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Celebrate the summer season with this rich vegan lemon pound cake! It has the most tender and buttery crumb and plenty of lemon flavor, thanks to the use of lemon zest and lemon juice. It’s zesty, slightly tangy, and made with only 9 ingredients!

Lemon pound cake topped with lemon zest and basil leaves.

Since I have recently nailed the perfect vegan pound cake, I thought it would make a great base to create a lemon-infused version. I tweaked my original recipe by incorporating both lemon zest and lemon juice for A TON of lemon flavor!

The result is a zesty, slightly tart cake that holds AS MUCH lemon flavor as it possibly can. The crumb is buttery, tender, and just slightly moist. Everything you would expect from a pound cake!

I’m confident to say this is the best lemon pound cake you will ever make!

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

Sweet, fresh, and zesty.

While lemon juice is great for adding flavor to creams, glazes, or tarts, it tends to alter the texture of cakes and does not give them enough lemon flavor. Instead of only using lemon juice, I used two whole tablespoons of finely chopped lemon zest coupled with a few tablespoons of lemon juice.

This results in a pound cake that is packed with FRUITY and ZESTY deliciousness. I can assure you that you won’t miss the lemon flavor!

If you have a sweet tooth, I am also sharing a sweet and tart lemon glaze that you can use to decorate your pound cake. The glaze is completely optional, though. I personally prefer the cake without any glaze but for photo purposes, I photographed the cake with it (it looks much cuter).

Tender melt-in-your-mouth texture.

As opposed to regular lemon cakes, my pound cake has a denser and more buttery texture. It’s also slightly richer due to generous amounts of vegan butter, which yields a crumb that literally melts in your mouth! My panel of testers, while probably a little bit biased, all loved this lemon pound cake and couldn’t tell it was vegan.

Made in one bowl with 9 ingredients.

This recipe requires pantry basics that you most probably already have on hand if you bake regularly. No hard-to-find or expensive ingredients are required, making this pound cake an affordable, family-friendly treat.

Ingredients like flour, yogurt, sugar, butter, and lemon.

🍋 Ingredient Notes

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

All-purpose flour

To keep things simple, I used regular all-purpose flour, which is generally used to make pound cake. There is no need to use cake flour here. Regarding a gluten-free option, I cannot comment on that yet, as I haven’t tried this recipe using a gluten-free flour mix.

Lemon

Obviously, there is no lemon cake without lemons! For this recipe, you will need about 2 medium-sized lemons, mostly to get the zest. The zest is what brings the most flavor, while the lemon juice adds a hint of tang.

Since you will be using the zest from the lemon, I highly recommend using organic ones. They are generally not as good-looking but contain fewer pesticides.

Butter

Butter brings a wonderful buttery aroma, creates a melt-in-your-mouth texture, and makes the crumb denser as opposed to using oil, for example.

Brand recommendations: For the best results, pick a vegan butter that is firm when chilled (do not use the spreadable kinds). Regarding which brand to choose, I recommend either Earth Balance, Country Crock, or Violife.

Sugar

While I usually like to use healthier sugar alternatives such as coconut sugar or maple syrup, I can only recommend using granulated white sugar for this lemon cake. The reason is that white sugar has a very mild taste, allowing the lemon flavor to really shine. I tried to use coconut sugar but its flavor was so overpowering that I could barely taste the lemon.

If you prefer a less sweet cake, you can remove up to 25% of the sugar. This will not alter the texture, and you do not have to make any other adjustments. Just use 165g of sugar instead of 220g.

Yogurt

The addition of yogurt to the batter does two things. First, it creates a more tender and slightly moister crumb, and second, it adds a subtle tang. Any plant-based unsweetened yogurt works. I use soy yogurt because it’s the easiest yogurt to find here, but coconut, almond, or cashew yogurt are good substitutes.

If you cannot find vegan yogurt: You can replace it with silken tofu. I have tried both versions and saw no difference in the final taste or texture. Remember to blend your silken tofu into a cream before incorporating it into the batter.

Oil

I like to add a few tablespoons of oil to make the crumb moister and allow the cake to stay softer longer. I noticed that without the added oil, the cake tends to become dryer after 2-3 days.

Note: If you want to omit the oil for health reasons, it’s not a problem. The cake will still taste great but be slightly dryer.

Baking powder

To help the cake rise.

Vanilla extract

Finally, I like to add a splash of quality vanilla extract to add a floral and extra sweetness. You can use high-quality store-bought vanilla extract or check my recipe to make homemade vanilla extract.

🥣 How to Make It

1. Make the batter

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
  1. Melt the butter. Dice the vegan butter and add it to a saucepan. Melt it over low heat until just melted. You do not want the butter to be hot – it should be just warm to the touch.
  2. Whisk in the wet ingredients. Pour the melted vegan butter, yogurt, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, mix until combined.
  3. Add the lemon zest. Next, finely chop the lemon zest and add it to the batter. Stir one more time to combine.

