This melt-in-your-mouth vegan coffee cake has a caramel-like ribbon of cinnamon filling topped with crisp streusel topping. Made with no eggs, butter, or milk, this breakfast cake is perfect for a mid morning or afternoon tea!
I’ve been wanting to share a coffee cake recipe on here for years. I kept playing with recipes, trying to come up with the perfect one before sharing and FINALLY, it’s here! Just in time for the cooler weather and holiday gatherings.
The past 7 years, my family would attend Family Kamp and one of the highlights was the day they’d make coffee cake for breakfast. Seriously the best! A lovely, moist yellow cake, and that crunchy streusel topping. I loved the simplicity of it of this lovely yellow cake and crunchy streusel topping, not to mention how it paired SO nicely with my morning coffee.
What is coffee cake?
Despite its name, coffee cake is not made with coffee. Instead, it’s a tender yellow sheet cake that’s spiced with cinnamon and baked with a streusel topping typically made with sugar, butter, and nuts. This simple unfrosted cake, gets its name because it’s often served with coffee….and one of the reasons I love it so much.
Let’s highlight a few of these coffee cake characteristics that sets it apart from other cakes:
- It’s not frosted – Sometimes, coffee cake is just dusted with powdered sugar, or drizzled with a light glaze, which you could absolutely do on this recipe!
- Crumb topping – Without all that yummy crumble, it’s just a plain, unfrosted cake. The only thing we are doing differently in our streusel is omitting any type of nut to keep it allergen friendly.
- Vanilla cake – Always vanilla but maybe I’lI try and see what a chocolate coffee cake is like next time.
- A single layer cake – Whether it be a 9×13, or a round cake, coffee cake is generally a single layer cake!
The VERY best vegan coffee cake recipe EVER!
No eggs, no butter, and no dairy needed, but you’d never tell. I even left out the nuts, and I promise you won’t miss those either. Obviously, my family is use to all my vegan desserts but when we shared this coffee cake with friends, they couldn’t believe it was vegan. Several of them requested to take a few slices home so they could enjoy it a second time!
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- Lightly sweeten with notes of cinnamon throughout! And that crumble, well ya, it’s the bomb!
Vegan coffee cake ingredients
You most likely have all the ingredients to make this cake in your kitchen today!
- Flour: I use all-purpose for most recipes but this can easily be substituted with a 1:1 gluten free blend if needed.
- Sugar: brown, white, coconut all work but I really love a combination of white and brown which pulls out different flavor notes.
- Baking soda: no one wants a flat cake.
- Salt: to balance the sweetness.
- Vanilla extract: don’t skimp with imitation flavoring, invest in the real stuff and you’ll notice the difference.
- Vinegar: white or apple cider which takes the place of using an egg in this recipe.
- Oil: helps cake bake up with a more even crumb and stay moist and tender far longer than cakes made without. Wanna know how to substitute this? Check out this article from Bob’s Red Mill here.
- Vegan milk: I love baking with flax milk or Good Karma‘s new plant-based blend, but you can easily use any of your favorite milks here.
- Cinnamon: essential for the middle layer
- Vegan butter: the crumble comes together with butter, brown sugar, flour and a little more cinnamon. Thankfully there are a ton of options available to dairy free butter but we favor Earth Balance.
Tools needed for this breakfast coffee cake recipe:
This recipe is seriously no fuss and the tools needed aren’t fancy either. All you’ll really need are a:
- Hand mixer – Having a hand mixer really comes in handy for making your recipes. This is my favorite Hand Mixer!
- Mixing bowls – These bowls are perfect for mixing up any recipe and even come in three different sizes. Get your 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowl Set here.
- Food processor – I recommend using a food processor to make your streusel toppings required in this recipe. This Food Processor should do the trick but so will a blender if you just pulse a few times!
- Baking pan – This 9 by 13 Inch Retro Pan is what I used for this recipe and a a few of my favorite sheet cakes. You’ll use it a lot!
How do I make coffee cake?
There are a few steps, but they all come together with minimal effort.
- The delicious cake is prepared by adding wet ingredients to the dry and mix. Half of the batter gets poured down first, topped with cinnamon filling then the remaining batter is carefully poured on top of that.
- The filling is simply a mixture of cinnamon, sugar that you spread over half of the batter. It looks like a lot but trust me, this is exactly the right amount!
- The crumb topping is quick to prepare, using melted butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Just mix that all together until coarse crumbs remain then sprinkle right on top of the final cake layer. Then bake!
- Measure your flour correctly! The easiest way to measure flour to achieve this is using the scoop and level method. Simply, fluff flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- If you’re enjoying the coffee cake the next day give it 10-20 seconds in the microwave. It’s SO good just a bit warm.
- Store properly: Make sure that once this cake is cut you cover it AIRTIGHT immediately, as it can dry out quickly. Cake can be stored at room temperature, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days.
- To refrigerate: Place leftover slices of cake in a sealable container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Freeze like a pro: Store in the freezer in a ziplock bag, for up to 6 months.
More coffee-inspired desserts you’ll love
I hope you love this coffee cake recipe as much we do! If you make it, let me know down below in the comments section, as well as giving it a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others may find it!
🍁Happy fall baking everyone🍁
- 3 cups all purpose flour (or 1:1 gluten free)
- 2 cups brown sugar (white or coconut also work)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons vinegar (apple cider or white)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons neutral oil (vegetable, canola, olive, etc.)
- 2 cups dairy free milk of choice
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup all purpose (or 1:1 gluten free) flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment on the base. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and brown sugar to make your filling.
- In a food processor (or medium bowl) make the streusel topping by whisking together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon then pouring in melted butter and mixing until a course crumble remains.
- Prepare the cake in a large mixing bowl by adding mixing dry ingredients then adding in wet ingredients with a hand mixer, just until combined.
- Spread half the cake batter into prepared pan and smooth toward the edges to create base layer. Sprinkle all of the cinnamon filling all over the top. Then carefully pour the other half of the cake batter on top. Evenly sprinkle with crumble topping.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares (approx 20 minutes).
Cover well and store 2 days at room temp, or 5-6 days in the fridge.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 285Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 3g
Nutritional information is only an estimate based off of using an online calculator. Numbers will change depending on brands used.