Vegan Lemon Cake


1 large lemon (juice and rind)

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

6 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. vinegar (Yep, vinegar, but I promise you, you won’t taste it.)

1 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°.

Put flour, sugar and baking soda into a mixing bowl. Mix them together fairly well.

Then grate all your lemon rind into a measuring cup. (I find this is lots easier using a large liquid measure. I just lay the grater over the liquid measure and the rind falls in.)

Then, take your already sorely abused lemon, cut it in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into your measuring cup.

Next add water to your rind and lemon juice until you have filled one cup.

Pour your lemon juice mixture into your bowl of dry ingredients.

Add oil.

Add vanilla.

Add vinegar.

Mix well.

Mixture will foam.

Pour into an ungreased 8 inch cake pan. Bake 25 minutes, or until cake bounces back a bit when you touch its center.

Ice with your favorite vanilla frosting.

I’ll be posting more of my recipes as Goldberryknits on eHow.  Here’s a link to my Vegan Lemon Cake post.

Comments 37

  • Thank you for this recipe. I’ve used it several times for my son with egg allergies, and we like it best with fresh blueberries added to the cake batter and sour lemon frosting on top.

  • I’ve decided I like this with more lemon. I use about 1/2 cup of lemon juice, which requires 2-3 large lemons. My friend also loves to make this recipe with limes instead of lemons.

  • […] While I slept Bren made a very yummy vegan lemon cake.  She found the recipe here by googling “vegan lemon cake”.  It is very light and absolutely delicious.  (I don’t know what other information is on this blog – we only looked at the recipe.) […]

  • great! i googled “vegan lemon cake” and this was the first recipe on the results. super easy and moist. i was happy to do something with the extra lemon i had laying around. i found one lemon to be perfect for my taste.

  • I made this cake today – doubled the recipe – with a vegan lemon curd center filling and coconut frosting with toasted coconut on top (the wide curls) and lemon curd drizzled on the sides. I topped it with fresh blue berries and a bit of powdered sugar. It never foamed when I mixed it (I only had rice vinegar?) but it came out like a nice moist lemon pound cake. Man o man it was great. Thanks!

  • This is a really good cake!! I made it a few times and my bf loved it.

  • Not sure how large your large lemons are, but this seemed like nowhere near enough liquid, so I added some soya milk and extra lemon juice as well. It wouldn’t have ‘poured’ into the cake tin as per instructions otherwise.
    I made a frosting with margarine, maple syrup, soya milk powder and icing sugar as well – yum!

  • my hony made this cake for me and it was extraordinary. thank you and bless you. Its great treats like this that make being Vegan easier.

  • excellent recipe and very easy to make..i participated in a competition in which my main ingredient was lemon.. i chose this recipe and made an eggless lemon cake with eggless lemon curd and lemon butter frosting..i came first in the competition…the cake came out really well..all lime n lemony!!thanks for the recipe

  • Such a lovely and easy recipe, I was a bit sceptical at first, I admit that I normaly go for recipes that come with pictures, but this one won me over! This cake is moist and yummy, I’ll serve this for tomorrows easter tea. Thank you!

  • This was super delicious! I used whole wheat flour and only used 1/2 cup of brown sugar. It was yummy!!!

  • I made this cake a few days ago and used more lemon juice and zest with the coconut shavings (roasted). Wow! Yum does not begin to explain how it tasted. I am going to make it again tonight with a vegan lemon curd filling. Can’t wait to see how that turns out. Thanks for a wonderfully simple and moist receipe.

  • Thanks for this fabulous recipe. It’s in the oven right now as 2 cakes to be layered with coconut-pumpkin butter in btwn. I substituted sugar with raw honey and amber agave. I am also using the meyer lemons that I just got from the farmers’ market.

  • I love this recipe. I use it as my default cake recipe despite the fact that neither I nor any of my family/friends are vegan. I made some VERY (i used about 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of juice) lemon and lime cupcakes for my wedding. they got rave reviews and no body believed they were butter, egg and milk free! I always have the ingredients for this in my cupboard. It is perfect!

  • woooowwww…. now this is simply awesome.. am a busy doctor who loves cooking. I hardly get time but today i loved making this lemon cake n its sinfully delicious.. and love u lots for such a lovely recipe.. keep posting more..

  • I just made this cake and followed the directions… it turned out really dense and the inside took longer to cook… is it supposed to be fluffy and light like a normal cake? because this certainly wasn’t.. do you have any idea what may have gone wrong? i did use a little more lemon juice ( a little less than 1/2 cup) but seeing as others have added more should it really make that big of a difference? tastes really surgery too.. i don’t understand why it didn’t work out.. hmmm

  • i’ve been experimenting with vegan baking recipes lately, and this cake is awesome! I found I didn’t need the vinegar, because I used two lemons.

    Also, I’ve found replacing some of the sugar with powdered juice mix makes an interesting taste.

    today I’m going to make this recipe into cupcakes using lemonade juice mix.

  • Just finished make it…LOVE IT! thank you, thank you

  • I’ve made this cake a few times now and every single time it has turned out great! If you use strong sunflower oil, it gives it a beautiful nutty flavour.

