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Vegan Coffee and Walnut Cake

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This easy and delicious Vegan Coffee and Walnut Cake is a classic flavor combo in its simplest form. Enjoy this loaf-pan cake for breakfast.



Coffee Cake

  • 2 ⅓ cup unbleached AP flour (see note 1)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar (see note 2)
  • 2 flax eggs 
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce (see note 3)
  • ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Stripe, optional

  • ¼ cup organic cane sugar (or less)
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon (to taste)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (see note 4)

Streusel, optional

  • ¼ cup firmly packed organic brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (see note 4)
  • 2 tbsp unbleached AP flour (see note 1)
  • ¼ cup coconut cream or melted vegan butter
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  1. Prep flax eggs: Start by mixing together your flax eggs. They’ll set on the counter in 10 minutes, or in the fridge in just 3-5 minutes. Just don’t forget to add them (I do this more often than I’d care to admit).
  2. Preheat and line a pan: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 177 degrees Celsius) and either line your loaf pan with parchment paper, grease with coconut cream like I do, or spray with a baking/cooking oil spray.
  3. Mix the batter: Start by mixing your dry ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk to evenly distribute the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center with a spatula or clean fingers and pour all wet ingredients in the center. Mix until just combined. It should be a thick spreadable batter.
  4. Stripe or Swirl: This step is to add the stripe/swirl of cinnamon sugar and walnuts in the center of the cake, so it’s optional. Spoon or spatula half the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle in the cinnamon sugar in an even layer (go as light or heavy as you like), and add a single layer of chopped walnuts. Then add the rest of your batter on top.
  5. No Stripe? No Swirl? If you did not do the stripe, just put all the batter into the pan.
  6. Make the streusel: Make your streusel (also optional) by mixing together the coconut cream (can use vegan butter instead) with the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle, heavy handedly, across the top of the batter.
  7. Bake: Bake uncovered for 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool: Let it cool for at least 10 minutes (but no more than 30) before turning it out onto a cooling rack. I recommend doing it around 15 or 20 minutes. Run a butter knife around the inner edge if you wish, to make sure it separates from the edge of the pan.
  9. Eat: Serve with coffee, tea, non-dairy milk or just on its own and enjoy!
  10. Store: Store leftovers covered on the counter (I just use a cake carrier but you could a plate with a cloche for up to 1 week. I recommend keeping it covered, though, so it does not dry out.


  • Note 1: I used regular all purpose flour for this recipe, but I can see it working well with whole wheat or spelt flour. Just use a bit more moisture (as the batter calls for it, it should still be a thick batter; one you spread instead of pour). For a gluten-free vegan coffee cake, I recommend using a quality cup for cup flour like King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour.
  • Note 2: Coconut Sugar is a sugar very similar to light brown sugar in taste, though it’s a little less moist. You can substitute it with organic cane sugar or organic light brown sugar, though and the recipe should work fine.
  • Note 3: Applesauce works great as a low fat oil-replacement. You can certainly use oil if you wish, or use another replacer like mashed banana or pumpkin puree, both of which would be delicious in this recipe.
  • Note 4: If you can’t have walnuts you can still make a delicious vegan coffee cake. Sub out another nut like chopped almonds or simply omit--no need to alter the recipe. It will still be absolutely delicious.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Soy-Free, Can Be Gluten-Free, Can Be Nut-Free, Vegan Coffee Cake, Vegan Walnut and Coffee Cake