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Vegan Lemon Cake

Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Cooling time: 1 hr
Total Time: 50 mins
This Vegan Lemon Cake is perfectly moist, fluffy and like sunshine in a cake! You'll love the bright, lemon flavor of the cake and the buttercream frosting.
piece of double layer lemon cake


For the Lemon Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba* 1/2 cup measured AFTER whipping, see Note
  • 8 tablespoons vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature (2 sticks earth balance or 16 tablespoons)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 inch cake pans, line with parchment rounds (I cut them out myself to fit the bottom of the pans, prevents sticking), and grease the parchment paper as well. Sprinkle lightly with flour.
  • In a measuring cup, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit a few minutes until it curdles (this is your vegan buttermilk).
  • In a medium sized bowl, drain the chickpeas to collect the liquid from the can. (Rinse the chickpeas and refrigerate for another use) With a hand mixer, mix on low-medium speed for about 1 minute, until light and foamy. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the softened butter, sugar and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Beat on medium speed with the handheld mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Now add in the lemon and vanilla extracts and beat to combine.
  • On low speed, add in the almond milk mixture and aquafaba and mix. Now add the flour, sprinkle the baking powder and salt on top of the flour and mix on low until well combined, about 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed with a spatula.
  • Divide the batter equally in the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks for 5-10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen, and carefully invert the cakes onto your hand. Remove the parchment paper and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the frosting: Using a standing mixer or handheld mixer, beat the vegan butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed, add in the 2 cups of the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Beat on low, then switch to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Now add in the remaining 2 cups powdered sugar and mix. If the frosting seems too thick, add a tablespoon at a time of non-dairy milk. If the frosting seems too thin, add more powdered sugar until a desirable consistency is reached.
  • Frost the cake: Place one of the cake layers on your cake stand or plate. Frost the top evenly. Place the second cake layer on top. Top the second layer with more frosting, and frost the sides as well. Decorate as desired and serve!


  1. Aquafaba is the liquid in a can of chickpeas. Simply drain the chickpeas over a bowl and collect the liquid. With a hand mixer, mix until light and foamy, about 1 minute. Then measure 1/2 cup.
  2. For best results, use Earth Balance brand of vegan butter. It has the best flavor in my opinion.
  3. You could replace the all purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour if desired.
  4. Inspired by Well Plated.
  5. Recipe updated 7/31/18 with improved instructions and new photos. I found that a vegan buttercream frosting worked better than the original vegan cream cheese frosting, as vegan cream cheese can be difficult to work with, some are quite runny and melt too quickly. This buttercream frosting holds up much better.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 532kcal, Carbohydrates: 88g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 316mg, Potassium: 137mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 65g, Vitamin A: 1081IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 1mg