This is the ultimate vegan lemon loaf cake recipe that’s even better than Starbucks! Super moist and tender, easy, secretly gluten free with just oat flour, and topped with a lemon drizzle, this lemon loaf is bursting with fresh lemon zest and flavor!

BEST Vegan Lemon Loaf Cake (Gluten Free!)

Super Moist Vegan Lemon Loaf that’s better than Starbucks

There. I said it. This vegan lemon loaf is better than Starbucks. I’m not kidding. It’s soft, light, and delightfully zesty and sweet. And it’s made with better-for-you ingredients that are all naturally vegan, dairy free, eggless, nut free, and gluten free. 

And for the holiday season: make sure to try my copycat Starbucks vegan gingerbread loaf and vegan cranberry bliss bars!

Starbucks’ classic lemon loaf cake contains the following ingredients: 

Enriched Wheat Flour [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Sugar, Eggs, Butter [Cream (Milk), Natural Flavor], Powdered Sugar [Sugar, Cornstarch], Buttermilk[Cultured Lowfat Milk, Nonfat Milk, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Citrate, Locust Bean Gum, Carrageenan, Mono And Diglycerides, Salt, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D 3], Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest [Lemon Peel, Sugar, Lemon Oil], Soybean Oil, Water, Palm Oil Shortening, Corn Syrup, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Baking Powder [Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Monocalcium Phosphate], Baking Soda, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Beta Carotene [Color], Enzyme, Soy Lechitin 

Excerpted from starbucks’ website.

Here are the ingredients for THIS vegan lemon loaf:

Oat flour,  Organic Vegan Sugar, Lemon juice & zest, Vegan Sour Cream (or Dairy Free Yogurt) Applesauce, Vanilla Extract, Dairy free Milk, Arrowroot Starch, Baking Powder, Baking Soda. 

Much much simpler! And we’re not sacrificing any taste.

slices of vegan lemon loaf

This lemon drizzle cake is the very definition of tender and moist, with the most beautiful crumb texture. Bursting with fresh lemon with sweet notes of vanilla, and topped with the lightest lemon glaze on top, this vegan lemon loaf is the breakfast cake to make. Okay, and my vegan coffee cake . 

It’s one of my favorite vegan breakfast recipes to make for a treat on the weekend or with a cup of herbal coffee (that’s right, I no longer drink caffeine!). 

But that’s right, this lemon loaf cake is also vegan, meaning it’s dairy free and egg free! Plus, you’d never know this from taking a bite, but this lemon loaf is also entirely gluten free as well!

Using just oat flour (aka affordable compared to other gluten free flours, and even easy to make in the US!), we somehow get a gluten free lemon drizzle cake that has the texture and feel of the classic.

Trust me, you’ll be making this vegan lemon loaf on repeat!

lemon loaf

Ingredients:

In terms of ingredients for this gluten free lemon drizzle cake, you’ll need:

  • Oat flour: you can also use all purpose flour if you don’t need it to be gluten free. If oat flour isn’t available to you but you need gluten free, you can also use gluten free 1:1 baking flour.
  • Sugar: you can use either granulated or coconut sugar.
  • Vegan butter: you can also use coconut oil, but I will say that the vegan butter makes this vegan lemon drizzle cake taste more like the classic!
  • Applesauce: this replaces the eggs found in a classic lemon loaf cake.
  • Dairy free milk: you can use your favorite dairy free milk here. I personally love oat milk or coconut milk!
  • Vegan sour cream: vegan sour cream isn’t available everywhere, which is why you can also use vegan coconut yogurt. That will give you the closest result to using the dairy free sour cream. I used Forager Project’s sour cream here, and I believe they are expanding into my US stores soon!
  • Vanilla: the vanilla complements the lemon so nicely in this loaf cake! It really tastes like just a vegan lemon cake!
  • Lemon juice & zest: you can omit the zest if you don’t want a LOT of lemon, but I personally love it!
vegan lemon loaf cake ingredients

How to make the easiest secretly gluten free vegan lemon loaf (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.

What I personally love about this lemon loaf cake the most is that it’s so incredibly easy. That tends to be my favorite part of any recipe- how easy it is to make!

As long as your wet ingredients are all room temperature, you can prepare the vegan lemon loaf batter in just 5-7 minutes max.

With all of my recipes, the full recipe is found down below in the recipe card, along with the ingredients measurements. But let’s go over the basics here!

I like to prepare my 9″ loaf pan with a strip of parchment paper that create wings so that you can easily pull the loaf out of the pan without hurting it.

I also grease the pan with a bit of coconut oil as well!

Here’s how to make this easy vegan lemon loaf cake:

  1. Whisk together the sugar and vegan butter.

    Then add in the applesauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Whisk again until combined.making the vegan lemon loaf batter

  2. Add in the dry ingredients

    Once all the wet ingredients are incorporated into the mixture, you can sift in the oat flour and leavening agents, along with the dairy free milk. Be careful not to over mix the batter- mix it until you just notice there are no more dry streaks.making the vegan lemon loaf batter

  3. Bake the vegan lemon loaf cake

    The loaf will need about 50-55 minutes in the oven, and you’ll know it’s done by the toothpick test.unbaked lemon loaf cake

  4. Allow the lemon loaf to cool before drizzling.

    This should be about 10-15 minutes.baked lemon loaf

  5. Drizzle and serve!

    vegan lemon drizzle cake

How do you make a lemon drizzle cake?

