Cinnamon Streusel Mini Coffee Cakes


Remember when you were in college and those times when you would crave something sweet to eat? You would scrap up a chunk of change from anywhere you could find it, put your sandals on, and drag yourself out of your room down the hall to the vending machine to grab yourself a 3 pack of those Hostess Cinnamon Streusel Mini Coffee Cakes? You might even have bought yourself a carton of milk (only if you had the extra change) so you could wash those little snacks down after having shoved them down your throat.

Wait a minute, this is an excerpt from my own life so I completely understand if you don’t remember this as vividly as I do.

Cinnamon Streusel Mini Coffee Cakes (gluten-free vegan) - Fork & Beans

If you have read my story, you would know that I was no stranger to eating like turd most of my life. When the blood sugar levels were down you better believe I turned to friends like Little Debbie and Sara Lee to cheer me back up. Truth of the matter is, though my eating habits have drastically changed since then, I really do miss those streusel cakes. There was something about the cinnamon sugar topping that I loved. It was probably because they looked like these little pellets of perfection full of delicious, well…sugar!

Cinnamon Streusel Mini Coffee Cakes (gluten-free vegan) - Fork & Beans

Since we are on the topic sugar (when are we not?!) I get asked a lot about my weight and how I can keep it down especially when I’m making tons of sweet stuff to share with all of you here. On the days that I am not baking (I usually have 1-2 days a week just for that) I surprisingly don’t eat a lot of sugar.

I’m pausing here right now just to make sure that I am telling you the truth. Look at that, even I don’t believe my words! But no, no I really don’t.

Honestly, for dessert I make popcorn over the stove and I usually eat just a handful of nondairy chocolate chips with it (I am product of my father–growing up when my parents first divorced, he would stock his pantry with two items: Pretzels and red licorice. I swear that is the God’s honest truth, just those two things! And we would eat them simultaneously for a nutritious snack. I blame him for my need to pair my sweets with something salty). Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t crave sugar throughout the day, heck I just had some chocolate chips right now (all this talk of sugar and stuff). I just find that having a little satisfies the urge to eat an entire cake (though if I wanted an entire cake on special occasions, I’ll do it*). Now if only I could find that self-control with chips. That is neither here nor there though… 

*A complete over-exaggeration on my end (shocker) but you get my point.

Cinnamon Streusel Mini Coffee Cakes (gluten-free vegan) - Fork & Beans

Now these homemade gluten-free vegan Cinnamon Streusel Mini Coffee Cakes might not be wrapped up in plastic and you won’t have to fish them out of a vending machine (as if these are deterring points!) but they will satisfy that sweet tooth and even bring you back to those college days of snacking-hunting. And to that I say, cheers!

Cinnamon Streusel Mini Coffee Cakes
Serves: 12
Dry ingredients
  • 2 c./330 g Cara's All-Purpose Blend (see below)
  • ½ c./100g brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 tsp./7 g baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp. salt
Wet ingredients
  • 1 c./240 ml nondairy milk
  • 1 Tbsp./15 ml apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ c./60 ml vegetable oil
Streusel topping
  • ¾ c. Cara's All-Purpose Blend (see below)
  • ½ c./55 g brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tsp./7 g cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp./56 g vegan butter, chilled
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F/180*C. Grease or line a muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the middle and dump all of the wet ingredients in. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
  3. Pour into the muffin tin.
  4. In a small bowl combine the sugars, flour, and salt for the streusel topping. Cut in the chilled vegan butter with the back of your fork until it creates small clumps.
  5. Scoop onto the tops of your muffin batter.
  6. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. If your topping has spread over the pan, simply scoop it back up onto the muffin before it sets. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 39 Fat: 3g Saturated fat: 2g Unsaturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 5g Sugar: 3g Sodium: 1812mg Fiber: 1g Cholesterol: 6mg
Here is the flour blend I have created that I love, love, love to use. I think it gives the best results in baked goods:

Gluten-Free Flours

If you want to you use your own blend or mix up the flours, feel free to do so–always understand that your results might be different and the weight conversion will be different. Nothing is guaranteed in this crazy world of gluten-free vegan baking. Need help with substitutions? Check out this: Guide to Gluten-Free Flours.

 Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking - Fork & Beans


Happy Baking, Friends!


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  1. Hi Cara! I have been leaning heavily on your recipes to make sure I have tasty gluten-free treats for my cousins at my wedding brunch. Thank you so much for all of them! These muffins look just perfect, but I was wondering if you had any tips on freezing and reheating them to ensure they come out as delicious as possible the day of the brunch? I have to make them on a Wednesday and not serve them until Sunday, so I thought freezing would be best, but really I’m open to any suggestions! Thank you :)

  2. These look great and your pictures are making me crave them! I was wondering would I be able to sub the gluten free flour with regular AP, whole wheat pastry, or spelt?

    • Hi Mansi, thank you so much for the comment! You can always try subbing real wheat flour with these recipes. I cannot guarantee that it will work out exactly because I create them with gluten-free flours with different weights and absorption abilities. But like I always say, give it a try and let me know! xo

  3. I debated on leaving a comment because your recipes are always winners and no one will ever laude my baking prowess. Also, your site is my go-to for a lot of our day-to-day food. In short: I really respect and appreciate your work and don’t mean to be a troll. Truly.

