Have you ever lost a favorite family recipe? One of my favorite recipes as a kid was my family’s coffee cake. My mom or my great aunts would make it for holiday mornings or get togethers. This coffee cake had a light texture and a rich, nutty topping. When the cake baked the whole house smelled like cinnamon. For years I thought the recipe was lost. I tried making various other coffee cake recipes (both before I went vegan and after), but none measured up. The cake was never as tender, the topping not as flavorful. Just never quite right. About a year and a half ago my sister found a digital copy of family recipes my cousin put together for my aunt. Lo and behold the coffee cake recipe was there! I immediately veganized the recipe, threw it in the oven and crossed my fingers. I was ecstatic when I bit into this vegan coffee cake. Just like I remembered. Now I make it for my family as often as I can.
I will warn you that there is nothing healthy about this recipe. It calls for a hefty amount of sugar and oil. I have used applesauce for 1/4 cup of the oil in the past and it worked out well. I want the coffee cake as close to the original version as possible, just without any animal ingredients, so I make it with all of the oil and sugar listed.
The recipe uses a unique technique for making the topping and cake. As you will see in the recipe below you mix the flour, sugars, spices and oil all together and form a crumble. You take out 1 cup of this crumble and that becomes the topping. The rest of the “crumble” is mixed with the remaining ingredients to make the cake.
For the topping you can add nuts if you like. I normally add finely chopped walnuts or pecans. In the version I baked last week I left off the nuts so Trey could take small pieces of the cake to school as a treat. He loves this cake as much as I do.
I assure you no one will ever know this is a vegan coffee cake. It is fantastic to take to a holiday brunch, potluck or breakfast meeting. Any mom in your life will appreciate waking up to the smell of this baking in the oven on Mother’s Day.
- 2½ Cups Flour
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, plus more for topping
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ¾ Cup Canola Oil
- 1 Cup Almond Milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
- ¼ Cup Plain Coconut or Soy Yogurt
- 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ Cup Finely Chopped Nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x11 or 8x8 inch baking dish. Set aside.
- Sift flour, sugars, nutmeg, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Add oil and mix well until all oil is absorbed. Mixture will be crumbly. Take out 1 cup of mixture and set aside in a smaller bowl.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup stir together almond milk, yogurt, vinegar, vanilla extract, baking soda and baking powder. Stir until combined. Add this liquid mixture to the large bowl of the flour mixture. Mix well and then pour the batter into the greased pan.
- If using chopped nuts add them to the 1 cup of set aside crumble mixture. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the batter in the pan. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes for a 9x11 inch cake. If using a 8x8 inch pan cooking time will be 35-40 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.