As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Make the BEST vegan coffee cake with only simple pantry ingredients – a soft, moist, fluffy vanilla sponge cake with sweet & ‘buttery’, cinnamon-sugar topping (+ optional streusel). The perfect treat with a cup of tea or coffee!

completed Vegan Coffee Cake in squares on white surface
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email & get this sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!

What is Vegan Coffee Cake?

We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that coffee cake is made with coffee, but that’s not necessarily true. Instead, it’s named after the fact it’s perfectly complementary with a morning or afternoon cup of coffee (and readily available at Starbucks and other coffee shops).

Coffee cake recipes generally combine a moist, fluffy vanilla-infused fluffy cake with a sweet cinnamon-sugar or cinnamon streusel topping (or a combination of the two). The flavor and texture contrast is delicious and a must-try for French toast or cinnamon roll lovers.

Best of all, it’s really simple to ditch the egg and dairy to make a vegan cinnamon coffee cake (with no complicated ingredients) that’s just as delicious for the whole family to enjoy. It’s cozy, comforting, and a perfect addition to breakfast, brunch, and afternoon tea.

Want more simple cake inspiration? Check out our coffee and walnut loaf, Biscoff cake, simple fruit cake, and/or vegan banana cake.

The Ingredients and Substitutions

ingredients for Vegan Coffee Cake measured out against a white surface

The Wet Ingredients

  • Applesauce: Use unsweetened applesauce. This adds moisture and acts as a binder in place of eggs for a vegan cinnamon coffee cake.
  • Oil: Use a neutral oil like vegetable oil or canola oil. This will produce a vegan cinnamon coffee cake with a soft, tender crumb.
  • Non-dairy milk: Use any unsweetened milk. E.g., oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc. Use a full-fat version for the most moist and tender vegan cinnamon cake.
  • Vanilla extract: Use natural vanilla extract (or paste) to avoid an artificial aftertaste.

The Dry Ingredients

  • Flour: We used regular all-purpose flour, though you could experiment with using up to 50% whole wheat flour.
  • Leavening agents: You’ll need baking powder and baking soda to provide the lift and fluffy texture in this easy vegan coffee cake.
  • Salt: Just a little to balance and enhance the various flavors in the cake.

Cinnamon Topping

  • Brown sugar: Or unrefined coconut sugar.
  • Cinnamon: Make sure it’s fresh for the best flavor.
  • Vegan butter: Use high-quality, dairy-free, unsalted butter, melted – like Miyoko’s.

To create a middle and top cinnamon layer, increase the ingredients by 50-100%.

Optional Flavor Variations

  • Vegan streusel topping: To create a vegan coffee cake with streusel topping, use a crumble topping like we use for our apple crumble.
  • Nutmeg: Just a tiny pinch in the cinnamon layer for even more warmth.
  • Nuts: Like chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc., sprinkled over for crunch.
  • Almond extract: Just a few drops for subtle nutty depth.
  • Vegan chocolate chips: Sprinkle a handful or two into the batter.
  • Fruit: Add ½-¾ cup of blueberries, raspberries, or chopped apple/pear/peaches.
  • Powdered sugar: To sprinkle over the top when serving.
  • Simple glaze: Made with powdered sugar and plant milk to drizzle over the top.

How to Make Vegan Coffee Cake

  • First, preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Leave overhang on 2 sides for easier removal.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the wet ingredients (applesauce, oil, plant-based milk, and vanilla).
  • In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, leavening agents, and salt) until well combined, then add them to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

It’s important not to over-mix the batter, though. A few tiny lumps are fine.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and set aside.

If you plan to add a streusel topping and add the cinnamon layer to the middle (or both a cinnamon middle and top layer), pour only half the batter into the pan. Following step 5, pour it over the batter and pour the remaining batter on top.

  • Then, in a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vegan butter, and microwave for 30 seconds, or until the vegan butter is fully melted and mix well.
  • Pour the cinnamon sugar over the batter and use a knife/chopstick to swirl it into the cake.
  • Bake the vegan coffee cake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean – or with a few moist crumbs.
  • Finally, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan. Then, slice and enjoy!
process shot showing post baked coffee cake

Enjoy vegan coffee cake with hot chocolate, chai, or coffee (surprise, surprise). It’s also delicious warm with vegan custard, whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla nice cream.

FAQs

Can I use a different cake pan?

Yes, this vegan coffee cake recipe is actually fairly versatile. Size it up or down (for example, use a 10-inch round pan or make an extra half batch of everything for a 9×13-inch cake pan). You can also bake this vegan coffee cake in a bundt cake or muffin pan, adjusting the baking time accordingly.

Can I make a gluten-free vegan coffee cake?

Though we haven’t tried it, we recommend replacing the flour 1:1 with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur’s. It will likely be a little more dense and dry – but let us know in the comments if you try.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • Measure the flour correctly: To avoid using too much flour and ending up with a dense cake, first fluff it up in its bag using a fork, then spoon it into the measuring cup before using the back of a knife to level the top.
  • Avoid over-mixing the batter: Otherwise, you’ll end up with a dense, rubbery cake. Mix it until ‘just’ combined – a few tiny lumps are fine.
  • Leave it to cool: This cake is fragile straight from the oven. It’s best to leave it to cool before slicing, then optionally reheat if preferred.
completed Vegan Coffee Cake in squares on white surface

Storage Instructions

Once fully cooled, store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

You can also freeze it whole or in slices and wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Leave it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.

You can also enjoy it warm by microwaving it for 20-30 seconds.

completed Vegan Coffee Cake in storage container

More Vegan Cake Recipes

Or browse our collection of 35 must-try vegan cake recipes.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Vegan Coffee Cake

5 from 39 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 (9×9) cake
Make the BEST vegan coffee cake with only simple pantry ingredients – a soft, moist, fluffy vanilla sponge cake with sweet & 'buttery', cinnamon-sugar topping (+ optional streusel). The perfect treat with a cup of tea or coffee!

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup of applesauce
  • ½ cup of neutral oil
  • 1 ½ cups of non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup unsalted vegan butter melted

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and line a 9×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, oil, plant-based milk, and vanilla. Mix well until all ingredients are fully combined.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. But do not overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Set aside.
  • In a small microwave safe bowl, add the brown sugar, cinnamon and vegan butter. Microwave for 30 seconds or until the vegan butter is fully melted. Mix well and drizzle it over the batter. With a knife or a chopstick, gently swirl the vegan butter mixture around and into the batter.
  • Bake for 35–40 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Notes

  • Measure the flour correctly: To avoid using too much flour and ending up with a dense cake, first fluff it up in its bag using a fork, then spoon it into the measuring cup before using the back of a knife to level the top.
  • Avoid over-mixing the batter: Otherwise, you’ll end up with a dense, rubbery cake. Mix it until ‘just’ combined – a few tiny lumps are fine.
  • Leave it to cool: This cake is fragile straight from the oven. It’s best to leave it to cool before slicing, then optionally reheat if preferred.

Nutrition

Calories: 3610kcalCarbohydrates: 499gProtein: 41gFat: 164gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 48gMonounsaturated Fat: 94gTrans Fat: 8gSodium: 6580mgPotassium: 626mgFiber: 17gSugar: 200gVitamin A: 59IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 1347mgIron: 20mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments