This Lemon Turmeric Tea Cake has a zesty citrus flavor, a super moist crumb, and a beautiful vibrant yellow color! It’s topped off with a simple lemon glaze and some more lemon zest for a tangy yet sweet bite on top of the loaf. This easy tea cake is also completely vegan thanks to the applesauce which replaces the eggs!
why we love this lemon turmeric tea cake
It’s citrus season which means we’re making use of lemons, limes, and oranges in my kitchen!
This cake is super easy, can be made in one bowl, and is the perfect recipe for winter or spring baking.
This lemon loaf is also made without any eggs or dairy, so it’s totally plant-based.
Turmeric not only adds a tremendous amount of color to this loaf but it’s also known for its great health benefits. As the name suggests, this lemon tea cake is perfect with a warm cup of tea or with coffee!
why this recipe works
No eggs are necessary for this lemon cake! Applesauce serves as a fantastic egg replacer in this cake, plus it adds some extra moisture. This lemon tea cake recipe is actually adapted from my eggless apple cake which also uses applesauce as the egg replacer!
Since eggs also help leaven cakes, today we’re adding both baking soda and powder to help the cake rise. This recipe calls for oil which means it’s also dairy-free and vegan. Of course, you could substitute in melted vegan butter if you’d like!
the lemon turmeric tea cake ingredients
This tea cake uses a few ingredients which are hopefully already in your pantry. Today, I’m using fresh lemons for both the lemon juice and zest in the cake. I’m also using just a touch of lemon extract to create a bold flavor, but this is optional.
You’ll need to gather the following ingredients to make this cake:
- Vegetable Oil
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Lemon Extract
- Black Pepper
- Baking Soda + Powder
- Lemons, juice and zest
equipment and tools
This vegan lemon cake recipe makes 1 8.5 x 4.5″ loaf cake. You could also make this recipe into muffins, or mini loaves. The baking time will need to be decreased (see the notes section of the recipe card below).
Below are some suggested tools to make this lemon turmeric cake:
- Digital Kitchen Scale: to measure all the ingredients accurately
- 8.5 x 4.5″ Loaf Pan
- Measuring Cups or Scoops
- Fine Sieve or Sifter: for sifting the turmeric
how to make the lemon turmeric tea cake
The prep time for this cake is super fast. It takes about 10 minutes to mix together. Like most cakes, the longest part is just waiting for it to bake! It takes about 40-45 minutes to bake all the way through and get nice golden edges.
Below are the main steps for making this vegan lemon loaf:
- Preheat the oven to 350F or 176C.
- Grease a standard loaf pan (8.5”x4.5”) or line it with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, applesauce, and lemon extract (if using).
- Sift the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients, then mix the dry and wet together to form a batter.
- Transfer the batter to the greased loaf pan.
- Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes.
glazing the loaf
Glazing this lemon loaf is completely optional, but the glaze adds both the perfect amount of sweetness and tartness to the cake. To make the glaze, you’ll want to follow these simple steps:
- Remove the tea cake from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool for another 10-15 minutes.
- Make the lemon glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Spoon the glaze onto the cooled loaf and spread it to the edges. Slice and serve with coffee or tea.
storing the lemon tea cake
I’d be surprised if you end up having leftovers of this vegan lemon loaf, but if you do it can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days!
I loosely wrapped my unsliced loaf in plastic wrap the first day, and then stored the slices in an airtight container (with parchment between the slices) after that.
The edges of the loaf should be golden brown and the center should no longer be jiggly when done. A knife inserted into the center of the tea cake should come out relatively clean with only a few crumbs on it.
If your loaf sinks a little in the middle, this is perfectly okay! The loaf will still taste delicious. But, if you’d like to troubleshoot, it can mean a few things:
1. The oven door was opened during baking and shut which caused the cake to fall.
2. The batter sat out too long after the wet and dry ingredients were mixed together. The loaf should go into the oven almost immediately after mixing the wet and dry together. (This batter is very acidic because of the lemon, so the chemical reaction which causes the cake to rise happens as soon as the lemon juice and baking soda/powder meet.)
Yes, this recipe can be made into muffins. The baking temperature will be the same as the recipe below, but you’ll bake the muffins for 18-22 minutes instead of 40 minutes like the loaf.
Technically, bottled lemon juice can be used. However, I do not recommend omitting the lemon zest. A bulk of the lemon flavor actually comes from the zest. If you have access to fresh lemons, I recommend using them over bottled juice.
LOOKING FOR MORE VEGAN Dessert RECIPES?
- Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
- Strawberry Crunch Cake
- Vegan Strawberry Shortcake
- Italian Pear Almond Cake
- Spiced Orange Bundt Cake
- Eggless Apple Cake
- Bisquick Zucchini Bread
recipe & video:
Did you make this vegan Lemon Turmeric Tea Cake? I’d love to know! Leave a rating and comment below!
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