Best EVER Dairy Free / Vegan Lemon Cake! (Video Tutorial Included)

This beautiful dairy free / vegan lemon cake is light, moist and CRAZY delicious! Just like these vegan chocolate chip cookies, you’d never know it was free from anything. Teamed up with an incredible dairy free lemon curd, this vegan lemon cake will convince your friends and family that you’re a total pro when we know it was actually very easy to create! Shhhh, it’ll be our little secret…

slice of dairy free / vegan lemon cake on a black plate with a fork

Do I need any expensive or crazy ingredients to make a dairy free / vegan lemon cake?

Nope! The only items someone who doesn’t follow a dairy free/vegan diet may not already have is the soy milk and the dairy free spread. Both are very cheap and readily available from most supermarkets. Other than that, I’d be very surprised if you didn’t already have everything you need to make this fabulous cake right now!

dairy free / vegan lemon cake on a plate with a fork and squeezed lemons

Is it easy to make a dairy free / vegan lemon cake?

Absolutely! There’s no silly new techniques, lengthy waiting times or unique/expensive equipment you need to be able to make it. We’re simply switching out dairy ingredients for dairy free and using a traditional cake making method. I promise, anyone can do it!

slice of dairy free / vegan lemon cake on a black plate with a fork

So what makes this dairy free / vegan lemon cake better than all the others?

Wowsers, where do I start??

  • It’s very light in texture – not dense or heavy at all.
  • It’s SUPER moist! No spitting feathers here…
  • The lemon curd more than makes up for the missing dairy.
  • If you didn’t know it was dairy free, you’d never guess it was!
  • The frosting is really light and airy.
  • It’s cheap to make

 

I could honestly go on but I feel that at least sums up the main positives. This is genuinely one of the best cakes I’ve EVER made. Forget the fact that it’s dairy free!

dairy free / vegan lemon cake on a plate with a fork and squeezed lemons

Helpful tips for making dairy free / vegan lemon cake

  • Bake your cakes on the bottom shelf of your oven to prevent doming in the middle.
  • Make sure the soy milk and dairy free spread are at room temperature before you begin baking. It will make a HUGE difference!
  • When zesting the lemons, be careful to only zest the yellow skin. The white pith underneath is very bitter and doesn’t taste nice.
  • Don’t skip the lemon curd! It’s the star of the show and brings this cake to life.
  • Get your cakes in the oven as soon as you’ve mixed the wet ingredients into the dry to get the best possible rise.
  • Remember that all ovens vary so keep an eye on your cakes for the last 10 minutes of baking!
  • Use Tomor dairy free sunflower spread. It’s the best butter substitute I’ve come across.

 

slice of dairy free / vegan lemon cake on a black plate with a fork

How to make the best EVER dairy free / vegan lemon cake

Here is what you will need to serve 10-12.

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

For the Sponge

  • 300ml (1 Cup + 3 tbsp) Unsweetened Soy Milk, Room Temp
  • 1 tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 150g (2/3 Cup) Dairy Free Spread
  • 275g (2 + 1/4 Cups) Self Raising Flour
  • 220g (1 + 1/8 Cup) Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Zest of 2 Lemons

 

For the Filling/Topping

  • 160g (2/3 Cup + 1 tbsp) Dairy Free Spread, Room Temp
  • 420g (3 + 1/3 Cups)Icing Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 150g (1/2 Cup) Dairy Free Lemon Curd *

 

Essential Equipment

  • 2 x 20 cm (8″) Loose Bottomed Round Cake Tins
  • Electric Stand Mixer or Large Bowl With Electric Hand Whisk

 

*I used this AMAZING vegan lemon curd recipe and it is absolutely perfect for this cake! Quick and easy to make and tastes wonderful.

How to make dairy free / vegan lemon sponge

Firstly, preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C and lightly grease & line your cake tins.

Now let’s prepare those ingredients! Measure out the milk (300ml | 1 Cup + 3 tbsp) in a jug, stir in the lemon juice (1 tbsp) and leave aside for later.

Melt the butter in a small bowl in 10 second intervals in the microwave.

Now sieve the flour (275g | 2 + 1/4 Cups), sugar (220g | 1 + 1/8 Cup), baking powder (1 tsp), bicarbonate of soda (1 tsp) together into a large bowl.

dairy free / vegan lemon cake dry ingredients in a glass bowl with a spatula

Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, melted dairy free spread and lemon zest. Mix it all together with a spatula until it’s nice and smooth but don’t over do it!

dairy free / vegan lemon cake batter in a glass bowl with a spatula

Now divide that mixture between the two prepared cake tins.

dairy free / vegan lemon cake batter in two round cake tins

Bake them on the lower shelf in your oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

baked dairy free / vegan lemon cake layers in round tins

Once cool enough to handle, remove them from the tins, peel off the baking paper and cool completely on a rack. Set aside while we make the frosting.

