Desserts and Sweets

Vegan Lemon Cream Cake

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Layers of lemon and cream cheese frosting make this VEGAN lemon cream cake a hit with everyone! Visit for the recipe

If you love lemon, this cake will make your “Top 3 cake recipes… ever” list and you don’t even have to be a vegan! In fact, I’m pretty sure there are at least two people out there who ate this cake and had no idea it was devoid of animal products, the crumb is so perfect and the “cream cheese” frosting makes it so moist, and that’s what makes it one of my new favorite cakes. I don’t think I’m actually going to tell them it was vegan. They’ll find out if they read this post.

Layers of lemon and cream cheese frosting make this VEGAN lemon cream cake a hit with everyone! Visit for the recipe


I did finally find my new favorite alternative cream cheese though, because that was always my hang up when baking for vegan friends who wanted a “cream cheese” frosting. There are many brands and I wanted one that had a flavor as close to actual cream cheese and not a slightly funny soy aftertaste that I felt in some brands. Lo and behold, I find it at one of my favorite stores, Trader Joe’s. So if you are looking for a dairy-free alternative to cream cheese, get the to your local Trader Joe’s and be happy. As a cream cheese snob, I am very happy to have an alternative for my friends who avoid dairy that I like just as much as the real thing.

Layers of lemon and cream cheese frosting make this VEGAN lemon cream cake a hit with everyone! Visit for the recipe

Can I also tell you how much I like this naked cake trend? It looks so rustic and like I need to take it to a picnic and provides such a nice backdrop for sprinkles! It’s also very accessible for non-decorators. Just make sure you level your layers (chill them well before you do to prevent breaking!), and use an even amount of frosting between each layer. Easy! If you’d prefer not to split layers and have a more classic looking cake, this recipe makes enough to fill and frost your 8″ cake, or frost about 2 dozen cupcakes.

Layers of lemon and cream cheese frosting make this VEGAN lemon cream cake a hit with everyone! Visit for the recipe


Layers of lemon and cream cheese frosting make this VEGAN lemon cream cake a hit with everyone! Visit for the recipe

Vegan Lemon "Cream" Cake

Yield: 12-15 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Luscious lemon cake with a dairy-free frosting pair together so perfectly, you'll never guess there are no animal products in this cake!



  • 2 c non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c neutral-flavored oil (I used avocado)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 c lemon juice

"Cream Cheese" Frosting

  • 8 oz package vegan cream cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 5-6 c sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • sprinkles, optional


  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Spray two 8" cake pans with nonstick spray and line with a parchment paper circle. Spray the circle. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl combine the milk, oil, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes (20-25 minutes for cupcakes) until the center of the cake no longer jiggles and springs back when touched.
  6. Remove from the oven, allow to set in the cake pan for 5 minutes, then carefully invert onto a wire rack to cool. If you plan to torte (split) the layers to create the 4 layer cake in the photos, wrap each cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours until well chilled. This makes them easier to cut evenly and stack.
  7. Make the frosting by placing the cream cheese, vanilla, and lemon zest in the bowl of your mixer and beating on high 2 minutes. Add the first 5 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition to incorporate. Add additional powdered sugar 2-3 tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  8. To stack the cake layers, remove the two chilled larger layers of cake from the refrigerator, and using a cake leveler or a serrated knife, carefully cut each in half. You will have four even, thin, cake rounds.
  9. Place the first round on your cake plate or board, then add 1/4 of the frosting and spread evenly around the cake. Top with the next layer, another 1/4 of the frosting, and repeat for the third and fourth layers.
  10. Top with sprinkles if desired. 🙂

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  • Reply
    August 24, 2016 at 3:48 am

    This is a really good recipe. People were shocked that it tasted like real cream cheese icing. I only made it a two layer cake as i wanted to put icing around the whole cake. I didn’t put too much in the middle layer because i thought that there wouldn’t be enough to go around the whole cake. There definitely is enough though!
    I even made an extra batch of cupcakes from half of the recipe and the icing is still going!
    I would definitely recommend this to anyone making a cake. Put extra lemon in if you like lemon though. I added extra and it’s still not citrusy enough for me! It is super sweet too so you really do need that citrus in there.

    • Reply
      Mary (The Goodie Godmother)
      August 24, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      The frosting definitely makes the cake rather sweet, so I agree with your recommendation to add more citrus if you want to frost all over. I’m glad you enjoyed!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Thank you so much! I’m definitely going to make this again with your advice.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Hi! This was my first attempt at making anything vegan and it was a partial success. I made this with coconut oil in an electric oven. I used Meyer lemons (tasted great) and put a bit of lemon juice and a little more zest in the frosting to make it more lemony. The cake came out with a texture that was more like bread than a cake (baked for 32 minutes). What should I have done to make it more cake-like? Also, I split the layers, put frosting in between each layer, and also frosted the outside. I should have just frosted between the layers like you did because it became overwhelmed with frosting. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Mary (The Goodie Godmother)
      April 8, 2016 at 8:10 am

      Hi Elaine! Cakes turning out bready usually happens when there is too much flour added. If you added your flour by weight or did the pour/scoop/level the cup method, you should have been fine. My guess is that the different texture between coconut oil and an avocado/vegetable/canola oil may have thrown off the balance between liquid and dry ingredients. In the future, I would remove 1/4 cup flour when baking this particular cake with coconut oil and that should fix it. 🙂

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