Easy Vegan Espresso Cake

This espresso cake is completely vegan. If you make vegan cakes right, you do not want to go back to regular cakes. I recently had a non-vegan cake but I could not have more than a couple of bites after I had tried out the vegan cakes.  Vegan cakes are that good!

I am not a person who likes drinking coffee but weirdly enough, coffee cake is my favourite out of all! Maybe I have a soft spot for coffee. Back in the days, although I wasn’t a kid you would have found in the kitchen, I still did spend time whipping up this coffee cake every now and then and even for my own birthday as it was my favourite. I even got a proposal from one of my guy friends’ mum which all started after she tasted a piece of my coffee cake! Haha!

I’ve always felt a bit let down by traditional coffee cakes. Most coffee cakes are a bit over-sweet, lack of coffee flavour or only the subtlest hint of coffee, a bit too much in terms of creaminess etc.  But, this cake is going to knock your socks off!  The intensity, the body, the aroma… ahh, the good stuff I am talking about. Incredibly moist, jam-packed with the espresso flavour, with a hint of brandy and a texture that almost melts in your mouth! Oh my goodness, the flavours! I can’t even handle how good it all is together. You take a bite and your eyes basically roll back into your head because you just can’t deal it any other way. This cake is for true coffee lovers. It is seriously so good – you won’t want to share! It’s quick and easy to make and doesn’t require crazy ingredients.

When you search in the web for coffee cakes, there are two types of coffee cakes. Mostly in the US ‘coffee cake’ is referred to a cake that you would have along with a cuppa and it really does not need to have the espresso flavour in it. On the other hand, most Asian countries refer to ‘coffee cake’ for the cakes which actually got the coffee flavour in them. This isn’t just a cake to eat with your coffee, this is fabulously decadent with coffee flavour! It is also a great cake for the birthdays, any other gatherings or celebrations and even for a weekend cake.

So, pull yourself a hot cuppa and dig in.



For the cake

2 cups self-raising flour (*see notes if you do not have self-raising flour)
1 1/2 cup caster sugar
175g plant-based butter or margarine
1 cup apple sauce
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
175ml plant-based milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp brandy
1 1/2 tbs white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water

For the icing

2 cups icing sugar
125g plant-based butter or margarine
2 tsp instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 tsp hot water
1 tsp cacao powder
1 -2 tbsp plant-based milk (optional)


For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans.
  • Make the vegan buttermilk by combining the white vinegar and dairy-free milk and set aside to curdle.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and cacao powder into a large bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk together the softened vegan butter and sugar with an electric mixer until it is very light and fluffy and then pour in the apple sauce.
  • Add the vegan buttermilk and whisk until everything is combined (take care not to over-mix the batter as that can make the cake tough).
  • Then add the flour mixture into the batter and fold into the batter until no flour pockets remain.
  • Fill the cake tins with the batter and place in the preheated oven for approx. 30 -35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the tins and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.

For the frosting

  • Make the frosting in a large bowl by whisking together all the icing ingredients. Add plant-based milk if needed to achieve a spreadable consistency.

Put it all together

  • Place a small dollop of the frosting in the middle of the platter so the cake will stick onto to it.
  • Spread 1/3 of the frosting on the first layer.
  • Place the second layer on top of the first layer. Top it with the reminder frosting covering the whole cake.
  • Decorate with some chopped walnuts (optional).

*If no self-raising flour is available, add a 1 tsp baking soda. Sift baking soda with all-purpose flour before mixing it in with the batter.

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