  • […] is a variation of a vegan cake recipe. I have reduced the total sugar content because my son (and plenty of others) can do without loads […]

  • Thanks for posting this. My last attempt at a vegan ‘lemon drizzle’ cake was disappointing. The (two)’lemons’ I used this time I am now certain are actually limes (mislabelled at the organic farmers market) So I’m going to follow some of the other advice here and do a lemon and coconut icing, which I hope will balance it out. The cake itself certainly looks moist but also light. I’m not sure if you’ve amended the recipe since people have had difficulty with the liquid amounts but for the record, if you follow the recipe it matters not how juicy the lemons are as you make the lemon juice and rind up to 1 cup with water. I popped my limes into the Rayburn for about 15 minutes, which increases the juice yield.

  • Hi, i am going to make this for my boyfriends mom who is allergic to dairy, eggs, and soy amung other things. From all of these comments, this looks like it will be wonderful! I was curious on how much this makes? Since i wanted to make this into cupcakes instead of a whole cake. And would you have a recipe for a nice blueberry drizzle to put on top (that is also free of the things ive mentioned) ?

  • hi,
    the lemon cake turned out very bitter, would you know why?
    thanks for your time.

  • to lc’s post on 2.6.11:
    I’m getting ready to make this soon.
    My guess on the bitterness would be that you probably accidentally got part of the white pith from under the zest added to the cake instead of just the zest. Since the recipe calls for rind, perhaps you included some of the white part underneath. I think if you try just the zest, you will get a non-bitter cake. That’s what I’m hoping when I make it. A friend recommended the recipe.

  • Thank you so much for this recipe!! I am a Cake decorator and I have a few clients who are allergic to eggs and dairy. I am always looking for new recipes to be able to provide them with the best!… I tried this lemon recipe by making cupcakes and they just came out so good and moist! I did add a little more lemon juice then what the recipe says (1 1/2 Large Lemons = 1/3cup) and it worked very good for me! Not too sweet, just perfect! And to give it a better look, I added a few drops of lemon yellow food coloring!! I was just amazed with how delicious they came out!! BTW…this recipe makes 12 cupcakes if filled 3/4 full each for 23 min!! I will most definitely recommend this recipe to all my friends and family!! Thanks a whole bunch!!…Myrna from Myrna’s Yummy Cakes!!

  • Just baked this cake, and it turned out wonderfully. It’s moist and spongey and tastes lovely! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe. Instead of a cake I made muffins, the lemon/water version and also a lemon/orange version and both came out perfect.

  • my cake stuck to the pan use a greased pan or have a
    struggle. but thank you.

  • i don’t think the vinegar is necessary. i was skeptical about having so much acid (vinegar AND lemons), but i followed the recipe. when it was combined it was extremely bubbly, so i whisked it for awhile to get bubbles out. despite that it overflowed and spilled all over my oven bottom, and when it was supposed to be done (20 minutes) the top was very browned, more than a cake should be. i thought it was over done. i let it cool ten minutes or so, then when i tried to pop it out of the pan onto my cooling rack, the crunchy top fell out leaving a mess of pudding in the bottom of the pan. this recipe was a disaster and i have no idea what i did wrong. i measured everything correctly, the oven temperature was right, the pan was on the center rack, and i’m baffled.

  • yum- i also made this with a vegan lemon curd filling/topping (2 cup soy milk, 1 cup water, 3T corn starch, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugan, 1 cup vegan butter, 1t rind, pinch of salt- boil on med/high until bubbly, reduce to low and whip a bit-then refrigerate), doubled it and topped it with blueberries. came out fantastic- for the cake i also doubled the lemon, and added more oil (around 1 1/4 cups). what a perfect use of winter lemons in AZ!!!

  • I tried this tonight…it didn’t rise much for some reason. It ended up being “too moist” … I don’t know what the deal is. It tasted fine though, just not cake-y.

  • I just found this and am looking forward to trying it. Many years ago, before I become vegan, I used to love a Lemon Loaf that my grandmother made. I’ve always wanted to find a nice vegan recipe for it. This looks like a good one. My grandmother’s recipe had chopped walnuts in the batter and when the loaf came out of the oven she would pour a glaze, make from the juice of one or two lemons, mixed with sugar, over the top, then let it cool. Wonderful! Very lemony. I’ve really missed it. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  • I needed a cake to make for my fathers birthday and since he’s a vegetarian, I was on the hunt for a good eggless cake. One of my friends recommended trying a lemon flavour, so I thought this would be a good recipe. I made it and it is TOO SWEET! I added more lime juice as suggested by others but the sweetness ovepowered everything! Will not be trying this out again 🙁

  • this was the BEST repeating my self THE BEST lemon cake ever
    im twelve years old and i made this for my church parish
    i couldnt stop getting complements
    wow i tried it later i almost cried
    it realy was good thanks for the awesome recipe

  • No need for the vinegar because the lemon juice adds acid to react with the soda. I make it with olive oil for an Italian classic. Next time I will mix the juice with plant mylk and let it sit to make it like buttermilk. There is a chocolate cake made with cocoa that is basically the same cake which is great. I bet orange would work, too.

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