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Easy Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

 An easy vegan lemon drizzle cake baked in a loaf tin. It's light and fluffy with a wonderful lemon flavour.

vegan lemon drizzle cake

EASY VEGAN LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE


It took me quite a while to experiment and get this easy vegan lemon drizzle cake right.

I played with the amount of raising agent, the amount of oil, the oven temperature and the bake time.

I finally got it just right after making a few cakes.

It was well worth all the effort. It's light and fluffy and has a wonderful lemon flavour.

Best of all it's super easy to make.


Lemon cake in a loaf tin liner before it is iced

WHAT IS A LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE?


A lemon drizzle cake is usually a lemon cake that is drizzled with lemon icing or with sweetened lemon juice, once it is baked.

You either drizzle icing with a spoon or use a tooth-pick to prick holes in the cake before drizzling over a lemon juice and sugar mixture.

This cake uses the lemon icing drizzle method.

You may have seen cakes with larger holes poked in them. You use the handle end of a wooden spoon to make these holes and this is called a poke cake.

A poke cake is covered with a much thicker mixture like a ganache or buttercream, which is spread over the cake and fills the holes.

Lemon drizzle is a much more refined and delicate cake.


WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE VEGAN LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE


You need a few basic items and ingredients to make lemon drizzle cake.

EQUIPMENT TO MAKE LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE


  • JUG - or bowl for the wet ingredients
  • MIXING BOWL - for the dry ingredients
  • BOWL  - to mix the icing
  • SCALES OR MEASURING CUPS - to measure your ingredients
  • KNIFE - to cut the lemon
  • SPOON - to spoon in the ingredients, mix the icing and drizzle the icing
  • TEASPOON - to measure the baking powder
  • GRATER - to finely grate the lemon zest
  • SIEVE - to sift the flour
  • LOAF TIN - a 2 lb / 900g loaf tin
  • LOAF TIN LINER - or non-stick baking paper, cake release spray or oil to grease the tin
  • SPATULA - or large spoon to fold the wet and dry ingredients together
  • OVEN - to bake the cake
  • BAKING RACK - or rack from your grill pan/broiler to cool the cake on

LEMON CAKE INGREDIENTS


  • OAT MILK - or your regular milk
  • LEMON ZEST - finely grated
  • LEMON JUICE - freshly squeezed
  • VEGETABLE OIL - or any mild oil
  • FLOUR- plain, all purpose flour
  • SUGAR - caster or other fine sugar
  • BAKING POWDER - to help the cake rise
  • SALT - just a pinch

LEMON DRIZZLE INGREDIENTS


  • LEMON JUICE - freshly squeezed
  • ICING SUGAR - also known as confectioner's sugar


Vegan lemon cake on a white platter next to a vase of daffodils

DONT YOU NEED EGGS TO BAKE A CAKE?


No, you don't need eggs to bake a cake.

You don't need flax eggs either.

Flax eggs are a gloopy mixture that's used to replace regular eggs in vegan cakes. 

They work better in heavier fruit cakes or chocolate cakes.

They don't work well in light sponge cakes.


WHAT DO YOU USE IN A VEGAN SPONGE CAKE INSTEAD OF EGGS OR FLAX EGGS?



If you are making a dairy-free or vegan sponge cake, you rely on a chemical reaction to replace the eggs to help with the structure of the cake.

Either vinegar or lemon juice is used with a raising agent, which immediately start to react against each other and create a froth.

It is important once you add the wet ingredients (with the acid, either lemon juice or vinegar) to the dry ingredients (including the raising agent, either baking powder or bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking soda) you fold in quickly, pour it into the prepared tin and get it into the oven as soon as you can.

You want the majority of the chemical reaction to work in the oven, not the bowl.


A close up of sliced vegan lemon drizzle cake on a white ceramic platter

TIPS FOR MAKING LEMON ICING



Lemon icing is easy to make, but can easily go wrong.

When you add icing to a cake, it should be easy to spread and it should drip if you want a drizzle.

However, you don't want it to be too thin and you want it to stay white. 

If it is too thin, it will dry clear instead of white.

The trick is to add the lemon juice to the icing sugar a little at a time.

You will need much less than you initially think. 

