They say that desperation is the mother of invention, and I can attest to the truth of that statement. A few months ago, a friend asked me to bake the cake for her wedding [read: over 250 cupcakes, plus a cake]. Lemon was one of the three flavors she requested. I had never made a lemon cake before, and couldn’t find one online that I liked… So what’s a girl to do? Create her own recipe, of course!
Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes provided my first inspiration, and after a few trials (and some total flops – like the first cake that ended up in the trash), I finally landed on what I consider the perfect vegan lemon cupcake recipe.
If you’re among the crowd who thinks all vegan cakes taste like cardboard (and are just about as hard to chew), I have news for you… These cupcakes may alter your worldview.
These lemon cupcakes are soft, fluffy, moist, and flavorful. They are lightly sweet with the perfect hint of lemon, and topped with clouds of dreamy vegan buttercream. This would also make a gorgeous cake – especially with raspberry filling between the layers.* Mmmmmm…
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the wedding (cup)cakes went well (thanks to my sweet friend Allison)! It was an honor to be a small part of my friend’s special day, and I learned a lot. But I still have flashbacks whenever I decorate a cupcake… Frosting 300 cupcakes in one shot is a lot, you guys – especially with a 1 year-old in tow. Thankfully, you’ll only have 12 to decorate with this recipe… 😉
I hope you’ll whip up a batch of these beauties this weekend! Be sure to let me know how it goes in the comments below. And as always, may your day be seasoned with sunshine! 🙂
- ½ cup soymilk
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp lemon extract
- 1 T lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)
- ½ cup vegan butter, softened (I like to use Earth Balance Baking Sticks)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1-3 Tbsp soy milk (add one tablespoon at a time - it may not need all three)
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)
- Preheat oven to 350º and prepare cupcake pan with 12 liners.
- Mix soy milk and lemon juice together. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift dry ingredients together.
- Combine oil, vanilla, and lemon extract with soy milk and lemon juice.
- Slowly add wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
- Mix until no lumps remain.
- Fold in lemon zest.
- Fill cupcake liners ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place them on a cooling rack.
- While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting.
- Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream vegan butter.
- Add vanilla, and cream again until very fluffy.
- Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating to fully combine.
- Add soy milk 1 Tablespoon at a time, until frosting is the right consistency. You will want this frosting to be very fluffy, but very thick so that it holds it's shape.
- Add lemon zest, and beat until evenly combined.
- Once cupcakes are cooled, frost generously!
- These keep well at room temperature for a couple days, or in the fridge for about a week.
- You can easily freeze leftover cupcakes and frosting for a couple months. Simply leave out for a few hours to thaw before frosting and serving.
*Each recipe makes one 9-inch pan, so simply double for a 2 layer cake, triple for a 3 layer cake, etc. 🙂 **Here is a helpful chart for baking times when using different pans.