The Best Vegan Lemon Pound Cake Recipe: Better than the Original

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Do I even need to say more about this pound cake?? I mean, just look at this photo…

Close up oblique view of slices of vegan lemon pound cake on a white plate.

I can’t even. So buttery/sugary/lemony/delicious. All in one bite (and every bite).

This cake is for Easter. Everything about it screams “spring!” from the lemon in the cake to the lemon glaze on top to the lemon flowers (definitely not necessary). I don’t know what our plans are for Easter this year, but I do know it involves this vegan pound cake.

An entire vegan lemon pound cake with a lemon glaze on rustic wooden table top.

This pound cake took me all week. I tried and tried and tried again until I had the perfect vegan pound cake to give you. And here it is! There are a few things going on with this amazing cake. They’re all really simple and you most likely have everything you need to make it in your pantry right now… but stuffs going on.

The first thing? Flour. Let’s talk about flour.

Close up of vegan lemon pound cake with glazing. Two slice have been trimmed off.

Let’s just get this out on the table here… not all flours are created equal. If you want to get really high-quality baked goods, you have to start with high-quality ingredients. I always bake with unbleached, unenriched, organic flour because that’s what I’ve found gives me the best results.

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour available on Amazon

One of my go-to flours is Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour. It does an amazing job with anything from crusty breads to buttery cakes, like this one. Or, you can even grind your own flour at home using a grain mill.

A bag of Bob's Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour sitting on a rustic wooden surface.

Second, aquafaba. I know you’re either 1) looking at the screen super weird and about to close the window (BUT WAIT!) or 2) nodding your head thinking, “yes, yes… aquafaba…” For all you skeptics out there, I just have one thing to say: I totally get it and I am right there with you.

A stand mixer being used to blend the ingredients of the vegan lemon pound cake.

Aquafaba is the liquid on top of a can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans. There’s something about it that behaves remarkably similarly to eggs in baking and stove top cooking. A case in point, meringue cookies.  Heck, you can even make mayo with the stuff.

It doesn’t leave any bean-y taste behind, or else I wouldn’t use it.

A human hand dribbles glaze with a wooden spoon over the top of a vegan lemon pound cake.

I tried making this cake with just flax seed but it didn’t rise quite as high and the texture wasn’t as good. It still worked, but it was about 85% of the way there. If you are weirded out by the aquafaba and/or don’t have a can of beans on hand, feel free to give it a shot using flax seeds.

Next up is this glaze. Super simple and definitely key. I didn’t glaze the first few cakes I made because I was mostly concerned about the texture of the cake, not the glaze. But once I got the texture right and added a glaze to this one I realized what I was missing out on the last ones.

Close up of the corner of glazed lemon pound cake showing details of the frosting dribbling over the edges.

Glaze your cake! Do not skip this step – it totally completes it.

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Vegan Lemon Pound Cake


  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Baked Goods

Description

This vegan lemon pound cake recipe is everything you love about regular pound cake… just without the dairy! With a simple & delicious lemon glaze.


Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), room temperature*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 6 Tbsp aquafaba*
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated*
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon’s worth)
  • 1 3/4 cups  organic all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/16 tsp tumeric (for color), optional

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Melt a bit of butter and add to an 8×4″ baking pan. Use a pastry brush to spread it all around the pan, making sure to get in all the corners. Add about 2 Tbsp flour to the pan and shake it around until fully coated. Tap excess flour out and set aside.
  2. Add the butter and the sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.* Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  3. While the butter and sugar cream, combine the almond milk and flax seed in a medium bowl and mix well. Grate the lemon zest and add to the milk along with the lemon juice. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and tumeric.
  4. Add the aquafaba to the mixing bowl 2 Tbsp at a time and beat for about 20-30 seconds between additions.
  5. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the mixer and mix on low until just incorporated. Follow with half the liquid, mix on low to combine. Repeat with 1/3 the flour, the rest of the milk, then the remainder of the flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared 8×4″ baking dish. Bake for 50-60 minutes, tenting with foil after about 45 minutes if needed to prevent over-browning. When done, a pick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully run a thin knife around the edges and invert to remove from the pan. Gently flip to right the cake, then let cool completely before glazing.

For the Glaze:

  1. Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and stir until incorporated. Drizzle over the top of the cake, spreading with a spoon if needed. Let harden for 1-2 hours before serving. Eat!

