Treat yourself to a slice of bright, rich, and moist Vegan Pound Cake with Lemon. It’s dense, buttery, soft and easy to make! No one will believe it’s vegan.

close up on a sliced vegan pound cake.

This Vegan Pound Cake with Lemon fits in just about anywhere. It’s a melt-in-your-mouth, classic cake recipe that can be served as dessert, for celebrations, or as a tangy snack with tea. The bright and vibrant lemon flavors and sweet glaze on top will fill anyone’s day with sunshine.

A traditional pound cake recipe is made with equal parts butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. My vegan pound cake tastes just as dense, rich, and buttery as the classic, but with no animal products.

The sweet and lemony slices are best enjoyed with a dollop of vegan whipped cream and berries on top, or take it up a notch with a spoonful of lemon curd. It’s a refreshing and delicious treat every lemon enthusiast is sure to love!

a fork taking a bite out of vegan pound cake on a white plate.

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • Vegan butter – Make sure it’s room temperature so it’s easy to work with and fully mixes into the batter.
  • Granulated sugar – Another granulated sugar, like cane sugar or coconut sugar, should work just as well.
  • Lemon zest – For flavor and gorgeous yellow flecks throughout the cake.
  • Lemon extract – This should be easy to find at most major grocery stores or specialty kitchen stores.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vegan sour cream – Or use plain vegan yogurt or cream cheese. Either choice will help the cake turn out very moist and slightly tangy.
  • All purpose flour – I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour, but you could try using a 1:1 gluten free flour mix instead.
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Lemon glaze – Because cake just isn’t the same without icing! This lemon glaze is easy to make with melted vegan butter, powdered sugar, and fresh lemon juice.

How to make vegan pound cake

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Start by beating the softened butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon extract, vanilla extract, and vegan sour cream, and mix again. Next, slowly mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Don’t over mix!

Pour the cake batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Make the lemon glaze while you wait. Simple whisk the melted vegan butter, powdered sugar, and lemon juice together in a small bowl until you have a sweet and smooth icing.

Pour the lemon glaze over the cooled cake and leave it to set for at least 30 minutes. Afterward, slice and enjoy!

sliced vegan pound cake on a wood board.

Pound cake flavor variations

This vegan pound cake recipe is NOT just for lemon lovers. The citrus can easily be omitted or changed for a variation you may love even more. These are my favorites:

  • Vanilla pound cake – Use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and omit all of the lemon zest and extract. Serve each slice with fresh berries, mint, and coconut whipped cream!
  • Almond pound cake – Add 2 teaspoons of almond extract to the cake and omit all of the lemon flavor. Replace the lemon juice in the glaze with 1 teaspoon of almond extract and a few tablespoons of water. Serve the slices with crushed nuts and coconut whipped cream on top!

Frequently asked questions

  1. How is pound cake different from regular cake? Pound cake is very rich and dense, meaning it doesn’t rise as much as a regular vegan lemon cake. To keep it from tasting overwhelmingly rich, pound cake is best when it’s flavored with light flavors and simple glazes rather than decadent buttercream frosting.
  2. Why did my pound cake sink in the middle? Over mixing the batter will knock all of the air out, leaving you with a sunken pound cake. To achieve that beautiful dome shape, only mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until they’re JUST combined.
  3. How long does vegan pound cake last? The frosted or unfrosted cake should stay fresh and moist for about 5 days when wrapped in plastic and kept out at room temperature. Keep the glazed pound cake covered and in the fridge to help it last longer.
  4. Is it freezer-friendly? Yes! The whole unglazed cake or individual slices can be wrapped in plastic and frozen for about 2 months.
sliced vegan pound cake on a wood board.

Want more lemon dessert recipes?

close up on 2 slices of vegan pound cake.
4.95 stars (18 ratings)

Vegan Pound Cake with Lemon

Treat yourself to a slice of bright, rich, and moist Vegan Pound Cake with Lemon. It's dense, buttery, soft and easy to make! No one will believe it's vegan.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


Pound Cake

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream or yogurt or cream cheese
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a standard loaf pan (9×5 or 8 1/2×4 1/2).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat together the softened butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy and combined.
  • Add the lemon extract, vanilla extract and vegan sour cream. Mix until combined, scraping the bowl as needed. It will look curdled, but it will be fine.
  • Now add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Mix on low speed or stir with a large spoon until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  • Pour into the prepared pan, place in the center rack of the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean with no wet batter.
  • Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the loaf from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath it (to catch the glaze drippings).
  • Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the melted vegan butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Pour the glaze over the loaf and allow it to set for 30 minutes if possible before serving. Slice and enjoy!


  1. Vanilla – Increase the vanilla to 2 teaspoons and omit all lemon zest, extract and juice. Consider serving with fresh berries and coconut whipped cream!
  2. Almond – Add 2 teaspoons of almond extract, omit all lemon flavorings. For the glaze, replace the lemon juice with 1 teaspoon almond extract and a few tablespoons of water. Sprinkle with sliced almonds, if desired.


Serving: 1of 12 servings | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 449IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. I used Bobs 1 to 1 gluten free and some super fine almond meal. I also used kite hill cream cheese successfully. I always always ALWAYS weigh my baked items. It pays off everytime. This cake was sweet and lemony without being over bearing. Moist and fully cooked as a gluten free vegan pound cake is hard and this recipe DELIVERS. Definitely recommend

    1. I usually use Tofutti brand, but I’m also made it with vegan cream cheese (Tofutti as well) and Kite Hill plain vegan yogurt.

    1. I haven’t tried it but you may need to double the recipe to fill a large bundt pan. Also, I’m not sure how long it will take to cook as I haven’t tested it.

          1. Instead of the lemon extract could I use lemon juice? Forgot to buy the extract.

          2. Hi Yvonne. Lemon extract is so concentrated that it gives the cake a natural lemon flavor without needing to add extra liquid to the batter. You’d have to use double the amount of lemon juice to achieve the same flavor as the extract, which could affect the structure of the cake.

    1. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried it, but it might make the cake batter too liquidy. I wouldn’t use more than 1/2 to 3/4 cup just in case.

  2. Mine didn’t work, I didn’t have cream cheese so I used plain vegan yogurt, the cake is not fluffy, it’s thick and like gooey, I don’t know, it’s not pound cake like. 🙁

    1. Sorry it didn’t work out, Amy! It’s hard to know exactly what went wrong without being there but if the texture is gooey, then it’s possible the cake batter was overworked and/or too much liquid was added.

    2. Unfortunately I had the same problem. I used violife cream cheese and the pound cake completely sunk. I’ll have to try it with toffuti sour cream next time.

  3. Fantastic recipe!! Delicious, and the whole family loved it and RAVED about how good it is! We used it to dip into fondue, and ate a bunch without anything on it. I actually preferred it on its own because the flavor is so perfect. No chocolate needed!

    1. How awesome! I’m thrilled the cake was a hit! Sounds amazing with the fondue! Thanks for your fantastic feedback and review!

  4. Absolutely amazing. I added 1/2 Tsp almond extract to the cake as well and 1/4th tsp to the icing. The cake is so moist and fluffy exactly what I was looking for. I used forager sour cream

  5. Made this for my hubs today. So darn good! My icing was not anything like the picture…but still tastes nice and lemony.

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