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.
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.
Highlights of this Lemon Loaf
Vegan (egg-free and dairy-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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. Enjoy every last crumb of this lemony treat, and happy baking!
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.
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!
More Citrus Love
If you love all things lemon (or lime), be sure to check out these other easy, citrusy recipes:
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.
1 cup (150 mL) nondairy milk (e.g., almond, hemp, cashew)
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.
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.
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 :/
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?)
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!!
Monday 12th of July 2021
Whoohoo!!! Ooh, and I love the idea of adding protein powder, brilliant, Emma!
Tuesday 6th of July 2021
Love this recipe. Lime is great, too,
Wednesday 7th of July 2021
Ooh, now I need to try it with Lime!
Tuesday 6th of July 2021
This is spectacular! Made with coconut sugar, so so good
Wednesday 7th of July 2021
I am so happy to know!!!! 🥰
Friday 2nd of July 2021
Finally had the time to make this. It was worth the wait! Came out perfectly and is so lemony. Thank you for your recipes!