The BEST Healthy Coffee Cake Ever--keto, paleo, and sugar-free with vegan option
This Healthy Keto Coffee Cake is truly one of the best coffee cakes you will ever have. It's a healthified take on a classic and is easily converted into a Vegan Coffee Cake too. Believe me, this is a very special recipe you'll want to make over and over again.
Today I am sharing with you one of our new favorite recipes, a low-carb coffee cake.
And by favorite I mean, kids practically jumping up and down whenever I tell them I am going to make it.
When I was little, one of my favorite things to eat was coffee cake.
My family would occasionally buy those Entenmann's coffee cakes -- you know, those perfect-looking cakes in those clean, white boxes. The crumbly stuff on top was sooo delicious - some people (ahem) would be tempted to pick the crumble off the top and leave the plain cake for others.
Well, this grain-free coffee cake has yummy special stuff all the way through, so the whole thing is a treat. I don't think "topping pickers" will have much work to do :).
Plus, with some easy substitutions, this is easily low carb. Our family has really worked on eating lower carb since we knew we were dealing with candida. It's not easy, but it's worth it.
Even when you remove sugars, grains have a lot of carbs, so moving towards more grain-free recipes is a good move. I already have some grain-free treats that we love like these No Bake "Almond Joy" Bars, Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Balls, and Coconut Delights, but a Grain-free Coffee Cake that's also low carb and vegan (my son has life-threatening allergies to dairy and egg) was something I never really thought was possible.
This recipe is originally from Kelly Smith of The Nourishing Home--it was my idea to make it vegan and low-carb. And it was a great idea at that.
Kelly came out with an amazing cookbook, The Everyday Grain-Free Baking cookbook and it's just loaded with amazing recipes, like this one.
Quite a few of the recipes call for eggs, but typically if you are dealing with almond flour (or some other nut or seed flour) and not coconut flour, you can use an egg substitute (like this Homemade Egg Substitute) and get pretty good results.
In the case of this cake, using my Homemade Egg Replacer, we got almost perfect results. Using a flax egg or chia egg, the cake was pretty "gooey" in the middle especially, but it still tasted great.
In other words, my family really didn't care what I made this paleo coffee-cake with, as long as I made it. They did prefer the egg replacer version, but the other egg-free coffee cakes got gobbled up pretty quickly too with all their yummy gooeiness.
I didn't try it with a gelatin egg, but I suspect the results would be about the same as with the flax or chia eggs.
Regardless of what form of a binder you use--make this cake.
You'll love it.
In fact, make two. Or four.
You will need the following for this recipe:
- Coconut Oil
- Low-carb sweetener (or other sweetener of choice)
- Ground Cinnamon
- Blanched Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Salt (I recommend Real Salt or Himalayan Salt)
- Stevia Scoops
- Stevia Extract
- Palm Shortening
- Coconut Butter
- Coconut Milk
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Egg or Egg Alternative
- Preheat oven to 315°F.
- Combine butter (or coconut oil), sweetner, and cinnamon until well blended then add walnuts (or other nut or seed) and toss well to combine. Set aside.
- For cinnamon swirl, combine butter (or coconut oil), honey, and cinnamon.
- Using a food processor, combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Then add the remaining ingredients except the eggs and egg whites. Cover and pulse a few times to combine. Then process until the batter is smooth and creamy.
- Add the eggs and egg whites (or alternative). Cover and pulse a few times to combine.
- Transfer half of the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth out the top.
- Drizzle with cinnamon swirl across the top of the batter. Then carefully spoon the remaining cake batter on top. Next, add the toppings.
- Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes until light golden brown along edges.
How to Make This Cake With Gluten-free Grain Flour
Almond Flour has a lot of fat content, so you can double the fat in the recipe and then also reduce the leavening by about 1/4 or 1/2.
I haven't tried this recipe this way, but if you want to try it with oat flour only, I would try 1.4x the amount of flour, then double the fat and use about 3/4 the amount of leavening.
If anyone tries it this way, I'd love to hear how it turns out. I'll try to do some trial runs too and report back!
