Sometimes it's the simpler cakes in life that make you the happiest and most content. This easy vegan almond lemon cake recipe doesn't have any fancy frosting or extra toppings but what I love about these loaf cakes is their simplicity. They have a perfect charm.
A light sprinkle of streusel and flaked almonds sits on top of these delicious bakes but other than that, this is just a pure, honest and flavorsome cake. It takes less than 30 minutes to make too which is another plus!
I've been making almond lemon cakes for a long time and I love to serve it with fresh dairy-free custard when I'm not eating it on its own. There's just something I really like about almond-flavored cakes with warm custard (even more so than other types of cakes), as I think they work so well together.
Why You Will Love This Cake
- Not Over-Complicated - The simplicity of this recipe is one of it's biggest strengths. Not only is it easy to follow and put together, it's also quite basic. Less is definitely more in this recipe.
- Distinct Flavors - Both the lemon and almond flavors in these loaf cakes are extremely strong, yet neither one of them dominates over the other. In fact, they're actually very complimentary of each other.
- A Toasty Topping - These cakes are topped with almond flakes and streusel. Both turn extremely crispy and toasty after being inside the oven. In contrast to the light and fluffy texture of the cakes, this is a nice little touch. My vegan orange almond cake and vegan cranberry orange cake recipes also have similar toppings.
- Allergy Friendly & Plant Based - This vegan almond lemon cake recipe is fully vegan and dairy free.
- Salted vegan butter - This will be used for the streusel topping. If you're using a dairy-free butter block, make sure that it is at room temperature before using it. Otherwise, it won't be soft enough to use properly.
- Apple cider vinegar - This is very important for the texture of the cake. You need to stir this into the soy milk in order to make the vegan buttermilk.
- Almond meal - These are added to the cake batter, after being mixed into the flour.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice - Don't use any artificial lemon juices if you want strong lemon flavors. Artificial lemon juice doesn't taste as good and isn't anywhere near as effective as the actual thing. All my lemon cakes, whether that be my vegan lemon poppy seed cake or my eggless lemon cake loaf both use real freshly-squeezed lemon juice.
- Flaked almonds - I personally think that flaked almonds taste so much better than chopped almonds and make such a delicious topping. They're toasty and so delicious.
See recipe card for full information on individual ingredients and quantities.
Substitution & Variations
- If you want more almond flavors in these cakes, replace the vanilla extract with almond extract. You can even add a little extra almond extract if you like. I used it in my vegan blueberry almond cake and it elevated the cake massively. Make sure that you hit the right balance so that it doesn't over-power the lemon.
- If you have an allergy to gluten, you can make the cakes gluten free by substituting all of the flour in this recipe. Although I haven't tested it, I advise that for the cake batter, you swap out the flour and grounds almonds for the same amount of almond flour. For the streusel, use gluten free all-purpose flour instead of regular flour.
How To Make Vegan Almond Lemon Cake
For the full method, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1: Make the streusel then set aside.
2: Mix together the vegan buttermilk ingredients then set aside to curdle.
3: Grease two loaf cake tins.
4: Make the lemon cake batter.
5: Pour the batter into the greased tins. Top with the streusel and flaked almonds. Bake.
6: Let the cakes cool then slice and serve.
Add more streusel - This recipe only uses a small amount of streusel for the topping as I wanted the lemon cake itself to be the main focus. However, if you'd like more be sure to double or even triple the ingredient amounts.
Don't over-mix the cake batter - My lemon cakes are always nice and light when the batter is folded properly. If you over-mix the lemon cake batter, this could ruin the entire texture so be patient and slowly fold the mixture until all the dry ingredients are gone.
Store these cakes at room temperature inside an airtight container for up to 4 days. I don't recommend placing this one inside the fridge until at least a couple days have passed.
I've made this a substitution option as almond flour is a wonderful gluten free flour alternative which possesses lots of flavor and is very versatile. As well as cakes, you can also use it in cookies, breads and pie crusts.
They're different things. Almond flour is made from blanched almonds which have had their skins removed and is also superfine. Ground almonds are the same thing as almond meal. They're not as fine and are simply ground.
More Vegan Lemon Cake Recipes
If you tried this Vegan Almond Lemon Cake Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Vegan Almond Lemon Cake
For the streusel:
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1.5 Tablespoons salted vegan butter softened
For the lemon cake batter:
- 200 ml soy milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 170 g all-purpose flour sifted
- 30 g almond meal
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 0.5 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 50 ml canola oil rapeseed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of 2 medium lemons
- 20 g flaked almonds
- Preheat your oven to 177 Celsius (350F).
- Grease two 20cm x 10cm loaf pans with vegan butter. Set aside.
- Start by making the ‘buttermilk’. Mix the apple cider vinegar into the soy milk. Set aside.
Make the streusel:
- Mix the flour and brown sugar inside a small bowl. Add the vegan butter. Use your hands to combine the mixture into crumbs. Once they are like breadcrumbs, cover and place in the fridge until later.
Make the lemon cake batter:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, almond meal, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Next, add the curdled buttermilk mixture along with the canola oil, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Fold your lemon cake batter carefully, without over-mixing until smooth.
Make the lemon cake batter:
- Pour the batter equally into the prepared tins. Sprinkle the streusel and flaked almonds on top of each loaf. Bake in the center of your oven for 20 minutes. A skewer will come out of the cakes clean when they’re ready.
- Let the cakes cool inside their tins for 15 minutes then transfer them over to a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.
- This recipe only uses a small amount of streusel for the topping as I wanted the lemon cake itself to be the main focus. However, if you'd like more be sure to double or even triple the ingredient amounts.
- My lemon cakes are always nice and light when the batter is folded properly. If you over-mix the lemon cake batter, this could ruin the entire texture so be patient and slowly fold the mixture until all the dry ingredients are gone.