This delicious coffee and walnut cake is both vegan and gluten-free (or can be made with gluten if you prefer).
It is soft and moist, with a lovely coffee flavour, coffee buttercream and walnuts. It can also be made as a small batch 15cm cake, or a full sized 20cm one.
I believe that just because something is gluten-free and vegan, it doesn't mean it has to sacrifice taste or indulgence. That's why I'm excited to share with you my latest recipe for a delicious gluten-free vegan coffee and walnut cake.
This moist and flavorful cake is perfect for any occasion, whether it's a special birthday celebration or a casual weekend treat. The combination of coffee and walnuts creates a depth of flavor that will have everyone coming back for seconds. And the best part? It is both gluten-free and vegan, so everyone can enjoy it.
But don't be fooled, this cake is not only a great option for those with dietary restrictions, it's simply a delicious and indulgent cake in it's own right.
What Do I Need To Make Coffee And Walnut Cake?:
Instant espresso powder: Instant espresso powder is the best thing to use to pack in the coffee flavour. I wouldn't recommend swapping this for anything else.
Gluten-free flour blend: You need to use a plain gluten-free flour blend such as Doves Farm rather than using a single type of flour. If you don't need the cake to be gluten-free then just use plain (all-purpose) flour.
Ground almonds: Adding some ground almonds as well as the gluten-free flour gives the cake a better texture. Use the same weight of plain flour if making the non gluten-free version.
Cornflour (cornstarch): Adding a bit of cornflour (cornstarch) gives the cake a lovely light texture. You can swap it for more plain flour if you don't have any.
Xanthan gum: Xanthan gum is a very common ingredient in gluten-free baking to help reduce crumbling. You cannot omit it (unless you are making the non gluten-free version OR your gluten-free flour blend already contains it).
Plant milk: You can use any kind you like but it should ideally be unsweetened and soy milk is best as it has the highest protein content.
Non-dairy yogurt: I love using plant yogurt in vegan cakes, it is a great egg replacer and keeps the cake moist as well as adding flavour.
Either soy or coconut yogurt will work, ideally unsweetened. I haven't tested any substitutes for the yogurt I'm afraid; unsweetened applesauce would maybe work but I haven't tried it.
Vegan butter and oil: Generally in cakes butter adds flavour, but oil makes the cake more moist. I've gone for the best of both worlds and used both!
For the best results you should use a vegan block butter rather than the spreadable kind in a tub. I recommend Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant block. For the buttercream you MUST use a block butter, spreadable will be more likely to split.
For the oil I tend to use sunflower as it has a neutral flavour, though any neutral flavoured oil will work.
Vinegar: This reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to help the cake rise and give it a light texture. I use either apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. You can also use lemon juice instead.
Caster sugar: You can use granulated or light brown sugar instead. Don't swap the sugar for sweeteners or liquid sugars as that will affect the texture of the cake.
Icing sugar: You will also need icing (powdered) sugar to make the buttercream.
Baking powder and bicarb: Using both baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) will give you the best rise and texture. Don't swap one for the other, you will not get the same result.
Be aware that not all baking powder is gluten-free so check the tub just in case!
Vanilla extract: Extract is better than essence and you can also use vanilla bean paste.
Walnuts: A classic with coffee cake, but pecans would also work.
How To Make This Coffee And Walnut Cake:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, espresso powder and a pinch of salt.
In a jug, whisk together the melted butter, oil, yogurt, milk, sugar, vinegar and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a balloon whisk until you have a smooth batter.
Fold in the walnuts.
Pour the batter into a greased and lined 20 cm round tin, or two 15 cm round ones.
Bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
To malke the buttercream, mix together the espresso powder and milk to form a paste.
Whisk the butter with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until fluffy.
Add the icing sugar, coffee paste and vanilla extract.
Whisk on a high speed for a good few minutes until light and fluffy.
I have not provided US cup conversions for the flour as they are too inaccurate for this recipe. Different gluten-free flour blends weigh different amounts per cup. Please use a scale. I highly recommend weighing out all of the ingredients rather than using cup conversions.
For the best results follow the recipe closely and make it exactly as written. Changing any of the ingredients could affect the outcome of the cake.
The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for around 4 days.
If you omit the espresso powder and walnuts you can turn this cake into a gluten-free vegan vanilla cake instead!
Can I Make It With Regular Flour?:
Yes, if you don't need this cake to be gluten-free then you can just swap both the gluten-free flour and the ground almonds for an equal weight of plain (all-purpose) flour.
So that would be 190g plain flour for a two layer 15 cm cake (or 380g for a 20 cm one if you are doubling the recipe).
You should also omit the xanthan gum if you are using regular flour.
Can I Make A Full Sized Cake?:
This recipe makes two 15 cm (6 in) round layers, or one 20 cm (8 in) round one. If you want to make a full sized two layer 20 cm (8 in) cake then you will need to double the recipe and split the batter between two 20 cm (8 in) round, 5cm (2 in) deep tins.
Can I Freeze It?:
Yes the un-iced cakes freeze well.
Make sure they are completely cold before freezing, wrap them well to prevent freezer burn and freeze for up to three months. Allow to defrost at room temperature to serve.
More Gluten-Free Vegan Treats:
- Lemon blueberry polenta cake
- Gluten-free vegan Christmas cake
- Pistachio cranberry rocky road
- These fudgy vegan brownies can be made with gluten-free flour
- Simply use gluten-free cookies in the biscuit base to make this vegan key lime pie GF.
If you tried this recipe let me know how it went! Rate it, leave a comment or tag @domestic_gothess on Instagram and hashtag it #domesticgothess
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Coffee And Walnut Cake (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
- 150 g plain gluten-free flour blend
- 40 g ground almonds
- 10 g (1 packed Tablespoon) cornflour (cornstarch)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 ½ Tablespoons instant espresso powder
- pinch salt
- 60 g (¼ cup) vegan butter melted
- 60 ml (¼ cup) neutral oil
- 60 g (¼ cup) plain vegan yogurt
- 120 ml (½ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy)
- 140 g (1 + scant ¼ cup) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 65 g walnuts roughly chopped (plus extra to decorate)
- 1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 100 g (scant ½ cup) vegan block butter slightly softened
- 200 g (1 + ¾ cups) icing (powdered) sugar sifted
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease two 15 cm (6 in) round cake tins, or one 20 cm (8 in) round, 5 cm (2 in) deep one and line the bases with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, espresso powder and a pinch of salt.
- In a jug, whisk together the melted butter, oil, yogurt, milk, sugar, vinegar and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a balloon whisk until you have a smooth batter. Fold in the walnuts.
- Divide the batter evenly between the tins and bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then carefully turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To malke the buttercream, mix together the espresso powder and milk to form a paste.
- Whisk the butter with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until fluffy. Add the icing sugar, coffee paste and vanilla extract.
- Stir until the sugar is moistened (the mixture will seem dry at first but will come together, don't be tempted to add any more liquid or it may split), then whisk on a high speed for a good few minutes until light and fluffy
- Place one of the cake layers on a plate and spread over half of the buttercream. Place the other cake layer on top, spread with the rest of the buttercream and decorate with walnuts.
- I have not provided US cup conversions for the flour as they are too inaccurate for this recipe. Different gluten-free flour blends weigh different amounts per cup. Please use a scale.
- To make a two layer 20 cm (8 in) round cake you will need to double the recipe.
- To make this cake with regular flour rather than gluten-free, swap both the gluten-free flour and the ground almonds for an equal weight of plain (all-purpose) flour; so a total of 190g of plain flour. Omit the xanthan gum.