Tag Archives: breakfast cake

Coconut Chai Cake

Last month I was putting together an Indian-inspired dinner with friends and wanted to make a little somethin’-somethin’ sweet for dessert.  I wanted it it to compliment the spices I was using, and be quick and easy.  A few days earlier, The Fat Free Vegan had posted the perfect little cake recipe! She makes it for breakfast, and indeed it would be heavenly for first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee, but I also found it to be the perfect not-too-sweet bite after an evening meal.   Whips up and bakes in a flash; so moist it needs no frosting.  The only problem is waiting to eat it until guests arrive….


Gather up your ingredients!


  • 1 cup strong chai tea ( I used a coconut chai–perfect!)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quick (not instant) oatmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (use more for a spicier cake)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut, 2 TBSP reserved  ( I used an unsweetened, large-flaked coconut I usually have on hand for making granola.)

Preheat oven to 350F, spray-oil an 8×8 pan, and make a strong cup of tea by steeping 2 bags in 1 cup of boiling water until it is cool/room temperature.


Combine the dry ingredients (oats, flours, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and sugar) in a medium bowl.

mix dry

Add the wet ingredients (tea, applesauce, vinegar, almond and vanilla extracts and all but 2 TBSP of the coconut.  Mix until just combined.

add wet

Pour into the prepared pan and top with reserved coconut.

pour into prepared pan

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean when inserted near the center, and the coconut topping is nicely toasted.  The scent that will envelop your kitchen is just heavenly! Good luck not touching the cake until your guests show up!


Cut into pieces and enjoy warm or at room temperature.


So easy, so yummy.  I might just need to bake another one for tomorrow’s breakfast….

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Filed under breakfast, comfort food, dairy-free, dessert, recipe, snack, vegan

Celine’s Coffee Cake

This morning I woke up to another gray and windy spring morning; the sort of weather that inspires me to stay in bed a bit longer, rather than jump up and get to doing stuff.  I laid there thinking I’d go back to sleep, but my brain had other ideas.  “What are you going to make for breakfast?” it asked.  “It needs to be somethin’ yummy.”  I mentally went through the fridge and pantry.  Wow, not much to work with.  After a while, I got up, trudged out to the kitchen, asked my brain’s question out loud….and Bing!  The answer was there–my mom’s coffee cake!  I had just started assembling ingredients when Mr16 came into the kitchen, saw the recipe laying on the counter and said, “Wow!  I was just thinking we hadn’t had coffee cake in a while!”  Great minds.  🙂

My mom created this recipe years ago when friends called and said they’d like to stop by for coffee.  It’s super easy and super yummy.  I’ve tried different things to change it up a bit (adding chopped nuts, whole wheat flour…), but always come back to the familiar nostalgic yumminess that is Celine’s Coffee Cake.  My copy of the recipe is written on a faded orange notecard in my teenage handwriting–one of the recipes I was sure to take with me when I moved out after high school.

You probably have all of these ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, with enough milk to make 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon  (I really never measure either the brown sugar or the cinnamon–I just sprinkle each on on until it looks right to me.)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Butter an 8×8 pan.

Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl.

Crack an egg into a measuring cup, add enough milk to make one cup.  Beat lightly to break up the egg.

Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. 

Pour mixture into a buttered 8×8 pan.  Top with brown sugar and then cinnamon. 

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  As soon as cake comes out of the oven, pour melted butter evenly over the top.

The butter will melt into the brown sugar creating a super yummy topping that will penetrate into the cake a bit.  Cut into pieces and serve!

Celine’s Coffee Cake is best fresh and warm, and the perfect yummy taste with a cup of coffee.  One 8×8 cake is plenty for the three of us, usually with none left over.  If your family is bigger or you’re having company, the recipe is easily doubled and will make a 9×13 cake. 

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Filed under breakfast, Food memories, recipe