Better Than Starbucks Vegan Coffee Cake (Gluten Free)
This is truly the best vegan coffee cake ever! Moist, tender, and deliciously spiced, it’s a wonderful dessert, vegan breakfast option, or afternoon snack. It tastes just like classic coffee cake — and even better than Starbucks’ version — only this recipe is entirely dairy free, eggless, and gluten free, too!
The best dang vegan coffee cake you’ll ever have:
Have you ever had New York style crumb coffee cake? It’s my favorite excuse for eating a big slice of cake (vegan of course) for breakfast. This is one of my all time favorite vegan breakfast recipes (and to be honest, it doubles as an amazing vegan cake recipe to serve after dinner as well!).
Of course, Starbucks has a version, and I can happily declare that this vegan coffee cake is officially better than Starbucks. So even if you’re not vegan, you have to give this coffee cake recipe a go (along with my amazing vegan pumpkin coffee cake! And if you want something more fruity, try this vegan apple crumb cake or my vegan blueberry buckle cake!!).
You are just going to love this vegan coffee cake! It’s perfectly tender and moist, full of sweet cinnamon, and has that delicious crumb texture.
What’s more, you can also easily make this vegan coffee cake gluten free. So not only do you get the taste, texture, and flavor of a slice of Starbucks coffee cake, but you get it without the eggs, without the dairy, and without the gluten.
That’s pretty amazing, and all in the magic of vegan baking!
Pro tip: Check out this whole guide for more vegan baking tips!
This crumb cake pairs wonderfully with a cup of coffee, and along with my favorite vegan cinnamon rolls (and this gluten free cinnamon roll recipe!) and vegan monkey bread, this is the perfect breakfast recipe for your holiday morning!
Does coffee cake contain coffee?
There seems to be quite some confusion as to whether or not coffee cake contains coffee! Traditionally, coffee cake gets its name because it’s usually served with coffee (in fact, I highly recommend it!). Coffee cake is not, in fact, a coffee flavored cake.
Although that would be quite delicious!
Coffee cake is essentially a vanilla pound cake with a cinnamon streusel. If you grew up around the East coast, then chances are, you know coffee cake to be the delicious breakfast treat that contains a layer of cinnamon swirled in the middle, as well as on top.
I’m an East coaster, so that’s how I prefer my coffee cake 🙂 If you’d prefer to make this vegan coffee cake as just the vanilla pound cake base and the cinnamon crumble, you can omit the cinnamon sugar middle!
Although, I highly recommend you do make it!
Now that we’ve gone over what exactly coffee cake is, let’s veganize it!
For this eggless coffee cake, you’ll need:
- Flour: You can use all purpose flour if you don’t need a gluten free vegan coffee cake. I used oat flour for gluten free and all purpose flour for a regular vegan coffee cake when testing. For my recommendations on flours if you’d like to use something other than oat, please see the below FAQ’s section.
- Sugar: You can make this vegan coffee cake entirely refined sugar free by just using coconut sugar! I used a mix of both granulated and coconut sugar (coconut sugar is very similar in taste to brown sugar), but you can use either or here.
- Vegan butter: I used Miyoko’s vegan butter. However, if you’re nut-free, try out Flora Plant Butter, my new favorite nut-free vegan butter. This helps make the coffee cake super rich and decadent. If you’d like a lower fat version, please read the FAQ’s and tips section below!
- Applesauce: The applesauce here replaces the eggs, making this an entirely eggless coffee cake. I used unsweetened here, as this cake is already pretty sweet. You can also swap in dairy free yogurt
- Vegan Buttermilk: I recommend using oat milk, coconut milk, or almond milk here. If nut free, stick with a nut-free dairy free milk! I also added in apple cider vinegar to give the cake a bit of tang and simulate using a “buttermilk” in place of the traditional sour cream.
- Vanilla: since the base of this coffee cake is essentially a vegan vanilla pound cake, we’ll need a lot of vanilla!
- Cinnamon: of course you can’t have coffee crumb cake without cinnamon! I used Vietnamese ground cinnamon here.
- Baking powder and baking soda: to help give this cake a bit of lift.
That’s really it! You’ll also need an 8×8 or a 9×9 square baking pan!
How to make vegan coffee cake (overview)
As with all of my recipes, the full directions and ingredient measurements are found down below in the recipe card. But we’ll go over a brief overview of how to make an entirely vegan coffee cake here!
Essentially for the actual coffee cake, it’s just layers of different ratios of the above ingredients.
Here’s the order of making each component:
- Cinnamon sugar filling
- Cinnamon streusel topping
- Coffee cake batter
I start with making the cinnamon sugar filling first, as this doesn’t require any wet ingredients. This is just cinnamon, flour, and sugar.