2. Bake

  1. Transfer to a cake pan. Line a 8×4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and transfer the cake batter into it. Spread the top into a smooth and even layer.

How to make the cake split exactly in the middle

If you ever wondered how to get your cake to split exactly in the middle, like the ones you see at the bakery, I have got you covered!

To allow the cake to crack precisely in the middle during baking, dip a spatula in oil or melted butter and draw a line lengthwise on the top of the batter.

Note: If you are planning to glaze your cake later, this step doesn’t really matter.

  1. Bake. Finally, bake the cake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown. The baking time will depend a lot on your oven so keep an eye on it after 45 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn on the top.
Lemon cake batter in a loaf pan.

You can serve this cake with your favorite vegan yogurt, a drizzle of blueberry syrup, or with some fresh berries such as blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries!

📔 Tips

  • Measure ingredients using a scale. For the best result, I am sharing this recipe in grams. Hence, you will need to use a kitchen scale to measure each ingredient. This prevents errors that could happen while measuring with cups.
  • Do not overmix the batter. Overmixing the batter would result in a denser and gummy texture. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is combined with the wet ingredients.
  • Zest the lemon. To zest the lemon, you can use either a microplane zester or a regular citrus zester. The latter will yield thicker zest so I recommend using a sharp knife to mince the zest as thinly as possible.
Holding a slice of lemon pound cake.

❄️ Storing and Freezing

  • To store: This pound cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days covered with plastic wrap.
  • To freeze: You can freeze it whole or in slices. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw for a few hours at room temperature.

💬 FAQ

Can I bake the batter in a muffin pan?

Yes! Fill the cavities of a muffin pan to the 3/4 and bake for 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your muffins. They should be golden brown on top.

How do I know when my pound cake is done?

The top should be golden brown and no longer look humid. You can test the doneness by inserting a thin knife into the middle of the cake, it should come out almost clean, with just a few crumbs.

If you like anything fruity and citrusy, you will love my lemon pound cake! Each bite is infused with a ton of lemon flavor and has the most buttery crumb you will ever try!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Two slices of glazed lemon cake on a plate.
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Recipe

Vegan Lemon Pound Cake

5 from 2 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Celebrate the summer season with this rich vegan lemon pound cake! It has the most tender and buttery crumb and plenty of lemon flavor, thanks to the use of lemon zest and lemon juice. It's zesty, slightly tangy, and made with only 9 ingredients!
Prep Time : 20 minutes
Cook Time : 50 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 319 kcal

Ingredients
 

Lemon Pound Cake

  • 260 g all-purpose flour
  • 220 g granulated white sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 130 g melted vegan butter
  • 130 g unsweetened plant-based yogurt or silken tofu
  • 45 ml oil
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped lemon zest

Glaze (Optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175°C) and line an 8×4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
  • Melt the butter. Dice the vegan butter and add it to a saucepan. Melt it over low heat until just melted. You do not want the butter to be hot – it should be just warm to the touch.
  • Whisk in the wet ingredients. Pour the melted vegan butter, yogurt, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, mix until combined.
  • Add the lemon zest. Next, finely chop the lemon zest and add it to the batter. Stir one more time to combine.
  • Transfer to a cake pan. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared cake pan. Spread the top into a smooth and even layer.
  • Bake. Finally, bake the cake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown. The baking time will depend a lot on your oven so keep an eye on it after 45 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn on the top.
  • Allow the cake to cool down for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan and transferring it to a cooling rack.
  • This pound cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days covered with plastic wrap.

Glaze (Optional)

  • Add the powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and the almond milk and stir until fully combined. The glaze should be thick but pourable. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more milk.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before pouring the glaze over it using a spoon. The glaze will slightly firm up after a few minutes.

Notes

  • Measure ingredients using a scale. For the best result, I am sharing this recipe in grams. Hence, you will need to use a kitchen scale to measure each ingredient. This prevents errors that could happen while measuring with cups.
  • Do not overmix the batter. Overmixing the batter would result in a denser and gummy texture. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is combined with the wet ingredients.
  • Zest the lemon. To zest the lemon, you can use either a microplane zester or a regular citrus zester. The latter will yield thicker zest so I recommend using a sharp knife to mince the zest as thinly as possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 319 kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.4 g | Protein: 3.4 g | Fat: 15.3 g | Saturated Fat: 7.3 g | Sodium: 79 mg | Potassium: 35 mg | Fiber: 0.8 g | Sugar: 22.4 g | Calcium: 40 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Course : Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine : American
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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This sounds delicious- can’t wait to try it

5 stars
Amazing recipe. Just make it for my family. Everyone loved it.

5 stars
One of my fave recipes of all time!
The lemon glazing sounds too sweet for me, so I chose to make the cake without it.
Thanks for the tips on how to make the cake split in the middle. That was really helpful. Gonna make this more often. Cheers!