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BEST Ever Vegan Lemon Cake (Gluten Free!)

Vegan Lemon Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 23
  • Total Time: 33 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This is the best vegan lemon cake you’ll ever have! Super tender, moist, easily gluten free, and layered with a dairy free vanilla cream cheese frosting, even non-vegans will love this sweet and moist eggless lemon cake!


Units Scale
  • 3 1/4 cups (420 g) cake flour, all-purpose flour or gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour or oat flour, sifted (do NOT skip- add in 1 tbsp arrowroot powder if using all-purpose flour or gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour)
  • 1 1/4 cup (240 g) granulated sugar or coconut sugar (see Note)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (200 mL) dairy free milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (190 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter, softened (stand mixer method) or melted (by hand method)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice from 3-4 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 34 cups powdered sugar
  • 23 tbsp dairy free milk


No equipment version:

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and grease three 6″ cake pans with olive or coconut oil and line with parchment paper. Mix together the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Make the lemon cake batter: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or large bowl with hand mixer, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Then add in the applesauce, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix again until just combined. Then add in the dry ingredients and mix on medium-speed just until combined, adding in the vegan buttermilk in increments of 2. 
  3. Bake:Divide the batter evenly into the cake pans. Place cake pans into the oven and bake for 23-26 minutes (for 6″) or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a drying rack to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Make the vegan cream cheese frosting: When ready to frost the cakes, add vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to a large bowl or stand mixer and cream for 2-3 minutes. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a thick buttercream. Add in vanilla and 2-4 tablespoons of dairy free milk and continue to beat until desired texture.
  5. Assemble the cake: Frost the cake and top with lemon slices. Slice and enjoy!


Sugar: if using coconut sugar, your cake will come out tanner in color, but still taste delicious!

Gluten free: Use gluten free 1:1 baking flour or oat flour to create an entirely gluten free lemon cake.

Raspberry buttercream: If you’d prefer a raspberry frosting rather than cream cheese frosting, I recommend using my vegan raspberry frosting here.

Vegan buttermilk: allow the buttermilk mixture to sit for 5 minutes before using.

Keywords: vegan lemon cake, vegan lemon cake recipe, raspberry lemon cake, eggless lemon cake, vegan cake recipe, gluten free vegan cake