Vegan Gluten-free Lemon Cake

Nadia Cakes, dairy free, Desserts, gluten free, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian 25 Comments


Vegan Gluten-free Lemon Cake

I’ve been posting way too many chocolate recipes recently, and even though I could never get fed up of chocolate, I realise that you might! It was about time I share a recipe with 0% chocolate, like this zingy, zesty vegan gluten-free lemon cake

Spring is the perfect time for making citrusy light treats. I’ve been meaning to create a lemon cake for a while now and it’s taken me a few trials before I found a combination of ingredients that I was completely happy with. 


Initially, this recipe was going to be a lemon “drizzle” cake, but to get the white drizzle effect that I was looking for I would have had to use a lot of powdered sugar or stevia, both of which are not good in large quantities, so I decided to create a coconut lemon frosting instead. And I’m so glad I did! The frosting turned out so good and complemented the cake so well, much better than a drizzle 😛 


The batter is a mixture of polenta, ground almonds and buckwheat flour to make it gluten-free. As a binder, I used flax eggs instead of regular eggs which you can simply make by mixing 1 tbsp milled flaxseed with 3 tbsp hot water (I find hot water helps the mixture set better).

I’m trying to use more flaxseed in my baking and recipes because they’re so good for you! High in cardio protective omega-3 fatty acids, cancer fighting lignans and cholesterol lowering soluble fibre.

I used a small amount (2 tbsp) of oil to make it lower in fat and since I used quite a lot of fresh lemon juice it turned out moist without needing to use a ridiculous amount of oil. 

If you try this recipe or any of my other recipes, do share with me on Instagram or Twitter. I love seeing your recreations! Also, If you have any specific requests don’t hesitate to ask 😉 

Vegan Gluten-free Lemon Cake
Serves 10
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For the lemon cake
  1. 1/2 cup (90g) polenta
  2. 1/2 cup (55g) ground almonds
  3. 1/2 cup (75g) buckwheat flour
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  7. Juice of 4 lemons
  8. Zest of 2 lemons
  9. 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp milled flaxseed + 5 tbsp hot water)
  10. 1/2 cup (118 ml) maple syrup, honey or any other liquid sweetener
  11. 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) milk of choice
  12. 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
For the coconut lemon frosting
  1. 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  2. Juice & zest of 1 small lemon
  3. 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  1. Preheat your oven to 180*C (160*C fan assisted)/ 350*F
  2. Prepare the flax eggs by mixing 5 tbsp hot water with the milled flaxseed in a small bowl. Leave for 10 minutes to set.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the polenta, flour, grounds almonds, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Pour in the lemon juice, milk, coconut oil, maple syrup and flax eggs. Mix until well combined.
  5. Transfer into a loaf tin covered with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool completely before icing.
  7. For the coconut lemon frosting - carefully open the can of coconut milk. There should be a thick layer of cream on top - scoop out the thick part only and place it in a large bowl.
  8. Use a hand mixer to whip the coconut cream for a few minutes until it's light and fluffy.
  9. You will only need around 1/2 the whipped cream to make the frosting. Transfer 1/2 into a another bowl (you can store the other half in an air tight container in the fridge) and to that add the lemon juice and maple syrup. Continue mixing until well combined.
  10. Spread the frosting over the cake and decorate with lemon slices, lemon zest or mint leaves.
  11. Enjoy!
  1. Nutritional information (estimated per serving)
  2. Calories: 181 kcal
  3. Protein: 3 g
  4. Fat: 10 g
  5. Carbs: 22.5 g
  6. Fibre: 1.8 g
UK Health Blog - Nadia's Healthy Kitchen

If you liked this vegan gluten-free lemon cake, then check out these other lemon baked goodies:

**This post contains amazon affiliate links, if you click one of the links and purchase something I’ll get a small amount from amazon to help keep the blog going**

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Comments 25

  1. This looks like such a delicious cake, love the idea of using coconut milk in the frosting! This would be perfect for my gluten free vegetarian friend next time she comes over for tea! Thank you so much for linking to my lemon loaf cake 🙂

  2. Such stunning pics. I now want to rush off and suck lemons, although I suspect that desire wouldn’t last long in actuality. The cake sounds delicious and your icing especially so.

  3. I love chocolate, but this probably attracts me even more! I adore lemon everything, especially right now, and especially when it has FROSTING! <3 Such beautiful pure white frosting too! And the texture of that cake looks divine. I love that you used polenta. Mmmm you have no idea how much I want a slice right now!

  4. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ve been looking for a vegan lemon cake for the cafe for a while. We’ve tried a few but they just turn out too dry and to be honest “ugly”. This looks really moist in your pictures. We usually use a 23cm cake tin though so I’ll keep you posted on whether that works out

  5. My son asked for a lemon cake for his 8th birthday, and I looked for a vegan and gluten-free recipe so that I could eat it too! The cake is delicious. My everything-eating partner said it was like lemon meringue pie in cake form. I also liked the fact that it used quite a few lemons from our lemon tree that is laden with fruit (we are in Southern Hemisphere winter at the moment.) Thanks for the recipe.

  6. I am baking this cake right now, however you forgot to mention when to combine syrup and lemon zest. I just mixed it all up 🙂

  7. Hi Nadia, this looks delicious, from what I could gather from your recipe there is no sweetener in the actual cake, just in the frosting, is this correct?

      1. Hi Nadia, glad to have found this cake – making it right now for my boyfriend’s birthday tomorrow! But as Karen said, in the method of the recipe you have not added the maple syrup to the actual cake, just the frosting – is this correct? It means there is no sweetness if you don’t have the frosting. I imagine it is meant to be mentioned in step 4? Just want to make sure I don’t muck it up! Thanks Nadia 🙂

        1. Hi Janette! It does seem I missed out the maple syrup in step 4, thanks for pointing it out. Yes, the 1/2 cup of maple syrup goes into the batter to sweeten the cake.

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  8. This cake is so good! I’m not a huge fan of frosting however so I experimented (successfully) with a glaze to make it a lemon drizzle cake. I melted some coconut butter with maple syrup and lemon extract, stabbed the cake with a skinny chopstick and poured the glaze over it while still hot and in the baking tray. It’s turned out unbelievably moist and delicious!

  9. Hi your cake sounds yummy. I ll try to make one today. I ve never tried a vegan one before. Could you tell me how long will last. I m not planning to eat the whole cake in a day lol.
    I ll put the pic of my cake on Instagram later in the day. Fingers crossed

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      Thank you Monica 🙂 it should last 3-4 days in an air-tight container. It’s definitely one to share with friends and family 😉

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