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Vegan Pound Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze (Gluten Free Option)

Sometimes, life just calls for a buttery, moist and delicious treat (preferably in cake form) that can be made simply and easily. Enter this glorious vegan pound cake recipe, which is astonishingly dairy and egg free!

Vegan and Gluten Free Pound Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze on a pink plate with a slice cut.

I have to say, I love this pound cake… It is truly sweet comfort food defined. In fact, I even made this for a party at my twin boys’ school (with berries and non-dairy whipped cream on top), and the class of kids ate nearly every crumb! The teachers were very surprised; they normally see kids eat only the frosting or whipped cream and leave the cake behind.

This pound cake is a winner of a recipe, and we never get tired of it in the Dunham household. Jeff and I especially love the sweet lemon glaze; it tastes so fresh and it takes this cake to a whole new level! Seriously, this cake is nuts. Please make it.

Why this Recipe Works

  • This egg and dairy free pound cake is so moist and delicious, you would never guess it’s completely vegan.
  • With one simple swap (and some xanthan gum, if needed) this easily becomes a gluten free recipe!
  • The fresh lemon glaze adds a tangy-sweet and bright flavor to the cake.
  • Consider making this recipe for brunch or for a party – everyone will be so impressed! Meanwhile, you can chuckle knowing how easy it was to put together… You’ll almost feel guilty for taking so much credit.
  • The cake itself is great to make the day before you plan to serve it; you can even freeze it for up to 2 months, if you like! Then simply whip up and apply the lemon glaze before serving.

Why is it called pound cake?

When pound cake was first created back in the day, it called for one pound of each of these four ingredients – flour, butter, eggs, and sugar! This recipe modifies these amounts, and of course calls for zero eggs and dairy-free butter.

How to Make Vegan Pound Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F/177°C.
  2. Grease a loaf pan with oil and then lay a sheet of parchment paper across the center so create “handles” for later. Set the pan aside for now.
  3. Combine the almond milk and vinegar and set that aside for now as well.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add the softened butter and beat with a handheld or stand mixer on high for about 20 seconds.
  5. Then, add the sugar and vanilla and mix for another 20 seconds or so.
  6. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. Add half of this dry mix to the bowl with the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined. Then, add the second half of the dry mix and mix again. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to make sure all flour has been incorporated.
  8. Next, add the almond milk mixture to the bowl and mix on a medium-low speed until the batter is mostly smooth. Once again, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  9. Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth over the surface with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  10. Bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a knife or skewer inserted down the center comes out free of batter, (a few crumbs are ok, though.) FYI – Since most ovens heat unevenly, it’s best to rotate the pan at about the 30 minute mark.
  11. Place the pan on a cooling rack. Once cool enough to handle (after about 5-15 minutes), remove the cake from the pan by first sliding a knife along the two short edges not covered in parchment, then lifting out by the parchment handles. Once the cake is removed, place it on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  1. After your cake has completely cooled, make your lemon glaze. Simply blend all ingredients together with an electric mixer until combined.
  2. Liberally drizzle on your lemon glaze while the cake is still on the cooling rack. You may want to place parchment paper or a baking sheet underneath to catch the drips! Since I usually have some glaze left over, I’ll let the first layer completely dry, and then add a second layer of glaze on top of that. After all, you can never have enough glaze!
  3. Once the glaze is dry, using a spatula, carefully transfer the cake to an airtight container or your serving plate of choice. Enjoy!

Looking for other vegan dessert recipes? Then you have to try my:

Vegan and Gluten Free Pound Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze loaf on a pink plate with sliced lemon.

Top Tips for Making This Pound Cake

  • For a gluten free version, I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-purpose Flour (the one with the red label) plus 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum in place of regular all-purpose flour called for in the recipe. Check the labels for all remaining ingredients to ensure they’re gluten free as well. Note: if a different brand of gluten-free flour is used, check the ingredients and skip the 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum if the flour blend already contains it.
  • If your oven tends to heat unevenly, rotate your cake halfway through the baking process; at about the 30 minute mark.
  • This cake will keep in an airtight container or cake saver for about 2-3 days at room temperature, but is best if served within 24 hours of applying the glaze.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the secret to a moist pound cake?

A perfectly tender pound cake is created from the combination of vinegar and nondairy milk, which mimics dairy buttermilk. This, along with the fat in the nondairy butter are the keys to creating a tender and moist vegan cake.

What non-dairy milk is best for this recipe?

I prefer almond milk for its creamy consistency and neutral flavor. But soy and cashew milk beverages are also great options.

Can you freeze pound cake?

Yes, it freezes quite well without the glaze! Let the cake completely cool, then wrap in two layers of plastic cling wrap. Place in an airtight zipper bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or set at room temperature for about an hour before applying the glaze and serving.

Vegan Pound Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze on a plate

Vegan Pound Cake (Gluten Free Option)

Sometimes life just calls for a buttery, moist and delicious treat (typically in cake form) that can be made simply and easily with just a handful of ingredients. Enter this pound cake recipe, which is astonishingly vegan!
4.7 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, plant based, vegan
Keyword: dairy free pound cake, pound cake no dairy, Vegan Desserts, Vegan Pound Cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 slices (1 loaf)
Calories: 229kcal

Ingredients

  • oil for greasing
  • 1 c. almond milk (237 ml) – cashew or soy would work, as well
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, plain rice vinegar or white distilled vinegar (15 ml)
  • 1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, softened (144 g)
  • 1 c. + 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar (244 g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour (245 g) OR for gluten free: 1 3/4 c. (280 g) Bob's Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour (the one with the red label) + 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (but leave out if your GF flour mix already contains it.)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Lemon Glaze