If you keep stirring, it will miraculously turn into glossy white icing with barely any lemon juice for what seems like a lot of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar).

If it doesn't, just add a little more, don't go crazy.

Check out the recipe card below for my recipe.



HOW TO MAKE YELLOW ICING



If you use lemon juice to make lemon icing, it will taste lovely and zingy but will be white.

If you add some lemon zest, it will give you little speckles of yellow, but it will still be white icing.

To make the icing yellow you need good quality food colouring.



WHAT'S THE BEST TYPE OF FOOD COLOURING



The best food colouring to colour cakes or icing, is gel colouring.

Gel colours are strong, so you only need the smallest amount. 

A toothpick is a good tool for adding a little colouring at a time.

The trouble with liquid colours is you sometimes need to use a lot of it for strong colour and it can affect the flavour of the cake or icing you are colouring. 

That's why the gel colours are so good. You use the smallest amount and it doesn't taint the flavour.

Do make sure they are suitable for vegans. 

My latest gel colours are from PME. I bought a new set this week.


cake with sunken middle



WHAT CAN GO WRONG WHEN YOU ARE BAKING A CAKE?


While I was creating this recipe I had to adjust the recipe a few times to get it right. This is common when you are creating a cake from scratch, especially a vegan cake.

I knew what to adust and thought it might be useful to share tips with you.

My recipe has been fully tested now, and should always be gorgeously light and fluffy if you follow the instructions, but here are some general tips.


10 COMMON CAKE PROBLEMS


Here are 10 common cake problems and why they happen.

  1. CAKE SINKS WHILE IT COOLS 
    • This could be because you have too much raising agent, which causes it to rise too quickly, then it drops as it cools. 
    • A cake can also sink while it is cooling if it hasn't baked all the way through. If cake batter is uncooked in the middle it won't have the structure to hold the rise.
  2. CAKE DOESN'T RISE
    • Check how fresh your raising agent is. If it is old it may not be effective.
    • This can also happen if you knock the air out cake before it goes into the oven, if you drop it onto a surface or slam the oven door.
  3. CAKE IS TOO MOIST, MORE LIKE A PUDDING
    • Sounds like there is too much oil in the batter.
  4. CAKE IS DRY
    • It has probably been baked too long.
  5. CAKE IS DENSE AND RUBBERY 
    • If a cake is rubbery or dense the batter has been over-mixed. 
  6. CAKE HAS HOLES
    • If your cake has holes, it has probably been over whisked or whisked at too high speed.
  7. CAKE IS STUCK TO THE CAKE TIN LINER
    • This could mean you have used the wrong side of the baking paper (or parchment). Did you know there is usually one coated side, which is non-stick and one side that isn't?
  8. CAKE IS STUCK TO THE CAKE TIN
    • The cake tin hasn't been well greased.
  9. CAKE IS CRISP AT THE EDGES
    • This can be a cake tin that is over greased, which basically fries the edges of the cake that touch the pan.
  10. A CRACKED TOP TO YOUR CAKE
    • I don't mind this in a loaf cake, which are more rustic, but you don't want this to happen in a sheet or layer cake. It usually means your oven is too hot.


TIPS FOR BAKING THE PERFECT CAKE


Here are a few tips for baking the best cakes.

  1. Always follow the recipe.
  2. Make sure you have everything you need for the recipe before you start.
  3. Make sure your raising agents (baking powder or bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking powder) is fresh. Old powder at the back of your cupboard won't make a good cake.
  4. Read the recipe through twice before you start so you know what you are doing.
  5. Pre-heat your oven.
  6. If your oven seems to run hot or cold, buy an oven thermometer to find the correct temperature of your oven so you can adjust accordingly.
  7. Use the right pan for the cake.
  8. Grease or line your cake pan. Don't over grease it and if you are using non-stick baking paper (or parchment) make sure you are using the right side.
  9. Don't overmix your batter. You do want to mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, but when you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, just fold them in until well-combined, do not overmix.
  10. Be careful not to slam the cake pan onto a surface, especially after all that careful whisking and folding. It will knock the air out of your cake. Don't slam the oven door either.
  11. Don't open the oven door to check on your cake until near the end of baking.
  12. Insert a cake tester, toothpick or skewer into the centre of the cake to check if the cake is ready. If there is batter on it, the cake needs longer. If it comes out clean it's ready.
  13. Leave the cake in the tin for a few minutes to cool before carefully removing and placing on a baking rack to cool completely.
  14. Remove any baking paper or parchment careful when you have placed the cake onto the baking rack. Take your time and be gentle so the cake doesn't rip.
  15. Make sure the cake is completely cool before adding buttercream or icing.

