Vegan Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd Topping

This easy vegan lemon cake is moist and delicious, but the icing on the cake, literally, is a glossy, glassy, gorgeous vegan lemon curd that tastes as heavenly as it looks.

Photo of a vegan lemon cake with a single slice on a white plate and a cake server and fork.

If lemony desserts are your favorites, they certainly are mine, you will love this Vegan Lemon Cake with a lemon curd topping.

I shared this vegan lemon curd recipe with you last, and it really is the pièce de résistance for this dessert because it defines both the final flavor and look. And what a flavor and look it is!

The cake is soft, tender, moist and airy, with just a hint of lemon. But when you pour the lemon curd topping over it goes from being slightly tart to insanely lemony. The gooey, creamy curd complements the sweet crumb perfectly in every bite.

It’s a dessert no one will be able to resist when you bring it to your dinner table. And did I say it was easy?

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Photo of a slice of vegan lemon cake with lemon curd topping on a white plate with the full cake in background.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s delicious
  • It’s gorgeous
  • It’s sweet
  • It’s tart
  • It’s easy
  • It’s quick
  • It’s one-bowl

How to make a vegan lemon cake from scratch

It’s easier than you think, and it comes together faster than you’d imagine.

The cake batter is made in one bowl and the lemon curd, which you can make in advance, needs a single small saucepan and under 10 minutes.

For the cake batter you will need vegan butter at room temperature, sugar, all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, lemon juice and zest and nondairy milk (any kind is fine). You can find my vegan lemon curd recipe here (I used the curd made with 1 tbsp tapioca starch for this recipe because I like the topping a bit soft).

Photo of vegan lemon curd topping in a bowl.

The only step to remember while making this cake is to cream the butter and sugar first–put them in a stand mixer or a big bowl and whisk until they are incorporated and look fluffy.

After that toss in the wet ingredients, followed by the dry, whisk together quickly until everything’s mixed–don’t overmix. Scrape it all into a parchment-lined, oiled and flour-dusted pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes pull the cake out, pour the lemon curd into the center, leaving an inch border on the edges, and scatter on a few optional sliced almonds. Return the cake to the oven and bake 10 more minutes. When you pull it out the edges should look nice and toasty and golden-brown.

What is the best pan to bake this lemon cake?

A springform pan, preferably a 9- or 10-inch one. A 9-inch springform pan will give you the highest rise.
If you only have a regular cake pan, you can use it but you won’t be able to easily unmold the cake from the pan as you can’t flip it over into a plate because of the gooey lemon curd. In that case I’d just slice the cake right in the pan, ease out the slices and serve.
Another option would be to bake the cake for 30-35 minutes or until toasty brown, remove, and drizzle the lemon curd on top.

Can I turn this into a loaf cake?

Yes, you certainly can. If you do, bake the cake for 30-35 minutes, unmold, and then drizzle on the lemon curd.
You can also just bake up this scrumptious vegan lemon pound cake.

How does this cake hold and rise without eggs?

Making eggless cakes is really a breeze because while it is true that eggs often give baked goods structure and a nice rise, it is easy enough to replicate those structural blocks with vegan ingredients.
In this case we’ll use tapioca starch and a combination of the acidic lemon juice and baking soda to help make the cake airy, light and fluffy.

Overhead shot of a slice of vegan lemon cake with lemon curd topping on a white plate next to the full cake and a decorative cake server and silver fork.

Storage and freezing tips

This cake can be refrigerated for up to one week. To freeze the cake, wrap it in plastic food wrap after it cools completely and store it in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.

More vegan cake recipes

An overhead photo of the vegan lemon cake with lemon curd topping and sliced almonds.

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