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Vegan Grain-Free Lemon Loaf {gluten-free, 1-bowl}

Home » Grain-Free Vegan Bread » Vegan Grain-Free Lemon Loaf {gluten-free, 1-bowl}

It’s always a good time to bake (and eat!) lemon bread, and my vegan grain-free lemon loaf is a perfect way to indulge. Made in one bowl (no mixer required), it is packed with lemon flavor and has a fine texture that you are sure to love. 
VEGAN GRAIN-FREE LEMON LOAF, partially sliced, on a wire cooling rack

A New Approach to Making a Lemon Loaf

I admit it. I had a privileged childhood.

The reason: an abundant Meyer lemon tree grew in my backyard.

Adding to that, my mother baked, and encouraged me to bake, too. The sum of these facts was a youth spent enjoying an array of lemon bars, lemon cakes, and lemon cookies as a matter of course (very lucky me!). It’s little wonder that lemon is my favorite dessert flavor (second only to caramel).

The start of summer signals all-things-lemon season for me, so to inaugurate the season, I offer a classic, re-imagined: Lemon Loaf, made both vegan and grain-free.

overhead shot of slices of grain-free vegan lemon bread on a white plate

Highlights of this Lemon Loaf

  • Vegan (egg-free and dairy-free)
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Made in one bowl
  • Quick and easy preparation

Ingredients for the Recipe

This recipe has a longer ingredient list than many of my recipes. I tried many super-minimalist ideas and combos, but they just did not work out. But after a few more additions, and several more rounds of testing, I had a delicious loaf worthy of sharing.

To make up for the longer list of ingredients, the assembly is particularly fast and easy. Here is what you will need:

What Makes this Recipe Work

The beautiful crumb and light texture of this lemon loaf–more of a cake than a bread– is a combination of almond flour, coconut flour, and a bit of tapioca flour. The result is remarkably similar to an all-purpose flour loaf (but better, in my humble opinion, due to the absence of gluten).

Eggs typically add structure and volume to baked goods, especially loaves and cakes. Their absence in this recipe is overcome with the addition of a small amount of whole psyllium husks. The gelling action of psyllium gives the loaf structure so that once the loaf rises (from the baking powder) it does not fall right back down.

If you cannot eat psyllium, do not fret: I have options for using flaxseed meal in its place. Flax does not provide the exact same amount of structure as psyllium, but it does the job. Note that it will add some color (tan) to the bread.

How to Make Vegan Grain-Free Lemon Loaf

Once the flours are measured, making the lemon loaf is quick and straightforward. Hooray for baking simplicity!

Step 1. Combine the liquid ingredients and psyllium.

In a glass measuring cup, measure the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir in the whole psyllium husks until blended. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to thicken.

psyllium milk and lemon mixture for vegan lemon bread

Step 2. Combine the dry ingredients.

In a large measuring bowl, whisk the almond flour, sugar, tapioca flour, coconut flour, and salt until blended.

Step 3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.

Add the psyllium mixture, oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until completely blended (the batter will be somewhat thick), scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber or silicone spatula.

2 photo collage showing how to make lemon loaf without eggs or grains

Step 4: Scrape the batter into the pan.

Scrape the batter into a 9 x 5-inch (22.5 x 12.5 cm) loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (or oiled). Smooth the top with a spoon or spatula.

emon loaf batter in a clear glass loaf pan

Step 5: Bake and Cool.

Bake the lemon loaf in a preheated 350F (175C) oven for 40 to 45 minutes until risen, golden, and a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. 

Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and cool completely in the pan.

Make the Lemon Glaze 

While the loaf bakes, combine the glaze ingredients (grain-free powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice) in a bowl (I wash out and dry the same bowl I use for the bread). Use the back of a spoon to break up any lumps. Easy!

(Don’t forget to check out my grain-free powdered sugar recipe; it can be made with cane sugar or coconut sugar!).

cashew lemon glaze for lemon loaf, all in a small glass bowl

Run a knife around the edges of the pan and remove the loaf. Return the loaf, right side up, to the cooling rack. I like to place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper beneath the rack to catch any drips from the glaze.

Liberally brush or soon the glaze all over the top and sides of the cake (lemon heaven). Let the loaf sit for at least 15 minutes before slicing. This allows for the glaze to soak into the cake and set.

overhead shot of vegan lemon loaf geting a lemon glaze brushed on top

Delicious eating awaits!

I added an extra sprinkle of lemon zest on top, because I had it on hand, and because more lemon is always a good thing in my book. overhead shot of slices of vegan lemon bread Enjoy every last crumb of this lemony treat, and happy baking!

close up of a sliced lemon loaf on a cooling rack

FAQ

How Do I Store the Lemon Loaf?

Store the loaf in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freezer for up to 3 months.

Can I Use Other Flours in this Recipe?

I completely understand the desire to use flours that are already on hand as opposed to purchasing the ones specific to a recipe. But in the world of grain-free, vegan baking, it can wreak havoc on the results. 

Hence, I urge you to stick with recipe as written.

Any Other Options for the Sweeteners?

Yes! You can use:

I use coconut sugar for most of my baking here on Power Hungry®. I tested this loaf with it and it is delicious, but…I did not want a brown lemon loaf. But please feel free to swap in coconut sugar if the color does not bother you. You can also make my easy grain-free powdered sugar with coconut sugar (for use in the glaze).

