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Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake

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Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake. The best ever birthday cake, two layers, one with lemon, the other with coconut, and delicious vegan cream topping.


Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and is an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. An individual who follows the diet or philosophy is known as a vegan. Distinctions may be made between several categories of veganism. Dietary vegans, also known as “strict vegetarians”, refrain from consuming meat, eggs, dairy products, and any other animal-derived substances. 

What is a vegan cake made of?

A vegan cake is a cake made without eggs, dairy butter, or dairy milk. Each of these standard ingredients is easily replaced by plant-based substitutes, such as banana or flaxseed for eggs, non-trans fat margarine or oils for butter, and plant milk for milk.

Which oil is best for vegan baking?

Neutral plant oils: Unrefined canola, vegetable, and olive oil are sometimes preferred in baked goods. When substituting oil for butter in a recipe, use 3/4 cup for every cup of butter called for. Aside from olive oil, these oils have neutral flavors that won’t affect the taste of the resulting cake or pie.

Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake
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an image of a Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake sliced with vegan filling and berries and topped with toasted coconut. The full cake topped with fresh berries and candied orange slices

Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake

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  • Author: EsmeSalon
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Buttercream, Lemon Slices and Meringues Time: 5 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 hours
  • Yield: 1012 slices 1x
  • Category: Cake, Cupcakes, Cookies and Tarts
  • Diet: VeganDiet


This is the best and most delicious Vegan birthday cake ever. Our daughter made this for me for my birthday, an absolute labor of love with baking the cake, the frosting, the meringue and candied peel – all made from scratch.


Units Scale

Cake Batter

  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups vegan milk, any type but not flavored or sweetened (I used almond)
  • 2 cups brown sugar (I reduced this a fair bit because I added flavored syrups afterwards)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla

Buttercream (I doubled the recipe)

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • vegan milk as needed
  • 1/4 tsp salt, only if using unsalted butter


Cake Batter

  1. Grease 2 x 8″ cake pans and line with parchment.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and milk and set aside to curdle.
  4. Then in the mixer, combine sugar, flour, and baking soda.
  5. Add milk mixture, butter, and vanilla.
  6. Beat 1-2 mins on medium speed to combine – don’t overmix.
  7. Scrape down the sides.
  8. Now here is where I added a bit of extra flavor.
  9. The original recipe says to divide the batter here and bake for 40mins.
  10. I did divide the batter in half.
  11. To one half I added some unsweetened desiccated coconut, and to the other half, the zest of 4 lemons.
  12. Then I baked them as instructed.
  13. When they came out of the oven, I brushed a lemon simple syrup over the lemon cake, and some light coconut milk reduced with a touch of brown sugar over the coconut one.


  1. Beat the butter and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Add sugar 1 cup at a time.
  3. Mix in first so that it doesn’t fly everywhere with the mixer, then whip together with the mixer well to fully combine.
  4. Add milk to reach desired consistency.
  5. Beat it all for a few minutes to ensure it’s all fluffy and perfectly mixed.
  6. I added buttercream and whole fresh raspberries between the two layers, then iced the sides and top.
  7. I toasted some coconut flakes to put around the lower rim.

Candied Lemon Slices

  1. On the top, I decorated with candied lemon slices (boil lemon slices in simple syrup with lemon juice slowly until transparent, then dry in a 200°F oven until slightly crispy), raspberries, aquafaba meringues, and some flowers.

Aquafaba Vegan Meringues

  1. Follow Recipe on the blog for Aquafaba Vegan Meringues


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 606
  • Sugar: 60
  • Sodium: 694
  • Fat: 28
  • Saturated Fat: 18
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8
  • Trans Fat: 1
  • Carbohydrates: 84
  • Fiber: 1
  • Protein: 6
  • Cholesterol: 75
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an image of a Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake sliced with vegan filling and berries and topped with toasted coconut. The full cake topped with fresh berries and candied orange slices
Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake

More Vegan Recipes

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  • Just believe in yourself and dream big.
  • Do not give up on your hopes. Take care always.


I, Esme Slabbert, am the author and creator of this site, EsmeSalon. It is unlawful to re-use any content from this blog, without my written permission. Please es**@es*******.com">contact me should you wish to discuss it further.


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2 thoughts on “Vegan Coconut and Lemon Cake”

  1. Yum! This looks wonderful. Years ago I made a cake and added olive oil instead of canola oil. I could not detect an olive taste in the cake. Thanks for offering recipes for vegans.

    • Hi Terri. You’re so welcome and glad to help with Vegan recipes. If ever you need more let me know. I have a vegan series that will be coming over the next 2 months so please do check back


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