Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

Okay dear readers, file this one under Allyson’s favorite recipes.

I have made this coffee cake three times in the past three days (yes, that’s right: one per day) and have regretted not one single moment of it. There is just something about a good cherry-almond combo that makes my heart sinnng!  Plus, it’s an easy cake to throw together since it calls for dried cherries, and not those delicious juicy ones with the pesky pits.

And, this coffee cake does not require coffee to make it shine (do any, really?), it stands up quite nicely on its own.

So what are you waiting for? Get in your kitchen and whip up what I consider to be the best coffee cake I have ever made.

Yep, ever.

Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do… and if you happen to not like it, please don’t hesitate to send me the leftovers!  ;)  nom nom nom

Cherry Almond Coffee Cake ~ Vegan & Gluten Free


  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3/4 cups vegan margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp warm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cups sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet white rice flour (mochiko)

Crumble Topping Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries

Icing Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 1 cup organic confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp almond milk


  1. In small bowl, cover dried cherries with boiling water and let plump while you make the rest of the cake batter.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  3. Lightly grease and flour an 8″ cake pan… round or square.
  4. Combine almond milk with vinegar in small bowl and let curdle, about 5 minutes.
  5. Cream together margarine, sugar and almond extract until fluffy.
  6. Mix in prepared flaxseed meal until batter is smooth.
  7. In separate bowl, sift together salt, baking powder, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour and mochiko.
  8. Gradually incorporate flour mixture to the sugar mixture, adding about a tbsp of curdled milk with each addition.
  9. Mix vigorously until fluffy.
  10. Drain cherries from [once] boiling water and fold into cake batter.
  11. Make crumble topping by placing all ingredients for crumble topping into a bowl (minus dried cherries), and cut with either a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers. Your mixture should be evenly crumbly. Mix in dried cherries.
  12. Sprinkle liberally over the coffee cake batter.
  13. Bake in preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.
  14. Let cool completely and drizzle with icing.
  15. To make icing, simple stir together all icing ingredients (a whisk works great here) until very smooth, ensuring that all lumps are removed.



Cooking time (duration): 45-50 mins


Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: breakfast, brunch


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38 Responses to Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

  1. Crystal says:

    I was craving a blueberry/lemon coffee cake, so I used this as a base. It was FANTASTIC!! Since our sweet tolerance is a bit lower, I cut the sugar in the cake down to 1 cup, and in the crumble to 1/4 cup. Instead of any dried fruit, I just topped the cake with 1 cup of frozen blueberries, then sprinkled the crumble before baking. I did add 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance to the crumble mixture, and it browned beautifully. Instead of any almond extract, I used 1 teaspoon of lemon extract in the cake, and then in the frosting, I instead used 1 tablespoon almond milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. This was phenomenal!! I had to bake an extra 5 minutes, probably because my fruit wasn’t dried. The cake was very moist, and the bottom was wonderfully golden brown and chewy. I can’t wait to try the cherry/almond version next! This will certainly be my go-to coffee cake recipe. Thank you so much!! :)

  2. Kristine says:

    Any substitutes for tapioca flour? Maybe arrowroot starch?

  3. I’m guessing there should be some sort of fat in the crumble topping??? She’s right, without the fat, the topping is just powdery, and the cherries would burn. Help, I’ve got this half made.

  4. Maureen says:

    Another comment from me about this cake. I have realized that the topping cherries get a bit ‘burned’ when I make this so to save on using them I now omit them in the topping and just use them in the cake. I still can’t find dried cherries ANYWHERE in South Africa so bring back dried ones when we visit the US.

    This cake now ranks second (to a vegan raspberry chocolate cake that currently isn’t GF) on my list of please make this for us – from vegans and non vegans and GF people and non GF people. If you have not made this yet, you are SERIOUSLY missing out on a fantastic cake. Make it NOW!!

  5. Trish says:

    Hi! Thought I’d swing by with a few comments on alterations I like to make to this recipe… :-)

    This is one of my favorite things to make for just about any occasion! I first made it for Mother’s Day last year and I followed the recipe almost exactly, except that we didn’t have cherries, so I used frozen mixed berries. Turned out divine, but everyone agreed that it was too sweet and the almond was too strong.