How to make dairy free / vegan lemon frosting

Either in an electric stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, beat together the dairy free spread (160g | 2/3 Cup + 1 tbsp), the icing sugar (420g | 3 + 1/3 Cups) and the lemon juice (2 tbsp).

Start out on a slow speed then, once the icing sugar has almost dissolved into the spread, increase to a higher speed and continue for 2-3 minutes. You want it to be light, airy and smooth.

dairy free / vegan lemon frosting in a metal bowl with a spatula

How to assemble a dairy free / vegan lemon cake

Take one layer of cake and place it on a cake stand or plate.

dairy free / vegan lemon bottom cake layer on a plate

You can either just spread on about half of the frosting with a spatula or you can load a piping bag with a nozzle (I used a 2M open star nozzle) and pipe ‘blobs’ around the edge. Continue for one more row just inside that then pipe a ‘snail’ to fill out the middle.

dairy free / vegan lemon bottom cake layer on a plate with frosting on top

Now spread the lemon curd (150g | 1/2 Cup) on top of the other cake layer. Take it almost to the edge but not quite. (It will squash out a little when you sandwich the two layers together.)

dairy free / vegan lemon cake layer with vegan lemon curd spread on top

Carefully turn this layer over and place straight on top of the frosted bottom. Then spread a layer of frosting over the top of the whole cake and pipe pretty ‘blobs’ (technical term) around the edge for decorative effect.

dairy free / vegan lemon cake decorated with frosting

And that’s it! All that’s left for you to do is serve your dairy free / vegan lemon cake to your friends/family and wait for the praise. Also – don’t tell them it’s dairy free/vegan before they try a slice and I bet they won’t believe it when you tell them!

Don’t need to go dairy free / vegan? You might also like this beautiful lemon bundt cake recipe.

slice of dairy free / vegan lemon cake on a black plate with a fork

What’s the best way to store a dairy free / vegan lemon cake?

My personal preference is at room temperature covered by a food net/umbrella. This should keep it delicious for around 4-5 days. I never store it cake in the fridge as it draws out the moisture which renders your cake dry very quickly. I also don’t like to store cake in plastic tubs as sugar sweats in plastic – it never ends well!

Have you Made This Recipe?

I LOVE it when you share what you’ve made! You can get in touch by leaving a comment below, tagging me on social media or sending me an email. I don’t mind how, I just love hearing from you!

Loved this recipe? Pin it!

slice of dairy free / vegan lemon cake on a black plate with a fork

slice of dairy free / vegan lemon cake on a black plate with a fork

slice of dairy free / vegan lemon cake on a black plate with a fork

The Best EVER Dairy Free / Vegan Lemon Cake

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This beautifully light, moist & delicious vegan lemon cake knocks all the others right out the park! The secret is that beautiful lemon curd and a clever ratio of ingredients...

Ingredients

For the Sponge

  • 1 tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 300 ml Unsweetened Soy Milk, (Room Temp)
  • 150 g Dairy Free Spread
  • 275 g Self Raising Flour, (Sieved)
  • 220 g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2 Lemons, (Zest Only)

For the Filling/Topping

  • 160 g Dairy Free Spread, (Room Temp)
  • 420 g Icing Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 150 g Dairy Free Lemon Curd *

Essential Equipment

  • 2 20 cm (8″) Loose Bottomed Round Cake Tins
  • Electric Stand Mixer or Large Bowl With Electric Hand Whisk

Instructions

For the Sponge

  1. Line the base of both cake tins and preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C.
  2. Mix the lemon juice into the milk. Melt the dairy free spread in a bowl in the microwave in 10 second blasts.
  3. Mix together the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.  Then pour in the milk, melted spread and lemon zest. Mix until smooth.
  4. Divide between the two lined tins and bake in the lower half of the oven for 15-20 mins. Leave in the tins for 10 mins then remove and cool completely on a rack.

For the Filing/Topping

  1. Beat together the dairy free spread, icing sugar and lemon juice until light, fluffy and smooth. (About 3 minutes)

To Assemble

  1. Place a cake layer on a cake stand/serving plate. Load a piping bag with a star nozzle, pipe dots round the edge of the cake then fill the middle. (No one will see that bit so don't worry if it's not neat!)
  2. Spread the vegan lemon curd onto the bottom of the other cake layer then place it on top.
  3. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top then decorate the edge with more piped dots to finish.

Notes

*I used this wonderful vegan lemon curd recipe which works great for this cake!

Store at room temperature under a food umbrella/net. Consume within 4-5 days.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 363Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 355mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 1gSugar: 61gProtein: 4g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram.