    My muffins turned out much like Dina’s- dry, a little gritty, not very tasty (fine, I spit my bite into the sink). Thoughts or suggestions? The streusel topping melted and hardened and is a random combo of sticky/crunchy. I’m going to blame two of my children (because they’re home sick and demanding, thus allowing the butter warm up). But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how I messed up the muffins. Help, please and thank you?

  4. These mini cakes look like the perfect snack…or (something that I love to do on fridays) as late night snack with a cup of warm milk, watching some of my fave tv series. :-)

  5. Haha this post cracked me up “eating like a turd” 😉 Also, I too do the whole handful of chocolate chip deal. The vegan ones from the bulk bin are far superior to any chocolate chip I’ve tasted. They are a bit sweeter I think. Oh man, now I want chocolate! Or this coffee cake!

  6. These look delicious and perfect for single-serving options, rather than having to cut a big cake. Do you think it would work with regular AP flour? I’m not GF, so that’s what I’ve got in the house.

  7. These look great Cara!!! I’m anxious to try them!! Thinking about using the muscavado I just purchased in place of the brown sugar. :)

    xo, Lauren

  8. You know what I used to do in college? I craved vegetables so much that I would straight up buy and eat jars of salsa from the snack bar (that was otherwise all burgers, mozzarella sticks, and candy). Not that the candy didn’t happen! But salsa–I ate so much of it. That said, these cakes sound wonderful–definitely perfect for a midafternoon tea break.:)

  9. Your proportions seem way off on the streusel topping, especially for only 12 cakes. The butter didn’t really incorporate into all that flour and even though I could only pile on half of the topping, it never melted into the cake and just left a dusty mess.

    They look great but kind of had the flavor of sawdust.

    • Oh Dina, thank you for catching that! I totally overlooked the fact that I was trying to double the recipe so I could do a double layer of streusel but apparently only got half of it. So sorry about that, I fixed it! xo

  10. Making these now, but my batter is really clumpy? I can’t “pour” it at all, it’s more like cookie dough. I checked and measured. Should I add more milk?
    I love your site, make your stuff every week-thank you!!


    • Oh no! I say add some hot water by the tablespoon. It should be thick but not like cookie dough. Do you gently spoon out your floor and level it off to measure it? That could be the problem if not…

  11. I’ll take a stash. Just go ahead and mail them directly to yours truly, who still stocks her pantry with pretzels and red licorice. Damn you, Dad!

    • You don’t! bahahaha. Well…now that I think about it, I’m not really sure why I still don’t. They really were a tasty combo, can I get a witness?

  12. What do you do with all these delicious things you bake here then?? I try and give away the things I make sometimes but then my wallet cries a little so I don’t do it too often! And trying to give away the foods YOU make? Well that just seems impossible- too good!

    These look awesome! I am such a fiend for coffee cake!

    • Okay, here is the secret:
      1). I always halve the recipe when I make it. Take this recipe. It makes 12 coffee cakes but I only made 6.
      2). I always eat one to make sure it tastes good and that I am not photographing something that tastes gross. So now we are down to 5.
      3). I am the biggest clutz on earth so usually during the photo shoot I drop at least 1 or 2 of them, making them inedible after the photos are done. Now we have 3 left.
      4). Matt will eat 1. 2 left.
      5). I usually will have another the next day and so will Matt.

  13. Hey Cara! Nice new opt-in graphic! And we are making these today! These look like the perfect after skiing treat.

    • Ha! Thanks Jodie–I was playing around with Canva (thanks to the FB group that exposed me to that awesome site!) It’s not what will be the official one but I was just having fun. Funny that you noticed, made me giggle 😉 xo

  14. Hi Cara, just stumbled across your site and it is gorgeous! great pics!

  15. Although I have never had the packaged kind, I LOVE cinnamon streusel coffee cake and miss my old home ec teacher’s cappuccino crumb muffins (which were essentially coffee cakes in disguise)

    • I miss Home Ec, period! What ever happened to classed like that?? Best time of my life (because it had everything to do with food!) Cappuccino Crumb muffins sound delicious though. When do you add the cappuccino? I must know!

  16. I was a total Sara Lee girl. I could down quite a few apple and cheese danishes back in my days of “eating like a turd.”

    These cakes will be perfect on my brunch table this weekend. Can’t wait to try out the recipe!

    • HAHA! A fellow turd-eater :) What about those “hand pies”?? Filled with chocolate pudding (my fave flavor) and that awesome glaze over the crust? I ran into some at the store last week and it brought back so many memories.

  17. Ummmm…I need about a dozen of these for studying in B-school!

  18. Hostess Crumb Cakes take first place with the Question always asked of you lagging behind unanswered. Well played Grasshopper.
    Definitely high on the list (after Cinnamon Rolls) of “If She Ever Enters the Kitchen Again.” Lovely job, as always.

  19. Total snackfood flashback! It was Hostess Crumb Cakes for me…every once in awhile my mom would buy them for us as kids and we’d inhale half the box on a Saturday afternoon. That slightly crunchy cinnamon sugar crumble was the clincher…so good! Thanks for your yumful vegan version…just in time for a snackworthy Saturday! :)

  20. Lori Delgado says:

    OMG these look amazing!!! I completely forgot about those cakes and I used to LOVE them so I must make these. I love your recipes and have so many I want to make. Thanks


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