The reason I start with the filling first and not the vanilla cake layer is that once the wet ingredients are added to the dry, the leavening agents begin to activate. If we don’t then get the crumb cake into the oven as fast as possible, we risk our coffee cakes not fully rising.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Make the cinnamon sugar filling: Simple combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl until mixed, then set aside.
- Next, make the cinnamon streusel or cinnamon crumble on top: This is just vegan butter, cinnamon, flour, and sugar.
- Finally, make the vegan vanilla cake base of our vegan coffee cake: Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then whisk together the wet ingredients in another bowl. You actually don’t need any equipment here. Just a whisk and/or a silicone spatula. Then fold in the dry ingredients with the vegan buttermilk. The coffee cake batter should be thick but pourable.
- Layer the coffee cake batter with the cinnamon sugar filling: When pouring the batter into the prepared pan, you’ll add half of the batter first. Spread it evenly in the pan, then top with the cinnamon sugar filling from the first step. Spread the remaining batter into the pan, and top with the cinnamon streusel.
- Bake: You can bake your coffee cake in either a square pan or a round springform pan. Either will work! Drizzle with a simple glaze, and serve with a cup of coffee!
Coffee Crumb Cake Add Ins
To jazz up this classic crumb cake, you can add in the following to the base vanilla cake layer:
- Vegan chocolate chips
- Fresh berries (make sure to lightly flour them to prevent them from sinking!)
- Walnuts, pecans, almonds, seeds
Coffee Cake Tips & FAQs
What flours can I use for this recipe?
If you don’t need this vegan coffee cake to be gluten free as well, you can absolutely swap in all-purpose flour here. If you’d like to use a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour blend, such as Bob’s Red Mills or King Arthur Flour, please to swap that in! All of these suggestions can be made at a 1:1 ratio. Please do not swap in almond flour nor coconut flour. They won’t work in this recipe.
Can I make this vegan coffee cake refined sugar free?
As mentioned above, if you’d like to make this crumb cake entirely refined sugar free, you can use coconut sugar. If you’d like to make it lower in sugar, you can use a sweetener like Wholesome Sweets Allulose or Monkfruit.
Can I make this crumb cake low fat?
To make this a low fat coffee cake, simply swap out the vegan butter for applesauce at an equal ratio. This will mean using just applesauce and dairy free milk as the base.
Can I make this in a round 10″ springform pan?
Absolutely! You can definitely use a round pan instead of a square one here if you’d prefer. The baking time will be around the same, so start checking your can after 35 minutes.
You’re just going to LOVE this easy vegan coffee cake! It’s truly so wonderful with a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, especially on a holiday morning or special brunch!
If you tried this recipe, let me know how it went by leaving a comment down below, as well as a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others may find it.
As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there and I’ll re-share them!
Happy crumb cake baking!
Watch how to make vegan coffee cake:
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If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!Print
Best Ever Vegan Coffee Cake (Gluten Free!)
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 16 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This is truly the best vegan coffee cake ever! With its perfect crumb texture and sweet cinnamon vanilla flavor, it tastes just like the classic and even better than Starbucks, only entirely vegan and gluten free!
Vanilla Coffee Cake:
- 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour*
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cup (250 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter, melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup (170 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt or vegan sour cream, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (180 g) unsweetened dairy free milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (37 g) all purpose flour*
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar or brown sugar
- 1 cup (125 g) all purpose flour*
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter, melted
- 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp dairy free milk
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease and line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper and olive oil.
- Cinnamon sugar filling: In a medium bowl, prepare the cinnamon sugar filling. Whisk together the coconut sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Cinnamon crumble topping: In another medium bowl, prepare the cinnamon crumble. Whisk together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Use a fork to mix in the melted vegan butter into the mixture until it resembles a crumble. Set aside.
- Make the vegan coffee cake batter: Prepare the main coffee cake layer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, arrowroot powder, and baking powder and soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted vegan butter, sugar, applesauce or sour cream, dairy free milk mixture, and vanilla. Then add in the flour mixture, and stir until there are no more dry streaks of flour.
- Assemble the coffee cake: Pour half of the batter into your baking pan, and spread the batter to touch the edges of the pan. Sprinkle in the cinnamon sugar filling on top evenly. Add the remaining half of the batter on top of the cinnamon sugar filling. Top with the cinnamon crumble.
- Bake: Place the pan into the oven to bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and allow the coffee cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Serve: When ready to serve, it’s best served slightly warm. Slice into 9 squares and prepare the optional glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar and dairy free milk, and drizzle on top of each slice. Enjoy! Store any leftovers covered in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, in the fridge for up to 6 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.
