Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake is the perfect fall treat! It's soft, moist, and loaded with spiced pumpkin goodness. The unique, almond flour streusel topping and drizzle of sweet glaze really make it irresistible! Enjoy a slice with a cup of coffee for breakfast, brunch, snacks, and dessert! Make it gluten-free with one swap.
What is coffee cake?
The term coffee cake may refer to a cake that contains coffee, or in this case, a simple, un-frosted cake that's meant to be enjoyed alongside coffee for breakfast, brunch, or as a snack.
This American treat has evolved over time and is thought to have origins in the popular Austrian cake gugelhupf (or kugelhopf).
Coffee cake is is often served at social gatherings and shared with friends and family. It's a versatile, quick bread-type of cake and sometimes includes sour cream or seasonal ingredients like berries, apple, or in this case, pumpkin.
Why You'll Love It
- Pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice are natural additions to the classic cinnamon and vanilla flavors of coffee cake.
- The topping isn't your typical flour-and-butter streusel! By combining almond flour with brown sugar and cinnamon we get an irresistibly crisp topping that makes it easy to adapt this recipe for gluten-free diets.
- But of course, you can use a classic streusel topping to make it nut-free!
- All you need are 13 common ingredients and about 10 minutes of hands-on time to make it.
- This is a beginner-friendly baking recipe perfect for fall brunches, parties, and Thanksgiving or Christmas morning spent with family.
- And though it contains no milk, eggs or butter, this vegan coffee cake is every bit as delicious as classic coffee cake made with dairy and eggs!
For the cake:
- flour - We've tested the cake with regular all-purpose and King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour.
- sugar - To make sure your sugar is vegan and not processed with bone char, look for organic cane sugar or a product labeled as vegan, likes this granulated sugar from Whole Foods.
- pumpkin - I used organic canned pumpkin. If you plan use home-cooked pumpkin, make sure it is fairly thick in consistency and not runny.
- maple syrup - Lends wonderful flavor and moisture to the batter.
- milk - Any non-dairy milk you like is fine here. I used unsweetened soy.
- spices - If you don't have pumpkin spice on hand, make your own blend with the following ground spices:
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- almond flour - It crisps up in the oven and creates a fantastic streusel-like topping without the need for vegan butter.
- light brown sugar - As with the regular sugar in the batter, look for organic sugar to make sure it's vegan (or a brand specifically labeled as vegan).
For the glaze/icing:
- powdered sugar - Though the glaze is optional, it really adds an extra bit of decadence and enjoyment to the cake! Plus, it only takes about 2 minutes to stir together.
See the recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
How to Make Pumpkin Coffee Cake
In a mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate, smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients. And in another bowl, prep the cinnamon streusel topping.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until there's no dry flour.
Spoon the batter into a parchment-lined, 8-inch square baking pan.
Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top, and bake the cake for about 42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then lift out onto a cooling rack.
Here are a few fun ways to switch things up:
- gluten-free pumpkin coffee cake - Since the streusel topping is already gluten-free, all you need to do is replace the flour in the cake batter. I've tested it with King Arthur's Gluten Free Measure for Measure with great results.
- oil-free coffee cake - Thanks to the crispiness of almond flour, the streusel is already oil-free (no vegan butter). And pumpkin makes the cake nice and moist. So all you need to do is substitute the ¼ cup oil in the batter with applesauce. Another option is to use a combination of plain non-dairy yogurt and applesauce.
- with nuts - Fold chopped pecans or walnuts into the batter, and sprinkle more on top!
- double batch - Serving a crowd? Double the ingredients and bake it in a 13x9 metal baking pan. Bake time is the same.
American coffee cake is a sweet cake meant to be enjoyed with coffee, similar to the concept of tea cake. This type of coffee cake rarely contains coffee, although you certainly can incorporate coffee if desired. Coffee cake recipes are often creative and embrace different additions and flavors.
Store pumpkin coffee cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Absolutely! Like most cakes, coffee cake freezes well. For the best flavor, protect it from freezer burn by wrapping well and placing in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months.
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I hope you enjoy this sweet and decadent vegan pumpkin coffee cake! If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and let us know.
Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake
For the cake:
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour - regular or gluten-free
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice - see Note 1 for alternative
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin - for homemade see Note 2
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup neutral oil - or applesauce for oil-free
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk - I used plain unsweetened soy milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For streusel topping:
- ⅓ cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon water
For the icing:
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 360°F (182°C) and line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry cake ingredients (flour, spices, baking powder and soda, salt). In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients (pumpkin, sugar, maple syrup, oil, milk, vanilla, and vinegar). Don't combine dry and wet just yet.
- To make the streusel topping, in a small bowl stir together the almond flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the tablespoon of water and stir with a fork until the mixture looks clumpy and is uniformly moist.
- To make the batter, pour wet ingredients into dry, and stir until there is no visible dry flour. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or if the center lightly bounces back when pressed.
- Let the coffee cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then lift out onto a metal rack to cool completely. To make the icing, stir the ingredients together in a bowl, adding another teaspoon of milk if needed. Drizzle on individual slices of coffee cake just before serving.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.