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An easy vegan lemon drizzle loaf cake with a lemon icing drizzle, and some lemon zest!

Lemon drizzle

Lemon drizzle cake is one of the all-time classic flavours that everybody knows and loves. Yes, some people can think it is a little plain and boring… but how?! I adore it! If you are ever in doubt at a cafe on what cake to choose, always go lemon drizzle! (Or carrot cake, that’s also great.). 

I just feel with lemon drizzle you can always rely on the fact that it will taste great – partly to do with how many lemons are involved with the bake, and partly because the lemon drizzle part of it basically guarantees you aren’t going to get a dry and boring cake! 

Vegan baking

I have tried over the years to perfect my vegan sponges, and I am pretty darn proud of them! My vegan victoria sponge and my vegan biscoff cupcakes for example both have beautifully soft sponges that don’t require super weird ingredients, which was definitely the aim. 

I have tried many other recipes of the years and I was always a little put off when I had to buy a random ingredient I probably wouldn’t use the rest of or something that would sit in my cupboard for ages – so when developing these recipes I tried to base them off my normal recipes as much as I could! 

Butter and eggs replacement

When baking vegan it’s about (obviously) making sure there are no animal products, so for most normal bakes that would mean the butter and the eggs need replacing. Obviously, there are other ingredients, but if you base this on my normal lemon drizzle loaf cake recipe…

I find that using a mixture of oil, and vegan milk is the best result for replacing eggs and butter – I found when trying to use vegan butter, and only replacing the eggs some of the sponges would turn out really rubbery and horrible. It means the mixture is really runny, but trust me – it’s meant to be! 

The key to my vegan sponges is to mix the mixture as little as possible, so you don’t over mix. I just use a bowl, and a spatula to make my vegan cake mix, and that’s all you need – you really do not want to use a stand mixer for this bit as it can easily overdo the mixture! 

Milk replacement

I like using almond milk for the milk in my vegan cakes – but soya, oat, or anything like that works! Generally, I would avoid coconut milk as it’s just a different base and consistency to the others. For the oil, I use vegetable or sunflower oil as they are the most tasteless out of the selection – using olive oil may result in an olive oil taste. 

Other ingredient replacements

You have to make sure that all other ingredients you use are vegan, especially if baking for allergies, and I do mean check everything – as some products have may contain warnings. I use Tate & Lyle icing sugar as it doesn’t contain egg (if it does, you have probably bought royal icing sugar by accident which is a different thing), but some regular icing sugars have a ‘may contain’ warning. 

Sugar

For the sugar I used a mix of light brown soft sugar and caster sugar – you don’t want too heavy a flavour so it covers the flavour of the lemon, but you also want some colour from the light brown sugar. If you use all caster sugar, it will work – it will just be extremely pale in colour! 

Lemons

I used fresh lemon zest in this bake as I wanted to use the inside of the lemons for the drizzle soak and the icing drizzle – but if you wanted to use lemon extract you can! Use 1-2tsps in the sponge, and 1tsp in the icing drizzle! You can’t really beat lemon juice for the drizzle soak though (but bottled does work!). 

Raising agents

The raising agents are required in the bake for the best result – the white wine vinegar and bicarb react together as a raising agent, and the baking powder gives a lighter texture – so please don’t miss any of these out! I use all three ingredients in quite a few of my bakes such as my red velvet cake, so they are worth getting. 

Tins and tips

I used a 2lb loaf tin for my bake, but if you wanted to make a round cake version, follow my vegan victoria sponge but make it lemon flavoured! If you want to make lemon cupcakes, follow my vegan vanilla cupcake recipe and make them lemon flavoured! 

I hope you love this cake as much as I do!! Enjoy! Jane x

Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake!

An easy vegan lemon drizzle loaf cake with a lemon icing drizzle, and some lemon zest!
Print Pin Rate
Category: Vegan
Type: Cake
Keyword: Lemon, Vegan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Cooling & Decorating Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 Slices
Author: Jane's Patisserie

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 335 g self-raising flour
  • 115 g light brown soft sugar
  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300 ml dairy free milk (I use Almond)
  • 125 ml vegetable oil (or sunflower)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Drizzle

  • 65 ml lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 65 g caster sugar

Decoration

  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tsps lemon juice
  • lemon Zest

Instructions

For the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan and grease and line a 2lb/900g loaf tin.
  • In a large bowl, add the self raising flour, light brown soft sugar, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix briefly until it's all mixed together evenly.
  • Add the dairy free milk, vegetable oil, lemon zest and white wine vinegar to the bowl.
  • Mix as little as possible, until combined. I use a large glass bowl and a spatula - I do not use an electric mixer.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until baked through.

