Vegan Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

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Last year a close friend of mine was diagnosed with several food allergies after having health problems and discomfort for years. Turns out she’s allergic to eggs, dairy and yeast, foods she used to eat on a regular basis. A few weeks ago she came to visit, which coincided with me receiving a bag of Meyer lemons from my brother’s tree. I knew I wanted to bake something, but I had to avoid some major players in baked goods.

You probably know where I’m going with this, since you’ve seen the title of this post, but the easiest way to avoid eggs and dairy is…bake vegan! I actually have a great vegan cupcake cookbook, but it doesn’t have a simple lemon cupcake recipe. I was pretty set on using my surplus of Meyer lemons, so I found a vegan lemon cupcake recipe on another blog and adapted it.

By just tasting them, I don’t think anyone would guess that these cupcakes are vegan. They’re extremely light and fluffy and have a subtle lemon flavor. By topping them with a simple lemon glaze, the cupcakes remain light and lemony, a satisfying dessert that won’t leave you feeling weighed down. I garnished them with candied Meyer lemon peels for an extra lemon punch. You can make this with regular lemons too, and I’m sure it would be just as good. (If you’re not familiar with them, Meyer lemons are a cross of lemons and oranges, so they’re a bit sweeter and milder than regular lemons).

Do you bake for any people with food allergies or special diets?


Vegan Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

Adapted from Livvie’s Limelight

  • 1 cup milk alternative (I used almond milk; soy or rice would work too)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice*
  • 1 Tablespoon Meyer lemon zest*
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine milk, oil, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until well combined.
  6. Pour batter into lined muffin tin until each is 3/4 full.
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Meyer Lemon Glaze

  1. Combine powdered sugar and juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
  2. Add additional sugar or lemon juice to taste and to reach desired consistency.
  3. Spoon onto cooled cupcakes and top with candied peel.

*You could use regular lemon instead of Meyer lemon

19 Responses to “Vegan Meyer Lemon Cupcakes”
  1. Karen writes:

    These look so good! I can’t wait to try them, but can you tell me what the cider vinegar does in the recipe?

  2. Stephanie writes:

    @Karen – great question! You’ll find that a lot of vegan cake recipes call for adding vinegar to the milk alternative. It helps the cake rise and create a tender crumb. You can also use regular vinegar if you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand.

  3. Kristina writes:

    This recipe is the answer to my prayers! I just bought a bag of meyer lemons last night without having an intended purpose for them, and I need to bring something fun into work to celebrate! I’ll be making these this weekend for sure. Thanks!
    Kristina recently posted Simple Yet Gourmet Filet Mignon

  4. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts writes:

    These look wonderful, and so great of you to make them for your friend. I have never baked with lemon, but I really need to try it sometime!

  5. Stephanie writes:

    @Kristina – perfect timing! I hope you enjoy the cupcakes :)

  6. Stephanie writes:

    @Erin – you should try a lemon dessert sometime. I like this one because it’s a lot lighter than say a chocolate cupcake with buttercream.

  7. Living The Sweet Life writes:

    These look delicious!! I love how you presented your cupcakes – – it reminds me so much of spring :$
    Living The Sweet Life recently posted Melt in your mouth Eggnog Bread

  8. Stephanie writes:

    @Living the Sweet Life – thank you! I was sort of channeling spring. It’s been sunny and warm here, not like winter at all.

  9. Maryka writes:

    These cupcakes look great! I too developed allergies and sensitivities later in life. My list right now is no dairy, eggs or gluten. And I was an avid baker before I discovered my baked goods were slowly distroying my insides. Now I am a vegan, gluten-free baker and it has been an adventure re-learning the ropes. Luckily, my boyfriend faces the same allergies. We often joke that we should start a dating service for allergy suffers- it’s nice to have to look out for the same things at restaurants and to bake special treats for someone who really appreciates them.

  10. Stephanie writes:

    @Maryka – a dating service for allergy sufferers might just take off! I know more and more people discovering allergies or sensitivities to foods, especially the ones you’re allergic to. Good luck learning the ropes. I’ve done a bit of vegan baking but gluten-free always throws me. I have several flourless cake and cupcake recipes on my site though. I’m not sure how replacing the dairy and eggs in them will work, but it’s worth a try!

  11. Valerie writes:

    These cupcakes look spectacular! (I love anything involving lemons!)

  12. Valerie writes:

    I’m thrilled to find this recipe. I have 2 huge bags full of Meyer Lemons & a kid with severe food allergies. I’m always hunting for vegan recipes for her..but nuts are an issue along with eggs. So now I can surprise her with Lemon cupcakes…my favorite!!!

  13. Stephanie writes:

    @Valerie – this recipe is perfect for you! I hope you and you kid enjoy it :)

  14. Homemade Meyer Lemon Curd | 52 Kitchen Adventures writes:

    […] of these lemon-orange hybrids, which are sweeter than regular lemons. I’ve used them in vegan lemon cupcakes, candied their peels, and used them with limoncello to make […]

  15. Kate writes:

    I just took these out of the oven! I have made several different kinds of vegan cupcakes and honestly, these are the best! They even rose, which I can’t get many other kinds to do. I made with a vegan raspberry buttercream icing and they were a huuuuge hit! And most of the people eating them weren’t vegan. You will be satisfied with this recipe.

  16. Peregrine writes:

    You do not list the temperature for the oven nor the quantity that this recipe makes.
    Otherwise, yum

  17. Peregrine writes:

    Sorry, realized the temperature got cut off in my print out while reviewing the online version

  18. Sarah writes:

    Amazing! These were so simple and I loved that, unlike lots of vegan recipes, these did not call for a lot of odd ingredients. I used organic baby food (pureed apples and strawberries) in place of most of the oil so I’m sure mine are a bit denser than the original recipe but they are still delicious. And healthy!

  19. Renee writes:

    Great site! Have you ever frozen these? Curious how they freeze.

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