A really light and zesty lemon loaf studded with fresh juicy blueberries all topped with a lemon zest yoghurt frosting and more blueberries. This loaf is a great spring-summer bake that is naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and delicious.
I love a fresh spring-summer loaf cake and have been waiting for the opportunity to make a lemon loaf for a while. A recent opportunity with an oat drink company who also sell oat yoghurt was the perfect excuse to bake something zesty and delicious. I wanted to add blueberries, too, to make this loaf really pop and add some extra fruit to this Vegan Lemon and Blueberry Loaf.
This loaf is:
Easy to make
Light and fluffy
Zesty and fruity
Spongey and cakey
Refreshing and spring-summery
Naturally vegan and gluten-free
Comes together in one bowl
If you needed a reason to make this vibrant lemon loaf, it is great for picnics, BBQs and all other kinds of family and friend gatherings. Or, make it for yourself and enjoy a slice every day! I love how light and zesty it is, thanks to a few simple ingredients:
Plant-based yoghurt: as mentioned above, I used a thick oat yoghurt for this, but any thick plant-based yoghurt will work. If you are gluten-free, make sure the oat yoghurt is GF-friendly. Runnier yoghurts will make the batter a bit too wet, so you may need to add 20-50ml less milk.
Oat drink or plant-based milk: again, I used an oat drink which was really thick and creamy, perfect for baking with, but any carton of plant-milk will do as there are some delicious options out there. Try almond, coconut, soya or homemade vanillahemp milk, too.
Sunflower oil: I like baking with liquid oils as they keep the batter really light and fluffy without any overpowering taste, you could also use a light olive oil, here. Melted and cooled coconut oil would also work.
Caster sugar: for once, I chose to use caster sugar to keep the light colour in the loaf as the white sugar means the lemon zest colour really shines through. But you can use coconut sugar to keep this recipe refined sugar-free, although the loaf will be darker in colour.
Lemon juice: this does two things as it adds to the lemon flavour, and it helps to bind the cake batter for a really fluffy loaf.
Vanilla essence: this adds a lovely, sweet note, but you can leave it out if you don’t have any.
Lemons: these are essential for a lemon cake, and the zest adds so much flavour.
Plain or GF plain flour: this makes the loaf really cakey and spongey. Make sure you use a 1:1 flour blend with xantham gum in if you are making this gluten-free.
Ground almonds: as opposed to using all flour, I love adding ground almonds to my recipes as I love the slightly denser texture and the nutty flavour. this cake is still really light, but the almonds add a squdgier quality that works so well. if you are nut-free, use the grind of a seed.
Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda: for the rise.
Blueberries: essential for the Vegan Lemon and Blueberry Loaf! I prefer to use fresh when I can as they bake better into the loaf, but you can use frozen berries, too. they will stain the batter as you fold them in so the end cake may look a little messier inside, but it is still just as delicious!
That’s it. Method-wise, this Vegan Lemon and Blueberry Loaf involves you whisking together the wet ingredients, sifting in the dry ingredients and then whisking to a thick batter before folding in the blueberries. Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake until golden, smelling amazing and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
As always, the hardest part when baking is waiting for the cake to cool. If you are in a rush, I suggest making this Vegan Lemon and Blueberry Loaf the night before and then you can serve it up in 5 minutes the next day and you can also pop the cake in the fridge to speed up the cooling down process.
Once you are ready to frost this Vegan Lemon and Blueberry Loaf, it couldn’t be simpler. While I love a good buttercream (try any of my buttercream recipes to go on top especially the vanilla ones or try the raspberry one) I wanted to keep this loaf a little lighter and less sweet. So, using the same thick yoghurt that goes inside the loaf, I added some fresh lemon zest, stirred it into the yoghurt and spread it all over the top. Add on some fresh blueberries, extra lemon zest and that’s it!
There is something quite nostalgic and comforting about a simple, but impressive, lemon loaf and I hope you will love this Vegan Lemon and Blueberry Loaf. It is great to serve to friends and family, neighbours and for afternoon tea celebrations. It is quick to come together and very quick to be eaten, too!
If you are looking for other loaves and cakes, how about my:
Light and fruity cheesecake bars with a nutty oat base, a creamy cashew vanilla cheesecake filling topped with fresh strawberry chia jam. These cheesecake bars are naturally vegan, gluten-free and require no baking.
For the Loaf:
120g thick plant-based yoghurt
120ml oat drink (or other plant milk)
30ml sunflower oil
120g caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 lemons, zested
180g plain or GF plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g ground almonds
A pinch of salt
150g blueberries, tossed in 1 tbsp plain flour
200g thick plant-based yoghurt
1 lemon, zested
Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line and grease a loaf tin. Toss the blueberries with the flour and leave to one side.
Whisk together the yoghurt, oat drink/plant milk, oil, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and pour in the ground almonds and salt. Whisk to a smooth batter.
Fold in the blueberries and pour into the lined tin. Smooth over the top and bake for 38-42 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then cool fully on a wire rack.
For the frosting, stir half of the zest into the yoghurt and spread over the loaf. Now top with the blueberries and rest of the zest. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days or freeze the un-frosted cake for 1 month.
I look forward to hearing what you think of this light and zesty Vegan Lemon and Blueberry Loaf so please let me know in the comments below. if you do make this loaf, I would love to see it! Please tag me in your bakes – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!