Vegan lemon yogurt cake

There are few things I enjoy more than cake and lemons, and naturally when the two are combined, I am in food heaven. This vegan lemon yoghurt cake has been tried and tested over the years, and has evolved into the full bodied recipe that it is today. It is great served up with a yoghurt drizzle, with a cashew butter cream, or -if you are not a sweet tooth- on its own.

With autumn now fully in swing, I find baking the most therapeutic thing to do indoors. Flour supplies seem to be dwindling at the supermarket, but I have a small supply and without doubt ill be remaking this vegan lemon yoghurt cake so I can get some updated photos. Yes, I have only 1 image. And it is wit heath buttercream frosting. And you cant actually see the inside of the cake. Yes, I know.

Well, anyway, lets talk about the recipe.

Vegan lemon yoghurt cake with cashew buttercream frosting

What ingredients do I need to make the vegan lemon yoghurt cake?

  • Fresh, juicy lemons
  • Coconut yoghurt
  • Olive oil (light or heavy, depending on your preference)
  • Sugar- coconut, rapadura or plain castor sugar all work well
  • Milk
  • Flour, baking powder and baking soda

A note on sugar

I use coconut sugar in this cake, which means this vegan lemon yoghurt cake will be darker and a little heavier than the traditional cake. To create a cake that looks a little more like the original, the solution is to swap coconut sugar for castor sugar. Here are a few things to note if doing that;

  • Swap at a ratio 1:1
  • Castor sugar is sweeter than coconut sugar meaning the cake will also be sweeter
  • Pay careful attention to when the cake is ready as it may vary slightly if using castor sugar

What are the steps to make the vegan lemon yoghurt cake

You want to ice the cake? Here are two ways.

Lemon, yoghurt drizzle.

The simpler of the two, a lemon yoghurt drizzle is the traditional topping. If you want to avoid refined sugar, then skip this and head on to the next section where I show you how to make cashew butter cream.

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup coconut yoghurt
  • 1 cup confectioners/icing sugar
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice


  1. Sift icing sugar into a medium sized bowl, then add yoghurt and 1 tsp lemon juice. Whisk together until completely smooth, adding extra lemon juice as needed.
  2. Once you have a completely cooled cake, pour drizzle over etc top and serve immediately.

Cashew butter cream

I have been making various versions of this recipe for years, based on the cashew buttercream frosting by the minimalist baker. The process is simple, albeit lengthy, and is made up of whole foods (no nasty vegan butter, yay!). I actually prefer the cake with a yoghurt lemon drizzle, but since the photo of the cake is slathered in buttercream, I will fill you in on how to make it. You could easily substitute this for coconut whipped cream, so check out my recipe here.

You’ll need a few simple ingredients, which are

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked for 4-8 hours in water
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil


  1. Drain cashews and place in a high speed blender alongside the other ingredients. Blend until very smooth (2-4 minutes), scrapping the sides as necessary. Taste, add add extra lemon for more zing, more maple for extra sweetness or extra salt for more punch.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl and set in the freezer for 30 minutes. After this time, remove and whisk with electric beaters for 1 minute. Place back in freezer.
  3. Follow step 2.  
  4. Freeze for an extra 45 minutes. Assess the texture of the frosting to make sure its semi-hard (if its not, freeze at 10 minute intervals until it is).
  5. Finally, use the beaters and whisk until it has a light, fluffy butter cream texture. Allow to soften for a few minutes before using a palette knife to spread over the completely cooled cake.
  6. Eat the cake, and store left overs in the fridge.

See? Simple!

How to store the vegan lemon yoghurt cake

The cake can be stored for up to a week, depending on which choice of icing you went for.

  • If you have made the cake and kept it unfrosted, it will store for up to 1 week. Place cake in an air-tight container and store in the pantry or in the fridge if you live in a warm/humid climate.
  • If you have added buttercream frosting, you will need to store the cake in an air-tight container in the fridge. As the cake contains olive oil (not butter) the texture will remain moist and soft under refrigeration. Consume within 5 days.
  • If you added lemon drizzle to the cake, you will need to store the cake in an air-tight container in the fridge. Consume within 7 days.

I hope you enjoy my vegan lemon yoghurt cake. Let me know in the comments section if you made it, if you tried any variations or if you have any questions.

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vegan lemon yoghurt cake

Vegan lemon yogurt cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: panaceaspantry
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8-10 serves 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian/American


A spin on the classic, this vegan lemon yoghurt cake is full bodied and delicious on its own or served with buttercream or a yoghurt drizzle. Naturally dairy and egg free, and a family favourite.



2 cups (240g) plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp good-quality salt
1 Tbsp lemon zest*
1 tsp lime zest (or extra lemon zest)
3/4 cup (150g) rapadura sugar
3/4 cup (180mL) thick vegan yoghurt**
1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut milk***
1/3 cup (80mL) lemon juice*
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125mL) extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 170 C (340 Fahrenheit) and grease an 8inch round cake tin. Line the base with baking paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift in flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add in salt and zests and mix until uniform.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients until uniform. I find a whisk works well here, or you could use a blender/stick blender if you want to get it really smooth. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix, and carefully fold together. Mix only until the batter has just come together- it should be smooth and without lumps. Pour into the prepared tin, and bag out any air bubble on the bench.
  4. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides and bounces back when gently pressed. You can also check if the cake is ready by inserting a skewer.  Insert the skewer into the centre of the cake- there should be no batter left on the stick, (but a few moist crumbs in good).
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before gently turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make an optional frosting, refer to the two recipes in the blog post.


* The choice of lemons is important here. Make sure they are fresh and juicy to prevent a bitter taste to your cake

**I use coconut yoghurt (the Nakula brand) and have not used any other varieties. If you use a different style, let me know how it goes in the comments

***The thin, boxed vanity. This is easily be substituted for soy milk. Lower fat milks like almond, rice or oat should work, but I have not tried it.

Vegan lemon yoghurt cake

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