    My happy medium is to use only 1 cup of sugar and 1 tsp of almond extract in the batter, and 1 tsp in the icing, rather than the full amount. I’ve also made it using regular white flour, fine whole wheat flour (my usual choice) and Bob’s Red Mill GF flour (which doesn’t give you a tasty batter, but it ends up with a good cake). I wasn’t much of a fan of the topping, so I use 2/3 cup of almond meal, 1/3 cup of sugar, and somewhere around a tbsp of Earth Balance to help make it crumbly.

    Funny enough, I STILL haven’t gotten around to using cherries, but I absolutely love it with blueberries. Frozen and thawed berries work well, but I have to place them on top rather than mix them in, and they sink down; or fresh, when available.

    I actually have this in the oven right now, using the Bob’s GF flour and fresh blueberries. I’m about to take it to a potluck and am pretty sure I won’t be returning with leftovers!

  6. Debra Walter says:

    I love your site so happy that I found it. I sell at our local farmers market in MI and I am going to be making the coffee cakes in 6″cake rounds. I am wondering if the sweet rice flour is the same as Bob’s red mill sweet white rice flour or do I need to get the mochiko?

    • allyson says:

      Hi Debra! I’m happy you found me too; thank you! Yes, you can definitely use the Bob’s Red Mill Sweet White Rice flour, or any other brand. It’s all the same, just named differently depending on where you purchase it from. :)

  7. Michelle says:

    THIS was the most amazing coffee cake I’ve ever had. I had to make a few changes because I didn’t have everything on hand, but it was still so yummy!!!!! Thanks for sharing this :-)

  8. Maureen Cram says:

    Made this yesterday for some friends and my husband and I for a breakfast rugby game this morning… and it was amazing. I added some non-dairy margarine to the topping and managed to find real almond extract over here in South Africa. My DH is a real chocolate fan but we had to ‘rescue’ two pieces that were remaining to bring home for him to eat tonight after supper! I am so happy that I managed to find all the ingredients! I brought back some dried cherries from our last US trip and I think they will get used up very quickly to make this again and again :).

  9. Lauren says:

    Oh!! My crumbly topping didn’t look crumbly at all..just like a lot of flour in a bowl. I cut in a tiny bit of Earth Balance and put it all on the cake. Yours looks so WONDERFUL!! Hoping mine turns out. If it doesn’t look amazing, I know it will taste amazing….because I stuck my finger in the batter and it was YUMYUM!!

  10. Mo says:

    Bookmarking this one because I just have to make it!

  11. Woooow, the pictures look fantastic! I haven’t had coffee cake in years, but now I want to try it again.

  12. Gauri Radha गौरी राध says:

    Looks very appetizing!

  13. Leah says:

    OMG I can’t wait to try this recipe! Vegan coffee cake, Yum!

  14. jessy says:

    hiya, Allyson! just wanted to stop in again and RAVE over your cherry almond coffee cake! it’s just as amazing and wonderful as you said it would be! we ended up making this twice because i had printed off the recipe before the switch to baking powder instead of baking soda (it’s my own fault for being a bad environmentalist and printing off the recipe instead of bringing my laptop into the kitchen. that’ll teach me, huh?! ahahahahahahaha!). made a bit of a mess in the oven and we didn’t have any more dried cherries on hand for the second cake, but ooooooh YUM was it ridiculously good, my friend!!! we ate most of the cake over the weekend and my sister had the last piece last night and adored it as well – even asked for the recipe!!!! w00t! i hope everyone makes your coffee cake, ’cause if they don’t they’re truly missing out!

    • allyson says:

      Jessy! (slap to the forehead)

      Oh man am I ever sorry about that baking powder/soda typo! I was just telling JD, “I sure hope no-one tried to make it before [the lovely] Bethany caught the mistake!”

      And, of course, you did.

      How did you catch it?! Just a major fub up and you gave me the benefit of the doubt ? (I personally would have called me cursing loudly for having such horrible taste in coffee-cake. ;)

      I am sorry! But, I am soooo glad that you persevered and made it again! And loved it!!!! Yay! <3 <3 Thank you a million times. You're the bestest! <3

      • jessy says:

        i actually came on your site and read the comments section to see if anyone had also experienced a total cake explosion and sure enough i saw Bethany’s comment on the baking soda. you know, i’m kinda glad i fubbed it up the first time (and i should have paid more attention because in your recipe notes you DID say powder and i didn’t catch on) – because i totally got uber upset at myself and i was standing there saying, “don’t cry, Jessy. figure this out!” and i did. FOR THE FIRST TIME in the history of my xgfx baking i DID NOT freak out! i didn’t cry because it didn’t turn out – i just shook it off, figured out where things got hairy and “got back on the horse” (is there a more vegan way to say that. ahahahahahahahaaa!)! ’twas a major accomplishment for me, my friend. i took the experience as an opportunity to learn & grow a little and i cannot thank you enough. i’m not going to get upset over xgfx fails anymore and it’s alllllll goooooood!

