This super moist and tender coconut lemon loaf cake is honestly better than any bakery! It’s naturally vegan, eggless, dairy free, and gluten free, yet you’d never know. Topped with a coconut frosting and toasted coconut flakes, you’re just going to love this tropical lemon loaf recipe, whether or not you’re vegan! 

Amazing Coconut Lemon Loaf Cake Recipe (Vegan + Gluten Free)

What is a lemon loaf cake?

If you’ve ever had a Starbucks lemon loaf cake slice or maybe you’ve tried my classic vegan and gluten free lemon loaf recipe, then you’re in for a treat. This tropical coconut lemon loaf is the perfect spring and summer vegan breakfast cake, brunch treat, or snack with a cup of coffee! It’s also a wonderful and refreshing summer dessert after lunch or dinner.

It’s similar to a lemon pound cake in both taste and texture, with the added sweet flavor of coconut! The moist crumb texture is absolutely incredible. Melts in your mouth with the perfect soft and delicate consistency.

This vegan and gluten free coconut lemon loaf is so quick to make, just one bowl, and honestly, gives Starbucks’ lemon loaf recipe a run for its money!

slice of vegan lemon loaf cake

Ingredients needed:

Here’s all you need to make this easy vegan and gluten free coconut lemon loaf cake:

  • Lemons: We’re using fresh lemons to get that zesty lemon flavor! Plus a little lemon zest as well! The fresh lemon juice and zest will make for a much better lemon cake than using any lemon extract or imitations.
  • Coconut oil: You can also use vegan butter in place of coconut oil; however, your coconut lemon loaf recipe will have less of a coconut flavor then.
  • Coconut milk: We’re using full fat canned coconut milk for this recipe. This will allow us to have an entirely natural coconut flavor. However, you may also swap in refrigerated coconut milk for a low fat lemon loaf cake and use a 1/4 tsp of coconut extract.
  • Coconut shreds: I recommend using coconut shreds instead of flakes. The reason being is that when the lemon loaf cake rises, the coconut flakes may cause big air bubbles in the loaf.
  • Dairy free yogurt: I have used both Forager Project cashew milk yogurt (my go to) and have also tried their vegan sour cream in place of yogurt here- both work wonderfully! You can also use a plant based vegan Greek-style yogurt as well.
  • Oat flour: This lemon loaf recipe is entirely gluten free, but honestly you won’t notice it at all. We’re adding in a touch of arrowroot starch to the flour mixture to create a texture that’s nearly identical to all purpose flour or even cake flour! If you’re using store bought oat flour, like I did, then you won’t have an oat-y taste at all either.
  • Sugar: Use organic granulated sugar, such as Florida Crystals, for an entirely vegan sugar option. You may also use coconut sugar if you’d like a refined sugar free option. Please note that your loaf cake will look more caramel.
  • Applesauce: This is used as the egg replacement for traditional eggs in a lemon drizzle cake recipe.
coconut lemon loaf recipe

Can I use olive oil instead of coconut oil?

Absolutely! If you’d prefer to use olive oil in place of coconut oil in the lemon loaf cake recipe, you certainly can. Keep in mind that your coconut lemon loaf cake will have more of an olive oil flavor to it.

Do I have to make this lemon loaf cake gluten free?

No you don’t need to make this vegan coconut lemon loaf cake gluten free if you don’t need it. Oat flour is a wonderful gluten free flour, but if you can’t find it in stores and don’t want to make it at home, you may also use all purpose flour!

How to make a vegan coconut lemon loaf cake (overview)

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

Here’s how to make this quick and easy vegan coconut lemon loaf:

  1. Whisk together all of the wet ingredients.

    You don’t need a stand mixer nor a hand mixer! Just a medium to large bowl and a hand whisk!making the lemon loaf cake

  2. Add in the flour mixture.

    Then whisk again until everything is combined. making the lemon loaf cake batter

  3. Fold in the coconut shreds.

    I recommend using a silicone spatula to fold in the coconut shreds. It’s a bit easier than a whisk. coconut lemon loaf cake

  4. Bake the lemon loaf.

    Pour the coconut lemon loaf cake batter into your prepared loaf pan. Then place it into the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes. Your cake is done when the top is lightly golden, and the toothpick comes out clean. baked lemon loaf cake

  5. Frost with the vegan coconut buttercream frosting and enjoy!

    You can store any leftovers wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for put to a week. Additionally you can store the lemon loaf cake in an airtight bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.lemon loaf cake

Vegan coconut oil frosting:

This is one of my absolute favorite parts of this coconut lemon loaf cake. Who knew that coconut oil could swap in as a great “shortening” to make a coconut oil-based vegan frosting?! This frosting is much like vegan buttercream (one of my favorites! Highly recommend!). 

It’s super easy to make, and if you know how to make buttercream, then you’ll be just fine.

Simply cream together the coconut oil and powdered sugar as you would a vegan butter. Then add in some dairy free milk and vanilla extract for flavor and to help with the smooth texture. It’s absolutely delicious!

vegan lemon loaf

Alternative lemon glaze:

If you’d prefer to use a lemon glaze or drizzle, like a copycat of the Starbucks lemon loaf, over a coconut based frosting, then you can swap in my favorite lemon glaze on top of our classic lemon loaf cake!

 Can I make this into mini lemon loaf cakes?

Absolutely! This vegan coconut lemon loaf recipe makes about 3-4 mini loaf cakes. 

Can I double this recipe for a coconut lemon cake?

You can absolutely use this lemon loaf cake recipe as a traditional layered cake. Simply double the cake recipe to make two 8″ cake layers, and triple the coconut frosting to be able to frost the entire cake.

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Amazing Coconut Lemon Loaf Cake Recipe (Vegan + Gluten Free)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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Amazing Coconut Lemon Loaf Cake Recipe (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Amazing Coconut Lemon Loaf Recipe (Vegan + Gluten Free!)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This super moist and tender coconut lemon loaf cake is honestly better than any bakery! It’s naturally vegan, eggless, dairy free, and gluten free, yet you’d never know. Topped with a coconut frosting and toasted coconut flakes, you’re just going to love this tropical lemon loaf recipe, whether or not you’re vegan! 


  • 1/2 cup (113 g) coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (170 g) canned coconut milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) vegan dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • Juice from 3 medium lemons
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 1/2 cups (440 g) oat flour + 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½  cup shredded coconut flakes (or coconut shreds)
  • Coconut Buttercream:
  • ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk
  • Toasted coconut flakes and lemon wedges, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F, and grease and line a 9″ loaf pan with coconut oil and  parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the coconut oil and sugar. The sugar should begin to dissolve into the coconut oil, and the mixture should be fluffy. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the applesauce, coconut milk, dairy free yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest, and mix again until all wet ingredients are combined.
  4. Sift in the oat flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and gently fold the dry into the wet just before there are no dry streaks left, being careful not to over mix. When the dry is almost mixed into the wet, add in the coconut shreds, and mix again.
  5. Pour the batter into your loaf tin, and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the lemon loaf to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove with the parchment paper flaps on the side.
  7. To make the coconut buttercream, cream together the coconut oil and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the coconut milk to help achieve a fluffy consistency. Spread on top of the cooled lemon loaf cake, and decorate with toasted coconut flakes and lemon wedges.
  8. Slice and enjoy! Store any leftover slices in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days, in the fridge for 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Coconut oil: You may also swap in vegan butter in place of coconut oil; however, your coconut lemon loaf cake will have less of a coconut flavor. 

Gluten free; If you don’t need gluten free, you may also use all purpose flour at the same ratio.