Eggless Lemon Cake
This has to be the world’s BEST eggless lemon cake.
The lemon sponge is incredibly moist and sweet with a light caramel flavour, and it’s topped with a thick layer of sticky sweet lemon icing. When I bake this, people can’t believe it doesn’t contain any eggs. What a lovely way to treat someone who can’t include egg in their diet.
A lemon cake is a British favourite, and is a staple for afternoon tea. It’s one of my family’s favourite cakes and I hope you will love it too.
If you are baking this as part of an afternoon tea, be sure to check out this recipe for a classic eggless Victoria sponge cake.
How do you make eggless lemon cake?
Just a few simple and easy to find ingredients go into this lemon cake:
- Self raising flour
- Caster sugar
- Baking powder
- Whole milk or a plant based alternative to make this cake vegan or dairy free
- Sunflower oil or any other mild tasting cooking oil
- Golden syrup
- Vanilla extract
- Lemons – both the lemon juice and lemon zest
- Icing sugar.
This recipe calls for whole milk, but you can replace it with a plant based milk to create an entirely vegan lemon pound cake. Oat milk would work particularly well because of its creamy and mild taste.
Adding golden syrup to the batter gives the cake a lovely caramel flavour and helps to bind everything together in the absence of egg.
Ideally try and use unwaxed lemons for this recipe because the zest goes into the batter. Waxed lemons are sprayed with polyethylene/beeswax/shellac to give them a sheen and to help protect them during transport. You would probably rather not eat the wax, but if you only have waxed lemons, just them well with hot water.
How can I ensure my eggless lemon cake is moist?
This lemon cake is very moist, and this is due to the milk and oil content in the recipe. The addition of golden syrup also helps retain moisture in the absence of egg. To make it even more moist and to enhance the lemon flavour, don’t miss the thick layer of lemon icing at the very end. This will give the cake another dimension and make it even more of a pleasure to eat.
What does lemon do to a cake?
Eggs help to make a cake fluffy and light, because they provide a cake with lift and structure. Of course this cake is eggless, so the lemon helps to mimic the effect that eggs would usually have. The combination of lemon and baking powder react to release carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is expansive and so this is what helps the cake to rise, to create a lovely fluffy cake.
When adding the lemon juice and zest, you might notice the batter start to bubble. This is normal, and these bubbles tell you that the carbon dioxide gas forming.
How long does this cake keep?
This cake will keep well for up to three days in an air tight container. You can also freeze individual slices of this cake in zip lock bags for up to three months. I really like these reusable ones because it means you’re not throwing each one away after each use. Great if you are trying to reduce your plastic consumption! Just bring the cake slices back up to room temperature before serving.
Frequently asked questions
Ensure the oven is preheated before putting the cake in the oven. If it is not, the cake may rise initially and then fall. Also don’t be tempted to open the oven door until the cake is cooked, because the cold air can lower the temperature in the oven, which may cause the cake to sink.
Yes absolutely! In fact this lemon cake is a great egg free cake to try, because the lemon and milk in the recipe combine to make buttermilk. This buttermilk helps to add moisture in place of the eggs, as well as helping to bind the other ingredients together.
Lemon zest is a great way to get lemon flavour into your cake. Don’t be tempted to add in more juice than the recipe calls for because the batter may become too runny. Be sure to use unwaxed lemons because they are easier to zest. If you want even more flavour, use the zest of one more lemon in your batter.