Tangy Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

by | March 26, 2020

This recipe, from Joni Gomes of foodbyjonister, may be just what you need to keep the family busy today.

Using simple ingedients, and combining a smooth and sweet cream cheese frosting with the tangy bite of fresh lemon zest, you’re sure to hit the ball out of the park with this new party favorite.

vegan cupcakes

Tangy Vegan Lemon Cupcakes



  • 1.75 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Pure Cane Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 0.5 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 cup (unsweetened Soy or Almond) Non-Dairy Milk
  • 0.3 cup (Avocado or Vegetable) Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon (3 lemons) Lemon Zest
  • 3 drops (optional) Natural Food Dye Gel

Sour Lemon Icing Filling

  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces (I use Tofutti) Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 0.25 cup Vegan Butter 3 cups (sifted) Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • 0.5 teaspoon Lemon Extract



  1. First, preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Zest 3 lemons until you have 1 heaping Tablespoon of lemon zest.
  3. Next, slightly warm the non dairy milk in the microwave for 20 seconds or o the stove top. You want warm milk but not hot.
  4. Add 1 + 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour to a large bowl along with 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
  5. Mix with a whisk.
  6. Add 1 cup of warm and unsweetened non dairy milk (I like using soy or almond milk), 1/3 cup of oil (I use avocado oil), 1 Tablespoon of vinegar, 2 teaspoons of lemon extract, and 1 heaping Tablespoon of lemon zest.
  7. Using a whisk or a spatula mix to combine but do not over-mix.
  8. Additionally, you can add a few drops of natural (turmeric based) yellow food dye. This is optional.2 DONE
  9. Line your cupcake tin with cupcakes liners then fill with 1/4 cup of cupcakes batter.
  10. This will fill the cupcakes liners about 2/3 full.
  11. Bake the cupcakes at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  12. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  13. While the cupcakes cool, remove the vegan cream cheese (4 ounces) and vegan butter (1/4 cup) from the refrigerator so it comes up to room temperature.


  1. Once the cupcakes are cooled, make the icing filling.
  2. In a bowl or measuring jug, combine 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
  3. Whisk until well mixed.
  4. Using a piping tip, core the middle of the cupcakes then fill them with the sour lemon icing.4 DONE


  1. To make the frosting, you will need a hand-held electric mixer or a standing mixer with the whisk attachment.
  2. Add 4 ounces room temperature vegan cream cheese to your bowl and mix for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Next, add 1/4 cup vegan butter and mix again.
  4. Now, sift 3 cups of powdered sugar into the bowl. Sifting will ensure there are no clumps.
  5. Mix for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.
  6. Lastly, add 1 Tablespoon of lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract and mix again until combined.
  7. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with your desired piping tip.
  8. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with a bit more lemon zest.

Store these cupcakes in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Enjoy!

To find more recipes from Joni, check out the her website and Instagram.


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