Vegan Coffee Cake

This vegan coffee cake recipe is a rich, buttery cake with a cinnamon-infused filling and a lovely vegan streusel topping with cinnamon crumbles. It’s perfect for breakfast, especially when paired with a cup of coffee or hot tea.

A slice of coffee cake on a plate sits in front of another slice and a cup of coffee.

Vegan Breakfast Cake

I live my days with tiny obsessions. I fixate on things like chai-flavored foods. For example, I’ve got Chai Chocolate Cake, Iced Chai Latte, and Chai Muffins.

My latest fixation is all things coffee cake. It’s funny because I used to think coffee cake meant cake made with coffee. What can I say, I lived a sheltered life. Once I learned it was so much more than that, I was hooked. Of course, that meant I had to figure out a way to make a coffee cake vegan.

Turns out, that’s pretty darn easy. So, that means this delicious coffee cake recipe is equal parts dairy-free and scrumptious!

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Sugar — You’ll need both brown sugar and granulated sugar for this recipe.
  • Ground cinnamon — Both the filling and the crumble topping use ground cinnamon.
  • Cocoa powder — I like to add a bit of cocoa powder to the filling to give it a darker color. It’s not enough to add flavor, but the drama it adds between layers of coffee cake is amazing.
  • Flour — We’ll be using all-purpose flour for the filling, the topping, and the cake itself.
  • Vegan butter — It’s important to use vegan butter rather than a tub of margarine, which has more water. The higher fat content of vegan butter is critical to getting the right texture.
  • Vegan Buttermilk — We’ll make vegan buttermilk by combining plant-based milk (almond milk or soy milk are my go-to favorites, although oat milk is another great option) and apple cider vinegar.
  • Vegan yogurt — We’ll use vegan yogurt to substitute the volume created from eggs. I like using plain vegan yogurt like Foragers Cashew Yogurt. You can substitute vegan sour cream.
  • Binders — To substitute the binding power of eggs, we’ll use a combination of cornstarch and ground flaxseed
  • Baking powder — To add lift to the cake, the perfect leavening agent is baking powder.
  • Salt — To add complexity of flavor, a bit of salt will be added to the batter.

How to Make Vegan Coffee Cake

  1. Stir together the crumble topping, cover, and refrigerate.
  2. Make the filling, cover, and refrigerate.
  3. Cream vegan butter, add sugar, and beat for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the plant-based buttermilk, ground flax meal, and cornstarch.
  5. Beat again until just combined.
  6. Stir together dry ingredients
  7. Stir this in with the wet mixture to create the batter.
  8. Pour half of the batter and use a spatula to spread it evenly across the pan.
  9. Add the filling and cover with the remaining cake batter.
  10. Add the topping and use a spatula to gently press it into the batter.
  11. Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake, comes out clean.

It’s so easy to make vegan coffee cake without eggs or dairy. Let’s go through this step-by-step.

Step-by-Step Instructions

This recipe is lengthy enough that I thought some detailed instructions would be helpful.

Step One: Make the Streusel Topping

I like to make the streusel topping first because that way once the cake batter is made, we can add the topping immediately and get it into the oven. This helps take advantage of the learners in the batter to get a nice, fluffy cake.

Ingredients are in a bowl, including brown sugar and ground cinnamon.
  1. Make the crumble topping by stirring together brown sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and vegan butter.
  2. Then stir in the flour, cover, and refrigerate.

Step Two: Make the Cinnamon Filling

Ingredients for coffee cake filling are in a bowl, including brown sugar and flour.
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the filling ingredients.
  2. Stir to form a soft crumb.
  3. Refrigerate.

Step Two: Make Coffee Cake Batter

Next, prepare the coffee cake batter. Here are the steps.

  1. Combine the milk and vinegar to make buttermilk. Set aside.
  2. Cream vegan butter. Add sugar and beat together for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
    Vegan butter is being creamed with an electric mixer.
  3. Beat in the buttermilk, ground flax meal, cornstarch, and vegan yogurt. 
    A hand holds a measuring glass full of plant-based milk pouring it into a bowl with whipped vegan butter.
  4. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.
    A hand holds a whisk, stirring a flour mixture.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture.
    A hand holds a flour mixture, pouring it into a bowl with wet ingredients.
  6. Stir until just combined.
    A hand holds a spatula, stirring together cake batter.

Step Three: Assemble the Coffee Cake

  1. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish.
    A hand holds a bowl, pouring cake batter into a baking pan.
  2. Use a spatula to spread the batter across the pan.
    A hand holds a spatula, pressing cake batter across a pan.
  3. Sprinkle the filling over the top.
    A hand distributes cinnamon filling mixture over cake batter in a baking pan.
  4. Pour the remaining coffee cake batter on top of the filling.
    batter is being poured from a bowl over filling in a cake pan.
  5. Use a spatula to spread the cake batter evenly.
    A hand holds a spatula, spreading cake batter over a cinnamon filling.
  6. Distribute the topping evenly over the cake batter and press it in lightly.A hand is distributing crumble topping across cake batter in a baking pan.

Step Four: Bake

  1. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until the edges of the cake are golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  2. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool before serving.

