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The BEST Vegan Coffee Cake

This is truly the BEST Vegan Coffee Cake! Light, fluffy vanilla sponge with deliciously spiced, buttery streusel. It’s a scrumptious dessert, or even breakfast treat. It tastes just like classic and popular ‘ Starbucks coffee cake’ – but is vegan, free from eggs and dairy!

Close up of vegan coffee cake

The BEST Vegan Coffee Cake

Everybody needs a go-to morning baking recipe and this easy coffee cake is just the thing! A light and tender vanilla cake made with apple sauce and a buttery ‘melt in the mouth’ cinnamon streusel made with melted butter and spices, the cake batter and streusel comes together quickly without the need of an electric mixer or special equipment, making this recipe super fun and easy to make. It’s the coffee cake you know and love, veganized in the best way possible.

If you LOVE streusel, check out my Vegan Banana bread Muffins, Baked Vegan Peach Cobbler Cheesecake and Vegan Biscoff Babka Bread.

Slices of coffee cake with icing

What is coffee cake?

Coffee cake refers to a single layered sponge cake intended to be eaten with coffee or tea. It is most popular and widely loved in the United States, but can be found in Europe in coffee houses and popular coffee shops such as Starbucks. Oddly enough, coffee cake doesn’t actually contain any coffee. It’s meant to be served alongside a cup of coffee! Personally, it didn’t make sense to have a coffee cake without coffee, so I added some in to the sponge to make it just perfect! And it pairs beautifully with a cup of coffee (or an iced latte in my opinion), and can be served warm or cold – choice is yours!

Slices of vegan coffee cake on parchment paper

Why you’ll love this coffee cake!

Have you ever had an apple crumble before? It’s my favourite excuse for eating a few slices of apple and a ton of crisp and crunchy streusel. This cake is like a classic crumble but with a fluffy cake. It’s such a delicious recipe, you’re going to love it, but to sell you even more, i’ve listed a few of my top reasons why you need to make this cake:

  • No special tools or equipment needed to make the batter or streusel
  • Vegan friendly
  • Contains NO animals derived ingredients
  • Doesn’t contain any weird ingredients
  • It’s so yummy, it doesn’t even taste vegan
  • Bakes in under an hour
  • Served with a simple 2 ingredient icing drizzle
  • No special baking or decorating techniques required
  • Perfectly spiced
  • Textures are perfection, from a fluffy sponge to crunchy streusel
  • Easily adaptive

Ingredients for a vegan coffee cake

Now you know what coffee cake is…. lets see what goes into making it!

  • Plain / all purpose flour : Use a plain flour for this recipe. If you wanted to make the cake gluten-free, use a really good oat flour! This will make for the best gf cake!
  • Caster sugar : Make sure to use a fine, white caster sugar for the recipe, NOT granulated as this will make the cake and streusel grainy.
  • Light brown sugar : The addition of light brown sugar adds a nice caramelised flavour and also helps make the streusel super crisp and crunchy.
  • Ground cinnamon : Flavour the streusel with some ground cinnamon.
  • Applesauce : Apple sauce is an amazing egg replacer and makes the cake tender and moist. Make sure it’s smooth apple sauce. If you can only find it with the chunks of apple inside, blend it up before using it.
  • Vegan butter : Use a vegan block butter for the best results. My favourites are Naturli Vegan Block and Flora Plant Butter.
  • Dairy-free milk : You can use any dairy-free milk for this recipe, but I would personally recommend soya milk as it helps curdle with the apple sauce and results in a really fluffy cake.
  • Oil : Be sure to use a neutral flavoured oil such as sunflower oil.
  • Vanilla : The cake is best flavoured with a little vanilla extract. You can even use seeds from a vanilla pod or vanilla bean paste.
  • Baking powder : As we’re using plain / all purpose flour, you want the cake to have some rise, so baking powder is used!
  • Ground coffee : I know classic American coffee cake doesn’t actually contain coffee, but I like to add a little ground coffee into the cake before baking. It’s such a delicious and flavourful addition and really elevates the cake!
Slice of vegan coffee cake

How to make a vegan coffee cake

You can find the full method and ingredient measurement’s in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but we’ll go over a very brief overview of how to make a vegan coffee cake here!

  1. Make the streusel

    In a bowl, mix all of the streusel ingredients together until crumbly (you can do this by hand or with a fork). Set aside while you make the cake batter.

