This easy recipe for vegan coffee cake is loaded with cinnamon spice. With a crunchy streusel topping and a tasty layer of cinnamon sugar between soft vanilla cake, this dairy free and eggless coffee cake is the perfect way to end any meal!
The 18 decadent slices this cake makes is perfect for large gatherings with family or friends. It also freezes well, so you can also eat half now and save more for the weeks or months when you want the sweet satisfaction this cake provides.
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Is Coffee Cake Vegan?
Most coffee cake recipes, either homemade, purchased from a store or restaurant are not vegan. Eggs and dairy are two main ingredients in most traditional cake recipes but can be easily substituted.
To keep this recipe eggless, a simple mix of ground flaxseed and water creates a “flax egg”. This provides structure to the fluffy vanilla cake. Also, to make a dairy free coffee cake, a simple substitution is to use soy milk instead of dairy milk!
You may wonder why the recipe doesn’t call for coffee in the actual cake, and that’s a great question! Coffee cake is meant to be served alongside coffee or tea rather than be made with coffee. This cake certainly tastes amazing alongside a hot mug of coffee!
Ingredients to Make Eggless Coffee Cake
This recipe uses basic ingredients that most bakers have on hand already! To make a coffee cake without dairy or eggs, you’ll need:
- Ground flaxseed: Mixed with water, ground flaxseed forms a gel that easily replaces eggs in many vegan baking recipes!
- Soy milk + apple cider vinegar: To replicate buttermilk, whisking apple cider vinegar into soy milk creates a tangy and thick liquid which adds flavor to the vanilla cake.
- Vegetable oil: This recipe is meant to be basic and classic which means using plain oil as a main liquid ingredient. Oil keeps the cake soft, tender and fluffy. Any plain tasting oil works (avocado, canola, etc.).
- Granulated sugar: Another classic cake ingredient, white, granulated sugar is used to create a perfect amount of sweetness in the cake. Since sugar dissolves in liquid, it’s considered a “wet” ingredient in most baking recipes.
- Vanilla extract: The base of this recipe is a vanilla cake which requires vanilla extract for an enticing yet subtle flavor.
- All-purpose flour: As with our other classic cake ingredients, you’ll use regular white flour for this recipe. It provides a good amount of structure to the cake while keeping it soft and tender.
- Baking powder: Baking powder creates delicious texture by giving the coffee cake great lift and fluffiness.
Cinnamon Streusel Layer
To create an irresistible cinnamon-sugar layer in the center of the cake and a crunchy streusel topping that makes this simple cake seem fancy, you’ll need:
- Cinnamon: This delicious, warm spice is perfect to add a great boost of flavor to your vegan coffee cake.
- Brown sugar: Rather than more granulated sugar, brown sugar combines with cinnamon to create richer tasting top and middle layers.
- Rolled oats: For a slight crunch in your coffee cake’s cinnamon streusel topping, rolled oats are the perfect ingredient.
- Ground almonds (almond flour): Ground almonds add another perfect layer of flavor to the streusel. They toast when baking for a truly unforgettable taste!
- Vegan butter: To mix the streusel together and create a crunchy topping, you’ll need some vegan butter or margarine.
- Salt: To balance the sweeter notes of the streusel and vanilla cake, a little salt goes a long way. If your vegan butter or margarine is salted, you might not need extra salt.
How to Make Vegan Cinnamon Coffee Cake
This eggless coffee cake is easy to make and assemble, creating an effortless dessert! Follow along with the steps below or join me in my vegan kitchen by watching this video.
Step 1: Prep Flax Egg, Cinnamon Sugar and Streusel
Before starting on the cake batter, it’s helpful to get a few things prepped.
First, mix ground flaxseed with water and set aside. This will thicken and form a gel before being added to the cake batter.
Next, prep cinnamon sugar to go into the middle layer of the coffee cake. Simply stir together brown sugar and cinnamon, getting out any clumps of brown sugar that may be present.
After that, prep the streusel topping. First, stir together cinnamon, brown sugar, rolled oats and almond flour until evenly combined. Then, add vegan butter or margarine and use a fork (or your hand) to crumble butter throughout until it’s evenly mixed. The mixture should hold together when pressed but also crumble easily.
Step 2: Make Cake Batter
With all that prepped, it’s time to make the cake batter which only requires one large bowl.
Begin by adding soy milk to your bowl and whisk in apple cider vinegar. Allow this to sit for a few seconds, giving time for the vinegar to react to the soy milk. This creates a vegan butter milk. The soy milk will thicken and look slightly clumpy which is expected.
