I receive lots of email newsletters from various baking product companies. The latest one featured a two-foot tall lemon chiffon cake that had won a blue ribbon at a county fair. It was gorgeous. I really wanted to make that particular cake, but the recipe included 8 eggs. Definitely not vegan. I tried to move on but I couldn’t get the thought of lemon cake out of my mind. After a few days of recipe searching (and ruling out all the ones that included margarine) I found this vegan recipe on the shop.cook.make blog, and I tweaked it just a bit. The recipe is deceiving because the ingredients are so simple that it doesn’t look like it would taste as amazing as it does! It turns out very moist and flavorful, and it’s so easy to make. (And your house will smell all lemony.)

This would be a wonderful dessert to serve for a dinner party, but it’s also pretty spectacular for two people sitting around the house on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Matt gave this lemon cake his highest compliment: he said he would pay money for it. (Note to self: must look into getting one of those restaurant guest check pads and a receipt printer.) I baked the cake in a 9-inch springform pan, but I think a cake pan would work just as well. You could also go all out and double the recipe to make it a two layer cake. It still won’t be two-feet tall, but especially in this case, size doesn’t matter.

Vegan Lemon Cake

  • 2 large lemons or 3 medium-sized lemons
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup white flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 5 tbsp oil (I used Canola)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used almond)
Fruit Topping (optional)
  • raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put flour, sugar, and baking soda into a mixing bowl and mix well.
  3. Juice the lemons to get 8 tbsp of juice. Grate the outer layer of the lemon peel (zest) until you have 2 tbsp of zest. In a separate bowl from the flour mix, add 7 tbsp of lemon juice, (save 1 tbsp for the icing) the 2 tbsp of zest and the ½ cup water. Then add the oil, vanilla and vinegar. Mix very well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour and mix well with a whisk. It will foam a little but keep whisking until blended.
  5. Pour into a greased cake pan or springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool COMPLETELY and then remove it from the pan and put it on a serving plate.
  7. Mix the icing ingredients, adding more or less milk depending on the consistency you want. Spoon over the top of the cake.
  8. Top with fresh berries. (The icing glaze will eventually harden, so put the berries on while the icing is still “wet” and they will stay on top better.)