Friday, January 5, 2024
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Vegan Espresso Cake with Cashew Bitter Cream

This vegan espresso cake with cashew bitter cream is a traditional! It’s so tender, with an irresistable ribbon of cinnamon sugar working by the middle and massive, buttery crumbs of vegan streusel topping. The cake is made with do-it-yourself, plant-based cashew bitter cream, which contributes to its moist texture.

An angled photograph of a slice of vegan sour cream coffee cake, with a ribbon of cinnamon filling and streusel topping.

We’re nearing the tip of the primary week of 2024.

Many people have returned to their workplaces or locations of labor this week.

Others are busy planning and strategizing for the yr forward.

Mother and father might need their palms full taking care of youngsters who’re nonetheless on winter breaks from college.

Whether or not it’s centered on getting again to work, extending household time from the vacations, or catching up on the issues that received pushed apart in December, the primary week of the brand new yr normally feels busy.

Within the midst of that, I believed it is likely to be candy—actually!—to decelerate, pause, and share this recipe for vegan espresso cake with you.

I really made the espresso cake earlier within the fall, as a solution to welcome cooler mornings. It was my plan to share the cake instantly, however 2023 was a yr by which my fantasy timelines had been usually upended.

They are saying that issues occur in the precise time, even when it doesn’t really feel that solution to us. Whether or not that’s true or not, I believe this the right second to twist with with a slice of vegan cake.

The fundamentals of espresso cake

I’ve a buddy who loves cake as a lot as I do. We agree that it’s not solely the optimum dessert, but additionally the right snack.

We converse usually about how a lot we recognize the Swedish customized of Fika, a convivial espresso break that’s a part of nationwide tradition.

As I perceive it, Fika is related not solely with the taking of espresso, but additionally with some kind of candy deal with. And that deal with is commonly cake.

I considered Fika once I was scripting this submit. My thoughts wandered to a different nation overseas, Vienna, the place espresso cake appears to have been born.

American espresso cake originates with the Austrian German kaffekuchen, a candy cake to be loved with espresso.

German and Scandinavian immigrants finally introduced the custom of candy cake and low to America. Early kaffekuchen had been in all probability yeasted, however over time, they’ve developed into the short breads that many modern residence cooks know and love.

Right now, espresso cake is usually a single layer or two. It might include nuts or dried fruits. And it’s usually made with streusel topping.

Streusel is German for “sprinkle,” or “strew,” and it refers to a crumbly, sugary, buttery cake topping.

As espresso cake developed in America, it got here to usually embody the addition of bitter cream. Bitter cream provides some slight tartness of taste, to assist steadiness the sweetness of the cake. It additionally moistens the cake crumb, and it serves the sensible function of activating the baking powder or soda that makes the cake rise.

My vegan espresso cake is modeled on a traditional American espresso cake. It incorporates the entire parts described above: two layers, with cinnamon sugar working between, and a beneficiant sprinkle of 5 minute vegan streusel topping.

Additionally, there’s certainly bitter cream right here: particularly, my 4-Ingredient Vegan Bitter Cream, which is made with cashews.

Why cashew bitter cream is a “secret weapon” for vegan baking

A “fast bread,” which is what this vegan espresso cake is, is a kind of bread that’s made with chemical leavening. The leavening agent could possibly be baking powder or baking soda; many recipes use a mixture of each.

Baking soda is activated by some type of acid. In different phrases, when baking soda is included right into a batter together with one thing acidic, it can create small bubbles that get trapped in batter because it bakes.

This leads to the rise that residence bakers are on the lookout for after they create cake, banana bread, pancakes, or waffles.

Whereas many baking recipes name for some kind of liquid part in making the batter, they don’t at all times name for a liquid that’s acidic. For sure, an acidic liquid will assist fast breads to rise greater than a impartial liquid will.

That is why so many baking recipes and pancake recipes name for buttermilk as an ingredient. And it’s the explanation that I make my very own do-it-yourself vegan buttermilk.

It’s additionally the explanation that espresso cake recipes usually require bitter cream—and the explanation that I embody my cashew bitter cream on this vegan espresso cake of my very own.

A glass mason jar holds creamy white vegan sour cream. It rests on a white surface.

My favourite 4-ingredient vegan bitter cream

Standard bitter cream, after all, is just not a vegan ingredient. So, how will we substitute it?

Properly, there are business vegan bitter lotions accessible these days. In truth, there are a number of store-bought choices.

I’m going to make a plug for my do-it-yourself vegan bitter cream under, as a result of I like its style and texture. However for those who’re brief on time, you don’t have a robust blender, you’re allergic to cashews, otherwise you simply don’t really feel prefer it, you don’t have to make use of do-it-yourself.

As a substitute, you possibly can strive the Tofutti tofu bitter cream (nut free), Forager bitter cream (which has a cashew and coconut oil base), or Kite Hill bitter cream (which has an almond and coconut oil base).

