This coffee cake is a vanilla cake with a cinnamon filling and topped with a delicious crumb topping! Made with no eggs, butter, or milk, this vegan coffee cake is perfect for a mid morning or afternoon tea!
Vegan Coffee Cake
When it’s my turn to host afternoon tea, there are a few vegan cakes we have on rotation. Our favorites are chocolate cake, vanilla cake, and now this simple coffee cake.
I’ve been meaning to share a coffee cake recipe on here for quite some time. I’ve kept putting it off, but with the cooler weather coming and more at home gatherings expected, I thought it’s about time to whip one up!
Growing up, my mom would always make a simple cake each week, to enjoy after dinner or for a mid morning or afternoon treat. It was always a plain kind of cake, and always had a streusel topping. I loved the simplicity of it, and how it paired SO well with a cup of hot black coffee.
Now, this coffee cake may look incredibly fancy and complicated, but I promise you it is SO easy to make!
No eggs, no butter, and no dairy needed, but you’d never tell. I served this recently to some friends who were NOT vegan or gluten free, and they could not believe it. Several of them requested the recipe immediately and one even said it reminded them of Starbucks’ coffee cake!
The texture is EXACTLY of what you’d want from any good coffee crumb cake- moist and fluffy, with a tender crumb. The taste is fantastic- Sweet and with notes of cinnamon throughout!
Does coffee cake contain coffee?
Contrary to popular belief, coffee cake doesn’t actually contain any coffee. Its name is derived from being a cake that you would serve with coffee. It comes down to whatever kind of cake you’d prefer eating, but generally, it’s a simple tea cake or yellow style cake, with a crumble or streusel topping.
Ingredients to make a vegan coffee cake
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this simple coffee cake. Please avoid substituting any of the ingredients unless specified. You’ll love the simple ingredient list and will likely have everything in your pantry right now!
For the cake
- All purpose flour– Also known as plain flour, be sure to sift it well to ensure no clumps remain. To keep it gluten free, be sure to use gluten free flour.
- Sugar– You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or coconut sugar. I prefer white sugar for the lighter color of the cake. You can also use sugar free subs, like monk fruit sweetener or erythritol.
- Baking soda- Gives the cake some rise and fluffiness.
- Salt– Brings out the sweetness of the cake.
- White vinegar– Works with the baking soda to replace any eggs, and help this cake rise.
- Vanilla extract– A must for any good cake recipe!
- Oil– Use a neutral flavored oil, like vegetable oil, canola oil, or refined coconut oil.
- Milk of choice– Use your favorite plant based milk, like almond milk, cashew milk, or soy milk.
- Cinnamon– For the cinnamon sugar filling! Use a strong flavored cinnamon, like Saigon cinnamon.
For the crumble topping
- Butter– I recommend using vegan butter from a block, not from a spread. The latter often has added water in it, that can really affect the texture of the crumb topping.
- All purpose flour– Again, like in the cake, use gluten free flour if needed.
- Coconut sugar– You want the sugar for the crumble topping to be darker, so it has a more robust flavor. I used coconut sugar, but you can use brown sugar.
- Cinnamon– Always room for more cinnamon!
How to make a vegan coffee cake?
Prepare the cinnamon filling and the crumble topping first. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar, until combined. In a separate bowl, mix together all your crumble topping until a coarse crumb remains. Set them both aside and prepare the cake. In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Then, add your wet ingredients and mix until combined. Now, you’ll put the coffee cake together!
In a greased 9 x 13-inch pan, spread half the cake batter in it. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling all over the top. Then, add the remaining cake batter. Finally, top with the crumble, to completely cover it. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the center. Let the cake cool completely, before drizzling with a simple icing.
Coffee Cake Tips
- Depending on what sweetener you use, the cake might come out a little lighter or darker. Don’t be afraid if your cake comes out much darker than pictured.
- Oven makes and models differ. Your coffee cake might take longer than the 35 minutes. Once a skewer comes out ‘just’ clean from the center, it will be cooked.
- On the contrary, do not overbake the cake. The cake continues to cook as it continues to cool down.
- The icing is optional, but adds an extra level of sweetness. Simply mix together some powdered sugar with water or milk until the desired texture is achieved.
- For a sugar free coffee cake, replace all the sugar with erythritol and sugar free brown sugar.
Can I add coffee to this?
If you’d like to add coffee to this cake, replace 1/4 cup of the milk with cooled brewed coffee. Alternatively, you can add a teaspoon of espresso powder or extract.
Can I make this low carb and/or keto?
This recipe can’t be adapted properly to be keto or low carb.
If you’d like a low carb cinnamon style dessert, try keto cinnamon rolls or cinnamon swirl bread.
While this coffee cake is delicious on its own (especially if you love something classic with a cup of coffee), here are some fun flavor variations to change things up.
- Apple: Add 1 cup chopped apples to the batter.
