Vegan salted caramel chocolate coffee cake recipe that is light, fluffy and SO perfect for your next brunch! Topped with vegan caramel sauce and made with a quick yeast dough recipe.

This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this space possible!

Are you a crumbly cake like coffee cake person or are you a yeast coffee cake that is kinda like bread person? For the LONGEST time, I thought I was just very meh on coffee cake. I mainly always just wanted the streusel topping and middle part where there’s always a lot a cinnamon sugar, which is basically coffee cake gold, IMO! But now, I’m totally a bread like coffee cake convert. It seems a little different and weird, but when you’re digging through chunks of chocolate and a caramel drizzle for breakfast, you’re going to turn into a believer too!

How to make vegan coffee cake

The great news is this recipe is super easy! The longest/hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise.

First thing is to activate your yeast! This seems like a silly extra step, but you need to do this to make sure it’s ready to get to work on your coffee cake. The magic combo for activating yeast is yeast, warm water (think bathwater temperature), and some kind of sweetener. In this case, it’s going to be brown sugar, but if you’re doing a savory recipe it’s a pinch of sugar, just to give the yeast something to get going with. Let that sit for 5 minutes, and you’re ready to move on!

You’re going to do the usual whisking together the dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and then combine them. Put your pillowy dough into your greased pan and let it rise! While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, you can prep the rest of brunch, make coffee, do the dishes, whatever needs to be done before you BAKE. It’s going to rise up into this perfect coffee cake that is just a little different (like a coffee cake/bread combo), but still SO GOOD. Plus, who doesn’t love a healthy drizzle of caramel sauce on breakfast?! SO GOOD.

Using yeast in coffee cake

Using yeast in coffee cake seems a little odd, but trust me it’s totally worth it! Usually, you’re going to use something like Instant Yeast in breads, rolls, pizza crust, etc., but in this recipe it gives you a nice fluffy vegan coffee cake that’s perfect for topping with caramel sauce, frosting, or fruit.

When you use yeast in coffee cake, it’s going to yield a little bit of a different result. Less cake and more of a bread of brioche texture. It’s kind of like you’re eating a sweet bread with a healthy dose of chocolate and caramel for breakfast, what could be wrong with that?!

Coffee cake without eggs

Eggs are usually really key in making coffee cake, but it turns out that you don’t even need them! In this recipe, I used flax eggs to hold together the dough and make sure it still had a perfect crumb to it. Since this coffee cake recipe has yeast to help the rise, flax eggs keep the dough from becoming too crumbly and keep the coffee cake vegan!

If you’re not totally sure what a flax egg is or how to use it, no worries! I put together a guide of what are flax eggs, how to use them, and how to make sure you get perfect results each and every time.

More coffee cake recipes on Heart of a Baker:


Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Coffee Cake

  • Author: Heart of a Baker
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Vegan salted caramel chocolate coffee cake recipe that is light, fluffy and SO perfect for your next brunch! Topped with vegan caramel sauce and made with a quick yeast dough recipe.



  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Organic Instant Yeast
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegan caramel sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan and set aside. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax seed, water, olive oil, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes foamy.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, add the yeast mixture, caramel sauce, vanilla, coffee, and salt. Stir together until the dough starts to form. 
  4. Transfer dough to prepared pan and loosely cover with a kitchen towel. Allow to rise at room temperature for 60 minutes. 
  5. When the dough is almost done rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the coffee cake. 
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Keywords: vegan coffee cake, breakfast recipe, brunch recipe, chocolate coffee cake