Recipes Notes and Special Diet Options
- Butter Alternatives: You can use organic coconut oil instead of the butter in the topping and swirl, and you can substitute either organic palm shortening or organic coconut butter - here's how to make your own, for the butter in the cake.
- Egg Alternatives: If you use a vegan egg alternative, the cake won't be as light and will be a little gooey in places, but it still tastes great. We make it this way all the time and it never sticks around often.
- Sweetener Options: The cake is low carb as written. You can substitute 1/2 cup honey for the sweetener in the cake, 4 teaspoons of honey in the topping, and 2 tablespoons in the swirl. Coconut sugar could be subbed easily 1:1 for the low-carb sweeteners.
- Nut alternatives: You can substitute in other nuts or seeds instead of walnuts. We have used almonds with success. You could also try coconut chips to go nut free.
- Homemade Coconut Milk: See Homemade Coconut Milk for a homemade coconut milk option.
- Egg Substitutes: Use a flax egg, chia egg, or gelatin egg. This egg replacer works great as well (see my homemade version here).
- AIP: substitute organic tiger nut flour or organic cassava flour for the almond flour. Use gelatin egg or an AIP version of this Egg Substitute, or another egg substitute for the eggs.
Other Healthy Breakfast Recipes
Blueberry Chia Pudding--super tasty and full of great blueberry flavor
Strawberry Avocado Smoothie--refreshing, dairy-free and low-carb
Teff Waffles (or pancakes)--rich tasting, gluten-free and vegan
Cinnamon Crumb Healthy Coffee Cake - grain free with low-carb & vegan options
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 teaspoons low carb sweetener (see Recipe Notes for alternatives)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup walnut pieces (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons low carb sweetener (see Recipe Notes for alternatives)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup low carb sweetener (see Recipe Notes for alternatives)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
- 5/8 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 large eggs (use an egg substitute for a vegan option--See Recipe Notes / Special Diet Options for details)
- Preheat oven to 315°F. Lightly oil a 9" x 9" baking dish; set aside.
For the Topping
- In a small bowl, whisk together the butter (or coconut oil), honey, and cinnamon until well blended. Add the finely chopped walnuts (or other nut or seed) and toss well to combine. Set aside.
For the Cinnamon Swirl
- In a small bowl, whisk together the butter (or coconut oil), honey, and cinnamon until well blended. Set aside.
For the Cake
- In a food processor, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the eggs and egg whites (or egg alternative) to the top of the dry ingredients in the order given. Cover and pulse a few times to combine. Then process until the batter is smooth and creamy (about 20-25 seconds).
- Add the eggs and egg whites (or alternative). Cover and pulse a few times to combine. Then process just enough to blend the eggs into the batter (about 10-15 seconds). Use a thin spatula as needed to scrape down the sides.
- Carefully spoon half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the top.
- Drizzle with the cinnamon swirl across the top of the batter. Then carefully spoon the remaining cake batter on top. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top of the batter. Next, starting at the edges of the cake, crumble the topping evenly across the cake. Use your fingers to gently press the topping into the batter a bit.
- Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes until light golden brown along edges and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on the stovetop about 5 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite coffee or tea.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Time to start baking!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this coffee cake--I'm sure you will LOVE it!
So if I use Lakanto as my sweetener, should I follow the amount written in the recipe as-is? Or should I still scale it back (as if the recipe was written for honey)?
Also… is the Lakanto product you’re using the dry powdered one or the syrup?
Hi there! It's so good I hope you love it.
You would use it as written. I would love to know if you could share why you thought you should scale it back because I want it to be clear for everyone.
I use the granulated regular sweetener that is linked to in the recipe--hopefully there are no errors there either. Thanks for reading and so hope you like it!
Hi Adrienne, any idea if I could sub oat flour or a 1:1 gf flour for the almond flour?
Oat flour is a bit tricky. You can likely do either but I haven't tried it. I need to do a post about almond to regular flour but here's what I would try:
Oat: You can try either a 1:1 for regular flour or you do 1.42x (really you could do 1.4) the volume of regular flour.
