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So there’s a style of coffee cake that seems to be particular to Ireland ( though I’m open to correction on this ) anyhooow my Grandmother made a rockin’ coffee cake and I really wanted to veganize it. I also made it moderately healthier. The Irel Coffee essence mentioned here has been around in Ireland for donkey’s years and is a mixture of coffee, chicory and sugar you can use a good strong coffee extract instead. So here is what you will need…
A mug or cup measures. I tend to just use the one mug for everything, like I’ve said before as long as you use the same mug it will all be in proportion.
A 20cm/ 7.5 inch cake tin and some baking paper to line it.

Dry ingredients

  • A third of a cup of sunflower / rapeseed oil (canola)
  • Half a cup of apple and apricot puree – I buy an organic one by a brand called Clearspring, if you are amazing you can make your own. You could also use plain apple and use apricot yoghurt and just switch the measurement about.
  • A quarter cup of coconut/ soya yoghurt – you could use apricot flavour to intensify the fruitiness or I must insist on apricot flavour if you are using half a cup of this and a quarter cup of puree.
  • A third of a cup made up of 3 dsp of raw rapadura sugar (i.e. turninado ) and the rest Xylitol
  • 4 tsp of Irel Coffee essence or 4 tsp of good quality coffee extract use (use 3 if your coffee extract is strong)
  • One round teaspoon of cornstarch

Wet ingredients

  • A half a tsp of vanilla powder or a tsp of vanilla extract but if using extract put this in with the wet.
  • One cup of fine maize meal
  • One generous cup of ground almonds
  • Two round teaspoons of baking powder
  • A quarter teaspoon of baking soda
  •  A pinch of sea salt ( if full Irish granny mode throw a pinch of your left shoulder too )

Making it

Preheat your oven to 180C/ 350F. Prepare your 20cm / 7.5inch cake pan, this size pan makes a low cake. this is perfect if you want to make a two layered cake without the hassle of cutting through cake slices. If you prefer a higher rise just use a cake tin a size smaller.
First a get a bowl and put in your oil, fruit puree, yoghurt and coffee extract. Grab a sieve and sieve the cornstarch, now put your sugar and xylitol into it, I always sieve my rapadura sugar but is hard work sieving xylitol so even if you just sieve out the lumps in the sugar it should be sufficient. If using vanilla extract add it now. Give it all a good whisk.

Get another bowl and put all the dry ingredients into it. Make a well in the centre and pour your wet mixture into this. Gently fold the mixtures together, be nice to it, you just want to get rid of any floury lumpy bits. If you are too rough or over mix you will knock the air out and end up with a dense cake.

Pour (or push cos it’s thick) the batter into your cake tin making sure it is evenly spread. Place in the centre of the oven

After 5 mins turn down your oven to 170C/ 340F. It takes 23 minutes in my Uber fan oven it could take 25 or even 30 depending on your oven. You will know it is done when it is coming away from the sides maybe little cracks are starting to appear ontop, also when you stick with a skewer it should come out dry. You will get to know your oven, like I have to put everything on the right hand side cos the left is too hot.

So you could leave it like this, slice it into fingers and have it with tea or coffee. But to really finish it off it needs to be iced (frosting). Just make sure it has cooled down first!


This is like a soft royal icing or a butter-cream.

  • Two dsp of organic raw coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of Irel coffee essence or good quality coffee extract
  • Half a cup of icing sugar ( confectioner’s sugar )
  • Two dsp of hot water
  • Eight walnuts for decoration

Get a bowl and add your coconut oil and mash it until soft. Add your coffee essence/ extract and mash again. Now add your icing sugar, really get in there to make sure really mixed together, use the back of your spoon to press out any lumps. Now add your hot water, it is important that it is warm, cold water will make the coconut oil re-solidify. Mix to a nice smooth spreadable texture.

Put on your cake and arrange the walnuts to decorate.

Pre- icing, a certain someone had some while I was waiting for it to cool

Pre- icing, someone had some while I was waiting for it to cool

Here is the finished thing!

So much nicer iced

So much nicer iced