Photo of lemon cake on a cake stand with a spoon drizzling syrup over it

Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

This Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake is easy to make, elegantly simple and incredibly delicious. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Keyword gluten-free lemon drizzle cake, healthy vegan lemon cake, vegan lemon cake, vegan lemon drizzle cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 329kcal
Author Rhian Williams


For the cake:

  • 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
  • 200 ml (4/5 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
  • 6 tablespoons (6 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) lemon zest (use unwaxed lemons)
  • 10 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • Pinch (Pinch) salt
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons (2 heaped teaspoons) baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1/4 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

For the syrup:

  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons (4 tablespoons) maple syrup


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
  • Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  • Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
  • Transfer mixture into a greased baking tin lined with baking paper (I used a 7inch/18cm springform baking tin)
  • Bake in oven for around 30 minutes until risen and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean

For the syrup:

  • Whilst the cake it baking, mix together the lemon juice and maple syrup
  • Drizzle it over the cake as soon as it's out of the oven - it will soak into the cake better when it's hot
  • Be sure to wait for the cake to cool completely before cutting
  • This cake tasted best eaten on the day it was made, and leftovers taste best reheated in a dry frying pan or the microwave


*You can alternatively use almond flour


  • Make sure to use an all-purpose shop-bought gluten-free flour blend (or a homemade gluten-free flour blend), as opposed to just using any type of gluten-free flour you can find (such as almond flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour etc).
  • Pour the syrup over the cake as soon as it’s out of the oven. The heat will help the sponge soak up all the flavour and keeps it extra moist. It may seem like a lot of liquid at the time, but it will all be absorbed into the sponge.
I found that this cake tastes best eaten on the day or day after it was made – just be sure to wait for it to cool completely before cutting, though! Any longer than that, it tasted best reheated in a dry frying pan or the microwave.

Tips for baking with lemons

  • For optimum lemon flavour, I would recommend using fresh lemons (not ones that you've had sitting in your fruit bowl for weeks!) and organic ones if possible.
  • You have to be careful when baking with lemon juice as the acidity and lemon flavour can really vary depending on the lemons you use.
  • I would recommend tasting the lemon juice you're using and adjusting the amount of lemon juice you use accordingly.
  • For the lemon zest, make sure you use unwaxed lemons.


Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 1mg