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This vegan pound cake with lemon is easy to make, soft, moist, spongy and the perfect treat for a quick breakfast or a light afternoon snack. It cuts perfectly and it's delicious served with a thin layer of your favourite jam. As usual, there are no eggs, butter or milk in this vegan variation of our favourite lemon pound cake.
What is a lemon pound cake?
The recipe for this vegan pound cake with lemon is based on a classic Italian breakfast cake: plumcake. Italian Plumcake, despite its name, has no plums in it. It's just a very simple and delicious version of what in english is called pound cake.
I use soy yogurt to replace the eggs. The result is a really spongy and moist cake, similar to sponge cake, but more substantial and satisfying. I use the zest of 2 organic Sicilian lemons to give it flavour. The aroma, taste and texture of this simple vegan pound cake are just irresistible.
For other delicious vegan breakfast/desserts recipes, check out our:
- Chocolate chip breakfast brioche
- Orange curd cake
- Jam filled breakfast brioche (buondì)
- Fluffy sweet brioche bread
- Italian cream buns (maritozzi con panna)
- Custard-filled Italian croissants (cornetti alla crema)
- Chocolate pound cake
- Black and white ciambellone
- Coffee cake with hazelnut filling
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Flour: I tested this vegan pound cake with all-purpose, bread flour, first-clear flour, and wholegrain. My favourite is either wholegrain or first-clear flour, but all work really well.
- Baking powder: I decided to add a bit more than usual to make the cake extra tall. Don't worry, you won't be able to taste it.
- Soy Yogurt: you can use sweetened or unsweetened, if you use unsweetened then add an extra tbsp of sugar to the cake batter. Yogurt from soy is perfect to replace the eggs and to add moisture to the cake, but you can use any other plant-based yogurt.
- Soy milk: my favourite plant-milk for baking, but you can replace it with any other plant-milk.
- Sugar: I used plain white sugar. You can use any sugar you like.
- Sunflower oil: my favorite vegetable oil for baking because it's affordable and because it has a mild neutral flavour. You can replace it with any other vegetable oil, but make sure to pick one that doesn't have a strong flavour.
- Lemons: go organic if you can as you'll need the zest from two medium size lemons. You can replace them with orange if you want to make an orange pound cake.
- Vanilla and salt: they enhance the overall flavour of the cake, so don't skip them!
This vegan lemon pound cake is one of the easiest cake you'll ever make and you only need a bowl, a spatula or whisk, and a loaf pan to bake the cake. I use an 11" x 5" loaf pan (30cm x 11cm).
How to scale this recipe?
How to scale the ingredients?
This recipe is easy to scale. We calculated the scaling number for you. Pick the loaf pan size that you want to use for your cake, then multiply all the ingredients in our recipe box by the scaling number in this table. We used a 11 x 5 loaf pan.
|Loaf pan size in inches||Scaling number|
|8 x 4||0.58|
|8.5 x 4.5||0.70|
|9 x 4||0.65|
|9 x 5||0.82|
|10 x 5||0.91|
|11 x 5||1|
How to scale cooking time?
The cooking time suggested in this recipe is for a loaf pan that is 11 x 5 inches. Depending on the size of your loaf pan, you might need to adjust temperature and cooking time.
Smaller loaf pan: if you use a smaller loaf pan (less than 11 x 5 inches), keep the same temperature but bake for shorter time. Always check with a toothpick if the cake is fully baked inside.
Bigger loaf pan: if you use a bigger loaf pan (more than 11 x 5 inches), you might need to reduce the temperature and increase the baking time. My advice is to bake at 170C / 338F for the first 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 160C / 320F until your cake is fully baked inside. Always check with a toothpick if the cake is fully baked inside.
How do I know if my cake is fully baked?
Depending on the type of oven, type of milk, and type of flour, your cake will take more or less time to cook than our pound cake. For this reason, when baking ANY cake, you should always check the core of the cake with a clean toothpick or skewer before you take your cake out of the oven.
To do that, just insert the toothpick or the skewer in the centre of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean and dry it means that you cake is ready. If the toothpick comes out wet, then bake for a few minutes longer, then check again.
- Use enough baking powder: if you want to get the "vulcano" effect on the cake, i.e. a tall loaf with a crack on top, then make sure you use the same quantity of baking powder we recommend. Since we don't use eggs, we rely on baking powder to make the pound cake growh.
- Cook fully: this is a moist cake due to the high content of plant-milk and plant-yogurt. It will take close to a full hour to cook, but since every oven is different, make sure to check with a skewer if it's fully baked inside.
- Get creative: ours is the basic recipe for vegan pound cake but you can customize it with chocolate chips, nuts, banana and more.
Frequently asked questions
Because originally this cake was made with a pound of each of the ingredients use.
Compared to a traditional pound cake made with butter, eggs, and white flour, our vegan lemon pound cake is quite healthy as it contains non of these unhealthy ingredients.
Our vegan pound cake has no cholesterol, no animal fats, no animal protein, and thanks to the soy and the less refined flour contains contains good nutrients like dietary fibre and plant-proteins.
It does however contain sugar, even if in reduce amounts.
This vegan pound cake is perfect to prepare in advance and use throughout the week as a quick breakfast or mid-afternoon snack.
Store it at room temperature in a reusable plastic bag or air-tight container for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze it for up to 1 month, but before doing so, let it cool down completely. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then take out of the refrigerator and enjoy at room temperature.
This is the basic recipe of a vegan pound cake. But this recipe can be easily made with other delicious ingredients.
Chocolate Chip Pound Cake: our favourite variation is with dark chocolate chips. Simply follow our recipe, then at the end add 1 cup of dark chocolate chip! Delicious.
Chocolate Pound Cake: to make a full-on chocolate pound cake, take out 3 tbsp of flours and replace them with 4 tbsp of cocoa powder. Then add 2 more tbsps of sugar and ½ cup of dark chocolate chips. This one is the best!
Fitness pound cake: to make this vegan pound cake even healthier, use 100% whole-grain flour in the same quantity as in our recipe box. Then replace the sugar with unrefined coconut sugar and add a handful of walnuts in the batter before baking the cake. This one will give you slow-sustained energy and no sugar spikes.
Vegan Lemon Pound Cake
- Loaf pan 11 inches x 5 inches (30cm x 11cm)
- 400 g (2.7 cups) all-purpose or whole wheat flour
- 25 g (1.7 tbsp) baking powder
- 300 g (1.3 cups) soy yogurt
- 300 g (1.3 cups) soy milk
- 100 g (0.5 cups) sugar
- 60 g (0.5 cups) sunflower oil
- 2 lemons zest
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 356F / 180C. Line your baking loaf pan with parchment paper or brush it with oil. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the wet ingredients: soy yogurt, soy milk, sugar, sunflower oil, zest of a lemon, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
- Now sift the flour and the baking powder into the bowl with the wet ingredients. With a spatula mix everything together without over-mixing.
- Transfer the batter into the loaf pan and bake at 356F 180C on the lower rack of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes. Insert a skewer inside the cake to check if it's ready.
- Let cool completely before slicing. You can sprinkle with powdered sugar if you want and serve with your favourite jam.
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