Calling all coffee lovers! This coffee swirl cake recipe is not your average coffee cake. While traditional coffee cake is to be served alongside coffee, this snack cake contains a small amount of ACTUAL coffee- giving it a delicious, lightly sweetened, coffee flavor. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo friendly!
Almond and Tapioca Flour: This is one of my favorite paleo flour combinations when it comes to baking! The almond flour gives the cake a light, airy, and fluffy texture, while the tapioca is a binding flour to hold everything together.
Organic Maple Syrup: For natural sweetness.
Applesauce: I used applesauce in replace of oil in this recipe. It gives it a light and airy texture!
Eggs: you need 3 whole eggs for this recipe.
Instant Coffee: For the coffee flavor, I used instead coffee granules. With the instant coffee, I was able to control the amount of liquid in the cake rather than using regular brewed drip coffee. You’ll need 2 tablespoons of instant coffee (regular or decaf) along with 1 tablespoon warm water to create a coffee concentrate.
Vanilla Extract: always!
Baking Powder and Baking Soda: for leavening.
Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting: You can use whatever cream cheese frosting you know and love, homemade or store bought! I used 4 ounces of softened dairy-free cream cheese combined with 3 tablespoons of maple syrup for sweetness and it was perfect.
Cinnamon: for sprinkling on top!
coffee swirl cake vs. traditional coffee cake
If you didn’t know already, traditional coffee cake doesn’t contain any actual coffee. Who knew?! It is a snack cake to be served alongside your coffee.
A few months ago, a random idea popped into my head to make a coffee flavored cake. Not a traditional coffee cake, but one that captures the taste of real coffee. Personally, I love the taste of coffee. Plain black coffee, lattes, flavored coffees, you name it. This idea sent me into a deep dive researching all sorts of different coffee cake recipes. And I found that there were very few coffee “flavored” cake recipes. Because of this, I figured my recipe would be a hit or a huge miss.
Luckily for me, it turned out to be a hit! I absolutely love the way this recipe turned out. It has a light, fluffy texture and a lightly sweet, subtle coffee flavor. I paired it with a dairy-free cream cheese frosting and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon on top. I hope you love it as much as I do! 🙂
Coffee Swirl Cake
- 8×8 inch square baking pan OR small rectangular baking dish (8×6 inches)
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups almond flour
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp instant coffee I used decaf but either will work
- 1 tbsp warm water
- 4 oz dairy-free cream cheese softened
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- sprinkle of cinnamon for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Once combined, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix.
- Combine 2 tablespoons of instant coffee and one tablespoon of warm water to form a small amount of coffee concentrate. Take about 1/2 cup of the combined batter and add it to the coffee mixture to make a small amount of coffee flavored batter.
- Now you should have two bowls: one of the regular batter and one of the coffee flavored batter. Next, line a lightly greased baking dish with a piece of parchment paper.
- Alternate adding a scoop of each batter to the baking dish until all the batter is used. If your batter is thick, gently bang the pan on the counter to flatten. Take a skinny knife or a toothpick and to swirl the batter before baking.
- Bake the cake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before adding the frosting.
- For the frosting, use your favorite cream cheese frosting! I topped mine with 4oz softened dairy-free cream cheese combined with 3 tbsp maple syrup.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!