vegan cinnamon peach coffee cake


On any given day, I'd rather be eating breakfast. Everybody knows this. And if you don't, now you do: breakfast is my everything. I'd eat it three meals a day, and sometimes I do. And even though I'm expanding my breakfast-acceptable-list to include more savory items (you know, beyond the scrambled egg), I could never, no not ever, say no to the classic pairing of coffee cake and, duh, coffee.

It is THE BEST. Morning pastries are just the jam. And even better WITH jam, you know what I'm saying? They basically make it okay to have dessert the minute you wake up. And not to say that I want to be doused in sugar before I even get dressed for the day, but there's something pretty special about a sweet breakfast (do I hear birthday?!) that you can still feel pretty good about eating. Especially this recipe, which only has a half a cup of sugar if you decide to omit the crumb topping (erm, you shouldn't). Because, as with all birthdays, there's definitely more sugary stuff coming up later in the day.

Okay, maybe that's not just on birthdays. At least not around here.

So to start the day off right on cute Colin's big 3-0, I leapt into the unknown with a brand new recipe: peach coffee cake. Right at the peak of peach season, of course, I thought this would be an August-appropriate birthday treat. I do think this could also work great with blueberries. Or maybe plums. Whose birthday is coming up next again?

Anyway, to make this extra-tasty and vegan (ah, I know!) coffee cake, you will need:

1 cup of almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup peaches, peeled and diced

For the crumb topping (okay sure, it's optional, BUT I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT):

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4-5 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
Pinch of salt

Contrary to appearances, not a bowl of dish soap.

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a square 9"x9" baking dish and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together your almond milk and apple cider vinegar until it is slightly foamy. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes, then add your sugar, coconut oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine - if it seems slightly separated, that's fine.

In a larger bowl, whisk together your flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Combine with your wet ingredients, working quickly. Fold in your peaches and transfer to your prepared baking dish.

To make the crumb topping, put your flour, brown sugar, pecans, ginger and salt in a small bowl. Mix together, with a spoon or your fingers. Add your coconut oil (1-2 tablespoons at a time) and toss together with your hands. Large crumbs should start forming, but if the mixture still looks sandy or dry, continue working in your oil one tablespoon at a time.

Sprinkle this mixture evenly on top of your batter, then transfer to the oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The topping should also look slightly browned.

You know that feeling when you're trying out a new recipe and the stakes are kind of high? You're either serving something up for a special occasion (ahem), to a new crowd, or just company in general? You want to make something great, but what you've got in your normal, everyday repertoire isn't all that exciting, so you dig around for some inspiration and decide to try something new. To get a little crazy. When this sort of thing doesn't work out, I'm usually not surprised, especially when it comes to baking.

But can I just say that this cake was a SLAM. DUNK. IN TERMS OF CAKE AND GOODNESS. It was SO good and I think that it even got better later that day (because who doesn't sneak coffee cake in the afternoon?) and the next morning. The peaches got peachier and the cinnamon got sweeter and the crumbs got more crumbly. All around goodness. And pretty easy, too, which means we'll be making this again soon. Why wait for a once yearly reason to celebrate?