This vegan lemon loaf has such a cake-like texture with the oat flour, that it honestly tastes just like a lemon drizzle cake.

We just need the drizzle! For the lemon glaze that you’ll drizzle over top, I whisked together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and just a bit of dairy free milk.

Drizzle the glaze over top and serve! Simple as that 🙂

slices of vegan lemon loaf

How to avoid a dry cake

With this recipe, you really shouldn’t have any issue with a dry lemon loaf! It’s super moist and fluffy, while still having a beautifully tender crumb that stands on its own.

But to ensure that you always get this consistency, here are a few of my favorite tips:

  • Spoon and level your flour. Whether it’s oat flour or regular all purpose, it’s always a good practice to spoon and level rather than scooping the flour. Scooping the flour leads to more flour than you need, which then results in a dry loaf.
  • Allow your loaf to rest for 10 minutes in the pan post baking. It’s always good to give your bakes a little rest right out of the oven. This is because it’s technically still cooking, and the pan will keep the heat within the loaf, rather than escaping to the “cooler” air (I know a 70F kitchen isn’t cool, but compared to the 350F oven, it is ha!).
  • If your loaf still feels dry: you can drizzle a few tablespoons of a simple syrup over the top of the vegan lemon loaf after it’s baked to help give it some extra moisture.
sliced lemon loaf

Storage & Reheating Instructions

Room temperature. Place the whole loaf or slices into an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.

Refrigerator. You can wrap the loaf in parchment paper and place the whole loaf or slices into an airtight container. Store for up to 5 days.

Freezer. Slice the loaf and wrap the slices in parchment paper. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat from frozen. The best way to reheat from frozen is to place a slice onto a piece of tin foil and baking sheet, and heat the slice in the oven at 350F for 5-7 minutes. You can also use the microwave (no tinfoil though please!!), but I find the oven is the best method!

lemon loaf on a plate

You’re just going to love this easy vegan lemon loaf!I It seriously is one of my favorite treats to have with a cup of coffee.

If you make this lemon drizzle cake, let me know how it goes by leaving a comment down belowas well as a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others may find it.

As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there!

Happy lemon loaf cake baking!

More vegan lemon recipes:

Vegan Coconut Lemon Loaf

Vegan Lemon Cake

One Bowl Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cake

Paleo Vegan Lemon Bars

Easy Vegan Lemon Tart

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

BEST Vegan Lemon Loaf Cake (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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slices of vegan lemon loaf

Super Moist & Fluffy Vegan Lemon Loaf (Gluten Free!)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This is the ultimate vegan lemon loaf cake recipe! Super moist and tender, secretly gluten free with just oat flour, and topped with a lemon drizzle, this lemon loaf tastes even better than Starbucks!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 1/2 (380 g) cups oat flour
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup (200 g) organic granulated sugar or coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (170 g) unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sour cream, room temperature*
  • Juice from 2 medium lemons
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, for the glaze
  • 1 tbsp dairy free milk, for the glaze
  • 23 tsp lemon juice, for glaze

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F, and grease and line a 9″ loaf pan with olive oil and  parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients: In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or whisk to whisk together the vegan butter and sugar. The sugar should begin to dissolve into the butter. This should take about 2 minutes. Add in the applesauce, sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest, and mix again until all wet ingredients are combined.
  4. Finish the batter: Sift in the dry ingredients, and pour in the dairy free milk. Gently fold the dry into the wet until there are no dry streaks left, being careful not to over mix. 
  5. Bake: Pour the batter into your loaf tin, and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool: 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. Add the lemon drizzle: Mix the powdered sugar with the dairy free milk and lemon juice until you reach a runny consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the loaf. Slice and enjoy!
  8. Storage: 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.

Notes

  • Gluten free: If you don’t need this vegan lemon loaf to be gluten free, you can swap in an equal amount of all purpose flour.
  • Sour cream: The vegan sour cream I used in this recipe is by Forager Project. If you don’t have access to this, you can also swap in an equal amount of full fat unsweetened plain dairy free yogurt.
  • Refined sugar free: If you’d like to make this lemon loaf cake refined sugar free, you can use coconut sugar. 
  • Dairy free milk: you can use any dairy free milk here. I recommend coconut (either refrigerated or from a can) or oat milk for the best results.
  • Vegan butter: you can also swap in coconut oil in place of vegan butter here.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice, no icing
  • Calories: 281
  • Sugar: 19 g
  • Sodium: 22.3 mg
  • Fat: 11.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.2 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 22 mg

Keywords: vegan lemon loaf, vegan lemon bread, lemon loaf cake, gluten free lemon loaf, vegan lemon drizzle cake, gluten free lemon drizzle cake