Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake PrettyPies.com

Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake with Lemon Buttercream (Dairy-Free, Paleo, Vegan, Keto)

This Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake is soft, moist, and bursting with lemon flavor! Adding the fluffy lemon frosting makes it absolutely heavenly! Amazingly free from gluten, grains, eggs, dairy, sugar, so you can freely enjoy! (Dairy-Free, Paleo, Vegan, Keto) Jump to RecipeLow-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake PrettyPies.com

The Ultimate Lemon Loaf You Won’t Believe is Healthy

DELICIOUS tasting cake, a health food? It is now!

Unlike conventional cakes which are mostly refined sugar, dairy, and gluten (extremely high carb & inflammatory), this cake has none of that, and instead actually has healthy ingredients:

  • Almonds
  • Flaxseed
  • Avocado Oil
  • Lemons
  • and NO added sugar. It’s sweetened with the extracts of leaves and fruit, haha! So is it basically a granola fruit salad?? 😉

I kid, but seriously– have your cake without wrecking your health/lifestyle/well-being. Have cake that actually makes you feel great from the inside out because it’s made with wholesome real-food ingredients.

Disclosure: As a member of affiliate advertising programs, I earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites at no additional cost to you. This post was not sponsored and all opinions are my own.Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake PrettyPies.com

Tips to Make Your Gluten-Free Cake Tall and Fluffy

I’m here to help you have the BEST result with your cake. I know ingredients can be expensive and you don’t want to end up with something other than AMAZING. So follow my advice 😉

  • Tip 1: Use the Tapioca

A soft and fluffy texture in this recipe is achieved by using a combination of almond flour, flaxseed, and tapioca flour. Sometimes I suggest skipping the tapioca and subbing more almond flour for those who don’t want the carbs that tapioca adds, but I strongly suggest you keep it here. It lightens it up so it’s not too heavy. It really helps it taste like a “real” cake 😉

  • Tip 2: Finely Ground Flour

For best results when baking with almond flour, be sure to use a *finely ground* blanched almond flour. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill brand Superfine Almond Flour. It has the perfect fine consistency that’s great for baking. And unlike some other brands, it’s certified gluten-free, so it’s safe for celiacs. Yay!

Ingredients for Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake, PrettyPies.com

  • Tip 3: Don’t Overmix!

Be gentle with the batter! Since this cake is egg-free, I used baking powder, baking soda and lemon juice to create rise. If you overmix the batter, it will pop all those tiny air pockets that are created by the reaction. Mix the batter til it’s just combined and all the “flour” is moistened.

  • Tip 4: Use an Extra Small Pan

The smaller the vessel, the higher the rise. I used a small bread pan for this loaf. It’s a couple of inches smaller than traditional loaf pans (approximately 7″x3″)

You can even make these into muffins or mini muffins if you want! Simply adjust the cook time (I would try 15 minutes for muffins and check for doneness)

  • Tip 5: Turn the Oven OFF

Keep your cake in the oven (turned off!) for an extra 5 minutes so it can cool more gradually. This prevents sinking that can happen with a drastic temperature change in baked goods, especially gluten-free/egg-free ones!

Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake, Lemon Frosting, PrettyPies.com

The BEST Lemon Buttercream Frosting

You may have heard me RAVE about this frosting.. a few too many times, lol! This is THE frosting that I can (and do!) just eat with a SPOON. (I never did that with store-bought frosting, but THIS I absolutely do.)

I talk about this frosting in my cookbook, I went on about it on Instagram stories, I am simply OBSESSED. It has the same flavor and consistency as a gourmet bakery, but it’s much healthier!

Instead of dairy or partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat) this is made with palm oil, which is solid at room temp and completely flavorless on its own. (Side note: this brand of palm oil is rainforest alliance certified and a sustainable source.)

Adding finely ground lemon zest, lemon juice, and powdered monkfruit to create the most AMAZING lemon-flavored buttercream. It’s totally keto-friendly, too, with close to ZERO CARBS. So grab a spoon and get ready to dive in! 😀

Side note, since I didn’t use homemade monkfruit this time, I added just a bit of tapioca flour to help with the texture. But if you use homemade which is double the volume of Lakanto, you don’t need any tapioca.

*For more in-depth tips on making the BEST dairy-free Keto frosting, check out my Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe post.*

Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake PrettyPies.com

Yep, It’s MOIST

Haha, I know, I know. But it’s true: this cake is MOIST.

And lemony, and soft and has a wonderful texture. I don’t know how else to describe it other than moist lol. Sorry if you hate that word. 

This cake is not at all DRY.

It’s tender and just melts in your mouth. It sorta reminds me of poppyseed bread (and you could totally add some poppy seeds here for lemon poppyseed bread– yum!!) This is the perfect cake for snacking, brunching, or dessert!

