Vegan Coffee Cake

Hip Hip Hooray for vegan coffee cake—a tasty treat that goes great with coffee. This easy vegan coffee cake recipe is moist, buttery, and full of cinnamon-sugar goodness. It's guaranteed to make your kitchen smell amazing and your taste buds happy!
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A slice of vegan coffee cake with icing.
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Indulge in the cozy comforts of home baking with our irresistible vegan coffee cake recipe. Perfect for beginners and seasoned bakers alike, this recipe offers a delightful twist on the classic treat. With its moist, buttery crumb and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, each bite is a heavenly blend of flavors and textures. Mmmmm…

This classic favorite is known for its tender crumb and irresistible cinnamon-sugar topping. You can’t beat this versatile treat for a sweet snack, decadent dessert or even a more indulgent breakfast. Plus, the aroma of coffee cake baking in the oven is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.

If you can’t wait another minute, grab your apron and let’s get baking!

A piece of vegan coffee cake on a plate.

Why You Must Try This Vegan Coffee Cake

Making a coffee cake is a fun and rewarding activity that results in a delicious treat everyone will enjoy! If you can round up some friends or family (especially the little ones) to help you, even better. You probably have everything you need right in your kitchen pantry.

  • Delicious Flavor: Vegan coffee cake is super yummy with its sweet, cinnamon-spiced taste that everyone loves.
  • Easy to Make: It’s a simple recipe that’s perfect for beginner vegan bakers or anyone looking for a quick and tasty treat.
  • Great for Sharing: A fantastic choice for vegan parties, gatherings, brunches, or just sharing with friends and family.
  • Comforting and Cozy: Baking fills your home with a warm, comforting aroma that’s perfect for a cozy day in. It could even be considered self-care if you love doing it!
  • Versatile Treat: You can enjoy vegan coffee cake for breakfast, as a snack, or as a dessert – it’s perfect any time of day!

Ingredient Notes

While the ingredient list may look long—don’t be intimidated! It’s full of pantry staples you most likely already have and the process is straight-forward. Here’s what all you need:

  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour works best but if you need a gluten-free option, you can try an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix.
  • Light Brown Sugar: This adds moisture and a subtle caramel flavor to both the streusel topping and the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Granulated Sugar: Added to both the streusel topping and the coffee cake batter for an extra sweet deal! Any brand of white granulated sugar will work. Here’s our take on if sugar is vegan.
  • Cinnamon Powder: The warm, aromatic spice that gives the streusel topping and cinnamon sugar their signature flavor.
  • Vegan Butter: Look for a high-quality vegan butter that behaves similarly to dairy butter when melted. You want it to create a crumbly texture for the streusel topping.
  • Vegan Yogurt: Choose a plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt for moisture and tanginess in the coffee cake. Make sure it’s smooth and creamy.
  • Vegan Milk: Any unsweetened plant-based milk will work well in this recipe. Almond, soy, or oat milk are good options.
  • White Vinegar: Combining vinegar with the vegan milk creates a vegan buttermilk substitute, helping to tenderize the cake crumb and activate the leavening agents.
  • Canola Oil: Provides moisture and richness to the coffee cake without imparting a strong flavor. You can substitute with another neutral-flavored oil like vegetable or grapeseed oil if preferred.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best taste.
  • Cornstarch: Helps to tenderize the cake crumb and provides structure to the coffee cake, ensuring it holds together well.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Leavening agents that help the coffee cake rise and achieve a light, fluffy texture. Make sure they are fresh for optimal results.
Ingredients for a vegan coffee cake with labels.

How To Make This Vegan Coffee Cake Recipe

Now comes the fun part—making this scrumptious coffee cake! With simple steps and basic ingredients, you’ll be on your way to baking a delicious treat that’s perfect for sharing or enjoying all to yourself. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F and greasing an 8-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray and lining with baking paper.

Ingredients mixed in a bowl.

