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Vegan Lemon Cake

5 from 10 votes

Try this soft homemade vegan lemon cake recipe, with ultra light and creamy plant based lemon frosting. It is an absolutely delightful dessert!

lemon cake

The best vegan lemon cake

This recipe is for all of you lemon dessert lovers.

The delightfully simple one bowl lemon cake is the ultimate classic dessert, perfect for any summer party or gathering.

It’s a naturally dairy free and vegan recipe, made with basic ingredients you can always keep on hand – no butter, and no eggs required!

You might also like this 100 Calorie Chocolate Cake

vegan lemon cake

I was having a conversation with my younger sister a few days ago about our favorite dessert flavors.

Mine are chocolate and peanut butter, which you can probably guess from how many of my recipes include them, such as the Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars, the Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie, this Peanut Butter Dip, or the Chocolate No Bake Cookies.

But my sister said she much prefers lemon desserts to chocolate. And I’ve come across quite a few of you who feel similarly.


After tasting this light-as-a-cloud vegan lemon cake with its irresistible lemon whipped cream frosting, even I contemplated transferring over to team Lemon.

A classic will always be in style.

(Unlike the male romper, which apparently is a thing now. Please, just no.)

Chocolate Covered Katie Cupcake Recipe

The recipe will also work as Vegan Lemon Cupcakes.

Follow the cake directions below, and bake in cupcake tins for seventeen minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a lemon cupcake comes out clean.

healthy lemon cake

Dairy free lemon cake ingredients

The recipe calls for lemon juice and lemon zest, pure vanilla extract, dairy free yogurt, spelt, white, or gluten free all purpose flour, sunflower, vegetable, or coconut oil, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar or a sugar free substitute, and water.

You can use your favorite frosting and stir in the zest of one lemon. Or beat together the creamy part of two cans of coconut milk (discard the watery part in the cans) with two teaspoons each of lemon juice and zest, and half a cup of powdered sugar or stevia to taste.

If you prefer to frost your lemon cake with a vegan cream cheese frosting, try the one included in my recipes for Vegan Cinnamon Rolls and Vegan Carrot Cake.

The Best Frosted Vegan Lemon Cake Recipe
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Vegan Lemon Cake

Try this homemade vegan lemon cake recipe for dessert, with light and creamy plant based lemon frosting.
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 1 – 2 cakes
5 from 10 votes


  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup yogurt, such as coconutmilk yogurt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 cups spelt, white, or gf ap flour
  • 3/4 tsp each: baking soda and salt
  • 1 cup sugar, unrefined or xylitol if desired
  • Optional Frosting: Beat together just the thick cream from two cans of coconut milk with 2 tsp lemon juice, pinch stevia or 6-8 tbsp powdered sugar, and 2 tsp lemon zest


  • *You can use any glaze or frosting recipe you wish. If using the one above, it's best to serve right after frosting. This makes two 8-inch cakes or one 9×13 cake. If you'd like a double-layer cake, simply stack one cake on top of the other.
    Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan or two 8-inch pans (round or square), and set aside. Whisk the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the flour until just evenly mixed, then stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan or pans. Bake 25 minutes or until cake has risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. This cake tastes ten times better the next day if you can wait!
    View Nutrition Facts


For a chocolate version, try this Vegan Chocolate Cake.

Have you made this recipe?

Tag @chocolatecoveredkatie on Instagram

More Lemon Desserts

The Ultimate Vegan Lemon Loaf Cake

Vegan Lemon Bread

Lemon Mousse

Cheesecake Vegan Easter Recipe

Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

Or this Keto Cheesecake Recipe

6 Ingredient Lemon Snowball Cookies

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Homemade Summer Fruit Sorbet

Lemon Sorbet

Published on May 18, 2017

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

Learn more about Katie

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  1. Juliette | Namastay Traveling says

    Lemon is by far my favorite cake flavor! And I’m craving for it more and more with this heat wave we’re getting. So glad I can have this healthy alternative! It will definitely be making an appearance at backyard bbqs this summer.

  2. Deb says

    Yummy, Katie! I will definitely be trying this one as I too lean toward “team lemon”!! Male rompers…how funny?!?!

