Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

This Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake is just as delicious as its traditional counterpart: think moist and fluffy, coffee-infused sponge, tangy creamy cheese frosting, and crunchy, earthy walnuts.

Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

Coffee and walnut cake has always been one of my favourites, so I got thinking about creating a vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free version that would taste just as delicious as the real thing! 

Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

I used my favourite vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free sponge as a base for this layer cake – I love its taste and texture, and what’s more, it requires just one bowl and uses easily accessible ingredients. The coconut oil gives the sponge a rich, buttery flavour whilst ground almonds add a nutty sweetness and fluffiness.

The recipe is also easily customisable, as you can use any liquid sweetener you like, and substitute the coconut oil with olive or vegetable oil if you wish.

Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

I don’t think it’s super traditional to use cream cheese frosting for a coffee and walnut cake (I think buttercream is more commonly used) but I just can’t get enough of a good cream cheese frosting, so decided to extend my love for it to this coffee cake. 

It’s so simple to make vegan cream cheese at home – just mix some coconut cream or coconut yogurt with a little lemon juice, which brings out a tartness perfectly reminiscent of cream cheese.

Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

Obviously you will have to add some coffee flavour to the sponge and the frosting. I try to stay away from coffee, so I actually used chicory powder. Chicory powder is made from ground chicory root and has a bitter, coffee-like flavour, so much so that it used to be known as ‘poor man’s coffee’.

Chicory also boasts lots of health benefits, which include a supposedly reduced risk of diabetes, as well as digestive benefits. 

Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

Ever since adding pistachios, mango and coconut to carrot cake, I’ve been all about adding interesting flavours to traditional cakes.

So I decided to add some pomegranate arills to this coffee and walnut cake. They add a lovely pop of colour as well as a nectar-like sweetness and perfumey aroma that perfectly compliments the butter, earthy tones of the coffee and walnut. 

Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

Love cakes as much as I do? Then you might like my: 

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Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake

Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake
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Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

This Gluten-Free Vegan Coffee Walnut Cake is just as delicious as its traditional counterpart: think moist and fluffy, coffee-infused sponge, tangy creamy cheese frosting, and crunchy, earthy walnuts.

Servings: 8
Calories: 362 kcal
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 8 tablespoons coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
  • 200 ml (4/5 cup) milk, any kind
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons chicory powder (or sub equal amount instant coffee)
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking power (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
For the frosting:
  • 1 x 400g (14oz) tin coconut milk*
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons chicory powder (or sub equal amount instant coffee)
  • 50 g (1.7 oz) walnuts, roughly chopped
To decprate:
  • Walnut halves
  • Pomegranate arills
Instructions
For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (350 degrees)
  2. Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)

  3. Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the vinegar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, coffee and ground almonds
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  5. Divide mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins)
  6. Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen slightly and an inserted skewer comes out clean
  7. Once out the oven, transfer cakes from baking tins onto a wired rack to leave them to cool completely before applying the frosting
For the frosting:
  1. You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
  2. Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
  3. Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
  4. Add the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract and coffee
  5. Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
To frost and decorate the cake:
  1. Place one half of the cake onto a plate or cake stand, and spread just less than half of the frosting onto it
  2. Scatter over the chopped walnuts
  3. Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the frosting to spread on top
  4. Decorate with walnut halves and pomegranate arills if desired
  5. Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
Recipe Notes

*You can alternatively use 200g (7oz) thick coconut yogurt

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