  15. Marly says:

    I just can’t get over how you make vegan and gluten free look so dang good! I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks so much for your inspirational GF recipes!

  16. Sarena says:

    Cherry and almond were made for each other! This looks perfect!

  17. bethany says:

    Hey Allyson, looks divine! Can’t wait to make this :).. Just wanted to clarify though, in the ingred list it says baking soda, but in your instructions it says baking powder! Now I’m guessing it’s the soda but that’s not something I want to mess with! Thanks :)

    • allyson says:

      Oh my gosh! Thank you SO much Bethany… it’s actually supposed to be baking powder in the ingredient list! Yikes! I’m editing now… :)

  18. […] Cherry Almond Coffee Cake (gluten-free) […]

  19. amanda says:

    Is the cake moist? It looks really moist :) I just find that so many GF recipes turn out dry and then I’m dissappointed…but this looks amazing!

    • allyson says:

      Thanks Amanda! Yep, this is an extremely moist coffee cake–“stick to the back of your fork” moist. I think that quality is what makes it one of my faves. :)

  20. Jeannie says:

    That looks so moist and delicious! Great photos!

  21. Tiffany says:

    Oh whoa YUM. I am digging the look and sound of this coffee cake. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Shelley says:

    cherry + almond = bliss
    have you ever smelled cherry almond hand lotion? its heavenly. I just want to eat it haha. I have this same sort of
    feeling about almond paste. anything with almond paste makes me melt. this sounds absolutley delicious and I will have to make it ASAP! thanks for being amazing :)

  23. Oh yum! I love cherries and almonds together, too.

  24. Debbie says:

    Hi Allyson,

    The cake picture is fantastic! The recipe sounds like one I would like to try as I have most of the ingredients, except for the flours (I don’t require gluten-free). What would you suggest for subbing the flours? I have unbleached all purpose, whole wheat pastry, white whole wheat, and plain old whole wheat. Sorry about this, but I’m not too inventive when it comes to recipes. I’m so grateful that there are people like you who are so talented when it comes to this stuff and you actually share!

    • allyson says:

      Thanks Debbie!
      I would say any of those should work well…but I’m guessing the AP flour would produce the most similar result to this recipe. Keep an eye on the batter when you are adding in the flour, and be sure to check the liquid content… you don’t want a very dry batter, it should be nice and fluffy. Good luck!
      ~ Allyson

  25. jessy says:

    Allyson, i think you have ESP. seriously. so yesterday afternoon i’m at home on my lunch break and julie’s being all silly and noodley and do’n her business in the backyard and i decided then was an excellent time to go through the fridge and cabinets and get mahself more organized ’cause the other day i stocked up on a few staples. so i’m transfering bits of things to smaller jars for the freezer, making another list of what i’m running low on, wiping out the fridge as i go along, and tossing out stale old xgfx crackers for the birds when i come across about 2/3 of a cup of dried cherries. i taste one and they’re still yum & tart & yay, but i’ve got no idea what to do with them because i oatmealed myself out weeks ago and i use the pitted fresh cherries in my freezer for my smoothies. NOW i know what to do with them and NOW i know what i’m do’n when i wake up on saturday – making your favorite cherry almond coffee cake! i will report back, and i have a feeling that you won’t hear any complaints from me, my friend!

  26. Caitlin says:

    yummy!!!!! also, i like the little thing at the end that says duration/vegan/gf/servings!

  27. Kim says:

    OMG I just made my own invented coffee cake last night too! We still think alike ;-) Yours looks just amazing and the cherries is such a great addition. Now I will just have to make coffee cake again, darn.

  28. Katrina says:

    This sounds so awesome. Pretty much anything coffee-cake is good, but this particular recipe sounds unique. Great idea!

  29. Laura Cooke says:

    Wow. You have some seriously mouth-watering recipes on your site. Can’t wait to explore some more!