    • Chocolate Covered Katie says

      Haha oh have you not seen them??? Articles about the male romper are taking over my facebook feed this week. I haven’t yet found a guy who likes the idea, and I kind of suspect the trend was invented by a media outlet hoping for a viral hit…

  3. Stephanie says

    Do you think I could sell about the oil for very well drained crushed pineapple? I would imagine it would be similar to replacing oil with applesauce. Thoughts?

      • Jason Sanford says

        Katie can only vouch for substitutions she’s tried, because there’s really no way of knowing how the texture and taste will be affected by swapping a fruit for a fat. But be sure to report back if you experiment!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Not sure about the taste, but subbing in a liquid sweetener for the sugar will alter the texture for sure.

  4. Christina says

    I love lemon desserts too! Could you do lemon pancakes or lemon overnight oats? That would be delicious and perfect for spring/summer.

  5. Kim Iverson says

    Wow. This looks delicious. My mom and I love lemon pie so this may be a close second if it goes over well. Also because it’s cake, haha. Might have to try this out soon.

  6. Becky says

    I love lemon. I love chocolate more, but lemon comes in second. I can’t wait to try this super easy recipe. It’s a great summer idea.

  7. Lir says

    Just tasted even without the frosting and couldn’t wait for tomorrow, delicious!!!
    (Was baked with 1/2 cup pure maple syrup instead 1/2 sugar )

  8. Ela says

    Wow your lemon cake looks incredible! Like you I am a big fan of everything chocolate and peanut butter but I also love lemon cakes and your “light-as-a-cloud lemon cake” recipe sounds so, so good. Thanks for this amazing recipe. 🙂

  9. Alison says

    I am cooking for a family member who has been diagnosed as diabetic type 2. By adapting recipes so he can have little things like this and his efforts exercising he has lost 70 pounds and has it under control without meds so I want to keep on with the recipes! My question is I try the frosting using two cartons of coconut cream but substituting sweetener for the sugar and it curdled badly. I have made this type of frosting before with sugar (pretty diagnosis!!) and never had this result. It was inedible. What have I done wrong – ideas anyone? BTW cream was not out of date ? PS male rompers went viral here in UK last year and I agree they are DREADFUL lol. Katie I love your recipes. So grateful for your hard work!

  10. April says

    I’m sure the taste will be good, but this cake did not rise at all! It was like two giant pancakes! The only thing that I did, possibly, different is using coconut oil word just said 1/3 cup oil. What did I do wrong?

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi, can you give more specifics about the ingredients used? It is impossible to try and guess what might have happened without more information since others weren’t there to see, but I’d like to help. What sugar, yogurt, flour, baking soda, etc did you use? Also what climate/elevation, and how old was the baking soda used (it can go bad)?

      • Ann says

        The same thing happened to me but after reading your comment, I realized I forgot the baking soda! ??‍♀️ Still tastes very good, though.

  11. Cassie Tran says

    I definitely would LOVE to try this cake! I’ll try subbing the oil for something else though, like white sweet potato or butternut squash! I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • Jason Sanford says

      In most recipes, you’d have to add something else besides flour as a binder, so there wouldn’t really be a one to one grain free mix for most baked good recipes. Almond flour sometimes works as a substitute, but it really depends on each individual recipe.

  12. Casie says

    When you say you can wait for the next day, where would you suggest I keep the cakes? Do you think in a container on the counter or in the fridge? Thanks!

    • CCK Media Team says

      Try very loosely covering (so some moisture can escape, ensuring it won’t get trapped and make the loaf gummy). It can stay out on the counter for a night, then we like to store it in the fridge after that for freshness.

  13. ACC says

    5 stars
    I made this into a round 2 layer cake with some changes. First, since I ran out of spelt flour, I wound using oat flour as well. I also used applesauce for the oil, and I used half a cup of maple syrup and 1/4 cup of xylitol for the sweetener and reduced the water by 1/4 cup. It was fantastic. For folks wanting to use less fat and no refined sugar, I recommend this. The oat flour was so good that I think I will try it with oat flour only next time.

    I wanted to keep it low-fat so I used a very low-fat frosting recipe made out of 1 1/3 cup Japanese sweet potato, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. It had an interesting texture and though I will enjoy this eating this cake, I would try a different frosting next time, though I’m not sure which one–just has to be yummy, low-fat, preferably refined sugar-free, and firm enough to not get too squished between the layers. If I figure one out I like a lot, I will try to remember to post here. Thank you very much for the recipe! I gave it 5 stars!

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