Grain-free Coffee Cake made with Love and Gratitude

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on August 15, 2011

I read Jennie’s story on Friday night while I sat relaxing on the couch with Kevin after a ridiculously long day.

Halfway through, tears started trickling down my cheeks.

Upon leaving a comment and looking over at Kevin with eyes of adoration, I closed my laptop and cuddled up to him.

Instead of running around the city alone, spending the weekend in the kitchen, or remaining locked in my office for hours on end, I decided to spend the weekend with the man that I love.

Although we weren’t able to show our support with a peanut butter pie [allergies], we did enjoy Kevin’s favorite cake last night over a fresh pot of tea and a warm, loving conversation.


Grain-free Coffee Cake

Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

An extremely moist and delicious grain-free coffee cake made with love.

Adapted from Joy of Baking

Yield: one – 9 inch cake


Coffee Cake Topping

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp finely ground, blanched almond flour

Coffee Cake

  • 2 cups finely ground, blanched almond flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk – I used unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 170F and place rack in center of oven. Place the coffee cake topping nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until fragrant and lightly brown. Let cool and then coarsely chop. Set aside.
  2. Set oven to 350F.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut sugar, roasted nuts, ground cinnamon and flour. Set aside.
  4. Oil a 9-inch spring form pan with a dab of coconut oil. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  6. In a food processor or blender, combine the milk, date, and cashews and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  7. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the coconut oil until softened (about 30 seconds). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and milk mixture. Mix only until combined.
  8. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle about half of the nut topping on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter and then sprinkle with the remaining nut topping. Bake for about 30- 40 minutes (mine took 40 but was a bit crispy and burned at the edges), or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.


If there’s anything I should be more conscious of, it’s to constantly be thankful for the moments we share and to always remind Kevin just how much he means to me.


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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

Awww, your last sentence and picture are soooo touching!

And I’d like to reach out and touch some of that coffee cake. Amazing job on it!



So glad you got to spend some quality time with your love. I don’t get to see mine as often as I’d like, but I always make it a point to tell him how much he means to me. Thanks for the reminder for days when I forget!


Lisa @ Healthful Sense

So heartbroken reading about her husband :( It’s a big reminder to pay attention to the important things in life and to take the time to stop what I am doing, turn off the computer and to spend time with my loved ones.


Aine @ Something to Chew Over

It’s such a tragic situation, I feel so sorry for her. What can you say about sadness like that?


Junia @ Mis Pensamientos

sigh yea, her story is heartaching. i’ve been praying for her family!

your grainfree cake sounds AMAZING. i am totally bookmarking it. you should totally link up your cake post to the #cakelove bloghop party i’m hosting on my blog so that others can find this recipe too!


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Just added it :) Thanks for an invite to the party!


Evan Thomas

Love the recipe and thoughtful post. Looking through your posts, I can tell there’s a lot I would love here being a gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian. Subscribing now and can’t wait to read more.


Sasha @ The Procrastobaker

Lovely post. This horrendous time has seemed to touch so many, at least maybe the one good thing that could come from it is that even for a while people dont take each other for granted quite so much. This cake looks truly beautiful, just my cuppa tea :) once i get my mitts on some coconut oil i will be sure to try it out!


Clarkie @ Beloved Green

My prayers go out to Jennie. A wonderful tribute to the man you love. She is right in her message, we should never take time with our loved ones for granted.



What a wonderful and humbling remembing to enjoy life and spend time with the ones you love. Jennie story has touched so many people throughout the food blogging world.

Great recipe Leanne! I decided to try it out last night and it turned out beautifully. So much flavor from the roasted nuts and a perfect crumb :) Thanks for all the yummy ideas.


The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

I did the same thing the moment I heard about Jennie. I found both Hubby and Dudette and we spent quality time together. I hate that it takes a tragedy like that to remind us of what’s really important though.

I’m amazed that you were able to make something that is so gorgeously delicious-looking without anything that one would normally think goes into coffee cake. It’s beautiful.


cooking varieties-wan maznah

yummy ! walnut, pecan, almonds, chocolate, coffe are all my favorites. wont miss this, a must try



This has become our new weekend treat!!! This coffee cake has recently been used as “currency”! Recently “paid” for some service with it….. On a whim, I decided add some chopped apples to the coffee cake part. oh! whee! it is something else!
Thanks for this


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

That sounds delicious! I’ll have to add apples next time :)



Do you think soaked walnuts might work in place of the cashews? I have cashews but I have ALOT of walnuts I need to use. Thank you for all your inpsirtation!


Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Kristine – you know, I’m not too sure on this one! If you give it a try, be sure to let us know how it goes!


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