Step 2: Mix up the dry streusel topping ingredients and then mix with the melted vegan butter. It should look crumbly, but also moist. Keep it cool in the fridge while you prepare the batter.

Cinnamon and sugar placed in a bowl.

Step 3: Next, combine the cinnamon and sugar together.

Cinnamon and sugar mixed in a bowl.

Step 4: Mix and set aside.

Ingredients for a vegan coffee cake being prepped in a bowl.

Step 5: In a large mixing bowl and using a hand whisk, combine all of the liquid ingredients—vegan yogurt, vegan milk, and vinegar. Next, add in the oil, sugar, and vanilla.

Liquid and flour in a bowl.

Step 6: Then, add in the dry ingredients including the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the wet mixture.

A layer of batter in a baking vessel.

Step 7: Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking pan.

The cinnamon layer of a vegan coffee cake.

Step 8: Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the batter.

A vegan coffee cake assembled and ready to go into the oven.

Step 9: Add the remaining batter and finish with the chilled streusel topping.

Vegan coffee cake, baked.

Step 10: Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the coffee cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy your delicious homemade coffee cake with a steaming cup of coffee, a rich coffee cocktail, or your favorite beverage! When you want to switch things up, how about a slice of vegan carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting?

Vegan coffee cake, sliced.

Helpful Tips and Serving Suggestions

With these tasty tips, you’ll be well-equipped to bake and enjoy this utterly delicious vegan crumb cake with friends and family. So go ahead, get baking, and savor every delightful bite. If you have any brilliant tips that we haven’t listed here, make sure to comment below and share them with us!

  • Topping Twist: Experiment with different toppings to add extra flavor and texture to your coffee cake. Try sprinkling chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, on top before baking for a delightful crunch. You can also add a streusel or crumb topping made with brown sugar, flour, and vegan butter for an irresistible sweet finish.
  • Serve Toasty Warm: Coffee cake is best enjoyed warm, straight from the oven. To reheat leftovers, simply pop individual slices in the microwave for a few seconds or warm them in a low oven. The heat will revive the cake’s soft texture and enhance its lovely aroma and flavor.
  • Buddy with Your Favorite Beverage: While coffee cake is a classic companion to a steaming cup of coffee, don’t hesitate to pair it with your favorite beverage. Whether it’s a creamy latte, a soothing cup of tea, or a refreshing glass of cold plant-based milk, the choice is yours!
  • Pretty Presentation: Dress up your coffee cake for special occasions by adding a drizzle of glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar on top. You can also garnish with fresh berries or a dollop of vegan whipped cream for an extra touch of elegance.
  • Make It Your Own: Don’t hesitate to personalize your vegan coffee cake recipe to suit your taste. If you’re a fan of citrus flavors, consider adding a hint of lemon or orange zest to the batter. For a decadent twist, add vegan chocolate chips or chunks into the mix. You can also play around with spices like nutmeg or cardamom for a unique and yummy flavor.
Vegan coffee cake on a tabletop.

Vegan Coffee Cake FAQs

How do I store any leftover coffee cake?

To keep your coffee cake fresh and moist, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. If you have leftovers that you won’t be able to finish in time, freeze individual slices to enjoy later on. Simply wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in the freezer. When you’re ready for another slice, let it thaw at room temperature or warm it up in the microwave for a quick treat.

Can I make this coffee cake recipe gluten-free?

Sure! The easiest way is to substitute the all-purpose flour with a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour. Our favorite brands are King Arthur, Bob’s Red Mill, and Better Batter.

I don’t like the taste of cinnamon. What can I use in place of this spice?

Although it won’t taste entirely the same, you could swap the cinnamon for vanilla powder, dried orange or lemon zest, cardamom, or ground coffee powder. Any of those flavors would taste delicious in this vegan cake.