Then, whisk in the rest of the wet ingredients including oil, sugar, flaxseed egg and vanilla extract. Whisk until everything is well combined.
Swap your whisk for a large spoon. Add all-purpose flour and baking powder. Stir until everything is just combined and no clumps of flour remain. Stop stirring at this point since you can overwork the batter and reduce some of the coffee cake’s fluffy texture.
Step 3: Assemble Cake
To assemble the cake, grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Spread half the batter as evenly as possible in the baking dish. Work the batter to the edges and corners as best as possible.
It will seem like the layer of cake is very thin and it may seem like there isn’t enough batter but trust me, there’s plenty of batter and it’ll rise substantially when baking.
After you spread the bottom layer of cake batter, sprinkle your cinnamon sugar mixture evenly across the batter.
Next, carefully spread the remaining half of the cake batter across the cinnamon sugar. It’s helpful to spoon out the batter evenly before spreading it so that what you’re spreading doesn’t get pushed too far. You want to keep the middle cinnamon sugar layer relatively untouched.
Once the top layer of cake batter is evenly spread, covering all the cinnamon sugar, sprinkle on the streusel topping. Very lightly press the streusel into the cake so the contents of the baking dish are flat on top.
Step 4: Bake and Serve
Preheat your oven to 350 °F and, when ready, put the cake in. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
It’s best to allow the cake to rest for 5 minutes once out of the oven before serving.
Coffee Cake without Eggs Tips, Substitutions and Variations
This cake batter is simple to prepare. Just remember to add that flaxseed egg (I can’t be the only one who has forgotten to do this on occasion!).
The most difficult part of this recipe is assembling the cake. Its batter is quite thick and can be hard to spread an even layer in the baking dish. Take your time and work the batter into the edges and corners. Don’t worry if it’s not a completely even layer as there’s nothing terribly wrong with a wavy layer of cinnamon sugar in the center of the cake.
I love this recipe as-is, but if you’d like to add additional spices to boost the flavor, go for it! Nutmeg, allspice, cloves, mace or a pumpkin pie spice blend are all delicious additions. I love those warm flavors alongside coffee.
The only other substitution that I’d suggest is the option to use other types of flour in the streusel. I love the flavor of almond flour (ground almonds) especially since it toasts beautifully in the oven. However, if you don’t have that ingredient, all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour) certainly works in its place.
How to Refrigerate and Freeze Leftovers
Cool leftover cake on your countertop before transferring into an airtight container. Store on the countertop for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to a week.
If the baking dish you use has a tight-fitting lid, you can store it that way instead of transferring to another container.
This cake freezes well if stored correctly. Wrap leftover pieces of cake tightly in plastic wrap or tin foil, then transfer to a freezer safe bag. The cake should be fine in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, either allow the cake to thaw in the fridge overnight or use a defrost setting on a microwave to warm through.
This cake is delicious when reheated before serving; just pop it into the microwave for about 15 seconds and enjoy!
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel
Cinnamon Sugar Layer for Middle
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Prep Flaxseed Egg
- In a small bowl, mix ground flaxseed and water. Set aside.2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, 4 tablespoons water
Prep Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- In a separate small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.⅓ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Prep Cinnamon Streusel Topping
- In the third small bowl, mix brown sugar, rolled oats, ground almonds, cinnamon and salt (only use salt if butter/ margarine is unsalted).½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup ground almonds, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cut in vegan butter or margarine until a crumbly mixture forms and there are no large pieces of butter visible. Set aside.¼ cup vegan butter
Prep Baking Dish and Oven
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for about 30 seconds.1 ½ cups soy milk, 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Next, whisk in vegetable oil, granulated sugar and vanilla extract along with the flaxseed “egg” mixture prepared earlier. Whisk until everything is well combined.1 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Stir in all-purpose flour and baking powder until just combined and there are no longer visible clumps of dry ingredients.3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder
- You should now have a large bowl of cake batter, a small bowl with cinnamon sugar, and another small bowl of streusel topping.
- Spread half the cake batter into an even layer in the bottom of the 9x13, greased baking dish. The batter is thick but do your best to spread the batter to the edges and corners (it helps to pick up and shake the pan). The batter layer will be quite thin.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the cake, in an even layer.
- Next, spread the rest of the cake batter over the cinnamon sugar layer. Again, do your best to spread in an even layer, getting to the edges and corners.
- Next. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the top of the cake. very lightly press the streusel in.
- Bake the cake for 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.
- Let the cake cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting to serve. The cake can stay in your baking dish to cool.
- Store leftover cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days on the countertop or place into fridge for up to 7 days.
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.