  • zest from 1/2 a medium lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (15 ml)
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar (195 g)
  • 2 Tbsp. almond milk or other nondairy milk (30 ml)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F/177°C.
  • Grease a loaf pan with oil and then lay a sheet of parchment paper across the center so create "handles" for later. Set the pan aside for now.
  • Combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set that aside for now as well.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the softened butter and beat with a handheld or stand mixer on high for about 20 seconds.
  • Then, add the sugar and vanilla and mix for another 20 seconds or so.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. 
  • Add half of this dry mix to the bowl with the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined. Then, add the second half of the dry mix and mix again. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to make sure all flour has been incorporated.
  • Next, add the almond milk mixture to the bowl and mix on a medium-low speed until the batter is mostly smooth. There may be some small lumps, and that's ok. Once again, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth over the surface with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  • Bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a knife or skewer inserted down the center comes out free of batter, (a few crumbs are ok, though) and the surface is firm and not soft. FYI – Since most ovens heat unevenly, it’s best to rotate the pan at about the 30 minute mark.
  • Place the pan on a cooling rack. Once cool enough to handle (after about 5-15 minutes), remove the cake from the pan by first sliding a knife along the two short edges not covered in parchment, then lifting out by the parchment handles. Once the cake is removed, place it on a cooling rack to cool completely.
    Optional but recommended: While the cake is still slightly warm, trim any overly browned, crispy edges, corners and sides with a sharp serrated knife.
  • After your cake has completely cooled, make your lemon glaze. Simply blend all ingredients together with an electric mixer until combined.
  • Liberally drizzle on your lemon glaze while the cake is still on the cooling rack. (You may want to place parchment paper or a baking sheet underneath to catch the drips!)  Since I usually have some glaze left over, I'll let the first layer completely dry, and then add a second layer of glaze on top of that.  After all, you can never have enough glaze!
  • Once the glaze is dry, using a spatula, carefully transfer the cake to an airtight container, cake saver or your serving plate of choice. Enjoy!

Notes

  • For a gluten free version, I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-purpose Flour (the one with the red label) plus 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum in place of regular all-purpose flour called for in the recipe. Check the labels for all remaining ingredients to ensure they’re gluten free as well. Note: if a different brand of gluten-free flour is used, check the ingredients and skip the 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum if the flour blend already contains it.
  • If your oven tends to heat unevenly, rotate your cake halfway through the baking process; at about the 30 minute mark.
  • This cake will keep in an airtight container or cake saver for about 2-3 days at room temperature, but is best if served within 24 hours of applying the glaze.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g
Tried this Recipe? Follow me Today!Mention @AudreyDunham or tag #AudreyDunhamRecipes!

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Comments

Nat Sam

5 stars
I followed your recipe as the base for my glutenfree vegan fruitcake and it came out as the best fruitcake I’ve made in this allergy friendly version. I added a pound of my soaked fruits, a tsp extra baking powder and two tbsp extra sugar. I can’t thank you enough for such a simple and effective recipe. I also kept it nut free by using hemp milk. This is now my go to recipe for a pound cake or any other type of flavored cake. Thank you so much again!

Reply

Audrey Dunham

Fantastic- happy to hear it! Thank you so much for letting me know. Now I want to go make fruit cake!

Reply

Joanne

5 stars
I have made this recipe three times. It is soooo good people cannot believe it’s vegan. Doubled the recipe to make a layer cake. Tripled the recipe to use in a cupcake form pan. I substituted 1 teaspoon of strawberry emulsion for the vanilla and it came out great. Thank you ☺️

Reply

Audrey Dunham

Fantastic! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for these kind words! This is the recipe I make anytime my boys need a treat for their classroom holiday parties. The teachers are always blown away because the kids actually eat the cake (instead of just frosting!) thanks, again.

Reply

Kelly

5 stars
Loved it…used 1 cup Bobs Red Mills 1:1 GF Flour and 3/4 cup almond flour. I might try upping the baking powder next time as it fell in the middle but the taste was amazing.
Love the fruitcake idea that Nat said they used the recipe for.

Reply

Audrey Dunham

So glad you liked it, Kelly! Interesting idea with the almond flour, I bet the taste was great.

Reply

Noel Martinez

Hi…
I want to try this recipe.

What size loaf pan did you use?

can I add half lemon juice and half dairy free milk?

Thanks!

Reply

Audrey Dunham

Hi! Just a standard 9 x 5-inch loaf pan (or 8 1/2 x 4 1/2) will do the job. Please let me know what you think!

Reply

Joanne Layer

5 stars
Great cake, perfect for making into layer cake or cupcakes.

Reply

Audrey Dunham

Thanks, Joanne! So happy you like the recipe.

Reply

Noel

4 stars
Hi…
It’s a good cake. I tried the recipe a few times gluten free with Better Batter Gluten Free Flour, and I have a question…

When I looked at traditional pound cake recipes, I found that they mix all liquid ingredients, and then add dry ingredients, but you add the milk after the dry. Would it still work if I add the milk after mixing butter/sugar and then add the dry ingredients last?

The reason is because when I followed your directions I found that the butter/sugar/dry ingredient mixture stays stuck to the bottom of mixer and then clumps when you add the milk and mix. Then I had to break up the lumps/clumps.

I’m using a paddle attachment. Let me know please. Thanks!

Reply

Audrey Dunham

Hi Noel, I actually mix this cake with a hand mixer, but then scrape the bottom of the bowl as I go. I find this really helps. Also, if your GF flour mix already contains Xanthan Gum, you can skip the 1/2 tsp. I call for. That may help prevent clumping as well. Hope this helps!

Reply

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