lemon cupcake with a bite taken out of it  frosted with coconut cream and a slice of lemon on top landscape photo

These Vegan Lemon Cupcakes topped with a light coconut yogurt cream frosting are soft, moist and bursting with citrus flavour! The perfect easy cupcakes for spring and summer. (Gluten Free + Oil Free)

Gather around friends, let’s welcome the first cupcake recipe on the blog!

Considering how much I love muffins, I can’t believe I don’t have a single cupcake recipe up yet– since muffins and cupcakes are practically sisters right?

Above all desserts (sorry chocolate, love you still), lemon flavoured sweets are my absolute favourite and it’s a quintessential flavour for spring and summer. Bright, light and intensely lemony!

How to Make Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

These soft and fluffy cupcakes are made with just 8 wholesome ingredients— adapted from my beloved lemon poppyseed muffins. The combination of these ingredients bake up the perfect cupcakes while keeping it gluten free, dairy free, oil free, egg free and basically flourless.

The Ingredients

  • Lemon Juice + Zest: I love my cupcakes LEMON-Y. If you prefer just a hint of lemon flavour, you can substitute some of the lemon juice with non dairy milk.
  • Silken Tofu OR Non Dairy Yogurt: Friends, I think I’ve found my new favourite egg replacer! After testing this recipe 4 times, I found using a combination of both silken tofu and non dairy yogurt to produce the most fluffy and moist cupcake. But if you only have one, it still works and comes out delicious– just keep in mind that the texture is slightly different with each variation.
  • Oat Flour + Almond Flour: Forever my favourite gluten free flour blend!
  • Potato Starch: I tested this recipe with tapioca starch, corn starch and potato starch. Again, I found a combo of potato starch and tapioca starch to produce the best texture– the all tapioca is slightly more dense and chewy and the all potato starch is slightly more crumbly– BUT the different is very subtle and both still come out great.
  • Baking Soda: Since these cupcakes are eggless, this helps with the fluffiness and rise.
  • and of course, a bit of vanilla and salt for finishing touches!

Now for the frosting, I decided to go with a light coconut yogurt-cream frosting because I think it pairs super well with the zingy fresh lemon flavour. You’ll need a can of coconut cream, non dairy yogurt and some sweetener. For the coconut cream, I highly suggest using Nature’s Charm Whipped Cream OR Savoy Coconut Cream. These are the only two brands I have consistent success with. I tried using both powdered sugar and maple syrup and both work.

The Directions

Another reason why these lemon cupcakes are the best? They’re incredibly easy to make and all you need is 1 bowl, a whisk and a cupcake pan. And maybe a spatula if you wanna get every gram of batter out.

  1. Mix the wet ingredients until combined.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in until a thick batter forms. There should be a lot of bubbles starting to form now.
  3. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and pop them into the oven ASAP! The baking soda reacts as soon as it hits the lemon juice and we want to keep those bubbles as much as possible for the fluffiest cupcakes.
  4. Once they’re done baking, let them FULLY cool before frosting.

Tall. Fluffy. Soft. And that tender CRUMB!! Say goodbye to gummy gluten free cupcakes 😂

Best Way to Store Cupcakes

Before storing cupcakes, make sure they are completely cooled on a wire rack. Only frost the cupcakes before consuming (they will keep at a cool-temp for 1-2 hours but not in a hot environment), especially because we’re using coconut cream frosting for these cupcakes. For unfrosted cupcakes, store them in an air tight container covered for up to 2 days. To freeze, place them in a freezer safe container or bag and store for up to 1 month.

More Vegan Summer Dessert Recipes to Love!

vegan lemon cupcakes with a bite taken out of it frosted with coconut cream and a slice of lemon on top

If you recreate this Vegan Lemon Cupcakes recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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vegan lemon cupcakes with a bite taken out of it frosted with coconut cream and a slice of lemon on top

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes (Gluten Free)

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  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cupcakes 1x


These Vegan Lemon Cupcakes topped with a light coconut yogurt cream frosting are soft, moist and bursting with citrus flavour! The perfect easy cupcakes for spring and summer. (Gluten Free + Oil Free)


Units Scale


Coconut Yogurt Frosting


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line a muffin or cupcake tray with muffin liners and set aside. 
  2. Add lemon juice, silken tofu (or yogurt), maple syrup, vanilla extract and lemon zest to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add in the oat flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, baking soda and salt and whisk until everything is well combined. 
  3. Divide the batter between 10-12 cupcake liners. Place into the oven and bake for 22-26 minutes, keeping an eye on them at the last 3 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of a cupcake– it should come out clean or with a few cooked crumbs.
  4. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 1-2 minutes in the pan. Then carefully, remove the cupcakes from the tin and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. 
  5. To make the coconut yogurt frosting, spoon coconut cream into a cold metal bowl. Use a electric hand mixer and whip until it starts to get fluffy. Add in powdered sugar or maple syrup and whip again. Then add in non dairy yogurt 1 tbsp at a time until fluffy. If you notice it starts to melt down, stick the frosting back into the fridge and allow it to firm up again. This will depend on the brand of coconut cream and coconut yogurt you use. See post for recommendations on the best coconut cream for frosting. 
  6. Once the coconut frosting is firm and the cupcakes are cooled, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and enjoy!


  • *Either silken tofu or non dairy yogurt can be used here but after testing 4 batches, I found that a combination of silken tofu and non dairy yogurt produces the best texture. However, if you don’t have both either one will work– just note there is a slightly different texture. Be sure to use silken tofu and a runny non-dairy milk (I use presidents choice unflavoured coconut yogurt). 
  • Helpful Equipment: cupcake tin, cupcake liners, mixing bowl, spatula, whisk
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer) without frosting. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, north american


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 208
  • Sugar: 8.5g
  • Sodium: 256mg
  • Fat: 9.6g
  • Saturated Fat: .9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 3.6g
  • Protein: 7.8g
  • Cholesterol: 0


vegan lemon cupcakes with a bite taken out of it frosted with coconut cream and a slice of lemon on top

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. Quick question, the ingredients say potato starch, but the directions have tapioca starch. I have both on hand, but not sure which is needed? Excited to start baking these!

  2. This recipe is absolutely PERFECT. I did it at home and my family (who are not vegan and love sugary sweets) loved it and asked me to do it more often!

  3. What can I substitute the almond flour w?? I have GF flour at home, but that would yield to a drier muffin due to lack of fat, right?