Vegan lemon drizzle loaf cake. This cake is totally and utterly delightful! It is all the things you want in a good lemon cake! It’s light, it’s fluffy, it’s packed with plenty of lemon flavour. And it’s totally vegan. If anyone tells you a good vegan lemon drizzle cake recipe is hard to come by, just make them this then sit back and look smugly at them as they dig in.
When life gives you lemons…
Make lemon drizzle cake! Well, it IS citrus season after all! And what with lemon flavours being one of my family’s favourites, anything lemony is always welcome in our home.
To be frank, I never used to like lemon desserts, always preferring chocolate or anything creamy instead. I remember so clearly my first try of lemon tart, and the luscious balance of fresh, zingy and sweet flavours just converted me there and then! Now, I’ll just have any dessert, thanks!
What ingredients do I need to make this vegan lemon drizzle cake?
- Vegan butter: a plant based butter is needed for this recipe. Make sure to use the block butter found wrapped in foil, not the spreadable sort in a tub. For best results, use butter at room temperature.
- Caster sugar: for sweetness in your bake.
- Lemons: I use the zest and the juice of my lemons to make this cake. Always zest lemons before juicing, as it’s much easier that way around. Trust me, I speak from experience!
- Flour: I use plain flour for this cake as it allows me to have control of the amount rising agent used in my bake.
- Cornflour: helps add tenderness to the cake, so keeping it soft and delectable!
- Baking powder/bicarbonate of soda: just for a little bit of help with rising for this loaf cake.
- Salt: to enhance the flavours in this bake. Don’t worry, you won’t taste it!
- Yogurt: keeps the cake moist and tender. I use coconut yogurt, and no I don’t taste the coconut.
- Milk: makes up the liquid part of the cake batter. I used almond milk, but any plant based milk is good.
- Icing/powdered sugar: used to make the drizzle. Dissolves more easily than caster or granulated sugar, so ensuring the drizzle isn’t grainy.
What equipment do I need to make a loaf cake?
- Loaf tin*: to bake your cake in.
- Loaf tin liners*: for lining your tin. You can use parchment paper too, if you wish, but I find this a much easier option.
- Digital kitchen scales*: whilst I do provide cup measurements for all my recipes, I always recommend using scales to weigh your ingredients out instead. Weighing out your ingredients is much more accurate than measuring by volume, as you do when measuring with cups, and will ensure better results. Digital scales are now relatively inexpensive and widely available so I would recommend them to everyone!
- Measuring spoons*: for measuring smaller quantites such as tablespoons (tbsp) and teaspoons (tsp). I would definitely recommend getting a set of dedicated measuring spoons to use in baking. This is a far more accurate measurement than using your everyday eating spoons, which can vary greatly in size.
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from your dry ingredients, ensuring it all mixes together evenly.
- Stand mixer*/electric hand mixer*: I would highly recommend investing in a good electric mixer. Either a stand mixer or hand held electric mixer are a great help with your baking. This recipe can, of course, be done entirely by hand, but your bicep will get quite the workout for it! Having these tools makes it much easier, not to mention quicker, to do your baking.
- Jug*: to mix together the wet ingredients before combining with the dry.
- Spatula*: for mixing and smoothing the cake batter, plus scraping down the bowls during mixing to ensure all ingredients are combined.
- Lemon squeezer*: makes squeezing your lemons so much easier!
- Whisk*: for mixing up your drizzle so it’s lovely and smooth. Also makes it lots easier to do the drizzle itself!
- Zester*: to get that beautiful zest off your lemons.
- Small mixing bowl*: just a little one needed to make your drizzle in.
How to make vegan lemon drizzle cake
This cake is actually relatively easy to bring together, there are just a few steps along the way. First, we need to make the loaf itself, then the syrup to brush it with and finally the drizzle for the top.
Step 1: Line your loaf tin with parchment paper (grease the tin to help it stay better if using parchment) or a loaf tin liner and set it aside. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F while you make your cake batter.
Step 2: In a large bowl or your stand mixer, beat your butter until softened. Now add in the sugar and zest in your lemons, then beat together until completely combined and slightly paler. Sift your flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the same bowl and beat it all together until your mixture resembles damp sand.
Step 3: In your jug, tip in the plant based yogurt and milk. Mix well until smooth and totally combined.
Step 4: Pour your wet ingredients into your flour mixture and mix on low to combine. Scrap the bowl down and mix again before squeezing in the juice of both lemons. Mix well again, scraping the bowl down as before, then turn the speed up and beat on high for about 30 seconds to get some air into your batter.
Step 5: Tip your cake batter into your prepared tin, smoothing the mixture out and leveling the top. Place your loaf tin into the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, until risen and golden and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Place your loaf tin on a cooling rack.
Step 6: To make the lemon syrup, simply place both the sugar and lemon juice into a small saucepan. Heat gently to fully dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice. While your loaf is still warm fresh from the oven, use a skewer to poke holes into it all over. Brush the still warm lemon sugar syrup all over, making sure to get it all the way to the edges of your cake. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
Step 7: Once your cake is cool, it’s time for some drizzle! Simply mix together your sifted icing (powdered) sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thick drizzle. I like mine thicker as I enjoy a more defined icing on my loaf. However, if you wish you can make it runnier instead. Remove your cake from the tin and the liner and place it on your serving plate. Drizzle your icing over your loaf cake however you wish. Then zest a little extra lemon over the top for a delightful pop of additional colour and flavour. Enjoy!
