Find VRC | veganrecipeclub.org.uk on TwitterFind VRC | veganrecipeclub.org.uk on FacebookFind VRC | veganrecipeclub.org.uk on InstagramFind VRC | veganrecipeclub.org.uk on YouTube

All recipes are deliciously vegan.

Thirty Minute Lemon Cake with Buttercream Icing

gluten free
wheat free
kid friendly
quick meals, fast feeds
cheap as chickpeas
2 spoon difficulty rating

30 minutes if you get a wiggle on + cooling time 20-30 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Thirty Minute Lemon Cake with Buttercream Icing

A simple, delicious cake - we give you step by step instructions to make it speedy! Yes it uses measuring cups not scales - this makes it faster in our experience. However, sets of cups are easy and cheap to buy from any large supermarket, pound shop or cook shop - and as a lot of US and Canadian recipes use them, it's worth getting a set.  

GET YOUR KIT OUT
For beginner or unconfident cooks, this is a really useful tip. Seriously... get everything you need, equipment AND ingredients. It makes cooking much quicker, easier and enjoyable.

GLUTEN OR WHEAT-FREE? 
Replace flour and baking powder with g-f or w-f equivalents, eg Dove's Farm brand

SOYA-FREE?
Use a soya free margarine eg Pure Sunflower; Biona or other vegan types that don't contain it and use another type of plant milk, eg almond, coconut, hemp or rice

Ingredients: 

Kit

  • Oil or margarine to grease the cake tin + baking paper OR a cake tin liner OR a *silicone cake 'tin' placed on a baking tray
  • Scissors and pencil/pen if using baking paper option
  • 1 cake tin: a 20-21cm/8 inch square tin OR a round loose-bottomed tin of the same size (20-21cm)*
  • Sieve
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 medium bowl for wet ingredients
  • 1 glass or ceramic bowl or jug for the aquafaba
  • 1 medium bowl for icing
  • 1 medium-large mixing bowl for cake
  • Jug or bowl for cake wet ingredients
  • Wooden spoon for mixing cake
  • Hand blender or electric cake mixer
  • Spatula
  • Grater
  • Fork
  • Cooling rack (use a clean oven rack if you don’t have a special one for baking)
  • Cake tin for storage – it needs to fit the base of your baking tin
  • Clingfilm or tinfoil

Ingredients

Cake – dry ingredients

  • 1¼ cups plain white flour (GF will also work)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (GF if appropriate)
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup caster sugar

Cake – wet ingredients

  • ½  cup plant milk, eg soya, almond, rice, oat
  • 1½ tsp cider or white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup plain vegetable oil 
  • 1½ tsp lemon essence
  • Optional: 1 lemon, zested/grated + 2 tbsp juice

Egg replacer

  • 90ml/6 tbsp aquafaba (tinned chickpea liquid)

Icing

  • 1⅓ cups icing sugar, sieved
  • ⅓ cup of mixed vegan margarine and coconut oil
  • 1-1½ tsp lemon essence
  • Soya or other plant milk, a drizzle (reduce if using extra lemon juice)
  • Optional: 1 lemon, zested and/or 1 tbsp or so lemon juice

Method: 

1.Get out everything you need: equipment and ingredients.  Preheat the oven to 180°/350°/Gas Mark 4.

2. Oil the cake tin. Line the bottom of the tin with the baking paper OR just place the cake tin liner inside it. 

3.In the medium bowl, sieve the icing sugar. Set aside.

4. In the large bowl, sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and sugar. Set aside.

5. In the other medium bowl, measure out the plant milk and vinegar. Stir, then add the oil, lemon essence (and options if using) to the soya milk/vinegar mixture.

6.In the glass or ceramic bowl/jug, beat the aquafaba until it's white and frothy.

7. Make a hole in the flour mixture and pour the wet ingredients gradually into the centre. Mix quickly and thoroughly. If it's too thick and unwieldy, add a splash or two more of plant milk, eg a couple of tablespoons at a time. Fold in the beaten aquafaba last.

8. Once it’s all mixed and smooth, tap the bowl hard on the work surface. Pour the batter quickly into the cake tin, using the spatula to get all of it out of the bowl. Tap the cake tin – the tapping gets rid of air bubbles and makes for a lighter cake.

9. Place the cake in the pre-heated oven immediately so the raising agents get to do their work properly. Set a timer for 20 minutes.

10. While the cake is baking, make the icing. Soften the coconut oil for a few seconds in the microwave. Add the coconut and margarine to the sieved icing sugar. Cream with a fork until lump-free, adding the lemon essence and plant milk and mixing everything thoroughly. Place the icing mixture in the fridge or freezer to chill.

11. After the 20 minutes, test the cake with a toothpick or thin sharp knife. It should come out clean. If not, return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so.

11. Let the cake cool in the tin for about 20 minutes or so. Carefully hold the rack tight against the tin, turn carefully upside down then remove the paper. Reverse this move so the cake is topside up. Let it cool completely before icing.