  2. Cake batter

    Mix all of the dry ingredient together in a bowl, and mix all of the wet ingredients into a separate bowl. Combine the wet and dry, mix until combined and no dry ingredients shows.

  3. Layer batter and streusel

    Pour half of the cake batter into a lined tin, spread out until a even layer. Sprinkle over half of the streusel, top with the remaining cake batter then sprinkle over the left over streusel.

  4. Bake

    Bake in the middle of the oven for 45-50 minutes. Test the cake is ready by inserting a skewer or tooth pick down the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is ready. If it has some cake batter stuck to it, bake for a further 5-10 minutes until it comes out clean.

  5. Drizzle

    While the cake is warm, mix together icing sugar and some dairy-free milk, drizzle this over the top of the cake. Cut into squares and serve.

Coffee cake recipe

If you make, and love this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below. Thank you & happy baking! Make sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram and Facebook! And if you want to pin this recipe for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, above or below this post, or on any of the photos. Happy baking all!

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Vegan coffee cake with vanilla icing

Easy Vegan Coffee Cake

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5 from 2 reviews


This vegan coffee cake is a moist vanilla cake filled with buttery cinnamon streusel and crumb topping! No-eggs or dairy needed to make!


Units Scale

Ingredients for the streusel

  • 360g of plain / all purpose flour
  • 200g of light brown sugar
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 1 + 1/ tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  • 220g of vegan butter (melted)

Ingredients for the cake

  • 360g of plain / all purpose flour
  • 180g of caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of fine ground coffee granules
  • 300ml of dairy-free milk
  • 225ml of sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 160g of apple sauce

Ingredients for the drizzle

  • 100g of icing sugar
  • Dairy-free milk (see method)


Method (streusel)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan and line a 32cm rectangular baking tin with grease proof paper. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, sift the flour, sugars and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  3. Melt the butter in a microwave or on the hob. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix this together with a fork. You want to use a fork as this will break up the mixture into clumps / streusel. Set aside.

Method (cake)

  1. In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and fine coffee granules. 
  2. In a separate bowl add in the dairy-free milk, oil, vanilla and apple sauce. Whisk to combine.
  3. Pour the wet into the dry and mix to combine into a smooth cake batter (don’t over-mix!).
  4. Pour half of the cake batter into the tin and spread out into an even layer using the back of a spoon or off-set spatula. 
  5. Sprinkle half of the streusel mixture over the batter, in a thick, even coating. Pour over the remaining cake batter, spread out, then top with the remaining streusel. 
  6. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. You will know the cake has fully baked when a skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean and it’s springy to the touch. At any moment the streusel looks like it’s burning, lightly cover the top of the cake with some foil to prevent browning, but this shouldn’t happen though.
  7. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for at least 30 minutes before carefully lifting it out of the tin and transferring to a wire rack.

Method (drizzle)

  1. In a small bowl, sift in the icing sugar and add in a teaspoon of dairy-free milk in at a tine until you have a smooth, thick but runny consistency icing.
  2. Drizzle this over the top of the entire cake. Leave it for 10 minutes to set.
  3. Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the cake into squares and serve!


To store: Store the cake in the fridge in an air tight container. Best enjoyed within 2-3 days of making. Can also be left in an air tight container at room temperature for 2 days.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45-50 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  1. Emma Black
    August 25, 2023 / 3:31 pm

    BEST VEGAN COFFEE CAKE. We all loved it!!!!!!!!

  2. Hannah Pilkes
    August 26, 2023 / 12:24 am

    Super delicious! Thanks for another great recipe, Hannah.

  3. Chara Lund
    August 31, 2023 / 10:58 pm

    I don’t think the US conversions are correct! My cake turned out so liquified. I think something must be off!

    • September 1, 2023 / 1:13 am

      Hello, for some reason the conversion isnt working. Definitely use the gram measurements, they are 100% correct!! Im getting the us conversions checked as we speak! xx

  4. Kate
    September 14, 2023 / 2:56 am

    Silly question but can I just finely grind coffee beans or is there something that would work better?

  5. Audrey
    December 22, 2023 / 2:50 pm

    I was just wondering, is the vegan butter salted or unsalted?

  6. Praveena
    January 31, 2024 / 1:05 am

    how to make a apple scause …any substitute of apple scause??

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