This coffee and walnut loaf cake is super moist and tender with crunchy toasted walnuts and bold coffee flavor. It’s completely vegan, eggless, and dairy-free thanks to the egg replacer- applesauce. This loaf cake is topped with sweet espresso flavored icing making a perfect breakfast bite or a late-night snack with a cold glass of almond milk.
why we love this coffee and walnut loaf cake
Coffee and walnut cake is a popular sponge cake over in the UK. It’s usually a layer cake with coffee-flavored buttercream frosting, but it can be made into a traybake or a loaf cake (like we’re doing today)!
- I like to think of this loaf cake as banana bread’s fancy cousin. It has a moist cake crumb and sweetness level that’s similar to banana bread, but the flavor is punchy thanks to a generous helping of coffee and instant espresso.
- Perfect for coffee lovers with bold espresso flavor.
- This loaf cake has just the right amount of sweetness and the thick espresso icing helps balance out all the flavors.
- This cake is super duper easy, can be made in one bowl, and is ready in under an hour.
There’s also something festive about this loaf making it great for holiday baking (maybe because of the walnuts…?). It would be great to curl up with on a chilly winter morning or to munch on with afternoon tea or a cup of coffee.
coffee and walnut loaf ingredients
Yes! Another recipe with less than 10 ingredients (including salt)! Hopefully, you already have most of these ingredients on hand.
Freshly brewed coffee is probably the only ingredient that you’ll need to prep beforehand. I ended up using the leftover coffee from my morning pot.
To make this one-bowl recipe, you’ll need to gather to following:
- Brown Sugar
- Instant Coffee Powder or Espresso Powder
- Vanilla Extract
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Chopped Walnuts or Walnut Halves
the best vegan egg substitutes
No eggs are necessary for this easy coffee walnut cake! Applesauce serves as a fantastic egg replacer in this cake. Since eggs also help leaven cakes, today we’re adding baking powder as the leavening agent to help the cake rise.
This recipe calls for oil which means it’s also dairy-free and vegan. Of course, you could substitute in melted vegan butter if you’d like!
Over the years, I’ve tested baked loaf cakes like this with a few different egg replacers and without an egg replacer.
Without the egg replacer in this recipe, the loaf will be slightly crumblier and will have a looser texture (it won’t slice as nicely and won’t be as moist). I also tested this recipe with flaxseed as the egg replacer and the texture was denser than I’d like.
equipment and tools
This vegan coffee loaf cake recipe makes 1 large loaf 8×4″ loaf or 2 mini loaves that are about 5×3″.
To make this recipe you’ll want a few tools or pieces of equipment to help it turn out perfect!
Below are some suggested tools to make this coffee walnut cake:
- Digital Kitchen Scale: to measure all the ingredients accurately
- 8×4″ Loaf Pan OR 2- 5×3″ Loaf Pans
- Measuring Cups or Scoops
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Wire Rack: to cool the loaf
how to make the vegan coffee & walnut loaf
The prep time for this cake is super fast. It takes about 10 minutes to mix together. Like most loaves, the longest part is just waiting for it to bake!
Below are the main steps for making this eggless coffee and walnut loaf:
STEP 1: Beat the oil and sugar until creamy. Add the applesauce, coffee, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
STEP 2: Sift the flour, baking powder, instant coffee, and salt together onto the wet ingredients.
STEP 3: Mix the wet and dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth. You can also use a hand mixer if you’d like.
STEP 4: Fold the walnuts into the cake batter. Then, grease the loaf pan.
STEP 5: Pour the cake batter into it.
baking the loaf
Depending on the loaf pan you are using, the baking time will vary by a few minutes. This cake bakes at 350F or 175 C, so you’ll want to preheat it to that temperature prior to baking.
- If you’re using a mini loaf pan (5×3″)- bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes.
- For a regular loaf pan (8×4″)- bake the loaf for 40-45 minutes.
cooling the loaf
Let the loaf cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
It’s important to let the loaf cool completely! If you don’t, the glaze will melt when you put it on. Plus the loaf slices cleanly and easier when it’s had time to cool.
how to make the coffee icing
This loaf definitely isn’t complete without this sweet coffee icing on top. This frosting recipe should form a very thick glaze (like the photo above).
- Powdered Sugar, also called icing sugar
- Maple Syrup
- Melted Vegan Butter, or butter of choice
- Instant Coffee, or instant espresso powder
- Freshly Brewed Coffee, to thin out the glaze as needed
To make the glaze, mix the icing sugar, maple syrup, melted vegan butter, instant coffee, and freshly brewed coffee together in a small bowl. When drizzling the glaze, it should form thick ribbons.
