This is the easiest BEST Vegan Lemon Cake you will ever make! It is only 6 ingredients and takes just 10 minutes prep time. It is incredibly light, fluffy, moist and amazingly, delicious! Oil-free, no oil or vegan butter!
EASY VEGAN LEMON CAKE
This vegan lemon cake is seriously one of the yummiest cakes I’ve EVER TASTED in my life! And bonus, it also happens to be the easiest. My husband practically inhaled this cake. Lemon is his favorite dessert flavor, but I’ve shared before how he doesn’t like cake. Well, he couldn’t keep his hands off of this one! This cake is for those who want a back-to-basics straight forward cake with no-fuss, odd ingredients or any difficulty.
Due to several of you writing me asking for extremely simple and basic ingredients in a cake, I created the easiest cake I’ve ever created. It took me 3 trials to get the texture just right, but friends, it is SO light, so fluffy and amazingly, delicious! And talk about easy, only 6 ingredients and it’s also oil-free, but doesn’t taste oil-free I promise. It’s moist, buttery and fantastic! With the glaze, it’s only 8 ingredients total! How is that for an easy vegan lemon cake??
This vegan lemon cake is for those who don’t mind using regular white flour and white sugar. I totally get it if you don’t! I rarely use those either, as most of you know. 90% of the recipes I write, I use gluten-free or healthier flours and healthier sweeteners, but this is not one of those times. My Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes use white flour and white sugar and are one of my most popular desserts, so there’s still enough of you all who love the super simple ingredients.
SO in other words, this is not the cake to want to try to make healthier, there are too many of those options already on my blog, so if you don’t mind a little white flour or white sugar on a special occasion, then make it as is and enjoy how delicious it is! For those wanting a healthier lemon cake, try my Healthy Vegan Lemon Cake instead! And for those of you who DO need gluten-free, make my Vegan Gluten-free Lemon Cake instead!
- Regular white all-purpose flour
- Fine regular granulated white sugar: Do not sub this with another sweetener or coconut sugar, it will not taste like a lemon cake then or have the right texture! If it’s super important to you, make sure the sugar you buy is vegan, as not all are vegan. Wholesome sweeteners is a vegan brand.
- Baking powder
- Full-fat coconut milk: THIS cannot be subbed, it replaces all oil/butter and is what makes the cake light and moist, it leaves NO coconut taste whatsoever. If you are allergic to coconut, you will just have to skip this recipe, as it will not work without the milk.
- Fresh lemon juice and zest
- Vanilla extract
- For the glaze: Additionally, powdered sugar and yogurt
HOW TO MAKE EASY VEGAN LEMON CAKE
Step 1: Now this step is VERY important to the cake end result. First, make sure you are using a fresh can of room temperature, NOT COLD, full-fat coconut milk. With full-fat coconut milk, the coconut cream will separate from the water in the can. You MUST scrape out all of the water and cream from the can into a blender or another bowl and either blend it until smooth or whisk very well until completely smooth and mixed. If you do not do this first, you run the high risk of either getting too much cream or too much water and not the right mixed combo of each, will be really affect the cake’s texture. After it’s mixed and smooth, then measure the correct amount of milk needed for the cake.
Step 2: Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until mixed.
Step 3: Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, zest and vanilla to a separate bowl and mix.
Step 4: Pour the liquids over the dry and gently whisk or stir with a large spoon until moistened and mixed, being very careful not to overmix. The batter will be quite thick, do not be tempted to add more milk! Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth out.
Step 5: Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are golden brown and have pulled away from the dish.
Step 6: Glaze and add extra lemon zest for presentation. Let the glaze firm up a bit and then cut and serve!
HOW TO STORE THIS CAKE
This vegan lemon cake is best stored at room temperature covered with foil. I just keep the slices in the same dish it was baked in. It stays fresh and moist for the first 2 days (although best the day made), but by the 3rd day, it starts to dry out some.
MORE VEGAN CAKE RECIPES
- Easy Vegan Vanilla Cake (7 Ingredients!)
- Vegan Gluten-free Funfetti Birthday Cake
- Vegan White Wedding Cake
- Vegan Gluten-free and Grain-free Vanilla Cake
- Vegan Almond Butter Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cake
- Vegan Pumpkin Cake
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Easy Vegan Lemon Cake
- 1 3/4 cups (224g) regular white all-purpose flour (this flour is crucial to this cake) SEE NOTES BELOW for GF
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (170g) fine granulated white sugar (SEE NOTES)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (210g) ROOM TEMPERATURE full-fat coconut milk (THIS cannot be subbed, it replaces all oil/butter and is what makes the cake light and moist, it leaves NO coconut taste) I like Thai Kitchen and Taste of Thai brands, both work great here. DO NOT use the Polar brand, it is all stabilizers and additives and not pure coconut milk.