If you happen to’re impressed to make your personal cashew bitter cream, then let me take a second to inform you how superior it’s.

I’ve experimented with completely different vegan bitter cream recipes since turning into vegan, however that is my favourite by far.

An overhead image of a blender, filled with a creamy white mixture.

It’s really easy to make, and it’s proof that much less is extra. There are solely 4 components concerned, minus water: cashews, lemon juice, lime juice, and salt.

This makes the bitter cream very healthful, along with being extremely creamy and scrumptious.

The cashew bitter cream will make the feel of your vegan espresso cake higher: extra tender, extra wealthy. It’ll additionally assist the cake batter to rise. It’s an essential, helpful addition to the recipe in some ways.

Can I substitute the bitter cream?

Sure, you may. Yogurt can work very effectively instead of the cashew bitter cream. You gained’t find yourself with a vegan bitter cream espresso cake, however you’ll have a cake with most of the identical traits.

As for the precise kind of yogurt, as soon as once more, you may select the product that works greatest for you. I like the Forager Undertaking and Kite Hill yogurts, however Silk’s soy yogurt can be pretty.

It doesn’t matter what, go for a plain or unsweetened yogurt, so to assist to protect among the tart, acidic high quality that the unique cashew bitter cream is meant to impart.

How one can make vegan espresso cake with bitter cream

This isn’t a troublesome cake to make, but it surely has a stepwise course of.

Take all of it bit-by-bit, and I believe you’ll discover that it’s a really enjoyable deal with to arrange!

Step 1: Make the streusel topping

This espresso cake recipe requires 1 batch of my 5 minute vegan streusel topping.

The streusel can undoubtedly be made forward of time. It may be saved within the fridge for as much as three days or frozen for as much as six weeks.

In any other case, you may put together it proper earlier than you get to work on the remainder of the vegan espresso cake.

Step 2: Put together the cinnamon sugar layer

As you may see from the picture on the high of this level, the vegan espresso cake has a beautiful layer of cinnamon and sugar working by its middle.

You’ll start the cake-making course of by mixing up the components that create this layer: cinnamon, sugar, and a little bit little bit of flour.

A small, pinch bowl contains cinnamon, brown sugar, and flour.
Cinnamon, brown sugar, and a pinch of flour make up the cinnamon sugar layer that runs by the espresso cake.

Step 3: Combine the dry components

Subsequent, you’ll begin the cake batter by mixing flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. You’ll need to do that in a roomy mixing bowl.

Step 4: Combine the moist components

In a separate medium mixing bowl or massive Pyrex liquid measuring cup, mix the bitter cream, non-dairy milk, avocado oil, cane sugar, and vanilla. 

An overhead image of a large, white mixing bowl that's filled with a cake batter in the making.
The batter for the espresso cake is straightforward: flour, leavening brokers, salt, vegan bitter cream, non-dairy milk, oil, sugar, and vanilla.

Step 5: Mix the moist and dry components

Add the moist components to the whisked dry components, then fold them collectively till the batter is totally included and easy. Some small lumps are effective!

Step 6: Pour half of the batter right into a sq. cake pan

You’ll use a calmly oiled, 8-inch / 20cm sq. baking dish to make the espresso cake.

Pour half of the ready cake batter into this dish within the subsequent step.

Step 7: Unfold the cinnamon sugar layer over the batter

Evenly distribute the cinnamon sugar combination over this backside layer of cake batter. No have to be extremely exact right here—simply do your greatest to unfold it round.

Step 8: High the cinnamon sugar with one other layer of cake batter

As soon as the cinnamon sugar is in place, you’ll pour the remainder of the cake batter over that cinnamon sugar layer.

The following step is a little bit difficult: you’ll want to make use of an invert spatula or spoon to easy this layer over. If you happen to apply an excessive amount of stress or work too quick, you may dislodge the cinnamon sugar layer or combine the whole lot collectively, in order that the cinnamon sugar is mixed into the cake.

Simply work rigorously, with a lightweight contact, and be affected person. It normally takes me a minute or two to unfold the highest layer of batter round, and I work in small actions.

Step 9: Add the vegan streusel topping

That is the enjoyable half! End getting ready the espresso cake by distributing the streusel topping all around the high. There might be quantity of it, and that’s the way it needs to be.

A square cake pan is pictured overhead. It contains a layer of cake batter topped with crumb-like streusel.
Vegan streusel topping will add large, buttery, sugary crumbs to the highest of this espresso cake.

Step 10: Bake

Bake the espresso cake for 40 minutes, or till the highest is puffy, the streusel is a deep golden shade, and a toothpick inserted into the cake emerges clear. Switch the baked cake to a cooling rack.

You’ll want to attend 2 hours earlier than slicing and having fun with the cake, which I do know is a giant ask.