*Gluten Free: You can swap in gluten-free 1:1 baking flour (such as King Arthur’s measure for measure) or oat flour. For gluten free flour blends, please use the cup measurements then convert to gram measurements (so for 3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour, it will be 420 g rather than 375 g of flour). For oat flour, please use the gram measurements rather than the cup measurements (so you would need 3 3/4 cups of oat flour for 375 g).
See the post for recipe tips and tricks!
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 343
- Sugar: 31.2 g
- Sodium: 22.4 mg
- Fat: 14 g
- Saturated Fat: 7.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 51.3 g
- Fiber: 2.4 g
- Protein: 4.1 g
- Cholesterol: 30.5 mg
Keywords: vegan coffee cake, eggless coffee cake, gluten free coffee cake, easy coffee cake
Made these tonight and my roommates and I loved them! I didn’t have any arrowroot, but I subbed 6 tablespoons (or 3/8 cup) of tapioca starch instead and they turned out great. Will 100% make again 🙂
So wonderful to hear!! Thank you so much for giving it a go!! Enjoy 🙂
This really is the best ever coffee cake… whether vegan or not! I have already made this 2 times and will make it again and again. Everyone loves it!
Aw thank you so much! So happy to hear it!! 🙂
Made this today for a bday brunch I’m hosting. Great taste, will make everyone happy (dietary restrictions or not!). The tbsp of baking powder is too much – the batter rose so much in an 8×8 pan it spilled over. I caught it in time and put a baking sheet underneath. Next time I’ll use a slightly bigger pan and/or reduce the baking powder.
Just read the recipe and it is a tsp of baking powder, not a tbsp. This answer is a long time after your comment, but hope it helps someone reading these.
So Happy to have found this. It looks great, I’ll give it a try as soon as today. I recently Had to convert to egg-dairy-gluten free and I’m really missing the baking. I have never bought as many processed cookies in my Life before..
Oh I’m SO excited for you to try this one!! Seriously it’s a dream!! My family, who’s not egg-free nor dairy-free says this is their favorite coffee cake 🙂 You’re going to love it!
Made this last night for breakfast today. Absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!!!! I made a few modifications, if anyone is looking to sub ingredients: I blended 5 dates + 2 Tbsp maple syrup into my applesauce for sweetener and omitted the sugar. Used coconut oil for the vegan butter. My flour mixture was 2 Cups coarse oat flour, 1/2 almond flour, 1/2 Bobs 1 to 1 GF flour. Added 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon to batter. My filling was 1 cup frozen blueberries. Added 15 minutes to bake time to compensate for the blueberry moisture. Added a crumble toppings with pecans, sugar, oats, cinnamon, and butter before baking.
Your recipe is so wonderful! Thank you for such a tasty vegan treat. My non vegan, non Gf dad was obsessed.
Amazing!! Wow, I just love all of this!! Thank you so much for sharing this all!! The blueberries and pecans sound AMAZING! So glad your dad loved it too 🙂 Awesome! Thank you so much again, and enjoy!
Can I use a flax egg instead of applesauce?
Hi Lia! Yes you can! 1 tbsp of ground flax with 3 tbsp of water = 1/3 cup applesauce 🙂
Can you sub the arrowroot starch for cornstarch?
When I made this the first time, 420g of Bob Mill’s 1:1 GF flour was way too much for the 9×9 cake tin. The sugar also melted on the sides of the pan making it impossible to remove! Nevertheless, once it cooled I used a knife to separate the sides from the pan and managed to salvage it and…OMG it was DELICIOUS! MY friends and family all loved it!
The 2nd time i made it, I used 375g of 1:1 Flour. I also made sure to use a loose bottom cake tin, and realised waiting for the melted butter to cool down makes for smaller crumble mix for the top layer.
All in all I will be making this every week! Thank you so much! Absolutely love all your recipes! Love from Dubai, UAE
So happy to hear this!! Thank you so much for these notes!! The Bob’s can be finicky- that’s why I’ve been sticking with KA for now! But this is great to hear!! Thank you!
Can I make these as muffins?
Whoa! You’ve just elevated our Thanksgiving morning – big time! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I will return to it often and even gift it to friends! This is absolutely gift worthy!
Next time, I think I’ll add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the cake batter’s dry ingredients. I, immediately (first bite), missed that ingredient. That said, it certainly didn’t stop me from devouring two pieces in an embarrassingly short time so. . . I guess I didn’t miss it too, too much. 🙂
By the way: I noticed another reviewer suggested the the 1 tablespoon of baking powder caused her cake to rise too much in her 8×8 pan. I did not have the same problem. 1 tablespoon of (Davis) baking powder was the perfect amount in my 8 x 8 pan.
This is so wonderful!! Thank you so much for this review, and I’m just so grateful you loved it 🙂 And a great tip about the salt! Enjoy, and have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!