Best Lemon Loaf Cake (No eggs, No butter, No milk!)

Hand down, this is the BEST lemon loaf cake recipe you will ever make! Super moist and loaded with lemon flavor, it’s drizzled with a tangy and sweet lemon glaze! No eggs, no milk, and no butter needed, it’s made in just ONE bowl. 

eggless lemon loaf cake

A tender and moist crumb, my lemon loaf bread reminds me of the famous Starbucks loaf. 

Seriously, I could not stop eating it once it was glazed, and it only lasted 24 hours in my household!

It’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, and can be made sugar-free.

You can make this loaf with either fresh lemon juice or bottled lemon juice, and I honestly, couldn’t taste the difference. Well, except the former was ten times the price!

This lemon loaf is extremely forgiving too. Want more lemon flavor? Add some lemon juice to the glaze! Only want a slight tang? Hold back on it.

I promise you, this is the BEST and EASIEST lemon loaf you’ll ever make. It’s made using pantry staple ingredients and is a fun recipe to get your kids involved in.

No fancy mixers or time spent in the kitchen to make it- This lemon loaf MELTS in your mouth.

lemon loaf cake

How to make a vegan and gluten-free lemon loaf cake from scratch 

You’ll notice this luscious lemon loaf is made without eggs, without milk, and with no butter. Most lemon bread or lemon loaves call for these ingredients, but I promise you won’t need them at all.

Instead, we use a combination of self-rising flour and oil to produce the lightness of the cake’s texture. 

As with all my other dessert recipes, I use easy and simple ingredients for this lemon bread, without sacrificing on taste! 

Lemon Loaf Ingredients

  • Self-rising flour– Self-rising flour (self-raising flour) is the flour used for this loaf. It gives the loaf rise and texture, without the need for baking powder. You can easily make your own following the instructions here
  • Superfine sugar– To give sweetness to the loaf! Superfine sugar is often called caster sugar or bakers sugar. See below for how to make this sugar-free.
  • Baking powder– Leavens out the lemon bread. Do not omit or the loaf will sink in the center. 
  • Lemons– To both juice and add zest into the batter! 
  • Water– Replaces the need for any milk or other liquid.
  • Sunflower oil– Replaces any need for butter or margarine. You can use any neutral flavored oil (coconut oil, vegetable oil, etc). 
  • Powdered sugar– To make the glaze/icing for the top of the loaf. This is often called Confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar. 
  • Lemon juice– To mix with the powdered sugar to produce a tangy lemon glaze. You can use water or milk if you don’t want as much lemon flavor. 

The Instructions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients and mix well. If using lemon zest, add it here too. Add your oil, lemon juice, and water and mix very well, until fully combined and the batter is smooth.
  3. Bake the lemon bread for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  4. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, drizzle with the lemon glaze before slicing. 

gluten free vegan lemon loaf

Tips, Tricks, and Recipe Notes

  • Oven times differ, so use the ‘toothpick’ or ‘skewer’ trick to see if the loaf is done. Insert it into the center and if it comes out clean, it’s ready! 
  • Avoid opening the oven and checking if the loaf is done BEFORE the 30-minute mark- You run the risk of the loaf sinking in the center.
  • If you prefer a more pronounced lemon flavor, you can substitute 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the water with lemon juice. Beware though, it will be VERY lemony. 
  • For a milder lemon flavor, omit the lemon juice from the glaze, and use either water or milk, to thin out. 
  • Use extra parchment paper so it hangs over the loaf pan. This makes removing the loaf from the pan much easier when it’s time to cool it on the cooling rack.
  • Do not glaze the loaf cake until it’s completely cooled, otherwise, the glaze will drizzle too much off the sides. 

Can I substitute normal sugar for caster sugar (superfine sugar) 

If you don’t have caster sugar/superfine sugar, you can replace it with normal sugar, however, here is a hack.

Caster sugar (superfine sugar) has the texture in between table sugar and confectioners’ sugar. To achieve this texture, you can use a high-speed blender or food processor and blend your sugar, until it has broken down into a finer texture. 

How to make this lemon loaf sugar-free

If you want to keep this lemon loaf sugar-free, make the following substitutions-

  • Swap out the caster sugar/superfine sugar for monk fruit sweetener or swerve. You will need to blend it/process it until it breaks down into a finer texture (similar to superfine sugar).
  • For the icing, use sugar-free confectioners’ sugar for the glaze. Alternatively, you can drizzle coconut butter over the top. 

