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Vegan Italian Lemon Cake

This vegan Italian lemon cake is light, moist, and bursting with tangy lemon flavor. The cake is topped with a sweet lemon glaze that perfectly complements the tartness of the lemon. It’s a perfect dessert for any occasion, and it’s easy to make!

Vegan Italian Lemon Cake

Course: Vegan dessertsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp lemon zest

  • For the glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the non-dairy milk, vegetable oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the bowl. Mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth.
  • Once the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the cake from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.
  • Slice and serve.


  • Use fresh lemons for the lemon juice and zest to get the best flavor.
  • Make sure your non-dairy milk is at room temperature before adding it to the batter.
  • Let the cake cool completely before adding the glaze to prevent it from melting or becoming too runny.

Alterations and Modifications


  • Vegan Italian Orange Cake: Substitute the lemon zest and juice with orange zest and juice for a citrusy twist.
  • Vegan Italian Almond Cake: Add almond extract to the batter and sprinkle sliced almonds on top for a nutty flavor and crunchy texture.
  • Vegan Italian Blueberry Cake: Add fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter for a fruity and vibrant flavor.

Cooking Methods

  • Slow Cooker Method: Grease a slow cooker with cooking spray and pour the batter into the slow cooker. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Pressure Cooker Method: Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and cover with foil. Place a trivet in a pressure cooker and pour 1 cup of water. Place the cake pan on the trivet and pressure cook on high for 40 minutes. Release the pressure and let the cake cool for 10 minutes before serving.
vegan italian lemon cake slice

Gluten-Free Option

  • Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend and ensure that all other ingredients are certified gluten-free.

Oil Substitutions

  • Substitute the vegetable oil with melted coconut oil for a slightly nutty flavor and aroma.
  • Substitute the vegetable oil with applesauce for a lower-fat option.

Sugar Substitutions

  • Substitute the granulated sugar with coconut sugar for a slightly caramel-like flavor.
  • Substitute the powdered sugar in the glaze with maple syrup or agave nectar for a more natural sweetener.

Cooking Methods

  • You can make this recipe into cupcakes by dividing the batter into a muffin tin and baking for 18-20 minutes.
  • For a fancier presentation, you can also bake the cake in a bundt pan and dust it with powdered sugar instead of using the glaze.

Complete Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

8 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories339
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 12g 19%
    • Saturated Fat 1g 5%
  • Sodium 183mg 8%
  • Total Carbohydrate 54g 18%
    • Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
    • Sugars 33g
  • Protein 4g 8%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q: Can I make this cake ahead of time?

    A: Yes, you can make this cake up to 2 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before serving.

    Q: Can I use a different type of flour?

    A: Yes, you can use a gluten-free flour blend or a whole wheat flour, but the texture and flavor may be slightly different.

    Q: Can I substitute the lemon with another citrus fruit?

    A: Yes, you can use lime, orange, or grapefruit instead of lemon.

    Q: Can I make this cake oil-free?

    A: Yes, you can substitute the oil with applesauce or mashed banana for a healthier option.

    Q: Can I freeze this cake?

    A: Yes, you can freeze this cake for up to 1 month. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.

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