This vegan coffee cake is sweet, moist and fluffy, 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!
Confession: I have never drunk a whole cup of coffee in my life.
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.
Mix it with lots of sugar and frosting and enjoy it in a vegan coffee 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 slices myself and wasn’t negatively affected by the caffeine! Eating coffee cake every day is a good way to ease myself into it, right?
Want More Vegan Cake Recipes?
How exactly is vegan coffee cake made, you may ask? Well, traditionally, coffee cake doesn’t actually contain any coffee. It was created as more of a sweet companion to eat alongside your cup of coffee.
So my recipe might not be the traditional, official way, but it’s certainly a coffee flavored cake. It does what it says on the tin!
How To Make Vegan Coffee Cake
Preheat your oven and prepare your cake tins.
Your oven will need to be set at 350°F (180°C/ 160°C fan/ Gas mark 4), and you’ll need to prepare two 9-inch round cake tins.
I greased and floured my tins a little then lined the bottoms of them with baking paper.
First off, get your flax “eggs” ready to go! Mix 3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of water and set aside for 5 minutes or so. The mixture should become gloopy and sort of gelatinous, a bit like eggs would.
This mixture will help bind the cake together and prevent it from crumbling apart after baking. The finer your ground flax seeds are, the better it’ll work and the less you’ll notice them in the finished cake.
Next, in a small cup or bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of boiling water with 1 tablespoon of instant coffee granules. Set it aside for now to give it a chance to cool down.
While the flax seeds are resting and the coffee is cooling, you can begin to make your sponge cake mix.
Start by mixing together 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (or 250 grams) of vegan butter with 1 + ¼ cups (250 grams) of caster sugar. Keep mixing until the caster sugar is well incorporated into the butter, and it becomes fluffy and pale yellow.
Add in the flax “eggs” that you made earlier and mix them into the butter and sugar mixture along with the coffee. Don’t worry if it starts to look a little bit curdled- it will smoothen out again at the next step.
To the same bowl, add in 2 cups (250 grams) of self-raising flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 cup (250 ml) of plant-based milk.
Fold everything in together using a figure of 8 motion with your spoon. This motion helps to keep the air in the mixture, resulting in a nice, fluffy cake.
Once everything’s folded together, you should have a smooth and slightly thick cake batter. Divide it equally between your two cake tins and use the back of your spoon to make sure the batter is evenly distributed in the tins (to avoid lopsided cakes!).
Bake for 30 minutes. If you want to double check that the cakes are ready, insert a toothpick through the center. If the toothpick comes out dry, the cakes are done.
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.
While the cakes are cooling, you can start preparing your coffee buttercream.
Mix 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules with 1 teaspoon of hot 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 of coffee.
For a stronger flavored buttercream, feel free to use 2-3 teaspoons of coffee mixed with equal amounts of hot water.
In a large bowl, mix together ½ cup of vegan butter (120 grams) with 1 cup of powdered sugar (250 grams). You may want to use an electric whisk for ease but using a wooden spoon will work just fine too!
Add in your cooled coffee and gently mix it in.
*Note that it’s really important that the coffee is not hot when you do this, otherwise the buttercream will split and start to curdle.
Place your first cake onto a cake board, stand or plate and spread a thick layer of buttercream frosting on top. Add the second cake on top then spread another thick layer of frosting on top.
If you want to be extra fancy, you can use the remaining frosting to pipe swirl decorations around the edges of the cake but obviously this isn’t essential!
Add a few crushed walnuts (or any other decorations) around the top to complete the cake. I also used these edible gold crystals from The Cake Decorating Company which looked super cute.
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!
Can Vegan Coffee Cake Be Frozen?
Yes! As I always do with my cakes, I froze this one in an airtight container, with the frosting already on.
You can either freeze the cake in slices or as a whole. And to defrost, just pop it on a plate and leave it in the fridge, covered, overnight.
It tasted just as moist, fluffy and delicious after it’s defrosted, which means it’s a perfect make-ahead treat for any occasion!
Hope you enjoy this recipe and if you make it yourself, please leave a comment or rating to let me know how it went!
Happy baking! xo
A delicately flavored sponge cake with fragrant coffee buttercream frosting.
- 1 Tablespoon Instant coffee granules
- 3 Tablespoons Ground flax seeds
- 1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Vegan butter (250g)
- 1¼ Cups Caster sugar (250g)
- 2 Cups Self-raising flour (250g)
- 2 Teaspoons Baking powder
- 1 Cup Plant based milk (250ml)
- 1 Teaspoon Instant coffee granules
- ½ Cup Vegan butter (120g)
- 1 Cup Powdered sugar (250g)
- 1-2 Tablespoons Chopped walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon Edible sugar crystals
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C/ 160°C fan/ Gas mark 4) and grease or line two 9-inch round cake tins.
Mix the instant coffee granules with 1 tablespoon of boiling water and set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, mix the ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of cold water and set this aside too. After 5 minutes, it should be thick and "gloopy".
In a separate, large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in your flax seed mixture and stir again.
To the same bowl, add in the flour, baking powder and plant-based milk. Fold it all in using a figure of 8 motion with your spoon.
Add your cooled coffee mixture and fold it into the cake batter.
Divide the cake batter between the two tins and use the back of your spoon to make sure they're evenly spread in the tins.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick through the center comes out clean. Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes, then flip them out onto a cooling rack and leave them to cool completely.
Mix the coffee granules with 1 teaspoon of boiling water and set aside to cool. If you want your coffee cake to taste a bit stronger, you can double this amount to 2 teaspoons.
In a large bowl, mix together the vegan butter and powdered sugar. You can use an electric mixer for ease but doing it by hand will work fine too!
Add in your cooled coffee and gently stir it in.
Place your first cooled cake onto a plate, board or cake stand. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread a thick later of frosting over the top.
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.
Sprinkle the chopped walnuts and sugar crystals around the edge of the cake if using.
Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for 1 hour so the frosting becomes firm. Then cut into 16 slices and enjoy!
*Store, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.