Can I make this oil-free?

As this lemon loaf has no butter in it, the oil is necessary to keep the texture light and fluffy, while also being moist.

You can not substitute this for an oil-free substitute, like applesauce or yogurt. 

What can I substitute the self-rising flour with? 

Unfortunately, you cannot substitute the self-rising flour for another flour. 

Self-rising flour has specific properties that ensure this loaf bakes correctly, has the gorgeous texture (light, fluffy and moist) that we all love in a lemon loaf.

All-purpose flour, oat flour, and almond or coconut flour will not work.

If you only have all-purpose flour, you can make your own self-rising flour here

Can I make this keto, paleo, or low carb? 

This recipe cannot be made keto, paleo, or low carb, based on the ingredients used.

You may like this keto lemon mug cake and this paleo and low carb lemon poppy seed cake instead.

vegan lemon bread

Storage tips

  • To store– Store lemon loaf at room temperature in a sealed container, for up to 5 days. You can also refrigerate it, and it will keep fresh for up to 10 days. 
  • To freeze– Place loaf in a freezer-friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. You can also freeze individual slices, and keep them in ziplock bags. 

More delicious desserts made without eggs, milk or butter

best ever lemon loaf

Vegan Lemon Cake (Gluten-Free!)

One bowl lemon loaf cake made with no butter, no eggs and no milk! This easy lemon bread is the BEST recipe takes minutes to make and uses simple, pantry ingredients. Vegan, Gluten Free and tips to make it sugar free!
5 from 56 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon bread, lemon loaf cake
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 Slices
Calories: 204kcal
Author: Arman

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour gluten-free, if necessary
  • 1 cup superfine sugar caster sugar * See notes
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 6 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil can use any oil of choice
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar confectioners's sugar/icing sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, add your self-rising flour, baking powder and superfine sugar/caster sugar, and mix well. Add your lemon zest, water, oil and lemon juice, and mix well, until a smooth batter remains.
  • Transfer the batter into the lined loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, glaze the loaf and slice.
  • To make the glaze, combine your powdered sugar with either 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice, milk or water, until desired texture remains.

Notes

* To keep it sugar free, please refer to the body of the post. You can also make your own superfine/caster sugar by blending your sugar into a finer consistency.
  • TO STORE- Store lemon loaf at room temperature in a sealed container, for up to 5 days. You can also refrigerate it, and it will keep fresh for up to 10 days. 
  • TO FREEZE- Place loaf in a freezer-friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. You can also freeze individual slices, and keep them in ziplock bags. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 32g
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    Categories:

    Bread Desserts Gluten Free Muffins and Cakes recipe Vegan

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    Comments

    15 thoughts on “Best Lemon Loaf Cake (No eggs, No butter, No milk!)

    1. Can you tell us what size loaf pan you used? I have many different sizes. I appreciate the non dairy recipes for those of us who must avoid dairy at all cost.

    2. My batter is looking really dry and sticky. Not smooth at all. I’m still going to pop it into the over to see what happens!

    3. Ive made this 3 times already and substituted key lime for the lemon and lim juice for the water and it is ABSOLUTLEY DELICIOUS! The “batter” turns out more like dough for me and I was worried at first it was going to be dry but it turned out super moist on the inside and crunchy soft on the outside. This is now my weekly sweet treat for my family. THANKS ARMAN! <3

    4. Is it possible to make this without the lemon juice and instead use the base to make a different loaf cake? Or does the lemon juice have a specific purpose other than flavor?

    5. I followed this recipe step by step. Once I mixed the ingredients the dough was dry, so I know that either the measurements are off or there are missing ingredients on this recipe.
      I baked it for 45 min and took it out and it was not cooked thoroughly. It did not rise either. So I baked for another 10min. I took it out again and same thing, uncooked. So I baked it another 10 min. I had to take it out, because the outside was getting ver toasty.
      I took it out and let it cool for 15 min. When I sliced it, it was a chewy consistency, almost like a mochi bread.
      I am very disappointed. I had to throw it away, since no one dare to eat it.

      1. That’s no good, it must come down to either using incorrect ingredients or poor quality ingredients, as this recipe has been made by thousands already and everyone adores it. Better luck next time!

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