Save this recipe on Pinterest:

This Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake is soft, moist, and bursting with lemon flavor! Topped with the BEST dairy-free bakery-style lemon buttercream. Made with simple, clean ingredients, and amazingly free from gluten, grains, eggs, dairy, sugar, so you can freely enjoy! (Paleo, Vegan, Keto) #prettypies #healthydesserts #lemoncake #ketocake #dairyfreeketo #lowcarb #sugarfree #paleocake #veganketo

If you try it, be sure to leave a rating and review below. I’d love to hear what you think! ENJOY 😀

Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake PrettyPies.com

Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake

A soft, moist cake that's bursting with lemon flavor! Add fluffy lemon buttercream to make it absolutely heavenly! Free from gluten, grains, eggs, dairy, sugar, so you can freely enjoy cake that fits your dietary needs. (Paleo, Vegan, Keto)
4.39 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 9 slices
Author: Emily


Lemon Buttercream Frosting


To make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 325. Line a small bread pan with 2 strips of parchment paper (crossways) for easy removal
  • Whisk together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix together water, lemon juice, zest, oil and vanilla in another small bowl.
    Ingredients for Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake, PrettyPies.com
  • Pour wet over dry and gently mix by folding the batter until the flour is moistened (it will be a little thick)
  • Scoop batter into the pan.
    Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake, PrettyPIes.com
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the top springs back when pressed. *Important* Turn the oven off, but leave the loaf in the oven for another 5 minutes with the door shut to cool gradually. Then remove and cool the loaf on a wire rack before cutting.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  • Add palm shortening to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (a hand mixer works, too).
  • Mix for about 5 seconds to soften. Add remaining ingredients and beat until fully mixed. Taste and adjust.
  • Smooth frosting generously onto cooled cake. Top with extra zest, if you like. Enjoy!


To store: Stays fresh at room temperature for about 2-3 days in a glass cake dome.
  • For longer storage, keep refrigerated (bring back to room temp before serving as the frosting will harden when chilled).
  • Frosting can be stored separately in an air-tight container at room temp for up to 2 weeks.
  • To freeze cake, leave off the frosting. Cut into slices and place on a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour, then individually wrap and place in a freezer bag. 
For the frosting, Use Spectrum brand palm oil. Do NOT use Nutiva brand palm shortening. It is mixed with coconut oil and the taste and texture is too oily and not nearly as good as Spectrum.
Sweetener Alternatives: *always sweeten to taste*
Need help with a sweetener conversion? Comment below 
Save 20% on monkfruit sweeteners at Lakanto.com with code PRETTYPIES
Nutrition Facts
Low-Carb Lemon Loaf Cake
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Sugar Alcohol
Net Carbs
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Tag @emily.likes.food #prettypies!

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Vanilla Cupcakes from my cookbooks

Chocolate Cupcakes from my cookbooks

Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel from my cookbook, PS It’s Healthy

Red Velvet Cupcakes


  • Maria

    Love your recipes and have made several that came out superbly! <3

    This looks amazing and love there's no eggs in it! I also can't do erythritol and so therefore no Lakanto, since it's basically erythi with monk fruit FLAVORING! 🙁

    I just got a bag of Agave inulin at Grocery Outlet thinking I could use it as sugar replacement. It's more of a powder, but texture is not like powdered sugar. I can try powdering it more on coffee grinder…but just wondered if you or other readers have any experience with using inulin in baking. I've searched online and don't find anything about how to use…including manufacturer! Thank you.

    • Emily

      Hi Maria! So happy to hear you love my recipes!

      This cake only has the 2 Tbs monkfruit granules that contain erythritol and that can be subbed with another granulated sweetener.

      Lakanto does have several products without erythritol: the pure monkfruit extracts (there are 2) as well as their many flavors of drops.

      Either the pure Monk fruit extract or the Stevia extract (as written) work in this recipe. But I really like the stevia powder in recipes with lemon. It really enhances the flavor.

      I have never tried inulin powder. But I have tried some products containing inulin and they greatly upset my stomach so I try to stay away from those. I’m sorry I’m not more help with that. But if it is a sugar replacement I bet you could use it here. Granulated for the cake batter and powdered for the frosting.

      Hope that helps! let me know how it goes if you try it 🙂

  • Dana

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! The texture was really nice and fluffy for a low-carb, no-egg baked good. Following the instructions to only stir til combined and not overmix and pop the air bubbles really worked. Super nice to have another great recipe in my rotation of healthy after-dinner or snacktime treats that will help keep me turned away from all the non-healthy treats out there.

      • Dana

        Emily, I made this for a second time this week, and because I unexpectedly had to leave the house before it was done, I had no choice but to take it out of the oven about 5-6 minutes underbaked. But I have been enjoying it still soft and scoopable in a bowl, and I heat it up like a warm pudding-type cake. I pour a tablespoon of Lakanto maple syrup over it and it’s delicious that way, too! Very filling, so a small serving goes a long way toward giving me a sweet after-dinner treat, but keeping me full so I won’t snack later into the evening.

  • lily

    Thanks for this recipe, I was looking for a lemon loaf vegan and gluten-free without using those expensive GF blends. Can we substitute the tapioca starch by some corn starch? Please let me know, thanks

    • Emily

      If you grind the chia seeds into a powder first I think that should work.

      Or you can swap 2 Tbs flaxseed and 1/4 cup water for 1 large egg.

      (The flax is primarily used as a binder. But I also added some flax for texture.)

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