Notes

  • You can either let your butter sit out for an hour or two, or heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds.
  • Aquafaba is the liquid from the top of a can of chickpeas. You can omit if you’re weirded out by it, just replace with an equal amount of almond milk and an extra Tbsp flax seed. The cake won’t rise quite as nicely.
  • Use Meyer lemons if you can find them.
  • I don’t recommend just using Pam for your pan – it’ll stick. Butter and flour the pan for best results.
  • You can use a hand mixer for this. I don’t recommend creaming the butter and sugar with just a whisk since it’ll be difficult to beat enough air in, but you’re welcome to try.
  • I recommend letting the cake sit for 24 hours before eating – the texture improves a bit.

Keywords: lemon, pound cake, vegan,

Every Easter growing up we’d do a big breakfast with bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls. My favorite part was always the cinnamon rolls – but mostly the cinnamon roll frosting. I’ve always had a sweet tooth. After making this cake, I’d be hard-pressed to choose between this or a batch of vegan cinnamon rolls for breakfast.. Maybe both?

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published March 19th, 2016. Last updated March 21st, 2018.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).

Do you love pound cake but needs a vegan offering? Try this tasty lemon selection made with aquafaba as an egg replacement! It's as tasty as the the original. Get the recipe now on Foodal. #vegan #lemon #poundcake #eggfree #brunch #dessert #foodal

21 thoughts on “The Best Vegan Lemon Pound Cake Recipe: Better than the Original

  1. Oh wow! To follow-up to my most recent comment- definitely on my -ish list 😉 I love love love your photos in this one! They look so spring-like and dreamy.

  2. Gorgeous loaf cake, I love it! Beautiful texture, color and -I’m sure- taste. I totally agree on the use of unbleached, unenriched, organic flours! I, too, only uses organic ingredients and you can tell the difference. Never tried using aquafaba, but going to. The glaze definitely completes it.

    • Thanks so much, Nicoletta! I think you’ll be surprised at how aquafaba performs in baking. People even make macarons with it!

  3. I love it! Though I’m more of a double-chocolate kind of gal, this is actually one of my favourite cake here in Germany. They’re not so high on “typically North-American” cakes!
    Your photography is beautiful. I may just have to give it a try! 🙂

  4. Hello!!
    Thanks a lot, Raquel!
    I’m just starting with aquafaba, my first cake was not successful – too wet…
    Now want to try your recipe. Could I recheck with you count of ingredients please?

    1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill organic all-purpose flour = 1+3/4 cups?

    1 1/2 tsp baking powder = 1+1/2 tsp?

    Thank you very much!!

    • Hi Asiya –

      That’s correct. Sorry it turned out too wet… not sure what could have caused that. In all my trials it was never too wet. Good luck trying again!

  5. My son is allergic to milk, egg, and nuts. He loves this cake. We did substitute his milk (Oat milk) for almond milk. It is still a bit sweeter but not as think. And I think mine isn’t rising enough possibly because I didn’t use the aquafaba. I am going to try the alternative to adding more milk and flax meal.

    • Glad your son loved this cake! Omitting the aquafaba would definitely result in a cake that didn’t rise enough. I would use the aquafaba if you can, otherwise add more flax.

  6. Hi love this recipe.
    Although my cake tends to be abit crumbly on the outside when cutting it texture inside is just right any reason for this?

  7. I followed the recipe to the tee. It was a disaster. ..like a pudding in the middle and deflated after 60 minutes. ..I had all the ingredients including the fava liquid. .earth balance…flax meal…I’ve done recipes from blogs before and never came to this results. .I’m just upset I had to throw init away. ..

    • Hi Bee,

      Sorry for your troubles with this. It sounds like you didn’t bake it long enough. Because oven temperatures can vary so much, it’s really important to check that it is done by inserting a pick into the center and making sure it comes out clean, as specified in the recipe. I also highly recommend having a good oven thermometer inside your oven to verify the baking temperature – I’ve never met an oven that actually baked true to its stated temperature.

      Best of luck next time.

  8. I made this yesterday and loved it! It turned out just right, though I left it in the oven about 65 minutes. The glaze was to die for!

  9. I’ve made this twice now and I love it! I had to bake it for 15 more minutes, but it was so delicious. Thanks for a great recipe! 🙂

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