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.

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.
4.91 stars (11 ratings)

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

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