Fluffy, tender, and flavorful, this Vegan Lemon Loaf is delicious and easy to make. It’s a lemony, and sweet dessert that’s sure to impress.
- 2+⅓ cups (280g) (spooned and leveled or weighed) unbleached all purpose flour (see note 1)
- ¾ cup (150g) organic cane sugar (see note 2)
- ¾ tsp (3g) baking powder
- ½ tsp (4g) baking soda
- ¼ tsp (4g) sea salt
- ⅛ tsp (.5g) turmeric, optional (see note 3)
- ¾ cup (177mL) unsweetened non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup (59mL) fresh squeezed lemon juice (1-2 medium-large lemons)
- ⅓ cup (76g) coconut cream or softened vegan butter (see note 4)
- 1 tsp (5mL) lemon extract
- 1 tsp (2g) fresh lemon zest
- 1+½ cups (170g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) non-dairy milk (see note 5)
- 2-3 tsp (5-10 mL) lemon juice
- Note: This cake works well in a 1 pound loaf pan but would also work fine in a 9” round pan, or even in a 12 slot muffin pan. The baking time will vary depending. A loaf pan takes about an hour whereas the 9” round would take 30-40 minutes and the muffins take about 25-30 minutes.
- Prep: Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius) and lining a loaf pan with parchment paper so you have two flaps sticking out. Alternatively you can grease the pan with oil spray but I find it makes the cake a little greasy on the outside.
- Make the vegan buttermilk: In a small bowl or measuring cup (I prefer the measuring cup since it has a spout), stir the lemon juice and non-dairy milk together and let sit for a few minutes. It will separate--that’s good. Just give it a brief mix before pouring it into the mix later (I’ll tell you when).
- Mix the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the optional turmeric powder. I recommend running the turmeric (if using) through a small fine mesh strainer because if you get clumps in there it will show as bright orange spots on your finished cake. Ask me how I know.
- Mix in the wet ingredients: Now make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add the vegan buttermilk, coconut cream (or softened vegan butter), lemon extract, and lemon zest.
- Add to pan: Stir until combined (try not to over mix) and add the mixture to your lined pan. If using a muffin pan, divide the mixture up between the slots in your pan. Bang it gently but firmly on a hard surface a few times to shake out any air bubbles and place in the oven.
- Bake: Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and an inserted cake tester or long toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool: Remove the baked cake from the oven and let sit in the pan for about 15 minutes, then carefully remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely. It’s best to use the wire rack instead of a plate or counter. The plate or counter can collect moisture from the warm cake and cause it to be soggy or slogged on the bottom.
- If you want to ice it: If you’d like to add icing, add SIFTED organic powdered sugar, lemon juice, and non-dairy milk to a bowl and mix well to make a thick icing that you can spread on top of the completely cooled cake. If you’d rather do a glaze, make it runnier with more liquid. If you want the super tart lemon-y icing, use lemon juice and powdered sugar but no non-dairy milk. This is my preference but not the pictured cake since I had to test it both ways. The glaze can be added when the cake is still somewhat warm if you prefer, but a warm cake will melt icing so it’s just whatever you prefer.
- Store: Store the cake covered on the countertop for up to 4 days or freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
- Note 1: Please measure flour by weight, or spoon and level. Digging the flour cup into the bag packs more flour in and can mess up the recipe. If you still want to do it that way, go with around 1+¾ cups flour but it may not come out consistent. To make this gluten-free, use a good quality gluten-free replacement flour. I have good success with King Arthur Baking Company Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour.
- Note 2: If you’d like to use coconut sugar instead of cane sugar as it’s less refined, go right ahead. Use a 1:1 ratio. Keep in mind that the color may be darker.
- Note 3: It’s optional, but I add a tiny pinch of turmeric to give it a nice natural yellow color. You can’t taste the turmeric at all. I note in the instructions that I recommend using a small fine mesh strainer because clumps of turmeric in your batter may cause orange spots on your finished cake. They don’t taste weird, though, so if you don’t care how it looks then don’t worry about it.
- Note 4: To make this rich and fluffy, I am using coconut cream. The cake doesn’t taste like coconut. Softened vegan butter will also work, but if it’s salted I’d cut slightly back on the salt. If you’d like a lower fat cake, you can sub this with unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana.
- Note 5: If you’d prefer a more tart lemony flavor to your glaze, use just lemon juice and powdered sugar. It will be less opaque but much more lemony this way. That’s what I personally prefer, actually.
- Category: Dessert, Snack
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Can be Gluten-Free