Coffee Cookie Dough Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

A delicious coffee sandwich cake with a vanilla coffee buttercream and no-bake coffee cookie dough balls on top. This cake is naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and is so light, fluffy and moreish – plus it’s small batch and is perfect for 6 people.

I have been wanting to make a small-batch recipe for a while now. I have also wanted to make a coffee cake for a long time (the British coffee cake containing coffee and not the American coffee cake with the streusel topping). So, when my 6-inch cake tins arrived (I ordered mine online, there are loads to choose from) I thought I’d combine the two ideas into this adorable Coffee Cookie Dough Cake. 

Coffee Cookie Dough Cake
Coffee Cookie Dough Cake

This cake is such a firm favourite at home, as it is:

  • Easy to make in a few steps
  • Light, fluffy and so moreish
  • Packed with coffee and vanilla flavour
  • Spread thick with vanilla coffee buttercream
  • Topped with the tastiest no-bake coffee cookie dough balls
  • Naturally vegan
  • Easily gluten-free
  • Nut-free, soya-free and dairy-free

If you are a coffee cake lover, but don’t always want to make a large cake to feed a crowd, this small batch cake is the answer. It takes a bit of maths to work out how to scale up or down recipes between cake sizes, but it’s easy enough. I use this calculation here, if you want to make this cake larger.

Coffee Cookie Dough Cake
Coffee Cookie Dough Cake
Coffee Cookie Dough Cake
Coffee Cookie Dough Cake

But let’s stick to the cute, 6-people serving cake for today, as it is so delicious and moist (plus, if you are not as hungry, this can certinaly serve 8 people). What goes into this Coffee Cookie Dough Cake?

  • Plant-based milk: any dairy-free milk will work here like oat, almond or coconut milk.
  • Lemon juice: this curdles the milk to make a little buttermilk to help bind the batter. 
  • Coffee: essential for the coffee flavour, so feel free to use decaf coffee, if you prefer. We mix this with some hot water, so it can be granules or freshly made espresso, too.
  • Caster sugar: unlike my usual choices where I bake with coconut sugar, for this cake I stuck with caster sugar for the colour of the loaf. The white sugar means the cakes are a little lighter in colour and more traditionally “coffee cake” colour. You could use another sugar like golden caster or light brown sugar.
  • Sunflower oil: I love baking with this as it has such a neutral flavour and lends a really moist, fluffy texture to the bake. I can imagine that melted coconut oil would also work.
  • Vanilla essence: for the coffee and vanilla flavours that reminds of a great vanilla latte.
  • Self-raising flour: if you are gluten-free, use a gluten-free self-raising flour that contains xantham gum.
  • Bicarbonate of soda: for a little extra rise.

Like a lot of my baking, the method is simple: whisk together all the wet ingredients and whisk in the dry ingredients until smooth. Divide between two cake tins and bake until golden brown and smelling amazing. Now, you must let the cakes cool down before you ice them, otherwise you will have a hot mess!

Coffee Cookie Dough Cake
Coffee Cookie Dough Cake

The coffee cream cheese buttercream is so amazing and also so simple. It’s a whipped mix that works so well for a lot of cakes, this time jazzed up with coffee and vanilla. 

  • Vegan butter: use a block of butter rather than the spreadable margarine-style ones as these often contain more water and will lead to a runnier frosting.
  • Vegan cream cheese: there are a few great cream cheese brands out there, and I love NUSH the most.
  • Icing sugar: this is the sweetness and texture of the buttercream.
  • Ground coffee: for the coffee flavour in the buttercream. My coffee wasn’t too finely ground, so there are lovely specks of coffee in the buttercream. This is ground coffee, rather than liquid coffee.
  • Vanilla essence: for the lovely latte vibes in this cake.

The frosting for this Coffee Cookie Dough Cake is thick, fluffy and smooth. It spreads really well inside the two layers of sponge and is great piped onto the top. I like to place on the Coffee Cookie Dough Balls and then use a star-shaped nozzle to pipe the buttercream in between. Sprinkle on some coffee beans and cacao nibs for the extra wow factor.

Coffee Cookie Dough Cake
Coffee Cookie Dough Cake

Finally, it is time to slice this Coffee Cookie Dough Cake thickly and enjoy with a cup or more coffee. It’s great served for afternoon tea with friends and family and as it’s a small batch cake, it’s also great for celebrations for a small group of people.

If you are looking for more delicious cakes, how about my:

Coffee Cookie Dough Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A delicious coffee sandwich cake with a vanilla coffee buttercream and no-bake coffee cookie dough balls on top. This cake is naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and is so light, fluffy and moreish – plus it’s small batch and is perfect for 6 people.


    For the Coffee Cake:
  • 240ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee with 1 tbsp water (or 1 tbsp filter/espresso coffee)
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 80ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 210g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the Coffee Cream Cheese Buttercream
  • 70g vegan butter
  • 30g vegan cream cheese
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp ground coffee
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • For the Coffee Cookie Dough:
  • ½ batch Coffee Cookie Dough Balls
  • Coffee beans


  1. Make the coffee cake: preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and grease and line 2 x 6-inch cake tins with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the plant-based milk and lemon juice and leave for 5 minutes. Stir the coffee with 1 tbsp hot water and pour into the milk mix with the sugar, sunflower oil and vanilla essence. Whisk to mix the wet ingredients.
  3. Sift in the self-raising flour and bicarbonate of soda and add the salt. Whisk to a smooth batter and divide evenly between the cake tins.
  4. Smooth over the top and tap light on the surface to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tins and cool fully on a wire rack.
  5. Make the Coffee Cookie Dough Balls and leave in the fridge.
  6. Make the Coffee Cream Cheese Buttercream: beat the vegan butter until soft and add in the vegan cream cheese. Beat again to a smooth mix and gradually beat in the icing sugar, ground coffee and vanilla essence. Beat for 2 minutes until fluffy, adding a splash of plant-based milk if it’s too thick and more icing sugar if it’s too thin.
  7. Once the cakes are cool, spread half the buttercream on one cake and place the second cake on top. Spread some of the frosting on top and then use a star-shaped nozzle to pipe the remaining buttercream on top and decorate with the Coffee Cookie Dough. Decorate with coffee beans, if desired.
  8. Enjoy straight away or store in an airtight container in the fridge, if warm, for 3-5 days.
Coffee Cookie Dough Cake
Coffee Cookie Dough Cake

I hope you will love this small batch Coffee Cookie Dough Cake so please let me know what you think in the comments below and if you do make it, I’d love to know. I love seeing your creations, so please tag me – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With small coffee cake love x

  1. Hey Amy. Looks fantastic coffee cookie 🍪 dough chocolate cake- would definitely make using decaf coffee! Splendid photography as always and saved to my WordPress saved collection. Never knew the flavours would work well in a actual cake 🍰. I will of course tag you into my bakes using your recipes. 😊🌱😁

  2. Ruth says:

    This cake is utterly divine, so easy to make, tastes truly delicious and lasts as long as you re not too tempted to eat it all in one sitting as it’s extremely moreish! Would definitely recommend baking!!

  3. […] coffee cake means a cake flavoured with coffee (take a look at my Coffee Walnut Banana Bread or my Coffee Cookie Dough Cake, too) but in America, for example, a coffee cake is a sweet cake with a light sponge and a streusel […]

  4. […] cake recipe is loosely based on my favourite self-raising flour sponge that I use for my Coffee Cookie Dough Cake and my Pumpkin Spice Cake and it works every […]

Leave a Reply