- Caramel Pecan: Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans to the crumble topping. Drizzle the cooled coffee cake with caramel.
- Blueberry: Also known as a blueberry buckle. Fold through 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries.
- Chocolate Chip: Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the batter and sprinkle chocolate chips through the crumble topping.
- Raspberry Ricotta: Fold through 1/2 cup raspberries and 1/2 cup ricotta cheese into the batter. Cook for an extra 10 minutes.
How to store coffee cake
If you plan on enjoying the coffee cake within 3 days, you can store the cake at room temperature, in a sealed container. Place a piece of paper towel on top of it, to keep it moist and fluffy. To store them longer, here are two ways to do so.
- Refrigerator: Place leftover slices of cake in a sealable container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Freezer: Store in the freezer in a ziplock bag, for up to 6 months.
More vegan desserts
Vegan Coffee Cake (GF)
For the cake
- 3 cups all purpose flour gluten free, if needed
- 2 cups sugar white, brown, coconut, or sugar free subs * See notes
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons oil of choice vegetable, canola, etc.
- 2 cups milk of choice I used unsweetened almond milk
For the cinnamon sugar filling
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar can use brown sugar * See notes
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the crumb topping
- 6 tablespoon vegan butter melted
- 1 cup coconut sugar * See notes
- 1 cup all purpose flour gluten free, if needed
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the glaze
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar * See notes
- 1-2 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon filling and set aside. In another bowl, make your crumble topping. Mix all the crumble ingredients together, until a coarse texture remains.
- Prepare the cake. In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients. Then mix in your wet ingredients until combined.
- Spread half the cake batter into the lined pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling all over the top. Carefully pour the other half of the cake batter on top. Evenly sprinkle the top with the crumble topping.
- Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once a toothpick comes out clean, remove from the oven.
- Let the cake cool completely. Once cool, prepare the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar with water. Drizzle over the top.
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Thank you! This recipe was incredible. Pretty much the best thing I’ve eaten since going gluten and dairy free
Very good and I’m happy bc I try some other vegan options are not! This would also be great if you like raisins to add to sugar cinnamon mixture in middle or a layer of peeled and sliced apples before middle layer, maybe even peaches…Also some chopped nuts in crumb topping might be another nice variation. Very good and will be share and definitely bake again!
Love this coffee cake! Whole family, both vegans and carnivores, devoured it. Didn’t use the glaze just dusted with powdered sugar. Great!!!
Just so others are aware I’ve baked this twice in two different ovens and the baking time was 45-50 minutes not 30 to 35minutes.
Such a yummy recipe! My family love it and only my husband is vegan.
I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that noticed the need to increase the baking time. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong.
This turned out sooo good for me. Love that the crumble turned out perfectly which is my favorite part of coffee cake. I did read the comments that said to leave it in for 45 minutes vs 35 and I found them to be accurate!
This recipe is fabulous! i can’t have dairy, and my brother can’t have dairy or eggs, so i figured i’d give it a whirl, and we were NOT disappointed
I love this moist delicious recipe. I had 2 change 2 things. 1 I used apple cider vinegar and instead of oil, I used apple sauce. It taste amazing. Thank you
Be advised everyone trying this recipe, it takes a full 60-65 minutes for me, which is not uncommon a timeframe given the viscosity and amount of this batter. Don’t even open up your oven door before the 45 minute mark, it’s still very loose in the middle.
I kept out the cinnamon and crumble elements and left it simple with a lot of lemon zest in the batter, and poured a simple lemon juice-powdered sugar glaze on top while it was still warm. Thanks! The texture is really great for vegan.
I made this for my son’s birthday BBQ. He is lactose intolerant and turned 11 so he was not gait he couldn’t have his usual cake & ice cream. When he said he would like a coffee cake (cause he can no longer have it from the diner we frequent) I found this 5 star recipe and it loves up to its rating for sure. Everyone loved it and there were no vegan guests! Saving this recipe 100%!
I made this for my son’s birthday BBQ. He is lactose intolerant and turned 11 so he was not happy that he couldn’t have his usual cake & ice cream. When he said he would like a coffee cake (cause he can no longer have it from the diner we frequent) I found this 5 star recipe and it lives up to it’s rating for sure. Everyone loved it and there were no vegan guests! Saving this recipe 100%!
Very easy to make and really yummy, but a little on the sweet side, so I would play around with the sugar content in the future.
Can almond flour substitute the wheat flour in this recipe?
Not that I’ve tried.
Cake is delicious, but I had a problem with my crumble topping. It ended up being the consistency of mush. Definitely not a crumble. What did I do wrong? This happens to me anytime I make a crumble topping. Is it the butter I’m using? I mix the dry ingredients first like the sugar and flour then add the melted butter.
This was really good and baked up beautifully…it was just SO Overpoweringly sweet! I will make again but decrease the amount of sugar in all the stages by at least half!