My classic vegan lemon drizzle cake. Tangy with a sweet crunchy lemon drizzle glaze or the option for a tangy lemon icing!
I recently asked instagram whether vegan lemon drizzle cake (or perhaps just traditional lemon drizzle cake) is English or American. The responses were sort of mixed but it seems like in America this cake tends to get called Lemon Pound Cake, Lemon Pound Loaf or perhaps even Lemon Bread.
With some slight variations, these all seem to be FAIRLY similar: a simple lemon sponge, baked in a loaf tin, dotted with lemon zest and drizzled with either a crispy lemon glaze or a lemon icing. Get the idea? Basically lemon heaven - HEY! That's maybe a better name for it!
It's a famously easy cake - very little to go wrong to be honest - and that's kind of the joy. No buttercream to make, no cream to whip. Just a simple delicious sponge and a simple delicious glaze! Ideal for a quick whip-up cake if people pop around unannounced, but going forward you should probably set proper boundaries to prevent people doing that. Personal space is important!
How do I make vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake!?
As always, the FULL RECIPE is at the bottom of the page - scroll on down if you're in a hurry. If you've got time for a visual walk-through, keep reading!
1. Blend together the wet ingredients
If you've made any of my cakes before, you'll know I like to blend my wet ingredients. I find it emulsifies the batter much more and stops the cake from splitting as it bakes. This results in a better crumb. OR perhaps I just have an addiction to blending stuff - it really does feel nice to watch it go all glossy and smooth!
2. Sift together the dry ingredients
I read a thing online recently, probably on America's Test Kitchen's insta, about how important it is to combine your flour and baking powder etc really really well. They had side by side comparisons of different baked cakes, the only difference being one was un-sifted and the others were. The difference was massive! So do it! You'll get a WAY more even crumb and lighter sponge.
3. Make the lemon sugar
Probably my favourite bit! It's time to infuse the sugar with the lemon zest. All you need to do is rub the zest and sugar together with your fingertips. You'll find the smell really overpowering in an instant! If I could get this smell as an aftershave I'd douse myself in it every day. Sweet lemony goodness!
Next we're going to mix the wet ingredients into the sugar and then add the wet into the dry mix to form our batter!
4. Bake the lemon drizzle cake sponge
It's smart to use a non-stick tin if you don't plan on lining it, but personally I love using loaf tin liners for cakes like these. They're just so clean and easy to use. Makes me very happy. If you don't have any, greaseproof paper or baking parchment will work fine.
5. Glaze the lemon drizzle cake!
I've given you two options here - either make a lemon drizzle glaze OR make a lemon icing. The first option is more traditional - it sets to a lovely crunchy glaze which crackles as you cut through the cake. The second option is more of an American choice, and will result in a more opaque, drippy white glaze. THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
Regardless, make sure your cake is nicely chilled before glazing! It'll melt and become runny otherwise.
5. Slice and serve!
I like serving this cake chilled, so I keep it in the fridge. It just seems to carry more flavour that way. The lemon gets a bit more zappy too! I like to toss some lemon zest in granulated sugar at the start of the process and set aside. Over an hour or so it will "candy" and become deliciously sweet and zingy.
And there you have it! A delicious vegan lemon drizzle cake! Whether it's an English classic or from elsewhere, I no longer care because it's SIMPLY delicious either way!!
Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake
- 1 2 lb/900g loaf tin
For the Cake
- 80 ml sunflower oil
- 245 ml soy milk
- 50 ml lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract ( or vanilla extract)
- 250 g plain white flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoon corn starch
- 200 g sugar
- zest of one lemon
For the Drizzle
- 80 g granulated sugar
- Juice of one lemon
For the Icing (Optional)
- 150 g icing sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C. Grease and line a 2 lb/900g loaf tin with baking parchment or a pre-cut loaf tin liner.
- In a measuring jug, blend together the sunflower oil, soy milk, lemon juice and lemon extract until smooth using an immersion blender. Alternatively use a whisk to combine the wet ingredients. Set aside.80 ml sunflower oil, 245 ml soy milk, 50 ml lemon juice, ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- In a large bowl sieve together the plain white flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and corn starch then stir well to combined. Make sure there are no large lumps of corn starch in the mix before proceeding.250 g plain white flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, 2 tablespoon corn starch
- In a medium bowl, place the sugar and lemon zest. With your finger tips, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until combined and fragrant. Add the blended liquid ingredients and whisk together until smooth. It should take around 20-30 seconds for the sugar granules to dissolve slightly. Finally add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until just combined and no lumps remain.200 g sugar, zest of one lemon
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until risen and golden. A toothpick inserted into the centre of the cooked cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and set on a wire cooling rack until room temperature then transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes. While the cake is cooling, prepare the drizzle or icing.
- To make the drizzle or icing, mix the sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl. Place the cooled cake on a wire rack over a baking tray (to catch any drips) and pour the drizzle or icing over the top of the cake. Return to the fridge until set then slice and serve. Optionally top with extra lemon zest tossed in granulated sugar before serving.80 g granulated sugar, Juice of one lemon, 150 g icing sugar, Juice of half a lemon
WANT MORE VEGAN CAKES!?
Why not try:
Stunning and can’t wait to make it. Yum!
Can't wait to try
I just moved into a new flat. To test the new oven, this one was right on time. The perfect sunday afternoon spontaneous delish. Thank you, Richard!
I made this for a morning tea we had a work today and it was a hit. The cake was light and refreshing. It was amazing and serving it directly from the fridge was the best idea ever. This will be a firm favourite now.
I have no will power. 😂 Im on a vegan fitness challenge and this is screaming my name. Thank you for making a vegan version!
Great recipe. Worked really well and excellent texture.
Looks straightforward which I love. I’m thinking to make these as individual muffin cakes. Have you tried this before?
Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside. So so so good!
This loaf cake is perfect and the lemon lovers out there are going to swoon. I substituted oat milk for soy because that's what I have in the house. All else I kept the same. This will be in my regular snack cake rotation from now on.
I’ve just made this cake I love it’s simplicity and how well it turned out! I should have read the post more carefully as I couldn’t find the instructions for that beautiful lemon zest candy that is on top of the cake. I’ll add this next time! I also used the blender for the first time in cakes and it’s nice to mix the oil and milk together