The top of a vegan coffee cake, which is covered with buttery streusel.
The completed cake might be golden, and the streusel might be turning into crispy.

Your endurance might be rewarded, nonetheless, with probably the most fantastic accompaniment on your morning or afternoon espresso or tea.

Vegan espresso cake components

A lot of the components for the vegan espresso cake are easy. Listed here are a couple of additional phrases about a few of them.


My flour of alternative for the espresso cake—together with most of my baked items—is unbleached, all-purpose flour.

You can also make the espresso cake gluten-free through the use of an all-purpose, gluten-free flour mix. My favourite is the King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour flour.


The recipe requires each cane sugar and light-weight brown sugar. The cane sugar is for the cake batter, and the brown sugar is for the streusel and cinnamon sugar layer.

In a pinch, you should use all brown sugar or all cane sugar, however every has a particular texture and look. When you’ve got each, it’s price utilizing each.

You may swap coconut sugar for the brown sugar, for those who like.


I usually use refined avocado oil in baking, and that’s what I take advantage of within the recipe. Nonetheless, you may as well use olive oil.

It’s also possible to use one other vegetable oil, resembling safflower or grapeseed.

Vegan bitter cream

As soon as once more, you could have the choice of store-bought or do-it-yourself bitter cream for the recipe. If you happen to want a substitute, vegan yogurt is the way in which to go.

The Vegan Week

Embrace the enjoyment of consuming do-it-yourself meals day by day with the hearty and healthful recipes in The Vegan Week.

Whether or not you could have three, two, and even only one hour of time to spare, The Vegan Week will present you the right way to batch prepare dinner assorted, colourful, and comforting dishes over the weekend.

Meal prep and storage

Vegan bitter cream espresso cake is a beautiful factor to make at the beginning of the week and revel in because the week goes by. It may be a part of vegan meal prep breakfasts, or it may be your make-ahead, espresso break snack.

Vegan slices of sour cream coffee cake are arranged on a piece of white parchment.
Reduce the vegan espresso cake into squares and freeze or retailer them for per week’s price of candy snacks.

The espresso cake will be lower into squares, then saved within the freezer for as much as six weeks. They are often saved at room temperature in an hermetic container for as much as three days.

Different Fika-worthy vegan treats

If you happen to love the ritual of a candy deal with within the afternoon, with or with out espresso, then you definitely’re in luck. I like this ritual, too, and I’ve created quite a lot of vegan sweets that work for the event.

Listed here are a couple of of my favorites:

And right here’s the recipe for the vegan espresso cake that might be a part of my espresso breaks perpetually.

An angled photograph of a slice of vegan sour cream coffee cake, with a ribbon of cinnamon filling and streusel topping.
An angled photograph of a slice of vegan sour cream coffee cake, with a ribbon of cinnamon filling and streusel topping.

Vegan Espresso Cake with Cashew Bitter Cream

Creator – Gena Hamshaw

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook dinner Time: 50 minutes

Complete Time: 1 hour

Yields: 9 servings

For the cinnamon sugar layer

Put together the streusel topping

  • Put together the 5-minute vegan streusel topping as instructed. Pop it into the fridge whilst you proceed with the recipe. This may be executed forward of time. The streusel will maintain in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as one week and within the freezer for as much as six weeks.

Put together the cinnamon sugar layer

  • In a medium small mixing bowl, combine collectively the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon to make the cinnamon sugar layer.

Put together the cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350F. Evenly oil or coat an 8-inch / 20cm sq. baking dish with oil or vegan butter.

  • In a big mixing bowl, whisk collectively the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  • In one other medium mixing bowl or massive Pyrex liquid measuring cup, mix the bitter cream, non-dairy milk, olive oil, cane sugar, and vanilla. Combine effectively, then pour these moist components into the dry components. Fold the batter collectively till it is totally blended (some small lumps are effective).

  • Pour half of the batter into your ready baking dish. Use a small, inverted spatula or the again of a spoon to easy this combination evenly over the underside of the cake pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over this layer.

  • Pour the remaining batter on high. Use a daily or an invert spatula or spoon to easy this layer over. It’ll be a little bit difficult to do that—be affected person and assured!

  • Sprinkle the entire streusel topping excessive layer of cake batter.

  • Switch the espresso cake to the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or till the highest is puffy, the streusel is a deep golden shade, and a toothpick inserted into the cake emerges clear. Switch the cake to a cooling rack and permit it to chill in its baking pan.

  • Cool the cake for two hours earlier than slicing and having fun with.

As I’ve written prior to now, I imagine firmly that sweets symbolize the sweetness of life, the pockets of pleasure in human expertise.

That is a part of why I champion interspersing sweets and do-it-yourself baked items into your life routinely.

I hope that this pretty, layered vegan espresso cake will add sweetness to your 2024!



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