GF: Almond Flour is fatty so you will want to double the fat and then also reduce the leavening by about 1/2 but maybe just 1/2 b/c you need a bit extra for GF flours. So it's a bit of a gamble either way but I think it will taste good no matter what. The texture is what will be off. I wish I knew exactly what to tell you but that is what I would try. Oat - 1.4x the flour in the recipe then double the fat and 1/2 the leavening. Now that I think about it, maybe 3/4 of the leavening since it's a GF flour. However, I made these last night doing 1/2 and they worked out really well: https://wholenewmom.com/gluten-free-cinnamon-roll-cookies/
So just pick something and go for it. Do let me know what you did and how they turned out!
Hi, I would like to use honey in this recipe but it just says low carb sweetener. Could you please share what the amount would be for the honey for the cake? Would you recommend coconut sugar for the sweetener for the topping and swirl, and if so how much? Thank you!
Hi there. I just updated the post for you - the information is in the Special Diet section. Hope you like it!
Thank you so much, Adrienne! Looks yummy!
You are so welcome! Hope it turns out well for you!
I don't have a food processor, but if I use a mixer instead would it still work?
I would try and see. I think the food processor action will make it a little better but should work. Please let me know!
I made this tonight, and it was AWESOME. Thank you!! I appreciate your hard work!
Thank you! I can't take credit for the whole recipe but we LOVE it. New photos coming soon too!
A 340 gram can of cooked chickpeas drained and processed in a food processer can be used to replace the almond flour
Hi there! Can you tell me where you heard that? I have never heard that and chickpeas have a lot more liquid than almond flour. Thanks!
What would be a good substitute for the almond flour as my son has allergies to all nuts. Thank you!
Can you do grains?
Yes we can do grains.
There is a method in this post to change grain baking ingredients to grain free so you could try the reverse :). https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/pumpkin-snickerdoodles-with-gluten-dairy-egg-and-sugar-free-options/
Hello.... can I just use coconut flour? I'm super restricted and can only use that. Also how many gelatin eggs? 4? how do I do that? I'm very new to this life. 🙂
Also can I replace monk fruit for stevia and honey? I don't like stevia for some reason..... pls let me know Thank you. 🙂
Hi there - coconut flour acts very differently than almond flour. What flours can you use? I am working on a post about gelatin eggs. They are 1:1 with eggs. You could use monk.
If using gelatin egg in this cinnamon crumb coffee cake recipe I should use?
4 Eggs = sprinkle 4 Tbsp. gelatin over 1 cup of water let sit 5 minutes & then heat lightly
BUT how do I sub 2 egg whites???
I am hosting a Ladies Breakfast & some of the ladies have allergies to eggs, dairy & gluten--any suggestions on what to serve besides fruit??
Thanks for your response
Typically you can do the same for egg white as you do for egg. I used this and it worked great. Gelatin egg might be hard b/c it has no leavening. It should taste good but the other is a better option I think: https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/energ-egg-substitute-egg-replacer-without-eggs/
For other recipes, how about:
Coconut Chips: (these are great) https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/honey-bunches-of-oats-coconut-chips/
Chia Pudding: https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/chocolate-carob-chia-pudding-dairy-free-sugar-free/
What do you think?
How do you find the nutritional count for this recipe -- for example for a diabetic?
Hello Karen - right now I don't have a nutritional fact sheet for all of my recipes but we are working to get that. Please use an online calculator that you trust in the meantime. Thanks for your patience!
i just took this out of the oven and it smells heavenly! can't wait to try it, even though i was sampling it as i was putting it together...yum! I am doing the keto diet so i used xylitol. so good!
Thanks so much - we are in agreement. One of our all time fave recipes!
Can this be made in a bundt pan? I so would cooking time be the same?
Yes, it could be. I don't know the time for bundt vs a regular pan but you could look online!
If using swerve instead of xylitol, how much for the cake?
Swerve and xylitol are both 1:1 for sugar. Enjoy!