These Dairy-Free Vegan Lemon Cupcakes Are Tangy and Moist

Dairy-Free Vegan Lemon Cupcakes
The Spruce
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
191 Calories
7g Fat
33g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 191
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 112mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 36mg 182%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 155mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Vegan sweets are getting easier and easier to find, but sometimes the taste and texture are sacrificed when eggs and butter are taken out—especially from a cupcake recipe. But not with these little lemon cakey treats; the olive oil, soy milk, and lemon juice add moisture, so, if you were a cupcake connoisseur before going vegan, you won't be disappointed.

These cupcakes are delicious any time of year but are especially appropriate for a spring and summer dessert. They are infused with flavors of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon, making for a fresh-tasting baked good that will be both kid-friendly as well as a hit with adults who have had to cut out dairy to stave off issues with digestion.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup soy or almond milk

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup plus tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

    prep cupcake liners
     The Spruce
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

    mix dry ingredients
     The Spruce
  4. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, soy milk (or almond milk, if using), sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

    mix wet ingredients
     The Spruce
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing until just combined.

    Combine ingredients
     The Spruce
  6. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full.

    fill cupcake tins
     The Spruce
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of cupcakes emerges clean about 18 to 20 minutes.

    bake cupcakes
     The Spruce
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting with vegan lemon buttercream or whatever dairy-free frosting suits the occasion.

    Frosted vegan lemon cupcakes

    The Spruce


  • These cupcakes can be kept up to 2 days at room temperature in a covered air-tight container. Thereafter they should be kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days unless frozen, which will last up to 3 months.
  • Making sure the lemons are in their prime is important—otherwise, your cupcakes will take on an overly sour flavor.
  • When combining the ingredients, you should mix the dry together and then add the wet; and once you do, make sure you don't overmix the batter—doing so will result in a thick, dense cake. 
  • Filling the tins to the right level is important. If too little, the baked cake will sit below the wrapper, and if too high the batter will spill outside the liner and make a mess. About 2/3 to 3/4 full is ideal.

Other Vegan Cupcake Recipes

Whether for a bake sale, birthday party, or just to have on hand in the house, there is no shortage of delicious vegan cupcake recipes in a variety of flavors. From a basic chocolate cupcake to apple spice with buttercream frosting to red velvet with dairy-free cream cheese frosting, there are recipes to satisfy any taste or occasion.