Cinnamon Swirl Vegan Coffee Cake

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This delicious vegan coffee cake is made with a tender vanilla base, swirled with cinnamon and brown sugar, and topped with a decadent streusel topping. The perfect indulgent treat for enjoying with a big cup of coffee!

What’s your favorite meal? Mine is breakfast/dessert. You know, those amazing sweet dishes that can be served for either breakfast or dessert, like vegan crepes, cinnamon rolls, or this vegan coffee cake.

Coffee cake is especially wonderful, because it’s cake that’s totally acceptable to eat first thing in the morning.

So, let’s talk about coffee cake for a minute. I know somebody is going to ask why this is called a coffee cake, when it doesn’t contain any actual coffee. Coffee cake means different things in different parts of the world. In the United States, where I live, coffee cake is a cake that’s normally served with coffee. It doesn’t actually have any coffee in it!

(If you came here looking for a cake with coffee in it, check out my mocha chocolate layer cake.)

What it does have is a base of vanilla cake with a swirl of cinnamon sugar through the middle and a streusel topping. A drizzle of vanilla glaze on top is optional! SO GOOD!

Ready to eat some cake for breakfast? Let’s go!

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Variations
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Vegan Cake Recipes
  • Cinnamon Swirl Vegan Coffee Cake

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Flour. We’re using all-purpose flour, and I can’t say if any other varieties will work, as I haven’t tried them.
  • Brown sugar. Make sure to buy organic sugar, to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Salt.
  • Vegan butter. You should be able to find this near where the regular butter is sold at the supermarket. Look for brands like Earth Balance and Miyoko’s.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Vegan yogurt. Any variety that’s unflavored (plain) and unsweetened will work.
  • Sugar. Again, use organic.
  • Canola oil. Feel free to substitute your favorite baking oil, such as coconut oil or vegetable oil.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Apple cider vinegar. White vinegar will also work.
  • Baking powder.
  • Baking soda.
  • Powdered sugar. Just like with the other sugars, make sure you’re using organic.
  • Non-dairy milk. Just about any variety can be used. Try soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk.

How It’s Made

Grab a few bowls, because this cake has multiple parts that each need to be mixed together separately.

  • Start by mixing up your filling ingredients in one bowl: brown sugar, vegan butter, and cinnamon.
  • Mix your streusel ingredients in another bowl: flour, brown sugar, vegan butter, and a bit of salt. I like to use a pastry cutter for this one, but a fork or a couple of butter knives will work as well. Set the filling aside and stick the streusel in the fridge.
  • Now it’s time to make the batter. Grab an electric mixer (either a hand mixer like I’m using, or a stand mixer if you’re fancy) and beat together some vegan yogurt, oil, sugar, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar.
  • The dry ingredients go in next. Start beating in flour, a bit at a time.
  • When it’s time to add the last of the flour, sprinkle some cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on top. Beat the batter one last time.
  • Spread half of the vegan coffee cake batter into a round springform pan.
  • Sprinkle half of the filling on top — you can gently distribute it with a spoon if you’d like.
  • Spread the remaining batter over the filling, then another layer of filling.
  • Top everything with the streusel.
  • Pop the cake into the oven and bake it until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean — a few crumbs sticking to it are fine, but uncooked batter is not.
  • When the cake has finished baking, transfer it to a cooling rack and let it cool completely. Before taking the cake out of the pan, be sure to run a knife along the edges to break up any caramelized filling that may stick.
  • You can serve your coffee cake as is, or top it with a drizzle of vanilla glaze for a super indulgent treat!

Tip: This is going to sound like a weird tip, but when slicing your vegan coffee cake, start by inserting the tip of a knife into the side of the cake where you want to make your cut. Why? Some of the filling will probably have met with the inside of your pan and hardened. This part can be a little tough to cut through, so I like to break it up first with my knife to avoid mangling the whole slice while cutting.

Leftovers & Storage

Homemade vegan coffee cake will keep in a sealed container or wrapped in plastic at room temperature for 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


  • Chocolate chip coffee cake. Fold a cup of vegan chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand) into the batter.
  • Spiced coffee cake. Try adding extra spices to the filling (like ginger, cloves, or cardamom), or including some nuts (like pecans or walnuts) in the topping.
  • Berry coffee cake. Fold a cup of berries into the batter, such as blueberries, raspberries, or cranberries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this vegan coffee cake be made gluten-free?

I’m not sure! If you’d like to try it, an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend like those made by Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour would be your best bet.

Why does the sugar need to be organic?

In the United States most granulated sugar is processed using animal bone char, so it’s not considered vegan. Organic sugar is processed differently.

How is vegan coffee cake served?

I like it best with a (surprise!) a big cup of coffee, but it also goes great with tea, fresh fruit, and vegan vanilla ice cream.

Can this cake be made in a square or rectangular pan?

I’m sure it can, as long as the pan is large enough to hold all of the batter. My cake came out pretty thick (see the photos — it’s about 2 inches). You may need to adjust the bake time, though I’m not sure by how much, so keep a close eye on it.

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