HOW TO STORE VEGAN LEMON CAKE


This lemon cake is at its very best the day it's baked, but if it's stored carefully it will keep for 2-3 days.

You can store it:

  • In foil
  • In a baking tin
  • In an airtight container
The airtight container is the best option.


CAN YOU FREEZE LEMON CAKE?


Yes, you can freeze the lemon cake. 

Freeze it before you ice it on the day you make it.

It's a good idea to freeze it in slices, wrapped in freezer-friendly baking paper, then store the slices in a freezer bag.

It needs to be well wrapped so it doesn't get freezer burn.

Take a slice out of the freezer and pop it into the fridge to defrost.


Light and fluffy vegan lemon cake topped with lemon icing and sprinkles

MAKE TWEAKS TO LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE


You can take this recipe and change it up. Here are some ideas.

  • Add raspberries to the cake batter
  • Add blueberries to the cake batter
  • Add blackberries to the cake batter
  • Use lime instead of lemon
  • Use orange instead of lemon 

CAN YOU MAKE THIS LEMON CAKE GLUTEN-FREE?


I've not tried it but I have had success making cakes by whizzing porridge oats into flour.

It tends to be a bit heavier and might need a little more oil, but it should still be super tasty.

Just make sure the oats are gluten-free.

Do let me know if you try this cake gluten-free and do a wee bit more research on baking with gluten-free oat flour to see if it needs an extra boost.


MORE CAKE VEGAN RECIPES TO TRY


Here are a few more easy and tasty cake recipes for you to try.



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Easy fluffy vegan lemon drizzle cake

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HOW TO MAKE VEGAN LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE


Scroll down for step-by-step photos followed by a full printable recipe. If you don't have a printer, hit print then save as a PDF. 

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Making vegan lemon drizzle cake - step 1 - milk

STEP 1


Preheat the oven and line a loaf tin.

Measure the milk into a jug or bowl.

I use oat milk, but you can use your regular milk.


Making vegan lemon drizzle cake - step 2 - lemon

STEP 2


Add lemon juice and zest to the milk and stir.

Set aside while you deal with the dry ingredients.


Making vegan lemon drizzle cake - step 3 -flour

STEP 3


In a large mixing bowl sieve the flour.

Sifting the flour makes for a light and fluffy cake.



Making vegan lemon drizzle cake - step 4 - dry ingredients

STEP 4


Now it's time to add the other dry ingredients.

Sugar, baking powder and salt.

Give it a good mix.


Making vegan lemon drizzle cake - step 5 - oil

STEP 5


Now add the oil to the lemon flavoured milk.

Mix well.

That's your wet ingredients ready.


Making vegan lemon drizzle cake - step 6 - dry and wet ingredients

STEP 6


Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture.

Now you have to work quick. No wandering off to do anything else.



Making vegan lemon drizzle cake - step 7 - mix

STEP 7


Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Do this quickly, but gently. You don't want to knock the air out.

Don't overmix the cake batter, only fold until just combined.


Making vegan lemon drizzle cake - step 8 - cake tin

STEP 8


Quickly pour the cake batter into your lined or greased loaf tin and smooth the top.

Pop it into the oven right away.

Don't slam the oven door.


Making vegan lemon drizzle cake - step 9 - bake

STEP 9


Bake until golden and a skewer or cake tester comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes, then carefully remove and cool on a baking rack.

While it's cooling, make your lemon icing.

Wait until the cake is completely cold before icing, then drizzle the icing over the cake.

Sprinkles are optional.