I do not recommend sugar-free alternatives for this particular recipe. The sugar adds volume and structure that sugar-free options cannot. This can likely be overcome with some additional experimentation.

My Loaf Did Not Turn Out as Expected. Why?

The most likely reason is that the measurements for the flours were off (most likely too much flour). For the greatest accuracy, weigh the flour to the gram. If using cups to measure, very lightly spoon the flours into the measuring cups and level the tops to avoid over packing.

It is also a good idea to check the potency of your baking powder. If it has lost some of its leavening power, the bread will not rise properly.

Happy baking, everyone!

a piece of lemon bread on a golden fork

More Citrus Love

If you love all things lemon (or lime), be sure to check out these other easy, citrusy recipes:

Yield: 1 loaf (14 slices)

Vegan Grain-Free Lemon Loaf {almond flour & coconut flour}

VEGAN GRAIN-FREE LEMON LOAF, partially sliced, on a wire cooling rack

It's always a good time to bake (and eat!) lemon bread, and my vegan grain-free lemon loaf is a perfect way to indulge! Made in one bowl (no mixer required!), it is loaded with lemon flavor and has a fine texture that you are sure to love.

Ingredients

Bread:

  • 1 cup (150 mL) nondairy milk (e.g., almond, hemp, cashew)
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (5 g) whole psyllium husks (see notes for using psyllium powder OR flax meal)
  • 2 cups (224 g) blanched almond flour
  • 1/3 cup (32 g) tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup (144 g) organic cane sugar (see notes for options)
  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons (13.2 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) neutral oil of your choice (e.g., avocado, safflower, melted coconut)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemon Glaze:

Instructions

Make the loaf:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Spray or grease a 9x5-inch (22.5x12.5 cm) loaf pan.
  2. Measure the nondairy milk, zest and lemon juice into a glass measuring cup. Stir in the psyllium husk and let stand 5 minutes to thicken.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

  1. Add the psyllium mixture, oil and vanilla to the flour mixture; stir until completely combined (the batter will be thick).  Scrape and spread into prepared pan.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown, risen, and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached.
  3. Transfer pan to a cooling rack; cool the loaf completely in the pan. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.

Make the lemon glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon zest, lemon juice and powdered sugar. Use the back of spoon to break up any lumps.
  2. Run a butter knife around edge of pan to loosen the loaf. Spoon and spread with the glaze. Let set at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Sugar Option: You can use an equal amount of coconut sugar in place of the cane sugar, I did not want the cake to be brown, hence the cane sugar. The loaf is delicious made with coconut sugar. I do not recommend using a sugar-free replacement (e.g., xylitol, monkfruit, etc) for this recipe.

Psyllium options: the whole psyllium husks can be swapped for 1 and 1/2 teaspoons psyllium husk powder. Alternatively, use 4 teaspoons of flaxseed meal.

Storage: Store in airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freezer for up to 3 months.

Q: Can I use something else to replace the flours (almond, tapioca or coconut)? A: For the almond and coconut, no (not without a substantial amount of experimentation and fine-tuning). You might be able to substitute arrowroot, potato starch, or cornstarch for the tapioca flour, but I have not tested it.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size

1 slice (1/14 of loaf)

Amount Per Serving Calories 222Total Fat 12.5gSaturated Fat 1.2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 199mgCarbohydrates 26.4gFiber 2.8gSugar 19.8gProtein 3.8g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @powerhungrycamilla on Instagram and hashtag it #powerhungrycamilla

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Steph

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

I really like your recipes. I'm allergic to almonds. Can I try another nut flour? Or do you have another lemon recipe without almonds?

Camilla

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

Hi Steph! Have you tried pepita flour? I do not buy it, but I make it in my high speed blender from whole pepitas. It is my favorite alternative to almond flour (hmm...now I am wondering why I have not shared recipes with it!? I need to correct that asap! You could use the peptic flour a a 1:1 substitute for the almond flour :)

karen w

Friday 10th of September 2021

can I use sweet potato flour instead of coconut flour or just leave it out all together

Camilla

Friday 10th of September 2021

Hi Karen, I have not used sweet potato flour, so I‘m sorry, I cannot advise on it’s use. This definitely will not work without the coconut flour. Grain-free vegan baking has little to no room for variation (without disaster ensuing). It would take some trial & error to make some changes

Cara

Sunday 25th of July 2021

Hi, at what point do I add sugar to the cake? Am I the only one missing sugar in the recipe?

Catherine

Monday 12th of July 2021

Hello, my loaf came out too dense and didn't rise like yours despite using weighing scales for ingredients. After adding the psyllium mixture, oil and vanilla, I realised that the batter was too thick (almost dough-like) hence I added more non-dairy milk to it. Is it possible to have a video reference of what the batter should look like? As I'm not sure where I messed up :/

Camilla

Saturday 24th of July 2021

Hi Catherine, I am so sorry the bread did not turn out as expected. My first question before trouble shooting more: I just want to check that you were using whole psyllium husks (or did you modify with flaxseed meal or psyllium husk powder?)

Emma Theron

Friday 9th of July 2021

This recipe is fantastic!! I made a few tweaks, used chia seeds instead of the psyllium husks. I didn't have tapioca flour so used 1tbsp of plain flour and the rest in vanilla protein powder. Delicious, moist and very moreish!!

Camilla

Monday 12th of July 2021

Whoohoo!!! Ooh, and I love the idea of adding protein powder, brilliant, Emma!

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