a separate large bowl add all your wet ingredients; plant based milk, apple cider vinegar, squeeze lemon juice, melted vegan butter, flaxseed “egg”, and lemon extract (optional). Whisk together until fully combined.
Putting it all Together
- Pour the wet batter into the dry batter (in that order).
- Stir until fully combined making sure NOT to over mix to prevent having a dense cake.
- Pour batter into greased pan 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and baked for 40 minutes until fully cooked through. You will know it’s done when you stick a toothpick through the cake and it comes up clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 mins. Then remove and transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool fully for 10 additional minutes before adding the icing.
Lemon Glaze Icing
- Grab a medium size bowl and add in powdered sugar and lemon juice.
- Whisked together until smooth and creamy. If you add to much lemon juice, the glaze will be too runny so 2 ½ tablespoons should be enough.
- Spread over pound cake and allow to set for a few minutes before cutting. Serve and enjoy!
- This cake will store at room temperature 24 hours, in the refrigerator for 5 – 7 days, and in the freezer for 2 months. Always reheat once refrigerated before serving for best taste.
- FLAXSEED EGG. You can use a store bought egg replacer instead of ground flaxseed.
- AQUAFABA. Do not omit this ingredient. Aquafaba helps make vegan baked goods moist and fluffy (especially in gluten free vegan baking).
- ADDITIONS & SUBSITITIONS. This could work with orange if you are not a fan of lemon. Also feel free to add blueberries or raspberries to your lemon cake to jazz it up!
- MEYER LEMONS. Meyer Lemons are juicer and sweeter than your every day lemons but if you can’t access them, just use whatever lemons you can find.
- GLUTEN FREE FLOUR. Trader Joes (The one I personally use for this recipe) or Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour is the ONLY ones I recommend for this recipe. If you are not gluten free, whole wheat flour or spelt flour will work for this
Update Notes: This post was originally published on March 15, 2018, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, recipe testimonials and a video March 30, 2020.
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