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (37g) fresh lemon juice PLUS the zest of a lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (152g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15g) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15g) non-dairy yogurt (plain or vanilla) This gives a nice tang, but if you don't have it, add 1/2 tablespoon of any creamy milk instead.
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- I always recommend to use a scale for accuracy when baking, following MY gram weights listed, since we all measure differently. This greatly improves your chance for success and lessons room for error. You never need cups or to compare them to the weights, just use the scale and bowl and make sure to zero out in between each ingredient. My recipes are 100% tested specifically using my exact weights and your results will turn out as mine are pictured this way. SEE NOTES at bottom if you don't have a scale.
- I use this scale.
- Now this step is VERY important to the cake end result. First, make sure you are using a fresh can of room temperature, NOT COLD, full-fat coconut milk. With full-fat coconut milk, the coconut cream will separate from the water in the can. You need to scrape out all of the water and cream from the can into a blender or another bowl and either blend it until smooth or whisk very well until completely smooth and mixed (see post pics). If you do not do this first, you run the high risk of either getting too much cream or too much water and not the right mixed combo of each, will be really affect the cake's texture. Please do not skip doing this! Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and lightly grease an 8x8 square stone baking dish. Wipe off any excess runny oil. Stone is best for a soft cake around the edges, but if you don't have one, use glass or metal, just keep an eye, as the edges will cook a bit more in these types of pans.
- To a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk well until mixed. Set aside.
- After you have premixed the coconut milk (from step 1), add the 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (210 grams) to a separate bowl (weighing for best results), then add the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Whisk to mix and pour over the dry ingredients.
- Mix the batter with a large spoon and fold in the flour, gently, from the edges of the bowl into the batter. Don't overmix. Mix until just moistened and no flour is visible. The batter will be THICK. It will seem too dry at first, but as you mix and it gets moistened, it will loosen up a bit into more of a softer batter, however, the batter will be thick. DO NOT be tempted to add more liquid or you will not get the correct, light and fluffy texture you see in the pics (or the video I shared of me making it on social media). If you weighed/measured everything correctly, your cake batter will be thick and that is correct.
- Scrape all of the cake batter into the greased dish and spread out evenly and flat with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out completely clean. The edges should be golden and slightly pulled away from the edges. Set to cool for 45 minutes or more before adding the glaze. The cake should be cool before glazing.
- This cake is SO good on it's own, but the glaze does add another layer of moisture and the lemon flavor is MUCH more pronounced with the glaze! BUT to save on the sugar, you can do just half the glaze and drizzle it over the top instead, if desired. Add the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk for a few minutes until it's completely smooth and no lumps remain.
- Pour all of the glaze over the center of the cooled cake. Use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula and spread it out evenly all over the cake. Zest some more lemon over the top for presentation and extra zing of flavor. Let the glaze firm up a bit (15 minutes or so) and then slice and serve.
- MEASURING FLOUR: As you know, I always recommend a scale for the best results, following my weights listed, but if you don't have a scale or really do not want to get one, make sure to measure your flour this way: Place the cup on the counter and spoon the flour from the bag into the cup, filling it all up, overflowing a bit and then take a butter knife and level it off. Measure the 1 cup this way and the 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup (for the 1 3/4 cup total) but since you won't be using a scale, by measuring with this spoon method, you will need 1 additional tablespoon of flour to equal the 224 grams. I tested this spooning method myself and this was exactly how I arrived to 224 grams that you need for the recipe.
- Keep in mind, that even with measuring cups, they themselves can vary. This is also why some readers will have variances in weights when they try to compare, so just follow my weights listed.
- SIMPLE CAKE: This cake is for those who just want a very simple cake with very basic, regular ingredients. It is not meant to be one of my standard healthier flours and sweeteners I usually use in recipes. This isn't the cake to change all the ingredients. I have plenty of other healthy recipes on the blog if you want a healthier cake! Try this Healthy Vegan Lemon Cake if you don't want to use white flour or sugar. It is low-fat and whole grain.
- SUGAR: This amount was JUST enough of the perfect sweetness to counteract sourness, it is lightly sweetened. I advise against subbing this with coconut sugar or another sugar, it will overpower the lemon flavor that way and change the cake.
- GLUTEN-FREE: Here is the gluten-free version of this cake!