Dairy-Free Desserts: Vegan Lemon Cupcake Recipe

Lemon cupcake
Brian Hagiwara/Stockbyte/Getty Images
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes (12 servings)
Ratings (89)

Vegan sweets are getting easier and easier to find, but sometimes the taste and texture are sacrificed when eggs and butter are taken out of a vegan cupcake recipe. If you were a cupcake connoisseur before going vegan, this recipe is for you. These cupcakes are some of my favorite easy vegan sweets for any time of year, but especially for spring and summer desserts. They are infused with flavors of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon. These are kid-friendly and will also be a hit with adults who have had to cut out dairy to stave off issues with digestion. With this recipe, I prefer to use this Vegan Lemon Buttercream Frosting, but feel free to use whatever dairy-free frosting suits the occasion. Try these for bake sales at your child's school or for big family gatherings for the holidays where people who have allergies, are lactose intolerant or have other health reasons need to avoid dairy and/or eggs. 

Storing Vegan Lemon Cupcakes 

Cupcakes can be kept up to two days at room temperature in a covered ​air-tight container. Thereafter they should be kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. After that they can be frozen and thawed overnight in the refrigerator to serve up to satisfy your or your loved ones sweet tooth without the guilt or bad fats found in regular cupcakes. You will taste the difference in this recipe but in a good way that allows for a fuller flavor and more vibrant color than what you've seen before.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup soy or almond milk
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped​

How to Make It

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy milk (or almond milk, if using), sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined.

3. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes emerges clean, about 18-20 minutes.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting with Vegan Lemon Buttercream Frosting or whatever dairy-free frosting suits the occasion.