Dessert, Recipes, Winter

Vegan Lemon Loaf

Looking for a lemon loaf that can rival Starbucks? This vegan lemon loaf is easy to make, super moist, has a delightfully tangy flavour, and is perfect for breakfast or dessert.

Whether you call it lemon loaf or lemon cake – this veganized treat is always a favourite! January is citrus season which means we’re putting lemons in everything. This slightly sweet lemon loaf has a tart flavour and tender crumb. It’s sweet enough to make a great treat but not too much that it wouldn’t make a great morning snack. If you’re making this for dessert you can also whip up a a quick lemon glaze top it off with or top a slice with some whipped cream and fruit. For breakfast we love it as is or with some fruit on the side!

So whether you’re looking for your next favourite sweet (but not too sweet) treat or a copycat recipe for the Starbucks lemon loaf – this is the perfect recipe.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Moist and tender crumb.
  • Super easy to make.
  • Packed with a bright and tangy lemon flavour.

Top tips for making this vegan lemon loaf recipe:

  • Grease and line the baking pan. For the easiest removal after baking, we lightly grease the pan and then place piece of parchment across the bottom and up the long sides of the pan. Leave enough parchment overhanging for each grabbing and removing once baked.
  • Massage lemon zest and sugar. To enhance the flavour of lemon in the cake massage the lemon zest it into the sugar with your fingers. This helps release the oils from the rind resulting in a flavour-packed loaf. The lemon aroma should fill the bowl as you massage it.
  • Don’t over-mix the flour. Over-mixing the flour will develop the gluten and create a tough loaf. Mix until JUST combined and you don’t see any dry patches.
  • Top with coarse sugar. Topping with demerara sugar before baking yields perfectly crunchy top that takes this loaf to whole new levels.
  • Let cool completely before slicing. Let the loaf cool on a wire rack before slicing into it.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Granulated Sugar – If it’s of concern for you, not all white granulated sugar is vegan-friendly as some is processed with animal bones. Most available in Canada are vegan, but it may be different in other countries.
  • Lemons – This is where you are getting the bulk of the flavour and because we use both juice and zest, we recommend getting the freshest and highest quality lemons you can for this recipe. It will help ensure the flavour is as bold as it can be.
  • Vegan Butter – We use the Becel Plant Based Sticks for almost all of our recipes. But we have also had success with Earth Balance.
  • Vegan Yogurt – We use a plain vegan yogurt as we don’t want it to add too much flavour, other than tartness, to the recipe. The object of the yogurt is to replace egg and impart a tart flavour. We have the best success with the Maison Riviera Plain Vegan Yogurt.
  • Non-Dairy Milk – We like to use soy milk for most of our recipes, but we have had success with other non-dairy milks like oat, almond, and pea. Our go-to non-dairy milk is the Silk Soy Milk.
  • All-Purpose Flour – We use our store brand (No Name) unbleached all-purpose flour.

Recipe Questions:

Can you freeze lemon loaf?

Yes! It typically doesn’t last long enough to freeze in our houses, but it definitely can be. To freeze your lemon loaf, slice then freeze in an airtight container. We recommend separating each slice with some parchment paper so you can easily grab a slice from the freezer as needed.

Why is my lemon loaf dry?

Chances are you have overbaked the cake and cooked out too much of the moisture. If you find that the loaf is dry after you’ve cut into it, you can brush on a lemon soak to it – using the one from our Lemon Cake recipe will do. To avoid the cake drying out ensure your using weighted measurements for the recipe and remove from the oven when a toothpick comes out clean and/or when you press to top of the loaf gently and it springs back.

What can I make with lots of lemons? More vegan lemon recipes you’ll love:

How to make vegan lemon loaf:

Vegan Lemon Loaf

Looking for a lemon loaf that can rival Starbucks? This vegan lemon loaf is easy to make, super moist, has a delightfully tangy flavour, and is perfect for breakfast or dessert.
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Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 1 loaf


  • 100 g (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 12 g (2 tbsp) lemon zest
  • 75 g (5 tbsp) vegan yogurt
  • 75 g (5 tbsp) vegan butter, melted
  • 5 g (2 tsp) ground flax seed
  • 120 mL (½ cup) non-dairy milk
  • 60 mL (4 tbsp) lemon juice, divided
  • 240 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 10 g (2 tsp) baking soda
  • 6 g (1 tsp) baking powder
  • pinch kosher salt
  • coarse sugar, for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Lightly grease a loaf pan and line the bottom and the two long sides with a rectangle of parchment paper – leaving enough overhang to easily remove the loaf once baked. Set aside.
  • Combine granulated sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Using your fingers, massage the zest into the sugar – this helps release the oils and flavours from the peel.
  • To the sugar mixture add vegan yogurt and melted butter then mix together with a rubber spatula until the sugar dissolves. Add ground flax seed, non-dairy milk, and lemon juice and mix to combine.
  • Fold the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the wet mixture until no more dry flour remains. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Spread the batter mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Top with a generous sprinkling of coarse sugar.
  • Bake in heated oven for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Let the loaf cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.


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