Serve and enjoy!

vegan lemon cake, dairy free lemon cake, egg free lemon cake, vegan cake, easy vegan cake, vegan lemon drizzle cake, dairy-free lemon drizzle cake
baking
vegan
Yield: 8-10 slices
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Easy Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

Easy Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

An easy vegan lemon drizzle cake baked in a loaf tin. It's light and fluffy with a wonderful lemon flavour.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 10 M

Ingredients

Lemon Cake
  • 250 ml / 1 cup oat milk (or your regular milk)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 75 ml / ⅓ cup vegetable oil (or any mild oil)
  • 300g / 1¾ cups + 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 200g / 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
Lemon Icing
  • 100g / 1 cup icing sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

Lemon Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 170c / 150c fan / 325f / gas mark 3.
  2. Line a 2 lb loaf tin.
  3. Pour the milk into a jug or bowl and add the zest of 1 lemon and the juice of ½ a lemon.
  4. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  5. Add oil to the milk mixture and mix well.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them in gently until just combined. Don't over mix.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the lined loaf tin and pop in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 55 mins to 1 hour.
  8. Check it towards the end of the baking time. it should be lightly golden and a cake tester or skewer should come out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
  9. If there is batter on it, it needs longer. If it comes out clean it is ready.
  10. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, remove and cool on a baking rack.
  11. Once it's completely cool, it's ready to ice.
Lemon Icing
  1. Now to make the lemon drizzle.
  2. Measure the icing sugar into the bowl, then add the zest and most of the lemon juice, reserving some, until you see if you need it.
  3. Give it a good mix and only add extra if you need it. It should be quite thick but will spread.
  4. If it's too thin, it won't stay white.
  5. You will need less than you think,
  6. Once it's ready drizzle it across the cake.
  7. Enjoy!

Notes:

Be careful not to over-mix the cake batter.

Get it into the oven quickly after you have mixed it.

The icing can be coloured yellow. Gel colours are the best and you don't need to use a lot, but make sure they are vegan.

This cake can be wrapped in foil or kept on an airtight container for 2-3 days.

You can freeze the lemon cake. Freeze it before you ice it on the day you make it. It's a good idea to freeze it in slices, wrapped in freezer-friendly baking paper, then store the slices in a freezer bag.

Calories

298.24

Fat (grams)

9.15

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.73

Carbs (grams)

59.35

Fiber (grams)

1.69

Net carbs

57.67

Sugar (grams)

28.05

Protein (grams)

4.33

Sodium (milligrams)

64.55

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00

25 comments

  1. That looks amazing Jacquelin. I was looking for an easy cake recipe to try this weekend. My daughter will love this. Jill

    ReplyDelete
  2. This an all time favorite flavored cake and that looks super yummy, my husband would go nuts over this one!

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  3. This looks so good! I love the flavor of lemon in cakes. It would be perfect to make for Easter!

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  4. I made it. It is cooling now and smells wonderful. Jill

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such a wonderful cake. I love that you included common problems and how to fix them. It helped me out so much.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This was like a ray of sunshine! So light and delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bintu | Budget DeliciousSaturday, 20 February, 2021

    Lemon drizzle cake always goes down a treat in my house - it's one of my favourites! Can't wait to give this recipe a try, it sounds great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lemon is always good in cakes or desserts. I do hope you try it Bintu!

      Delete
  8. This looks amazing!! The texture looks absolutely perfect. And thank you for the troubleshooting tips - super helpful for any cake troubles.

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  9. Always excited to find a new vegan cake recipe that also doesn't use nuts! We have an egg / nut / dairy food allergy in the house, and find many desserts that are vegan use nuts. The lemon flavor is nice and fresh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes that is so true, well this is the one for you. Do try it, it's super easy.

      Delete
  10. I love any kind of lemon dessert, so lemon drizzle loaf is one of my favourites. This vegan version looks great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too and I saw you just shared an orange drizzle cake. It looks really good too.

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  11. We are big fans of lemon desserts. This loaf cake with all that heavenly drizzle is perfect for us. Can't wait to try this.

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  12. We really enjoyed this cake. Thanks so much for the recipe. BTW I am in your Facebook group. Karen x

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is a definite winner in our household - easy to make, and tastes absolutely delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I LOVE all things lemon! This is perfect for a Sunday brunch.

    ReplyDelete

I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x