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Vegan Coffee Cake

Author: Saloni Mehta
5 from 9 votes
Cake for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do. I love this simple, classic coffee cake recipe that has a gorgeous ribbon of cinnamon sugar in between its layers and plenty of crumbs on top. The cake is light and tender with the delicious flavors of brown sugar, vegan butter, and cinnamon. What makes this recipe a keeper? Well, it only requires staple ingredients from your pantry and is easy to make any time, any day.
A slice of vegan coffee cake with icing.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 9

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, (65g) + 1 tablespoon
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, (55g)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, (30g)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup vegan butter, melted + 1 teaspoon (62g)

Cinnamon Sugar

  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, (55g)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, (4g)

Coffee Cake

  • ¾ cup unsweetened vegan yogurt, + 3 tablespoons (220 ml)
  • ½ cup unsweetened vegan milk, (120ml)
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ cup canola oil, (120ml)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, + 1 tablespoon (215g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, (10ml)
  • 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, (300g)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, (16g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, (9g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • For the streusel topping, combine the all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon powder, and salt in a bowl. Give it a good mix with a spatula. Pour the melted vegan butter into the flour mixture. Mix everything using a spatula. It will have a crumbly texture. You can store it in the refrigerator until you prepare the coffee cake batter.
  • For the cinnamon sugar layer, combine the light brown sugar and cinnamon powder in a small bowl. Stir it, and set it to the side.
  • For the coffee cake batter, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease an 8 x 8 x 2–inch (20 x 20 x 5–cm) square cake tin with baking spray, and line it with baking paper. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the vegan yogurt, vegan milk, and vinegar. Mix both ingredients with a hand whisk. Add the canola oil, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix with a whisk until the granulated sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the yogurt mixture. Mix the batter with the help of a hand whisk. The resulting batter will be fluffy and smooth.
  • For layering the crumb cake, take your square cake tin that is lined with baking paper, and pour half of the coffee cake batter into it. Then, sprinkle all the cinnamon sugar in an even layer over the cake batter. Once the cinnamon sugar layer is done, pour in the remaining cake batter. This part can get a little tricky, so I generally spoon the batter across the top in small amounts.
  • Once all the cake batter is poured, spread it evenly using a spatula. Sprinkle a thick layer of the streusel topping over the cake batter. Make sure the streusel topping is cold so that it will bake crisp. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Check to see if the cake is fully baked by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, remove it from the oven. If not, bake it for an additional 5-10 minutes or until inserting a toothpick into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the crumb cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then carefully lift the cake out of the pan, and let it cool completely on a cooling rack. Cut the cake with a knife into 9 pieces, and serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 344mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg
Course — Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine — Danish, German
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.

This best vegan coffee cake recipe is from Vegan Baking Made Simple by Saloni Mehta. Reprinted with permission from Vegan Baking Made Simple by Saloni Mehta. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023.

Special thanks to our recipe testers Elana Segal and Margo Henderson!

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5 from 9 votes

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Recipe Rating




11 comments
  1. Amy Liu Dong says:

    5 stars
    I love how easy to make this recipe. I made this as a gift for my friend’s birthday she likes it. Everyone likes it!

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Love the cinnamon flavors and crunchy topping. This is a keeper for my family!

  3. 5 stars
    My favorite vegan dessert of all time…and the perfect pairing with a hot cup of tea with lemon. I adore this recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Vegan coffee cake sounds amazing! Love that there are plant-based options for classic treats like this. Bet it’s perfect with a cozy cup of coffee or tea. Thanks for sharing the recipe inspiration!

  5. 5 stars
    Buttery and moist..delicious with coffee.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for my book club & everyone loved it. I will definitely be making it again!

  7. Amy Liu Dong says:

    5 stars
    Wow! This cake looks delicious and easy to make. I can’t wait to make this at home!

  8. I’ve been looking for a good vegan coffee cake recipe! Going to give yours a go, thank you!

  9. 5 stars
    One of my all-time favorite desserts! I LOVE this vegan coffee cake recipe. It’s crumbly, sweet, rich, and decadent. Perfect for pairing with a hot cup of coffee.

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