Zingy Lemon Cupcakes (vegan)

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Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

Triple lemon threat cupcakes are a thing of beauty. A light, citrus lemon cake, hidden homemade lemon curd filling, and sweet, thick, creamy lemon frosting. I think, personally, lemon cupcakes are perfect for the summer months, when you want a flavour that doesn’t ‘feel’ as dense as something like a red velvet, or a chocolate cake. You know what I mean?

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

I used to make triple lemon cupcakes before going plant-based, so of course, I was going to tackle them without the egg and the dairy. What originally put me off, wasn’t making the lemon cupcakes themselves. I wasn’t really concerned about that. I was concerned about the lemon curd. Eggs are used to make the curd traditionally, and I couldn’t really see a way around that. So I didn’t get around it – I just… went through it? Over it? Whatver.

I made… f’urd? I just made that up. Fake (lemon) curd = f’urd. Get it?

There are actually a bunch of vegan lemon curd recipes out there on the internet – I sort of amalgamated them all into my own, based on what I had in, what I thought tasted good (hello cooks perks), and well… my gut feeling for how things were progressing. I haven’t included the lemon curd recipe below, but if yall want it just let me know and I’ll write it up.

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

Watch how to make lemon cupcakes:

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

Birthday lemon cupcakes

I always use what I bake. Whether it’s as gifts, for my colleagues (/tasting guinea pigs) or to use myself at home, I never waste food, and that goes for these too! The lemon cupcakes pictured here were actually used as birthday cupcakes! Instead of baking a more traditional layer cake, I made a dozen cupcakes, decorated them with homemade sugarcraft flowers, and popped a candle in each one. Pro tip: don’t leave the candles lit too long – your flowers will melt.

Yes – the heat from the candles melted my flowers! But other than that, the actual lemon cupcakes went down great! Most people remarked

  • I can’t believe they’re vegan
  • How cool it was to have a (lemon curd) filling
  • How lemony they were
Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

Do you like stuffed cupcakes?

I do it quite a lot, sneaking a filling into my cupcakes. Prior to my lemon cupcakes, I stuffed jam into my faithful jam and peanut butter cupcakes, and have been known to put jam into regular vanilla cupcakes too. Do you like stuffed cupcakes? Or do you prefer cake-filled vegan cupcakes?

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

Win lemon cake lovers around with these delicious, quick and easy vegan lemon cupcakes. Then level them up by stuffing them with vegan lemon curd!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12



  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
  • 250 g self raising flour
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp each salt
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 240 ml unsweetened soy milk ~1 cup
  • 1 tbsp cider (or sub in distilled vinegar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp lemon extract
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil or another oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ to ½ cup lemon curd for filling the cupcakes - optional


  • 60 g vegan cream cheese*
  • 30 g vegetable fat
  • 30 g margarine
  • 2-6 tbsp dairy free milk
  • ½ tsp lemon extract
  • 450 g icing sugar


  • First, make the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
  • Mix the ground flaxseed and water together in a little dish and set it aside to gel (about 5-10 minutes).
    1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
  • Then, mix the unsweetened soy milk and vinegar in a jug and set aside to let it curdle.
    240 ml unsweetened soy milk, 1 tbsp cider
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and lemon zest. Stir them together.
    250 g self raising flour, 200 g caster sugar, ¼ tsp each salt, ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda, ¼ tsp baking powder, 1 lemon, zested
  • Add the flaxseed to the dry ingredients, then soy-vinegar mixture and remaining wet cupcake ingredients. Mix swiftly - until just combined. Don't over mix!
    ¼ tsp lemon extract, 3 tbsp melted coconut oil, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Divide between the paper cases and bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • If stuffing with lemon curd, use an apple corer to cut a shallow, circular hole in the top of each cupcake (reserving the top - it's our 'lid'!)
  • Add 1-2 tsp of lemon curd into the hole of each cupcake, then cover the hole with the removed cake 'lid'.
    ¼ to ½ cup lemon curd


  • Cream together the cream cheese, vegetable fat and margarine with about half the icing sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
    60 g vegan cream cheese*, 30 g vegetable fat, 30 g margarine, 450 g icing sugar
  • Add the remaining icing sugar, lemon extract and 2 tablespoons of dairy free milk. Beat again until smooth, adding more dairy free milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired thickness is achieved.
    2-6 tbsp dairy free milk, 450 g icing sugar, ½ tsp lemon extract
  • Pipe or spoon your icing onto the cupcakes, and enjoy!


* Substitute for extra vegetable fat and margarine if you don't have any in.
So you would use 60g each of vegetable fat and margarine.

By the way, if you like these lemon cupcakes, you’ll also like:

More (vegan) lemony awesomeness:

More devilish vegan cupcake ideas:

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

9 thoughts on “Zingy Lemon Cupcakes (vegan)

    1. I’m afraid that’s not what plant-based means, but I understand your point of view. All oils, vegetable margarine and fats are plant-derived on this blog.
      Unfortunately, since this isn’t a fat-free recipe, this recipe wouldn’t be suitable for you 🙂

  1. Hi, the recipe looks awesome. Just a quick question, can I use lemon extract only? Since lemons aren’t easy to find where I live. If so, what would be the ratio?

    1. Oh gosh I’m not sure – I would start small and taste the batter. Perhaps 1/4 tsp more? Have a little taste and see if it’s lemon-y enough x

  2. This recipe looks fab, but I can’t use soy. Can I substitute the milk for another plant-based milk instead? Thank you

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