Storage Tips

Cover coffee cake or transfer slices to an airtight container. It will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 7 days. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Marly’s Tips

  • Make sure the butter is softened by leaving it out on the counter for about 30 minutes
  • You can double the crumble topping if you like more streusel
  • Add 1 cup of peeled, sliced apples to the batter to make vegan apple coffee cake
  • To make vegan coffee cake muffins, pour the batter into greased or papered muffin tins and then distribute the crumble topping evenly over each muffin before baking.
  • Make vegan blueberry coffee cake by adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries on top of the filling.
  • Make this into a sugar-free coffee cake by using Swerve sweetener. It bakes 1:1 like sugar.
A hand drizzles icing on slices of coffee cake.

Serving Suggestions

Serve slices of this butter coffee cake with any of the following:

More Vegan Pastries

If you love this vegan coffee cake, you’ll want to try even more vegan breakfast pastries. Here are some favorites:

A stack of two slices of vegan coffee cake sits in front of a cup of coffee.
A slice of coffee cake sits on a plate.

Vegan Coffee Cake

This is the best vegan coffee cake ever starting with a soft cake, a cinnamon-infused filling and a buttery crumbly topping to finish it off. It may be the best way to start out the day!
5 from 5 votes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 382kcal

Ingredients

Crumble Topping

  • cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • cup vegan butter , softened

Filling

  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder (for color)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter, softened

Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup vegan butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegan yogurt (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Spray a 9×9 pan with vegetable spray.

For the Crumble Topping:

  • Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and vegan butter in a bowl. Stir to combine. Add the flour and stir until combined. Refrigerate (no need to cover it).

For the Filling:

  • In a small bowl, stir together the filling ingredients. Stir until a soft crumb forms. Refrigerate (no need to cover it).

For the Coffee Cake:

  • Combine the milk and vinegar to make buttermilk. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl use an electric mixer to cream together the vegan butter and sugar. You can use a spoon but stir vigorously until light and fluffy. Beat in the buttermilk, ground flax meal, cornstarch, and vegan yogurt.
  • In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture. Stir until just combined.

Coffee Cake Assembly:

  • Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the filling over the top. Pour the remaining coffee cake batter on top of the filling. Distribute the topping evenly over the top of the cake batter and press it in lightly.
  • Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake, comes out clean. The crumble topping should be golden brown.
  • When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

Icing

Make it dramatic by adding a drizzle of icing on top. Combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of vanilla-flavored plant-based milk. Stir to combine and drizzle over the top.

Cocoa Powder

We’ll add cocoa powder to the filling to give it a dramatic contrast between the filling and the cake. You can leave it out or substitute a tablespoon of molasses.

Make-Ahead

You can make the batter the night before and assemble the cake in the pan, then cover and bake it in the morning. You’ll need to add about 5 minutes of bake time to make up for the chilliness of the dough.

Vegan Yogurt

You can substitute vegan sour cream or whipped silken tofu.
Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 958IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2015 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2022.

17 Responses to Vegan Coffee Cake

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDiana Reply

    5 stars
    Made this for my family. Everyone loved it, even the ones who aren’t vegan. Big hit!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDex Reply

    Does this coffee cake freeze well?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Dex. Yes! I cut it into slices and place the slices in a freezer-safe container. I’m sure you could freeze the entire cake if you have room in your freezer!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlygabriela Reply

    Does the recipe have coffee?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I love this question Gabriela! I know it seems like coffee cake would have coffee in it, but come to find out, it’s simply a cake typically served with coffee. That’s how it got the name. However, I could definitely see adding coffee to this recipe if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m a tea person myself, but only because I have a medical condition that doesn’t allow me to have much caffeine and so I never adapted to the taste of coffee. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  4. Looks fabulous! Beautiful photos. I’ve never used vegan butter before but I’m looking forward to giving it a try!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks Michelle! My favorite is Earth Balance. If you give it a try, let me know what you think. 🙂

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlykathy patalsky Reply

    5 stars
    Yum yum yum cozy and lovely 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Miss Kathy. Cozy, lovely food is the only way to go! 🙂

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySusie Reply

    Hi Marly,
    I made this last night and brought it to work for food day. They have been very well received! I baked it in an 8×8. It passed the toothpick test at 25 minutes so I took it out. After 10 minutes, I cut a small corner and out flowed some raw dough! This was 9:30 at night and I was out of options so I stuck it back in for 7 minutes, and then another 7. It is one hardy coffee cake! It withstood all of that and ended up a big hit.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Well, I’m glad it came through ok in the end!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaria Reply

    But there is no coffee in this coffee cake….. :D:D:D

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hee hee!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyClaudia @Breakfast Drama Queen Reply

    5 stars
    This looks so good! Mmm… streusel crumble topping (definitely my favorite part of these types of cakes!)

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I agree Claudia! Life is better with a little streusel topping! 🙂

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAbby @ The Frosted Vegan Reply

    That topping..YES! I tend to obsess over things too until I get sick of them..for a while it was cinnamon rolls, then brownies and now THIS!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one. Hmm…I may need to consider that cinnamon roll obsession! 🙂

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