Indulge your taste buds in the blissful symphony of intense, citrusy flavors with the Glazed Vegan Lemon Loaf Cake, a culinary masterpiece that effortlessly replicates the buttery tenderness of the famed Starbucks classic. This recipe, characterized by simplicity and accessibility, transforms basic ingredients into a culinary triumph, making it an ideal addition to brunch spreads, elegant tea times, or those moments when a sweet craving demands satisfaction.

The magic begins with a vegan “buttermilk,” crafted by combining soy milk and freshly squeezed lemon juice—a duo that not only imparts a delightful tang but also elevates the overall texture of the cake. The aromatic dance of lemon zest, vanilla pod seeds, and vegan butter in the mixing bowl creates a symphony of fragrance that signals the arrival of something truly special. The addition of olive oil or vegan yogurt contributes not only to the moisture of the cake but also to its nuanced flavor profile.

The baking process, beyond being a mere ritual, unveils a thoughtful touch. The strategic placement of thin vegan butter strips down the center of the batter not only ensures a perfectly cracked loaf but also enhances the visual appeal of the finished masterpiece. As the cake bakes to golden perfection, the anticipation builds for the sweet moments to come.

A crowning glory to this lemony delight is the luxurious glaze. A harmonious blend of powdered sugar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and vegan yogurt transforms into a velvety cascade that blankets the cake, imparting a sweet and tangy finish. The choice to savor the cake immediately or to exercise patience and let the icing set for an hour adds a layer of flexibility to suit various preferences.

For those seeking an extra dimension, the recipe generously suggests incorporating up to 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds, introducing a delightful crunch and visual intrigue. As an added bonus, any leftover lemon juice can be saved for future endeavors, perhaps a batch of homemade lemon curd.

The versatility of this Glazed Vegan Lemon Loaf extends beyond its impeccable taste. Storage is a breeze, with the cake maintaining its freshness in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for a week. Alternatively, for those with foresight, the cake can be frozen in an airtight container and revived for later indulgence.

Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply an enthusiast of delectable citrus-infused treats, this recipe beckons you to embark on a culinary journey that marries simplicity with sophistication. The Glazed Vegan Lemon Loaf is not just a cake; it’s a celebration of flavors, a testament to the joy of baking, and an invitation to savor life’s sweetest moments.

Vegan Lemon Loaf Cake (Starbucks Copycat)

If you’re a fan of intensely bright, citrusy flavors, try making this delightfully simple Glazed Vegan Lemon Loaf Cake. Made with simple ingredients and no special equipment, this tender, buttery Starbucks copycat recipe is perfect for brunch, tea time, or anytime you crave something sweet.

Prep Time15minutes minutes

Cook Time40minutes minutes

Total Time55minutes minutes



  • 8″ loaf pan


  • 118 ml soy milk
  • 30 ml lemon juice freshly squeezed, *see notes
  • 200 g granulated sugar use organic if in the US
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest approx 2 large lemons
  • ½ vanilla pod seeds scraped out
  • 75 g vegan butter melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 60 ml olive oil or plain soy or coconut yogurt
  • 140 g vegan Greek-style yogurt or Skyr or plain soy or coconut yogurt
  • 240 g plain flour (all purpose) sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt sifted


  • 150 g powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Greek-style yogurt or Skyr or plain soy or coconut yogurt


  • Prepare: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease an 8″ loaf tin and place a sling of parchment paper into it to help lift out the cake once baked.
  • To make the vegan “buttermilk” add the soy milk and lemon juice to a small bowl, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, lemon zest, and scraped-out seeds from the vanilla pod to a large mixing bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar.
  • Add the melted butter and whisk to combine. Add in the olive oil and yogurt and whisk for a minute until everything is combined. Then add the vegan buttermilk mixture, and whisk again.
  • Add the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl with the wet ingredients and fold with a spatula until just combined and there aren’t any visible pockets of flour – be careful not to overmix the batter.
  • Bake: Transfer the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan. Cut thin strips of vegan butter and place them down the center of the loaf, this will help the loaf to crack in the center once it bakes (*see notes). Bake for 40-45 mins. Check the cake is ready by inserting a knife or toothpick into it, which should come out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Make the glaze: Meanwhile, add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and yogurt to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Once the cake has cooled, place a sheet of parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch any icing. Pour the glaze on top of the cake, and smooth it over the sides so that it covers the entire surface. You can eat the cake as is, or allow the icing to set for an hour or so before serving.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze this cake in an airtight container and defrost it a couple of hours before serving.


  • When you’re done juicing, save any extra juice for making lemon curd.
  • Use organic sugar to ensure that it’s vegan if you live in the US.
  • Adding a thin line of butter slices down the middle of the batter helps to create a lovely crack in the center of the cake. Thanks to CloudyKitchen for the idea!
  • Add up to 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds to make vegan lemon poppy seed cake. The little black flecks are both visually appealing and they add a nice bit of crunch