Vegan coffee cake recipe

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

This vegan coffee cake recipe by Áine Carlin is something of a showstopper and is perfect for a grown-up gathering.

"Being a coffee fanatic, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to inject some caffeine into this fun three-tiered cake," says Aine. "The cake layers won’t rise tremendously but once they’re stacked and slathered in icing, everything will begin to make sense.

"This cake also happens to benefit from being made in advance, giving the flavours ample time to come to the fore – don’t worry, it remains surprisingly moist and slices wonderfully too."

Pic: Danielle Wood

Vegan coffee cake recipe


  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 200ml soy milk

  • 300g plain flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • Pinch of sea salt flakes

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract (optional)

  • 100g vegetable shortening

  • 100g dairy-free margarine

  • 200g light brown sugar

  • 60ml espresso coffee, cooled

  • 1 tablespoon date or maple syrup 1 teaspoon coffee extract

For the icing

  • 150g vegetable shortening

  • 150g dairy-free margarine

  • 500g icing sugar, plus extra if necessary

  • 1 teaspoon coffee extract

To decorate

  • 75g shaved dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

  • 75g toasted almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), Gas Mark 6. Line three 18cm shallow sponge tins with baking paper.

  2. Combine the balsamic vinegar and soy milk in a bowl and set aside for five to 10 minutes to let the mixture curdle.

  3. Place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vanilla powder, if using, in a mixing bowl and whisk gently to combine.

  4. Beat the shortening, margarine and sugar together in a separate bowl until light and fluffy.

  5. Whisk the curdled soy mixture, espresso, date syrup and coffee extract together until combined, then pour half over the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Add two-thirds of the flour and gently fold to combine, then fold in the remaining liquid and flour mixtures to form a batter.

  6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set the sponges aside for at least five minutes to cool slightly before gently removing from the tin, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

  7. Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, beat the icing ingredients together until light and fluffy, adding a little more icing sugar if necessary to ensure the icing holds its shape. Refrigerate until needed.

  8. To assemble the cake, dot a cake stand with a little icing, then lay the first sponge down and press gently to secure. Spread the first layer with the icing before placing another sponge on top, then repeat until all the layers are sandwiched together. Carefully spread the remaining icing over the cake, easing it down the sides and smoothing it with a spatula to coat evenly.

  9. Decorate the sides of the cake with shaved chocolate and scatter toasted almonds over the top before serving.

Extracted from Cook Share Eat Vegan: Delicious plant-based recipes for Everyone by Áine Carlin

Discover more recipes


About Áine Carlin

Áine Carlin is a vegan chef and author of several plant-based cook books, including the bestsellers Keep It Vegan and The New Vegan. Find out more about Áine at


Recent Posts

See All