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Vegan Coffee Cake

This vegan coffee cake is sweet and moist with a subtle coffee flavour, and is topped with a deliciously fragrant buttercream. Whether you’re addicted to your morning cuppa or just like to enjoy a coffee now and again, you’re going to love this cake!

Coffee Cake With A Cake Knife Under One Slice

I have a confession…

I have never drunk a whole cup of coffee in my life.

The only time I’ve had more than a sip of coffee is when I accidentally picked up the wrong order in a cafe and didn’t want to waste it.

It’s one of those things that I really want to like because a morning coffee seems so much more exciting, and way cooler, than a cup of herbal tea.

But not only am I super sensitive to caffeine (even green tea makes me jittery!), I just can’t quite push myself through the bitterness of it all.

My solution?

Mix it with lots of sugar and frosting and enjoy it in a cake!

Almost everyone that I know and love enjoys a good cup of coffee most days. So, I thought this would be the perfect treat to share with them all.

I even had a couple of small slices myself and wasn’t negatively affected by the caffeine!

Want More Vegan Cake Recipes?

In some other countries, coffee cake doesn’t actually contain any coffee. It’s more of a sweet companion to eat alongside your cup of coffee.

But in the UK (at least, this is the way I do it) it is an actual coffee-flavoured cake!  

How To Make Vegan Coffee Cake

Step 1

Preheat your oven and prepare your cake tins.

Your oven will need to be set at 180°C/ 350°F (160°C/325°F if using a fan or convection oven), and you’ll need to prepare two 7-inch round cake tins.

I greased and floured my tins a little then lined the bottom of them with baking paper.

Step 2:

First off, make your vegan buttermilk. Pour 280ml of unsweetened soy milk (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) into a small mug or bowl and add 2 teaspoons of vinegar. You can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Give it a quick mix and set it aside for 5 minutes or so. It should become slightly thick or curdled.

Vegan buttermilk will help the cake rise while still keeping it nice and moist inside.

Step 3:

Next, in a small cup or bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of boiling water with 1 tablespoon of instant coffee granules. I used M&S gold granules.

Set it aside for a few minutes to give it a chance to cool down.

Step 4:

While the coffee is cooling, you can begin to make your sponge cake mix.

In a large bowl, mix together 250g of self-raising flour (2 cups), 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 200g of caster/superfine sugar (1 cup).

Mixing Dry Ingredients In A Bowl

Step 5:

Add in the “buttermilk” and the coffee from earlier along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 100ml of vegetable oil (7 tablespoons).

Dry And Wet Ingredients Together In A Bowl

Mix well until you have a smooth and creamy cake batter.

Step 6:

Divide the batter equally between your two cake tins and use the back of your spoon to make sure the batter is evenly distributed (to avoid lopsided cakes!).

Pouring Batter Into Cake Tins

Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick through the centre comes out clean.

Step 7:

Allow the cakes to sit in the tins for around 10 minutes then gently flip them out onto a cooling rack and leave them to cool completely.

Cakes sitting on a cooling rack

For the coffee buttercream:

You can prepare the buttercream while the cakes are cooling!

Step 1:

Mix 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules with equal amounts of boiling water. Set aside to cool.

If you’re like me and don’t particularly like the strong, bitter flavor of coffee then 1 teaspoon will suffice. I personally liked that my frosting had just a slight hint.

For a stronger flavored buttercream, simply add more cooled coffee! You may also need to add more icing sugar to the recipe, depending on how much liquid you use.

Step 2:

In a large bowl, mix together 120g of vegan butter (1/2 cup) with 300g of icing sugar (~2 + 1/2 cups).

I’d recommend using a wooden spoon until it’s mixed in properly, then giving it a quick mix with an electric whisk for a minute or so to make it fluffy.

Step 3:

Add in your cooled coffee and gently whisk it in. It’s really important that the coffee is not hot when you do this, otherwise the buttercream will split and start to curdle.

If you’re adding extra coffee and the buttercream becomes too runny, just add more icing sugar until it’s firm enough to spread.

Assembling the cake

Place your first cake layer onto a cake board, stand or plate and spread a thick layer of the buttercream frosting on top.

Add the second cake on top then spread another thick layer of frosting. I used the end of my palette knife to create some texture on the top layer.

Using a palette knife to create texture on the cake frosting

If you want to be extra fancy, you can use any remaining buttercream to pipe swirl decorations around the edges of the cake but obviously, this isn’t essential!

Leave the whole cake to sit in a cool, dry place for around 1 hour. This will allow the buttercream to stiffen up.

Then, just cut into slices and enjoy!

A Slice Of Cake With The Rest Of It On A Stand In The Background


How should I store coffee cake?

