Vegan Rhubarb Lemon Coffee Cake

Vegan rhubarb lemon coffee cake

The peak season may be over, but we still have rhubarb available this summer (and every summer). This time, I wanted to make a vegan cake with the tartness of rhubarb and lemon. You can totally omit the rhubarb in this recipe, or even mix with sweet strawberries to balance the tartness.

Rhubarb by itself tastes basically like lemon. One of my favourite things to do with it is to make a compote to eat with pancakes or toast (and peanut butter). My landlady has a garden here, and she gave us some rhubarb…so, that’s why I made this cake.

Fresh rhubarb!

Vegan rhubarb lemon coffee cake

This recipe is adapted from a blueberry coffee cake recipe by Bear Plate. Instead of using blueberries, I changed the flavour of the cake to lemon & rhubarb. I also omitted the crumble on top. Because of that, this cake is super easy and simple to make. No complicated ingredients (except the rhubarb).

Before baking, with a little design.
After baking!

The design on top is totally your choice, but I think it makes a really nice design. 😀  As we always say, you eat with your eyes first.

One thing I would change for this recipe is to slightly cook the rhubarb with sugar + lemon before adding it to the cake. Perhaps just until it becomes slightly soft. In this recipe, I just left it raw and the bitterness also diffused into the cake as it was cooking.

That said, the cake was still moist and sweet and tart. Very refreshing on a hot day, and perfect with your afternoon tea or coffee. OR a cake to bring to a potluck, BBQ or dinner party.

Vegan Rhubarb Lemon Coffee Cake

A very simple and refreshing coffee cake, perfect with your afternoon coffee or tea.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 16 servings


  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (see notes)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 cups flour (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (scant)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (almond, soy, coconut, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup oil (vegetable, canola, olive, etc.)
  • 4 stalks rhubarb (cleaned, maybe 30 cm long stalks)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the cake pan with parchment paper (or grease & flour), and set aside.
  • Chop the rhubarb into 1 inch slices. Add into a small bowl, with 3 tablespoon sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. (See notes)
  • Mix the cornstarch and water together, and set aside.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  • In another bowl, mix the oil, non-dairy milk and cornstarch mixture, and mix well. Then add the rhubarb mixture.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix just until everything is incorporated. Transfer to the pan. If you want, you can add a decoration of rhubarb on top.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (or with a few crumbs). Cool and enjoy!


Instead of leaving it raw, I think it is better to cook the rhubarb with sugar and lemon on the stovetop, and make a compote. This would cook out any bitterness in the rhubarb.
I would recommend you bake this in an 9x9 square pan or an 8" circle pan. Any bigger would yield very thin slices.


  • Instead of cornstarch + water for the egg replacement, you can use a flax egg replacement (ground flax seed + water) or commercial egg replacer.
  • You can use any whole wheat flour instead of regular flour, if you want.

Also, you can add a crumble on top, or serve this with ice cream if you want. I think this would go great with some fresh berries and my coconut whipped cream! Recipe here!

Guten Appetit!


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