Vegan Sweet Lemon Cake (or Cupcakes!)

This vegan lemon cake is perfectly sweet, tart and fresh and will impress anyone! It’s a perfect spring cake for Easter, birthdays, Mother’s Day or just because. No one will be able to tell it’s vegan!

I needed a last minute (night before!) cake for my Mema’s 85th birthday. Whenever we go to visit her we bring her a box of thin lemon Oreos. We have completed bonded over how delicious these little cookies are. We definitely needed a lemon cake for her birthday.

My favorite cake recipe comes from Sam from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (hey, Sam!). I seriously make her chocolate cake recipe several times a year. It’s always a hit with vegans and non-vegans. When deciding how to make this recipe I went directly to her page looking for a lemon cake recipe. She doesn’t have one yet but I was able to customize her vanilla cake to be exactly what I needed. It turned out so amazing that I just had to share!

Update: this recipe also makes AMAZING cupcakes. They are perfect for gifts and sharing!

Need something deliciously lemony but a little faster? Check out my 15-minute vegan cookies!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 22-28 minutes

Total time: 32-35 minutes


Dry Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used an almond coconut blend from Silk)

2/3 cup light oil (I used vegetable)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Zest of 1 Lemon


1/2 cup vegan butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Zest of one lemon

1-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon turmeric for color

Optional: fresh lemon slices for decoration

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil and flour 2, 9 inch baking pans. Or line a cupcake pan with 24 liners.

2. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Whisk together until well combined.

3. In a medium bowl combine the wet ingredients. Mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Using a spatula mix everything together until just combined. No need to worry about lumps so don’t over mix!

4. Divide batter evenly between baking pans. Bake 22-28 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. For cupcakes bake for 18-20 minutes until the center cupcakes are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Refrigerate cakes until completely cool. Make sure they are cool before removing from the pans!

5. While cooling make the frosting! Combine the powdered sugar, vegan butter, vegetable shortening, vanilla extract, turmeric and zest using a stand or hand mixer. Add in fresh lemon juice one tablespoon at a time until you achieve your desired consistency and flavor.

6. Once the cakes are cool, frost, decorate and enjoy!

Keep cake refrigerated as the buttercream frosting will melt otherwise!

Let me know what you think and if you give this recipe a try!


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