This lemon drizzle cake is so fluffy, zingy and delicious! Drizzled with lemon icing and topped sugar paper flowers it makes a fantastic Easter cake!
Sliced vegan lemon drizzle cake with white icing on yellow sugar flowers on a wooden board
It’s been over a week since I posted a recipe, and no, I haven’t turned vegan during that time. Chris and I have been celebrating my birthday in New York! More on that later.

This vegan cake came about simply because I didn’t have any eggs in.

Since I had soya milk in the fridge, I thought I might as well go all in and make a vegan version!

And let me tell you – the process was not as easy as I expected. It took a little more testing than usual to get it right.

I always find it’s the cakes that take more testing. I guess that’s why Kitchen Sanctuary has so many savoury recipes! However, I can’t resist a lemon drizzle cake. ESPECIALLY if it’s been topped with a thick drizzle of icing.

Overhead photo of vegan lemon drizzle cake with sugar flowers on top

Yes I know – drizzle cakes are traditionally just topped with a simple sugar-lemon solution, but I like my toppings! So this cake has the simple sugar-lemon topping (which sinks into the still-warm cake and makes it beautifully tangy, sweet and moist) AND the sweet lemon-flavoured icing too. Plus a few sugar-paper flowers, because it’s nearly Easter and yellow flowers = Easter.

We start by mixing vegetable oil and sugar together in a bowl. Then add lemon zest, flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and soya milk. Stir together and pour into a lined loaf tin. Place in the oven to cook.

Collage of four images showing the initial steps for making vegan lemon drizzle cake

Whilst the cake is cooking, make the toppings. Mix together sugar and lemon juice for the first topping. When the cake is cooked, poke several holes in it (whilst it’s still hot) and drizzle over the lemon sugar mixture. Then leave the cake to cool. Next mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to form a thick icing. Remove the cake from the tin and remove the liner, then drizzle over the thick icing. Arrange rice paper flowers and/or butterflies on top.

Collage of six images showing the final steps for making vegan lemon drizzle cake

Serve in thick slices:

Overhead photo of vegan lemon drizzle cake with a slice taken out. Sugar flowers on top of the cake.

So, New York.

Wow! It was my first time there, and I LOVED it! We went for my birthday. I turned 40 (boo hoo, so old!!), and Chris knows that I’d never forgive him if he tried to surprise me with a party. That’s one of my worst nightmares. So instead, I asked him to take me away so I wouldn’t have to face anyone when I hit that milestone. We had 5 days of eating, walking, eating, taking in the sights, eating and shopping.

We took lots of video and some photos too, since we tried out quite a few amazing food spots. I’ll be writing a full post on it in the next couple of weeks – so you can watch us stuffing our faces in the accompanying video (lucky you!).

Looking for more Easter recipes (note they’re vegetarian, not vegan)? For a sweet Easter treat, try my:

The Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe:

4.98 from 34 votes

Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

This lemon drizzle cake is so fluffy, zingy and delicious! Drizzled with lemon icing and topped sugar paper flowers it makes a fantastic Easter cake!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 servings
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 75 ml (1/4 cup + 1 tsp) vegetable oil
  • 200 g (1 cup) caster (or superfine granulated) sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
  • 250 g (2 cups + 1 tsp) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 220 ml (1 cup minus 1 tbsp) soya (soy) milk
  • juice of half a lemon (about 1 tbsp)

To decorate:

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons (about 4 tbsp)
  • 200 g (1 2/3 cups) icing (confectioners') sugar sifted
  • rice paper flowers and/or butterflies
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 170C/325F (fan). Line a loaf tin with a loaf liner.
  • Mix the vegetable oil and sugar together in a large bowl. Add in the lemon zest, flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, and milk. Beat together with a wooden spoon to combine. Stir in the lemon juice.
    75 ml (1/4 cup + 1 tsp) vegetable oil, 200 g (1 cup) caster (or superfine granulated) sugar, zest of 1 lemon, 250 g (2 cups + 1 tsp) plain (all-purpose) flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 pinch salt, 220 ml (1 cup minus 1 tbsp) soya (soy) milk, juice of half a lemon
  • Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and place in the oven for 35-45 minutes until golden and cooked through (you can test this by inserting a metal skewer into the centre of the cake – if it’s cooked, it should come out clean).
  • Take it out of the oven. Mix together the caster sugar and 2 tbsp of the lemon juice. Poke several holes in the hot cake and spoon over the sugar-lemon mixture. Leave to cool in the tin. This first topping adds a more intense lemony flavour and moisture to the cake.
    2 tbsp caster sugar, juice of 2 lemons
  • Once cool, remove from the tin and remove the loaf liner.
  • Place the icing sugar in a bowl and add half of the remaining lemon juice. Stir with a whisk until combined. Add more lemon juice as required until you have a thick drizzle.
    200 g (1 2/3 cups) icing (confectioners') sugar
  • Spoon the icing mixture over the cake. Arrange rice paper flowers and butterflies on top.
    rice paper flowers and/or butterflies
  • Cut into slices and serve.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Bicarbonate of Soda:

