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Square photo of a slice of vegan lemon cake onto a dish

Vegan Lemon Cake

  • Author: Iosune
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Total: 45 mins
  • 12-16 1x
  • Desserts
  • American
  • Vegan

Servings 12-16 1x

Scale Tap or hover over number to scale servings

Vegan lemon cake, zesty, fluffy, and absolutely out of this world. It tastes so fresh and rich it’ll become your weekly treat!


For the vegan lemon cake:

  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk (240 ml), I used soy milk
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (375 g)
  • 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar (300 g)
  • 1 and ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 and ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup oil (120 ml), I used canola oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice (80 ml)

For the vegan lemon buttercream frosting:


For the vegan lemon cake: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF or 180ºC. Grease two 9-inch (23 cm) cake pans. I also line the bottoms with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Mix the plant milk and vinegar in a jar or bowl until well combined. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for at least 5 minutes. After this time, the milk will thicken and curdle.
  3. In the meantime, add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and mix until combined.
  4. Add the oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the plant milk and vinegar mixture. Stir until well combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. 
  6. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the oven.
  7. Let it cool for 15 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack and then let it cool completely before frosting. If you don’t have a cooling rack, just use a dish or what you have on hand.

For the vegan lemon buttercream frosting:

  1. Add the vegan butter to an electric mixer bowl and beat until light and fluffy. You could also use a regular large bowl and a hand mixer
  2. Then add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract, and beat once more.
  3. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup (120 g) at a time, and continue mixing until thick and creamy.
  4. If your frosting is too thick or crumbly, add a little bit of unsweetened plant milk (soy milk is my favorite one). If your frosting is too thin, just add more powdered sugar until it thickens.
  5. Frost the cake using an icing spatula or a butter knife, adding a thick layer between the top and bottom layers. 
  6. Slice your vegan lemon cake and serve. Ideally, refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes before serving, but this is optional.
  7. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 1 month, but in that case, freeze the cake without the frosting and frost it right before serving. 


  • You could also make cupcakes using this recipe. Just fill the liners 3/4 of the way full and bake for about 20-25 minutes. 
  • Feel free to use our vegan buttercream frosting, our vegan cream cheese frosting, or any other frosting instead.
  • Cut the recipe in half to make a 1 layer round cake. You can also omit the frosting for a healthier and simpler version.
  • If you don’t want thick layers of frosting, cut the frosting ingredients in half.
  • Feel free to use any type of plant milk, but soy milk is my favorite one for baking.
  • Use any kind of sugar, salt, and oil.
  • Prep time doesn’t include neither the time you need to wait while the cake is cooling down after baking nor the time you need to keep the cake in the fridge to firm up.


  • Serving Size: 1/16 of the recipe
  • Calories: 446
  • Sugar: 48.3 g
  • Sodium: 183.5 g
  • Fat: 18.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.57 g
  • Carbohydrates: 67.16 g
  • Fiber: 0.89 g
  • Protein: 2.9 g