Spoon the glaze onto the loaf and sprinkle on more chopped walnuts if you’d like!
If it looks like your coffee icing is too thin, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time to the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency.
storing the cake
Once the cake is glazed, it’s ready to eat! The glaze will harden up after about 15 minutes (similar to a thick donut glaze). Once it’s set, it’s easier to slice and store.
This vegan coffee walnut cake stores well at room temperature for 2-3 days. I place mine in an airtight container, like a glass Tupperware.
After about 3 days, the loaf won’t be as moist and fresh.
But you can definitely freeze the individual slices! I like to slice the loaf and place the slices in a single layer inside a ziplock baggie. You could also stack the slices in a container with parchment paper between them. Then, pop them in the freezer and they’ll stay fresh for 1-2 months!
coffee and walnut loaf cake tips & tricks
Below are some tips, tricks, and faqs to help you make the best vegan coffee walnut loaf cake!
Yes! This recipe is dairy-free since it uses vegetable oil for the fat to add moisture. It also calls for vegan butter in the icing recipe. I recommend using Earth Balance Buttery Sticks in this recipe. This vegan butter has been tried and true in all my recipes over the years.
The batter should be very thick. You’ll have to spoon it into the pan as it will be too thick to pour.
Absolutely! This recipe would make the best vegan coffee walnut muffins. Line your muffin pan and bake the muffins for about 16-19 minutes. You can also pour the coffee walnut cake batter into a baking tray or a rectangular cake tin to make a traybake!
looking for more baking recipes?
- Vegan Brown Sugar Grapefruit Donuts
- Birthday Cake Air Fryer Donuts
- Vegan Chocolate Yeast Donuts
- Cream Filled Gingerbread Donuts
Did you make This Coffee and Walnut Loaf Cake recipe?
I’d love to know! Leave a star rating and comment below!
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Coffee and Walnut Loaf Cake
This coffee and walnut loaf cake is super moist and tender with crunchy toasted walnuts and bold coffee flavor. It's completely vegan, eggless, and dairy-free thanks to our egg replacer- applesauce.
This loaf cake is topped with sweet espresso flavored icing making a perfect breakfast bite or a late-night snack with a cold glass of almond milk.
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil, 55g
- 1/2 cup applesauce, 130g
- ¾ cup loosely packed brown sugar, 110g
- ¼ cup strong brewed coffee, 50g
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3g
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, 180g
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder, 8 g
- 1 tbsp instant espresso or coffee, 5g
- ½ tsp salt, 3g
- ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts, 65g
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 80g, or icing sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, 27g
- 1 tbsp melted vegan butter, 15g - like Earth Balance or butter of choice
- 1 tsp instant espresso, 2g, or instant coffee
- 1-2 tsp strong brewed coffee
Make 2 mini 5x3” loaves or makes 1 large 8x4” loaf
- Preheat the oven to 350F or 176C.
- Beat the oil and sugar until creamy. Add the applesauce, coffee, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, instant coffee and salt together onto the wet ingredients.
- Mix the wet and dry together until the mixture is smooth.
- Fold in the walnuts.
- Grease the loaf pan and pour the batter into it.
- If you're using 2 mini loaf pans (5x3")- bake them for 30-35 minutes.
- For a regular loaf pan (8x4")- bake the loaf for 40-50 minutes. The loaf is finished baking when a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle removes cleanly (except for a few crumbs).
- Let the loaf cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
- To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar, maple syrup, melted vegan butter, instant coffee, and freshly brewed coffee together in a small bowl. When drizzling the glaze, it should form thick ribbons.
- Spoon the glaze onto the loaf and sprinkle on more chopped walnuts if you’d like!
If it looks like your coffee icing is too thin, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time to the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency. If it looks too thick, add 1/2 tsp of liquid coffee until it reaches the thickness in the photos.
Once the cake is glazed, it's ready to eat! The glaze will harden up after about 15 minutes (similar to a thick donut glaze). Once it's set, it's easier to slice and store. This vegan coffee walnut cake stores well at room temperature for 2-3 days. I place mine in an air-tight container, like a glass Tupperware.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 15gProtein: 5g
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I have not made this Cake, but will do so in February for my nonVegan friend.
Have you tried to make this with egg instead of applesauce as the egg replacer (we don’t have applesauce in my country, so I’d have to make applesauce from scratch to use it!)? If so, how many eggs (I assume 1 but could be wrong…).
Hi Amanda! I haven’t tried this recipe with eggs or another egg replacer. 1/2 cup of applesauce is equivalent to about 2-3 eggs, depending on their size. You could also try a flax ‘egg’ instead (2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp of water), however I haven’t tried this substitution in this exact recipe so I can’t guarantee how it will turn out.