Crumble Pecan Cake Recipe

Every month or so, my husband and I like to visit his Grandma and Uncle for dinner. His grandma is a great cook so she usually cooks, and I like to contribute something so I often bring dessert.

Well this time I was a little stumped as to what I should bring. My famous key lime pie (which isnt actually even mine at all) is costly and I didnt have any of the ingredients; I did pound cake and cupcakes the last couple of times; I can do better than cookies and I had just made brownies. Plus, finding a dessert that is both gluten- and dairy-free isnt an easy task.

So I started browsing through some of my favorite cookbooks and I stumbled upon a recipe for Walnut Coffee Cake. It looked good and it was obviously dairy-free, but definitely not lacking in the gluten. Could I do it I thought? Could I successfully transform a glutinous recipe into a gluten free masterpiece?

I set out to convert it. But somehow along the way, I ended up changing the recipe almost entirely to fit my own wants and needs from this decadent cake. But I was confident. With confidence I mixed my batter, poured it (very thick, a little sticky, uh oh are we done for??) in the pan, threw my newly created topping on top, closed the oven door and crossed my fingers. Ok, maybe I wasnt so confident.

Thirty minutes later, I pulled out one of the best coffee cakes I have ever eaten. Thats right. Ever. It just goes to show, try it! If it doesnt work, it doesnt work (and when it comes to gluten free baking, it doesnt work more than it does- trust me, Ive been there!) but sometimes, out pops a gem.

And a gem this baby is- fluffy and light and just a little bit crumby with a hint of cinnamon and a warm crunchy pecan topping. This is not a low-fat recipe. This is not a traditionally healthy recipe, though it doesnt contain gluten, dairy or even an egg. What this is is one indulgent piece of vegan cake. Enjoy it. And then have another- you only live once, right? 😉

Vegan Pecan Coffee Cake


1/2 cup sugar (I use turbinado)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp brown rice flour
1/2 c + 2 tbsp pecan pieces
2 tbsp vegan margarine (I prefer earth balance), melted


1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp tofu sour cream (mix 1 package silken or soft tofu with 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 6 tbsp oil)
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 88 inch pan and set aside.

2. Mix together topping ingredients well. Set aside.

3. Sift flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon.

4. In a seperate bowl, whisk sour cream, oil and vanilla extract. Add wet to dry and mix until just combined.

5. Pour into pan; smooth top (batter will be fairly thick). Sprinkle topping over batter.

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy a slice with a big mug of your favorite brew, tea was my choice and it went beautifully.

Makes 1 88 cake. I cut it into twelve squares but lets be real it serves about 4.