A deliciously tangy treat – this vegan lemon loaf is so tasty and tart without being too sweet. The perfect pick me up on cold, grim days.
I’m taking a break today from my usual chocolatey desserts to share something fruity for a change. It’s been so gloomy and dull in the UK the past few days that I’ve felt like I needed something to brighten up the day and my mood. Lemon desserts always have that effect on me, so I had to make one today.
Loaf cakes are probably my favourite type of cake. They’re so dense, moist and satisfying. I’m not a big fan of cakes with cream or frosting, and loaf cakes don’t usually come with either. I feel the cake/frosting dilutes the flavour too much so you don’t actually get to appreciate the taste of the cake itself.
I made this vegan lemon loaf using healthier ingredients like spelt flour and ground almonds instead of flour. I used maple syrup to sweeten, but it’s not overly sweet. I also topped it with a simple icing, but you can omit if you want to make it healthier/lower in sugar. The loaf tastes delicious without it, – I mainly add it for decoration to make the cake look pretty for photography purposes.
What you need to make this vegan lemon loaf:
- Spelt flour – I used wholemeal spelt flour as a healthier alternative to white flour. You can use plain white flour if you prefer. You can also use ground oats instead.
- Ground almonds – this adds a lot of extra moistness. I used ground almonds, not almond flour.
- Lemon juice – again adds a lot of moisture and natural lemon taste.
- Lemon zest – to infuse the cake with extra citrus flavour and add lots of zing!
- Milled flaxseed – this works as a binder. You can use whole eggs instead if you prefer.
- Maple syrup – for much needed sweetness to counter the acidic and tart taste of the lemon.
- Coconut oil – this acts as another binder, but also adds more moisture, because no one likes a dry cake!
- Optional drizzle – the loaf will still taste amazing without it, but the option is there in case you want extra sweetness. It also make the cake look so much prettier!
I used edible flowers to decorate, but they’re not easy to find and quite expensive. This was the first and only time I’ve ever used them. They looked too pretty not to try at least once 😀 I would recommend topping the cake with more lemon zest to make to make it even more lemony and delicious!
Vegan Lemon Loaf
- 160g wholemeal spelt flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 120ml lemon juice around 3 lemons
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp milled flaxseed
- 5 tbsp water
- 120ml maple syrup
- 60ml coconut oil melted
For the drizzle
- 30 g icing sugar
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan.
- Prepare the flax eggs by mixing 2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 5 tbsp of water in a small bowl. Leave for 10-15 minutes to set.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, salt and baking powder. Pour in the lemon juice, maple syrup and coconut oil, then fold in the set flax eggs and lemon zest.
- Mix the batter, then pour into a loaf tin lined with baking paper (I used a 22×12 cm loaf tin).
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before icing.
- Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl, then pour over the top of the load and spread evenly with a spatula to cover the top.
Is it wholemeal or white spelt flour? (Also- can I use your mini blueberry Bakewell tarts recipe to make one large tart???)
Hi Anna 🙂 You can use either white or wholemeal spelt!
I haven’t tired making the blueberry bakewells as a large tart, so can’t say for sure how it’ll turn out. Technically it should work, but you may have to bake it for slightly longer. I like the idea though, so I’ll test it soon!
Can spelt and almond flours be substitute with maybe fonio and coconut flours?
Hi Linda 🙂 I’m not familiar with fonio and never tried it before! Coconut flour won’t work the same – it requires a lot more liquids and it will result in a completely different texture. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.
Can I use 2 eggs instead of flax eggs ?
Hi Rana 🙂 I haven’t tried using eggs, but in theory it should work the same! Let me know if you try it 🙂
Hi sorry what could I use instead of spelt flour? TIA 🙏
Hi Naz 🙂 You can use plain flour instead. Oat flour should also work, but I haven’t tried it in this recipe so I can’t be 100% certain. If you try it let me know how it turns out! 🙂
Can I use honey instead of maple syrup?
Hi Maki 🙂 Yes, honey will also work!
What we can use things instead of flaxseed
Ground chia seeds will also work. Alternatively you can use 2 eggs if you’re not vegan 🙂
Hi Nadia, if you wanted to use erythritol as a sweetener and lower the amount of oil, what could happen?
Hello Nadia, if you wanted to use erythritol as a sweetener and lower the amount of oil, what could happen?
Hi Antonella 🙂 If you use erythritol, you will need to use some form of liquid since you’re not using maple syrup. I would start with 4 tbsp erythritol and 4 tbsp of milk instead of maple, then taste the batter to see if it’s sweet enough for you. Add more to preference and add more milk if the mixture is too thick. I can’t really say for sure the quantities you should use and how the end result will turn out unless I test it myself.
Substituting the coconut oil with yoghurt should also work. Or use 2 tbsp coconut oil and 2 tbsp yoghurt for a moister cake.
Let me know if you try it and how you get on 🙂
Could I use golden syrup instead of maple syrup??