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.
4.93 stars (14 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 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients 
 

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

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

  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.

Nutrition

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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Comments

  1. i have made this cake many times and always so delicious! i even had some before breakfast, yum! i have shared with others and they love it! nora is amazing!

    1. Hi Jessica. I know someone else who has had this for breakfast! I’m really glad that you love the pound cake! I appreciate your encouraging feedback! Thank you for using my recipes!

  2. Thank you for the amazing recipes as always m I seriously no longer test the recipes before bringing them over to someone or making it for an occasion I just blindly follow a recipe from you and it good everytime! Amazing plant based genius thank you!

  3. Delish!!!! Coworkers loved it. I have one question Nora, if I baked this in a mini muffin pan, how long should I bake?? I love your recipes, Thank you!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you and your coworkers loved the cake, Holly! If you use this recipe to make mini muffins, they should need to bake for 10-12 minutes.

  4. Another amazing recipe! 
    But here are my questions: does it really matter what butter I use for the glaze? I used Earth Balance and the glaze was almost clear. Also, the middle part
    of the cake collapsed a little after I inserted a tooth pick after 45 min of baking it to see if it’s done. Why did that happen? 
    I used Sooo Delicious Vanilla Yogurt because that’s what I had in the fridge and I couldn’t taste it at all. But the cake was a little crumbly, is that normal? 
    Overall, the cake tested amazingly but it was my first time making lemon pound cake ever so I don’t really know what to expect. 
    Thanks! 

  5. Yup, killer recipe!  Moist, light, fresh.  In lieu of the glaze, try whipped coconut cream and berries.  This will go on regular rotation in my house.

    1. Hi Claudia. Yumm! I’m so glad you love the pound cake and it is now part of your meal rotation! Thank you for sharing your great feedback!

  6. Fantastic recipe! I followed the instructions with no substitutions. Texture was perfect, baking time spot on and grandson couldn’t get enough. As with all your recipes Nora, they’re totally reliable. Thanks so much for all you do in sharing your talent!

    1. Thank you for your wonderful words, Shar! That’s so great to hear that both you and your grandson loved the cake 🙂

  7. I have made this recipe many times. It is the best vegan recipe I have ever found.
    Sometimes I substitute the lemon for Vanilla and pour a bunch of sesame seeds on the top before I bake it. For the topping fresh strawberries with sugar and lemon juice in the fridge for 1 hour then top fresh cake with strawberries and strawberry juice left over.
    Top with wip cream!

    1. Hi Brian. I appreciate your incredible feedback and ideas! Sounds so delicious! I am happy you are loving the cake! Thank you, and happy cooking!

  8. This pound cake looks delicious. I’m not vegan, but I love to be able to make goodies for people who have different diets and miss their favorites. I wonder if you could use the Just Eggs substitute for the eggs to make it more like a classic pound cake. Butter flavored Crisco is vegan, and it makes an absolutely fabulous pound cake.

    I’ve also tried vegan yogurt and boy are they hit or miss. Recommendations would be wonderful. I really love So Delicious coconut whipped topping. It knocks the socks off Cool Whip. 

    I’m Southern, and my family has used butter flavored crisco for pound cakes for generations. Another family trick is to use vanilla, real almond extract (the kind made with bitter almond oil is really delicious), and lemon extract. The sum of the extracts is more flavorful than its parts. You can’t really put your finger on the flavor, but it’s scrumptious and goes so well with the buttery richness of the cake. 

  9. Can this cake be baked in a bundt pan rather than a loaf pan? I’m wondering if it will rise properly without falling.

    1. I haven’t tried it but I think it will work. It may need to be doubled though for a large bundt pan and I’m not sure how long it will take to cook as I haven’t tested it.

    2. Put water in the loaf pan halfway up like you would batter. Measure water. Do the same with your Bundt pan and see what the difference is. You might not need exactly double the batter, but you can always make a couple cupcakes or pour the extra batter in a small oven safe container.

      It often helps to write the quantity of the baking pans (halfway full) in sharpie marker on the bottom of the pans. I’ve done that with different tart pans and Bundt pans. 

  10. I love all your recipes and make your chocolate cake often. Looking for a sturdy cake to make a 3 or 4 tiered wedding cake. Prior to being g vegan I always used pound cake. Do you think this would work? Any advice would help!

    1. I’m honestly not sure as I’ve never made this as more than a pound cake, but maybe! Sounds like a good idea, it’s very sturdy and a bit dense.

  11. Another winner, Nora! Question: how do you get the glaze so white? Mine seemed to take on the color of the vegan butter – Earth Balance baking sticks (and fresh squeezed lemon juice and Wholesome powdered sugar). Thank you for yet another fabulous, easy and delicious recipe!

    1. I’m so glad you loved the cake, Christine! The type or brand of butter you use will definitely affect the color. Next time, use a brand that doesn’t have color added to it (I believe Miyoko’s doesn’t add color).

  12. Hi Nora, just wondering if you can tell me what consistency the mixture should be when it goes into the tin. Many thanks, Sue

    1. Hi Sue. The batter should be smooth, but a little thicker than regular cake batter with no dry flour left. Hope this helps!

      1. Hi Nora – love the flavor of this pound cake! Have made it twice now, and both times the batter doesn’t really pour – I have to spoon it into the pan and it has a consistency almost like a banana bread. I’ve measured carefully, didn’t overmix, etc. Is this the correct consistency? Thanks!

  13. I made this and everyone loved it! I wonder can I add raspberries to this? Will it hurt the cake in any way?

    1. That’s so great to hear! You can add raspberries but not too many as they’ll add more moisture to the batter.

  14. This was sweet and delicious! Made it exactly as is, though using coconut yogurt because I can’t find vegan sour cream here. It was a perfect afternoon tea treat. 

    1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! This lemon cake does sounds wonderful for afternoon tea! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. I have made this recipe two times already it is so good!!! I used Country Crock avocado oil plant based butter and Forager’s Plain Cashew yogurt instead of the sour cream. I did reduce the sugar just by 1/4 cup and I didn’t make the glaze…yet but I will make it again this weekend! Thank you for such yummy recipes!!!!

    1. You are so welcome! I’m so glad you loved the pound cake. Thank you for your wonderful review and ideas!

  16. Instead of the lemon extract, how much lemon juice do you think you would need? Did you find that the lemon extract still gave a “natural” lemon flavor?

    1. Hi Jo. 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.

  17. Hi, I was looking for a eggless recipe, could I substitute the vegan yoghurt and butter for butter and greek yoghurt? Thanks

  18. Oh Nora Thank you so much for all the Yummy recipes. ILooks so Delicious I I really like lemon ,ICan’t wait until I get the ingredients to prepare it.

    1. I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes! Thank you for your wonderful words! I hope you enjoy the pound cake!

  19. Is it possible to tweak this recipe & substitute sugar & white flour ?My husband has Diabetes & Chronic Kidney disease , I would appreciate any recommendations. Thank You

    1. You could try using a 1:1 gluten free flour mix instead of the all purpose flour and use another type of granulated sugar, like coconut sugar. I’m not sure it would turn out well because both the flour and sugar are essential to the flavor and structure of the cake.

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