For the Drizzle

  • Towards the end of baking, mix together the lemon juice and caster sugar in a bowl.
  • Once the cake is baked and out of the oven, pour the lemon drizzle onto the sponge
  • Once drizzled, leave the cake to cool fully in the tin.

For the Decoration

  • In a bowl, add the icing sugar. Add the lemon juice 1 tsp at a time, mixing really well each time, until you reach your desired drizzle.
  • Drizzle over the cake, once it is out of the tin, and then sprinkle on some lemon zest.

Notes

  • This recipe is based on a mix of my Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes and Vegan Biscoff Cupcakes recipes!
  • I used Tate & Lyle Icing Sugar which is a vegan icing sugar. 
  • This cake is very soft - and will last for at least five days! If you want the cake slightly firmer, try using plain flour, and no baking powder (it may not rise as much though!)
  • If your sponge turns out rubbery, it's most likely over mixed. I personally have never experienced this!
  • I use this 2lb loaf tin in my recipe. 

ENJOY!

Find my other recipes on my Recipes Page!

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J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.

41 Comments

  1. Steph on May 22, 2024 at 9:36 am

    Made this for the first time and it was amazing! My tin was slightly smaller, so left some of the mixture out and made tiny cupcakes with the rest of it. I found that outing the lemon, sugar syrup over the top made it a bit too moist on some parts. So will omit next time. But 10/10 amazing bake 🍋

  2. Michael James on May 5, 2024 at 2:04 pm

    Followed this recipe exactly as stated and used a 2 lb loaf tin too and the cake spent about 5 minutes overflowing from the tin literally half the cake is overflowing continuously out of the tin

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 8, 2024 at 11:46 am

      Oh no! That means your tin is too small. 2lb loaf tins vary in size a lot (no idea why, very annoying), so unfortunately yours is smaller. Try only filling 2/3 full and then make cupcakes with spare mix.



  3. Mo on April 18, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    Used this recipe many times and I love it!
    Just wondering if I could turn this into a vegan coffee loaf by adding instant coffee to the milk?

  4. Sarah on March 11, 2024 at 6:02 pm

    5 stars
    This is the best lemon drizzle cake recipe i have found. My family have really enjoyed it – vegan or not. Delicious!

  5. Mikey on March 6, 2024 at 11:31 am

    5 stars
    Made this yesterday and turned out perfectly. Used fresh lemons and some orange zest in the bake & soak, then bottled lemon for the icing sugar on top. Texture of the cake is superb for a vegan bake. I used a skewer to poke some holes to allow the glaze to soak in, too.

    Great tip from Jane above about listening for bubbles/crackles – extra 5 mins in my bake must’ve made a difference.

  6. Chantelle on February 21, 2024 at 11:12 am

    4 stars
    Followed the recipe exactly, used the exact size cake tin you suggested… its overflowing in my oven making a huge mess… hopefully when it’s cooked it’s gonna taste amazing and be worth cleaning my oven for

    • Jane's Patisserie on February 21, 2024 at 8:01 pm

      Annoyingly, 2lb loaf tins sometimes are half the size they should be so it’s likely that yours is one of the incorrect ones. It’s worth only ever filling a tin to 2/3 full max, and if there is any spare mix making cupcakes or similar!



  7. Val on December 6, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    5 stars
    Being a vegan for many many years and plenty of baking I have to say this was the very best lemon drizzle cake I have ever made. It was nice and firm as well as being super moist an cut beautifully. I made in an 8″ square tin as my loaf tin is in the freezer already with my Xmas dimmer. Thanks Jane. X

  8. Fiona Bramzell on July 30, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    It came out wonderfully risen…then proceeded to sink as it cooled! According to my cake tester it was fully baked – any ideas why that would happen? Haaven’t tasted it yet but it smells amazing so I’m sure it’ll still taste fine!

    • Jane's Patisserie on August 22, 2023 at 1:45 pm

      Hey! This can mean it’s still underbaked. If a cake is still making a bubbling/crackling sound it needs longer baking, even if a skewer is clean! x



  9. Lindsay on July 25, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    Could you add some blueberries to this or would they sink or affect the texture?

