This coffee crumb cake is so good, it’s becoming a problem. Usually I get tired of eating the same thing every day. This has been (somehow) sitting around for almost three days now. One piece remains. I’ve been eating it for breakfast every day….and snack…and late night snack. Not only is that unusual for me, but the terrible thing is I could make another one right now and continue eating it every day. There are no eggs in this recipe. There is only 2 tablespoons of butter, and the only reason there’s butter is because I didn’t have any Earth Balance. I’ve been curious to try it, but A. I can’t find it in any store and Whole Foods is 30 minutes away, and B. I’m kind of broke. Since I didn’t want to use all butter (I would have, if I had Earth Balance, the way the recipe at VeganYumYum does), I tried making the crumb topping with only canola oil. The result was a not so good texture or flavor. Instead, I decided to use 2 tablespoons of butter to give it a nice flavor and texture, but the rest is canola oil. The crumbs are even better than before.
I’ve made Cook’s Illustrated’s New York Style Coffee Crumb Cake more times than I care to count, with the exception that I used sour cream like the recipe over at Smitten Kitchen. My boyfriend Manuel always said to me,”It can be better.” That obviously frustrated me, and after x amount of times of making it and tweaking the recipe slightly every time, I finally decided to look up a vegan crumb cake and found this recipe. You can imagine how much Manuel thought I was wasting my time making this. If you can’t please a man with a recipe with butter, is it possible to please him with a version without? Apparently, it is. This may be a rare case. The short prepping from him before I put it in the oven went the same as it always does when he doesn’t think something will come out good, but tries to be consoling about it. Me: “It’s going to taste good, don’t worry.” Manuel: “Alriight babe, good luck! Just don’t be upset if it doesn’t come out the way you want it to.” Me:*ticked off look on my face*. Thankfully, this one won him over. The original recipe wasn’t rocket science and it wasn’t even difficult to make–but after making this version, which is beyond super easy, I’m kind of like,”Whyy didn’t I know about this recipe before?!” Plus, it’s cheaper to make. It’s healthier. And….more delicious? (that wasn’t a question, just bewilderment)
Deep down, I knew that Cook’s Illustrated’s version wasn’t perfect. The cake was never anything super special on it’s own, and the crumbs were always a little bit too crunchy for me. So one thing I changed was the amount of flour in the crumb topping. It was way too much, even when I used cake flour it never produced the crumbs I wanted. I didn’t want mush on top, but I wanted something that had the big chunks of crumbs but then melted in my mouth with sugary-cinnamon-y-ness. I think I got that part down in this recipe, and I didn’t even use cake flour.
I am so happy that I found this wonderful recipe on VeganYumYum. I changed a few things here and there, but this is officially my go-to coffee crumb cake recipe. It’s not even what I consider,”A recipe for health conscious eaters”. It’s just yummy. The cake is moist, fluffy, and my favorite thing about this crumb cake is that is gets better every day. Manuel tried it, and immediately said,”This is the best one yet.” “I TOLD you” was my response, even though I too had my doubts. I was just happy to be right this time.
Me = a happy girl.
Our Favorite Coffee Crumb Cake (“Almost vegan”) – adapted from VeganYumYum
Serves 9 (8×8″ square pan)
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (you can use Earth Balance Margarine if you want)
- 5 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 Cup canola oil
- 1/3 Cup coconut milk+ 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Powdered Sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line an 8×8 square pan with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Or, if you don’t have aluminum foil, spray the insides of the pan well with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Mix the melted, warm unsalted butter (or Earth Balance Margarine), canola oil, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the flour and blend thoroughly to combine. Let sit for about 10 minutes, while making the cake batter.
3. Mix cornstarch with water in a small separate bowl until thoroughly mixed, let sit.
4. Mix coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla in another small separate bowl.
5. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder until fully combined in a mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla mixture. Then add the cornstarch and water mixture. Mix everything together until fully combined and smooth, but don’t overmix past that point.
6. Pour batter into prepared greased pan. Break off large chunks of the crumb topping mixture (they don’t have to be exact same sized, just good sized pieces) and lightly sprinkle them evenly over the batter. (I like to take a big piece in my hand, and just rub it with my fingers and let the pieces break off over the top of the batter into random sized crumbs, instead of spending a lot of time rolling out pieces of crumbs).
7. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Original recipe says up to 50 minutes, but mine was done within 35.
8. Allow to cool (unlike me) completely before eating. Or not. :) Don’t forget to sprinkle with powdered sugar, makes it prettier.