Store it in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dry place such as a kitchen cupboard. As long as it doesn’t get too warm, the buttercream will hold firm.

You can also put it in the fridge if you like but this will make the sponge taste a bit more dense.

How long will it last?

Around 3-4 days if stored appropriately.

Can I freeze it?

Yes! As I always do with my cakes, I froze this in an airtight container, with the frosting already on. It tastes just as moist, fluffy and delicious after it’s defrosted!

I’d recommend storing it in slices rather than as a whole cake.

To defrost, just pop it on a plate and leave it out at room temperature until soft.

Can I use decaf coffee?

Absolutely! The coffee is only there for the flavour. Decaf would be a good option for anyone sensitive to caffeine.

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Hope you enjoy this recipe and if you make it yourself, please leave a comment or rating to let me know how it goes!

Happy baking! xo

Thumbnail image of cake
5 from 5 votes

Vegan Coffee Cake

A delicately flavored sponge cake with fragrant coffee buttercream frosting.

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan coffee cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 275 kcal


For the sponge:

  • 280 ml Soy milk (1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 Teaspoons Apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1 Tablespoon Instant coffee granules
  • 250 g Self-raising flour (~2 cups)
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking soda
  • 200 g Caster/superfine sugar (1 cup)
  • 100 ml Vegetable oil (7 tablespoons)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract

For the coffee buttercream:

  • 1 Teaspoon Instant coffee granules
  • 120 g Vegan butter (½ cup)
  • 300 g Icing/powdered sugar (2 + ½ cups)


For the sponge:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C/325°F if using a fan or convection oven). Grease or line two 7-inch round cake tins.

  2. Mix the soy milk and vinegar and set side for a few minutes. This will act as vegan buttermilk.

  3. Mix the coffee granules with 1 tablespoon of boiling water and leave it to cool.

  4. In a separate, large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and sugar.

  5. Now add in the buttermilk and the cooled coffee, along with the vegetable oil and vanilla. Mix well until you have a smooth and creamy batter.

  6. Divide the cake batter between the two tins and use the back of a spoon to make sure it's evenly distributed.

  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick or knife through the centre comes out clean.

  8. Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes, then flip them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

For the buttercream frosting:

  1. Mix the coffee granules with 1 teaspoon of boiling water and set it aside to cool. If you want your coffee cake to taste a bit stronger, just increase the amount to taste.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the vegan butter and icing sugar. I recommend mixing with a wooden spoon until it comes together, then whisking with an electric whisk for a minute or two to make it fluffy.

  3. Add in your cooled coffee and gently stir it in.*


  1. Place your first cooled cake onto a plate, board or cake stand. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread a thick later of buttercream frosting over the top.

  2. Add your second cake on top and spread another thick layer of frosting on top of that. You can use any leftover frosting to pipe buttercream swirls around the top if you wish.

  3. Allow the cake to sit for 1 hour so the frosting becomes firm. Then cut into slices and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • *The coffee must be completely cool otherwise the buttercream will split.
  • If adding extra coffee, you may need to add more icing sugar too, to make it spreadable.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Coffee Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 1/16th)
Calories 275 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Sodium 44mg2%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 32g36%
Protein 2g4%
* All values are an estimate only and will vary depending on the food brands used.

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Recipe Rating


Friday 13th of August 2021

Hi. Is that Baking Powder or Bi-carb of Soda as we don't have Baking Soda in Australia and I never know which is the right one to use. Thanks


Friday 13th of August 2021

Hey Maraika! Sorry for the confusion. It's bicarbonate of soda :)


Thursday 28th of January 2021

Sorry but I did everything to the exact instruction and measurement and the cake is so flat... The buttercreme has curdled too and I waited until the coffee was literally as cold as a glass of cold water. So frustrating as it was for my mums birthday in the morning.


Saturday 30th of January 2021

Sorry to hear that Faye. I'm not sure what went wrong. Did you use self-raising flour and the correct cake tin size? It's quite a small cake so would turn out flat if a larger cake tin or plain flour was used. What type of butter/spread did you use for the buttercream?

Ronak Mehta

Thursday 29th of October 2020

The cake looks perfect and fabulous to bake for a special day. Yes, its definitely the best coffee cake. Lovely!!


Saturday 31st of October 2020

Thank you Ronak :)


Saturday 3rd of October 2020

Loved this recipe. We made it for my boyfriend's birthday and everyone ate it all up. They couldn't believe it was vegan. lol. I used more coffee in the icing because he likes his strong and it was so yummy. Had to add a little bit more icing sugar too. Will definitely make again 😁


Sunday 4th of October 2020

Thank you so much Zara! So happy to hear that :)

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