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 28, 2023 at 9:30 am

      Hey! The mixture is a bit too thin annoyingly so they will sink! x



  10. Jay Govier pp on July 23, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    5 stars
    Lovely Vegan cake so light& fluffy a good moist cake. The light brown sugar gives a wonderful depth of flavour

  11. Rachael on July 12, 2023 at 11:24 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been baking eggless for years with mixed results. My vegan nephew and his wife are coming to stay so I tried this cake today. OMG! This recipe is amazing, easy to make and such simple ingredients. Will have to stop myself from sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night for another slice! Obviously will have to make another one next week for my guests. I will be trying your other recipes soon. My weight loss diet is certainly doomed to fail now🤣

  12. Chloe on April 21, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    Can you freeze this please?

  13. Clare on April 7, 2023 at 8:14 am

    5 stars
    I made this today and oh my lord. Sooooooo good!! Got rave reviews from my family, and when I told them it was vegan they couldn’t believe it.10/10 absolutely amazing 🙂

  14. Joss on April 6, 2023 at 10:19 pm

    Hi, I love the sound of this recipe – would it be possible to swap out the sugar for xylitol? Thanks x

  15. Chloe on March 29, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    5 stars
    i LOVE this recipe! i seem to be making it every week as everyone loves it so much! i was thinking, could i swap the lemons for oranges to make an orange drizzle loaf to mix it up a bit??

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 30, 2023 at 12:41 pm

      Hiya! Yes this should be fine, enjoy! x



  16. Kerstin on February 26, 2023 at 10:00 am

    5 stars
    Found this recipe last minute before I needed to serve a cake three hours later 🙂 I loved that I had all the ingredients in the house and it was not complicated to make. I added a pack of vanilla sugar and had to replace the white wine vinegar with apple cider. It turned out beautifully – light and fluffy. All of my guests wanted two slices and asked for the recipe.

    I had a look around the website for more recipes and then realised not all are vegan. Shame as I would have liked to try to make the iced lemon cookies …

    Grateful to have found this lemon cake recipe though because it saved me last minute and I am sure to use it again and again! Thank you!

  17. Tina on February 18, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    5 stars
    Made this today, it’s my new favourite lemon drizzle! Very moist, easy to make, perfect.

  18. Brontie on November 28, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Could you put this is into 8inch to inch cake tins to make a traditional style cake ?

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 29, 2022 at 3:15 pm

      Hiya! Yes, this will make a decent 2 layer 8″ cake. Hope this helps! x



  19. CA on October 13, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    If I use lemon juice from a bottle (like the Jif that comes in a green bottle) would it still work? And would I use the same amount? Thank you! 🍰

    • Jane's Patisserie on October 21, 2022 at 10:29 am

      Hiya! Yes this should be fine! Hope this helps! x



  20. Deb on September 3, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    Could you make these as cupcakes rather than a loaf cake? If so, what cooking temp/time would you recommend? Thank you

    • Jane's Patisserie on September 14, 2022 at 4:19 pm

      Hiya! Yes absolutely – bake them at 160ºc fan for 20-22 mins! Hope this helps! x



  21. Denise Dunne on July 6, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    5 stars
    This cake turned out perfectly…so soft, tasty and easy to make. Thank you so much for the recipe…I made it for a friend whose vegan. A beautiful cake even if you’re not vegan. I used organic oat milk, it worked a treat. Thanks so much x

  22. Jan on June 18, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Lovely light well risen cake. Soft, delicate texture and lemony taste.

  23. Bev on April 3, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    5 stars
    Ditto.
    I can’t believe that I made such a brilliant lemon drizzle cake !!! my vegan step daughter is definately impressed.
    it has a light sponge like texture and even my husband thinks it’s delicious

  24. Suzanne on April 2, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe. Although we are not vegan, my partner has an egg allergy, so it is wonderful that he can enjoy some wonderful cakes at long last.

  25. Jane on March 14, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Jane, could i freeze this ? Thanks

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 23, 2022 at 11:33 am

      Yes absolutely, you can freeze this for up to 3 months! x



  26. Emily on January 27, 2022 at 11:41 am

    5 stars
    This recipe is heavenly. Beautiful texture and lemon taste! The drizzle soaked into the crust on the top and it was glorious. Really light texture for a vegan cake. I used sunflower oil and it turned out fine

  27. paula on January 26, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    5 stars
    I can honestly say I have never tasted a vegan cake with such a light texture before. Lovely recipe, I followed all your tips and advice and it turned out perfectly!
    I can now make a lovely homemade treat for my daughter’s friend , who is vegan, when she comes round , and one that my daughter will enjoy as well!

  28. Gemma on January 15, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Would it this be possible to make gluten free as well by swapping the flour?

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 17, 2022 at 4:13 pm

      Hiya! I personally have not tried this – but it is definitely worth a go! Let me know! x



  29. Chloe on January 15, 2022 at 10:18 am

    Could I make this into a traybake instead? And if so how long would it need to bake for? ☺️

  30. Danielle on January 15, 2022 at 8:54 am

    Could this be made GF as well please? Would it just be a case of a flour switch? Thank you

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 17, 2022 at 4:13 pm

      Hiya! I personally have not tried this – but it is definitely worth a go! Let me know! x



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