vegan lemon poppy seed cake on speckled ceramic tray topped with lemon glaze and lemon zest with sliced lemons off to the side

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 48 Minutes
  • Total Time: 58 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Say hello to the best vegan and gluten-free Lemon Poppyseed Cake ever: A fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth cake infused with a bright lemon flavor. The perfect balance of tart & sweet!


For the Cake: 

  • 2 flax “eggs” (2 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 5 tablespoons water)
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 g) oat flour
  • 1 cup (95 g) almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (118 mL) grade A maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (118 mL) full-fat coconut milk
  • Zest from 2 small lemons; approx. 1 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; about 1 small lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

For the Glaze* (Optional):

  • 1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar 60g
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Additional lemon zest, for garnish (optional)


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and grease or line a 9″ loaf pan. Mix the ground flax with water in a small bowl, then set aside and let thicken for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Dry Ingredients: Whisk the oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl combine the maple syrup, coconut milk, lemon zest, flax egg, and lemon juice. Mix until evenly incorporated, then add to the dry ingredients and mix to form a thick batter. Finally, fold in the poppy seeds.
  4. Bake: Transfer the batter to the loaf pan, then bake in the center of the middle oven rack for 48 to 50 minutes, until the exterior is golden brown. The center may droop a little bit, but the interior of the bread should still be cooked. Remove the cake from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking tray to let cool completely.
  5. Glaze: Once the cake is cool, combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well; if the glaze is too thick, add water to the mixture in 1 teaspoon increments. Drizzle the glaze over the cake, then slice and serve.
  6. Storage: Leftovers will keep at room temperature, in a container with a loose-fitting lid, for up to 4 days. This cake can also be pre-sliced and frozen for up to two months.


  • Substitutions: I have not tested this recipe with any other substitutions. You could try replacing the almond flour with 2/3 cup additional oat flour, but the bread will be much more dry and slightly gummy. I highly recommend using full-fat coconut milk because it gives the bread a buttery and tender texture; if you want to replace it, using a full-fat oat milk would be your best bet. Maple syrup can be replaced with another liquid sweetener, such as agave.
  • Oat Flour: to make your own oat flour, add quick-cooking or rolled oats to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 20-30 seconds, until the oats have broken down to form a fine, fluffy flour.
  • Glaze Option #2: For a refined sugar-free glaze, combine ½ cup melted coconut butter, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 3-6 tablespoons warm water until you get a drizzle-able glaze. FYI: this version is darker in color and has a distinct coconut taste!