This vegan lemon loaf is moist, fluffy, and lemony with no dairy or eggs!
Lemon is definitely an interesting flavor to me, because half of the time I forget it exists, and the other half of the time I make everything lemon flavored. If you know, you know.
My mom, however, loves everything lemon flavored. So this recipe was made for her (and yes, she loved it :)) I can also assure you that you can definitely taste lemon, because we've tried too many recipes where it was barely noticeable.
It's vegan, moist, and fluffy, with no dairy or eggs! It's also got more fiber and healthy fats than the average cake 🙂
I did learn a lot of tricks as well as substitutions while testing this recipe, and I can’t wait to share it all with you in this post!🤓
If you don’t have time to read or make this now, you can click here to save the recipe on Pinterest so you can always come back to it!📌
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key ingredients and techniques
First off is the vegan “buttermilk.” No, I’m not expecting you to go buy some (do they even sell it in stores?). It’s extremely easy to make!
All you have to do it combine lemon juice, apple cider vinegar with your favorite plant-based milk (I’ve tried both oat and almond milk; they work great!) and let it sit to curdle.
What’s the point of this? Since this recipe has no eggs, the acidity of the ACV reacts with the basic baking powder to act as a leavener. It is extremely important to the texture so you don’t get a dense/gummy cake.
The acidity of lemon juice also helps with this, while also adding lemon flavor to your cake!
While you let that mixture sit, you’ll combine all the dry ingredients: all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
While I don’t have any notes for the last 3 ingredients mentioned (except do not skimp on salt!!), I want to make a quick note on the flours I used.
As with most of my baked goods, I like to use a combination of white flour and white whole wheat flour. They both have their own benefits and downsides, which is why I prefer to use both.
With white/all-purpose flour, you end up with the fluffiest and softest texture, but no nutritional value. Whereas the whole wheat flour has fiber, but a denser and wheaty texture. (note: be sure to use white whole wheat flour, not regular wheat, because it has a lighter taste and texture with the same nutritional value).
When you use both you get the best of both worlds–fluffy bread and more fiber! It will have a bit less fiber though, and that’s where flaxseed meal comes in to play.
This ingredient is 100% optional, so don’t worry if you don’t have it. However, it does increase the amount of fiber, protein, and omega-3s without changing taste or texture, so I highly recommend using if you have it.
Finally, you’ll add the remainder of the wet ingredients: the vegan “buttermilk” you made earlier, avocado oil, vanilla extract, and sugar.
I love using avocado oil because it has the same health benefits as olive oil (unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and more) but with a neutral taste. It’s also not chemically processed like canola or vegetable oil!
This is the brand I like to buy because it’s high quality and a great price for the quantity!
And lastly, the sugar. I used unrefined cane sugar (the most budget-friendly option; it’s hardly more than regular table sugar!) but you can use any 1:1 granulated sweetener as long as it acts like sugar. Coconut sugar would also work, but you might want to add a bit more since it’s not as sweet.
frequently asked questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I get about similar recipes!
what can I use instead of avocado oil? can I decrease the amount?
As mentioned previously, any neutral oil is fine, such as coconut or canola. If you want to reduce the amount of oil, I have tried subbing 3 tbsp for the same amount of milk. While it still works, the texture is not as good.
can I use another kind of flour?
I would not recommend any kind of flour replacement in this recipe, especially since there are no eggs. However, you are free to experiment however you like!
If you want to play with the ratios, you can use all white flour instead of a mix, or all white whole wheat (but you may notice a denser & wheatier texture). I still do not recommend regular wheat flour but use if you must.
what if I don't have apple cider vinegar?
You can use plain vinegar instead, but I highly recommend apple cider! It isn't too expensive and I use it in a lot of my recipes.
If you have any more questions, feel free to leave a comment below!💓
I really hope you like this recipe! If you decide to make it, be sure to post a picture/story and tag me @nutritiousdelights on Instagram–I’d love to see!💕
More recipes you might love:
Healthy Vegan Lemon Loaf
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal completely optional; see notes!
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 9 tablespoons cane or coconut sugar add more if using coconut
- ½ cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
- 1 ⅓ cup nondairy milk I used oat
- ⅓ cup lemon juice about 2 lemons
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest about 1 lemon
- 1 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, combine the milk with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Mix and set aside to thicken for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes until it springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in the oven and don't slice until cooled. Enjoy!