12. Ice the cake by dipping a rubber or silicone spatula in hot water then spreading the icing over the top. Make it smooth or create peaks with a fork.

13. Line your storage tin lid with cling film or foil before adding the cake. Seal the cake without smudging the icing then add the big bit of the cake tin and seal carefully. (Vegan cakes dry out more quickly so extra airtightness is good to keep them as moist as possible.)

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Did you know that Vegan Recipe Club is run by a charity?

Viva! is a UK-registered charity which educates people about the realities of factory farming and how it impacts our health, the planet and animals. Vegan Recipe Club is part of our project to make going – and staying – vegan really easy by providing amazing recipes which make even meat-eaters’ mouths water!

We’re doing it because veganism saves animals, protects our planet and is better for the environment and your health.

We don’t receive any government funding. We can only keep going with YOUR help. Please consider donating to Viva! to help us continue to offer these life-saving services.

New recipes

Displaying 1 - 28 of 28
Avocado Wings with Ranch Dip
These wings are a signature dish down at MNB and have been featured on our menu from day one. The...See recipe »
Fruity FroYo
This is a fresh, zingy and healthy dessert which can be made in just 5 minutes!See recipe »
Fast & Healthy Burgers
Quick, healthy and very tasty... perfect for a hearty meal on the go!See recipe »
Vegetable Paella
This paella dish is colourful and hearty with an incredible combination of flavours. It has a bit of everything you...See recipe »
Vegan White Chocolate & Raspberry Baked Cheesecake
This is a truly indulgent, decadent cake which goes down an absolute treat with all who receive it! All the...See recipe »
Yuzu Chocolate Cake
Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit with a lemony-orange flavour that’s very popular in Japan and goes well with sweet...See recipe »
Roasted Tofu & Sweet Potato Rendang Curry
A firm favourite at all our vegan supper clubs. You will struggle not to eat this as you go along...See recipe »
Tomato, White Bean & 'Feta' Salad
A nice filling twist on this classic Greek salad. Very quick, easy and perfect for sunny days, picnics and barbecues.See recipe »
Tortilla De Patatas
This is one of the most commonly served dishes in Spain. Bars and cafes serve it as a starter or...See recipe »
Vegan Scones with Jam & Cream
Fancy a spot of afternoon tea? These scones are very quick, easy and delicious!See recipe »
Mexican Jackfruit Flatbread Pizza
If you are looking for a pizza that is big on flavour without the hassle of proving dough then this...See recipe »
Aubergine & Green Lentil Koftas
These Lentil Koftes are a fantastic way to enjoy the flavours of the middle east from your own home. The...See recipe »
Cheatin' Tofu Katsu Curry
This is an amazingly quick way of making a katsu curry! You can also use the panko covered tofu in...See recipe »
Quick Quinoa Salad
This can be made really quickly if you use pre-cooked quinoa (eg Merchant Gourmet) and makes for a very healthy,...See recipe »
Loaded Nachos (supermarket style)
These nachos are great to share with friends or for when you fancy a bit of no hassle indulgence! There...See recipe »
Instant Gnocchi (supermarket style)
This is such a quick recipe (5-10 minutes) and can be easily adapted depending on what veg you fancy. Grab...See recipe »
Cheatin' Chana Masala
This is a very simple chana masala recipe using a masala paste for when you're short of time! Easy but...See recipe »
Vegan Cheese Ploughman's Sandwich
A ploughman's sandwich and deliciously vegan. If you're feeling lazy, Waitrose and Sainsbury's offer a tasty one in their sandwich...See recipe »
Easy Protein Wrap
These wraps are full of protein and perfect for lunchboxes, picnics, festivals, camping and pre or post workout.See recipe »
Butternut Squash & Lentil Warm Salad (supermarket style)
This is a delicious and hearty salad which can be served as a side or as a main. It's very...See recipe »
Toast with all the Good Stuff
This is such a simple recipe and perfect for when you're short of time, want something healthy and would like...See recipe »
Vegan Cheeseburger (supermarket style)
There are so many shop-bought vegan burgers out there now, you're spoiled for choice! If you're looking for the 'meaty'...See recipe »
Vegan BLT Sandwich
A deliciously vegan version of this classic sandwich... very tasty and super easy!See recipe »
Raw Cheesecake
At Stem + Glory our raw desserts are an absolute winner, and one of our best sellers. Cashew nuts are...See recipe »
Nori Rolls
Stem + Glory founder Louise has been experimenting with plant-based foods for more than 30 years and loves clean and...See recipe »
Cheatin' Tagine
We can't quite believe how delicious this tagine is and yet it's so easy! Definitely one for the weekly staples.....See recipe »
Simple Roast Tomato Soup
Fresh, zingy and everything we love about summer! This is such a tasty and healthy soup with the added bonus...See recipe »
Portable Blueberry Cheesecakes (no-bake)
These cheesecakes are super easy and so handy for taking on picnics or to a barbecue. The recipe will make...See recipe »