What can I do if I don’t have any loaf tin liners?
If you’ve run out of liners for your loaf tin, you can make your own. Simply cut a piece of parchment paper about 6 inches larger on all sides than the base of your loaf tin. With your loaf tin in the middle of the parchment, use a pair of scissors to cut slits from two opposite sides all the way to each corner of your tin. Place the parchment into your lightly greased tin and press into the corners to encourage the parchment to remain in place. Fill with your cake mixture and bake as per the recipe.
How do I know when my loaf cake is done?
You can tell your loaf cake is done because it will be beautifully golden, firm on top and risen. It will also feel springy when lightly pressed. You can also use a toothpick or wooden skewer, poked into the middle of the cake: you should have nothing come out sticking to this if your loaf is baked. If you find your cake is browning too much on top before it’s baked, simply cover it loosely with some foil to stop the top browning further whilst the middle bakes more.
How long does this vegan lemon drizzle cake last and how do I store it?
This cake should be stored in an airtight container and will be fine kept at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Can you freeze loaf cake?
Absolutely! Most loaf cakes will freeze well for up to three months.
How to freeze your lemon drizzle loaf cake
I would recommend freezing this loaf cake without the drizzle on top. Once baked, soak with the lemon syrup as in the recipe, then leave to cool completely. When your cake is completely cool, remove from the tin and wrap it tightly with two layers of cling film (plastic wrap), leaving the parchment your loaf was baked in around the cake. Then wrap snugly in a layer of foil and freeze.
How to thaw your loaf cake
This cake will thaw fairly quickly. Depending on the temperature of your room, it can normally be completely thawed in 4-5 hours. To thaw your cake, remove the foil and both layers of cling film and place on a cooling rack, brushing off any ice crystals as you do. Once your cake has thawed, remove the lining paper and decorate with your drizzle. Store in an airtight container as before.
One thing to keep in mind with this loaf cake though is that the top of the cake is likely to be slightly sticky, due to the lemon syrup used in the recipe. This may result in a little of the top of your cake sticking to your cling film, but it’s nothing a little drizzle won’t cover up!
Can I make this lemon drizzle loaf cake gluten free too?
Absolutely! You can substitute your plain/all purpose flour for a gluten free flour, but do add an additional ¼ tsp Xanthan gum if you can tolerate it.
Additional tips for making this vegan lemon drizzle loaf cake recipe
- Make sure you’ve prepared your tools and ingredients before you start mixing. So, line your loaf tin, preheat your oven and get your ingredients out ready to use. It’s easy to forget something once you get going!
- Take time to read through the recipe so you are familiar with what steps come next. Don’t skip details and instructions given as it could affect the results of your final bake.
- Get some loaf tin liners! I used to line my loaf tins using parchment I would cut up myself, but it can be such a faff! Having the liners are so easy, it makes prep for making any loaf cake a breeze!
- Make sure you use butter, milk and yogurt at room temperature. This helps them blend better with the other ingredients, making for a better bake!
- Zest your lemons BEFORE you cut them to juice. This may sound obvious, but is an easy mistake to make and it’s really no fun trying to zest a squishy half lemon!
- Your lemons should be zested directly into the mixing bowl. Doing this ensures you not only get all your zest in, but also any of the flavourful oils off the fruit too. Trust me, it makes a huge different to the flavour you’ll get in your cake!
- The lemon syrup can be made once your cake comes out of the oven, but it’s important you put it on your cake whilst it’s still warm. The warm cake absorbs and disperses the syrup much better than a cold cake would, so don’t do it when your cake is cold.
If you have any other questions about this recipe, please use the comments below to ask away and I’ll do my best to help! And if you made and enjoyed this, I’d love to hear from you too!
And don’t forget: if you make this recipe for vegan lemon drizzle loaf cake, please do consider leaving a rating and review below. I would love to know how you enjoy making it and it really helps others looking for a recipe too! You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world, I’d love to see!
More recipes for you to enjoy
Don’t forget too to check out these other recipes on my blog:
Vegan Biscoff Brownies: these brownies are fudgy and chewy with a wonderful crisp top, with chocolate chips and Biscoff biscuits in every mouthful. Oh, and don’t forget the extra pops of yummy Biscoff spread on top!
Vegan apple crumble: a vegan friendly and gluten free apple crumble, this is one sweet, cinnamon-y and crisp bake, and one you’re sure to absolutely love!
Rose pistachio and cardamom loaf cake (eggless): this cake was inspired by the stunning smells and flavours of India. Earthy pistachio, fragrant cardamom, and floral rose come together in this eggless bake to create an incredible stunning cake that is truly out of this world. This cake is not fully vegan, but is eggless so can easily be adapted to being vegan too.
Lemon drizzle cookies: if you love lemon drizzle cake, you’ll adore this cookie version! Soft and chewy, these lemon drizzle cookies are truly such a refreshing and zesty cookie!
And that’s it from me for today! My delicious vegan lemon drizzle loaf cake is yours to enjoy!
Happy baking, my friends! x
Recommended equipment and ingredients I used *
|Loaf tin||Loaf tin liners|
|Digital kitchen scales||Measuring spoons|
|Zester||Small mixing bowl|