Liked This Recipe? You’ll Love…

26 thoughts on “Best EVER Dairy Free / Vegan Lemon Cake! (Video Tutorial Included)”

  1. Wendy says:

    Emma
    Thank you for sharing this recipe & your tips. I followed every step carefully & I’m so pleased with the result. The cake I made yesterday has been shared amongst friends and I’m about to make another. I used the lemon curd recipe you recommended and that’s been a win too. I’m not an accomplished baker and I’m a relatively new vegan. I couldn’t be more pleased. One of my neighbours said it was the best cake she’d ever tasted. Thanks, thanks & thanks again xxx

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Wendy. What a lovely comment! Thank you so much or your kind words, you’ve made my day!! I’m so happy you enjoyed my recipe and I agree – that lemon curd recipe over at Domestic Gothess is amazing! Emma x

  2. Nicole says:

    Looks yum. Can I use coconut or light olive oil instead of dairy free spread?

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Nicole. I’ve not personally substituted the dairy free spread with an oil before so not sure whether it would work or not I’m afraid. Free from baking can be so delicate a balance that I tend not to mess with a recipe once I’ve cracked it! If you try it I’d love to know if it does work. Emma x

  3. Ceri says:

    Hi, I made this cake yesterday for my boyfriends birthday, he loved it, said it was the best vegan cake he’s ever had! I didn’t make the butter icing, I whipped up Elmlea vegan cream and made the lemon curd and sandwiched it with the cream! Thank you for the recipe, it will be are good to vegan cake now 😀🍰

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Ceri. Oh I’m so happy you love my recipe! I genuinely love the sound of your variation too, that Elmlea vegan cream is delicious! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with me 🙂 Emma x

  4. Maria says:

    Hi – I followed the recipe with all in date new ingredients- it was still in cooked after 35 mins! Flat and stodgy 🙁

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Maria. I’m sorry this didn’t work well for you. It’s difficult for me to know what went wrong as I’m not with you. Did you read the whole post, including the ‘top tips’ section? That may have some things that could help you. Emma x

  5. George says:

    Just completed a trail run of this cake this morning and it came out a charm. It was absolutely delicious. I’m planning on making it next week for my grandmas 90th birthday. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!

    1. Emma says:

      Oh this is wonderful to hear George! You’ve made my day, thank you for sharing your lovely comment 🙂 Emma x

  6. By dairy free spread, do you mean vegan butter?

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Cecile. I used Tomor spread which is like a vegan margarine. Vegan butter would work fine too though 🙂 Emma x

  7. Hannah says:

    Hello, made this cake and the sponge was great, although a little flat.The buttercream icing, though very pretty, is however unbearably sweet 🙁 any tips on making a creamy icing/topping with way less sugar?

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Hannah. Sorry your cakes were a little flat. Did you put them in the oven as soon as the batter was made? Raising agents begin to work as soon as liquid is added and their effectiveness lessens over time. As for the icing, it’s a tricky one. Dairy free butter is usually less firm than dairy butter so I add more icing sugar to help with both the firmness of the icing and the flavour. You could try decreasing the sugar and resting (covered) in the fridge for a while to firm it up slightly before using? Emma x

      1. Hannah says:

        Thanks for the tips! The cake did look amazing and the flavours were spot on. Do you think a « cream cheese » type icing would work?

        1. Emma says:

          You’re welcome Hannah! A cream cheese style frosting would be delicious but I’ve personally never tried a dairy free version, so can’t point you in the direction of a recipe. I bet if you do a quick google search you’d find some great ones 🙂 Emma x

  8. Bakersdozen says:

    I am an experienced baker and I followed this recipe closely but the result was not good: the bake time was almost double the recommended and the rise was not even through the middle. The completed sponge was not the right texture, sadly.

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Oh no, this makes me so sad!! I don’t understand what went wrong for you. I’ve made this cake so many times and it always works! I wish I could help. Emma x

  9. Sally says:

    My cake fell apart too when I put it on the rack after 15 mins to set in the tin. In theory it should have worked! I followed recipe to a T but it’s very boggy and not light at all. Not sure where I went wrong!

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Hi Sally, I’m sorry to hear this happened to you! Without being there with you it’s tricky to know what went wrong. This may sound silly but are your bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and self raising flour all in date? I’ve made it before with out of date leavening ingredients by accident and it was quite thick/stodgy. Emma x

  10. Julie Poole says:

    Mine fell apart when removing from tin. 😔

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Hi Julie, I’m so sorry to hear this! Not being there with you, it’s difficult for me to know what went wrong. Did you allow the cake to cool for a bit before attempting to remove them from the tins? Emma x

  11. Alice Tomlinson says:

    Hi,

    My son is allergic to Soy and Cows Milk, do you think it will work the same with almond milk?

    Thanks

    Alice

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Hi Alice. Yep! Almond milk will work absolutely fine 🙂 Emma x

  12. Bridge says:

    I bumped onto this recipe yesterday and I could not stop thinking about the cake!! Woke up early this morning to satisfy my sweet tooth by making not one but two of them. They taste absolutely incredible. Thank you!!

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Hi Bridge, what a lovely comment!!! Thank you SO much for sharing this with me – you’ve literally made my day! I’m so happy you like my recipe 🙂 Emma x

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Hi, I’m Emma. Let me help you impress with delicious dishes using my easy recipes, step by step pics, tips & videos.

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