This recipe uses bicarb, but there's a mistake on the wording of the video - saying 'baking powder' instead. Baking powder will still work (you may find there's just slightly less rise), so don't worry if you used baking powder instead of bicarb.

Lemon juice:

I find it's best to use fresh lemon juice for the best flavour.
Don't be tempted to add more lemon juice to the cake mixture though, as the acid in the lemon reacts with the alkaline in the bicarbonate of soda. The amount in the recipe is enough to give a nice rise to the cake with a fluffy texture. Too much lemon juice (or bicarbonate of soda) can cause too many bubbles to form in the mixture, which will cause the cake to rise too fast. The cake may then sink as the uncooked batter can't support the bubbles.
.

The skewer test:

It's really important to test that the cake is done with a metal or wooden skewer, as this cake can look browned and 'done', but still be uncooked in the middle. 
Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done. If it comes out with raw cake mixture on it, place back in the oven for 5 minutes, then test again. Repeat until fully cooked (you can place foil on the cake if it starts to look too brown).
.

Can I make it ahead?

Yes. Once the icing has set, placing in an airtight container at room temperature, and it will keep for approx. 3 days.
.

Can I freeze it?

Yes, drizzle on the sugar-lemon mixture, but NOT the icing. Then cool, wrap in foil and freeze for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator, and once defrosted, drizzle on the icing before serving.
.

Can I make it with regular milk?

Yes, you can replace the soya milk with regular semi-skimmed (half-fat) or full fat milk. Of course it won't be vegan any more then.
.

Can I make it gluten free?

I haven't tried to make a gluten free version of this, but I have a great recipe for a gluten free orange drizzle cake (not vegan).
.

Can I make it with lime or grapefruit instead?

Yes, for a lime version, simple replace the lemon with the same quantity of lime. For a grapefruit version, try this vegan grapefruit drizzle cake I did for Neff.
.
Nutritional information is per slice.

Nutrition

Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 95mg | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 4.9mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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Comments

  1. Jorgie Williamson says:

    5 stars
    Srummy!

  2. Maria says:

    5 stars
    This cake was so easy to make and delicious. I left out the icing as my family don’t like iced cakes and used normal full cream milk. Nice and tangy from the lemon drizzle. Great the next day too.

  3. Tess says:

    5 stars
    I made this last night. It was absolutely delicious. I could not fault it one bit. I am more of a savoury person and I rarely bake anything sweet. This will definitely be my dessert contribution for the future. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe 🙂

  4. Olivia says:

    4 stars
    Nice cake but I regret putting that first topping for moisture (caster sugar and lemon) because now the cake is too wet and too sweet.

  5. Olive says:

    5 stars
    This cake was delicious! The recipe was so easy to follow. Went down very well in my house thank you!

  6. Heidy says:

    Hello! Thanks for the recipe, I’ve made it a few time already but was asked to make it Gluten-free, any advice? Thank you!

  7. Helen Glover says:

    5 stars
    Hi I tried this yesterday and it is gorgeous! Thank you. Just wondered if the amount of milk makes a difference to the fluffiness as your recipe says 220ml but the video says 200ml?

    Thanks, Helen.

  8. N A P says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious never thought
    A vegan cake could taste so good
    Made it for my vegan friend She went away with the trst of cake and the recipe !!!

  9. Manisha says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous cake. Works well every time.

  10. Hannah says:

    5 stars
    hello! this looks amazing. just wondering, what size loaf tin did you use? Thank you in advance 🙂