Coffee Cake

Today, I will be sharing my healthy recipe for Gibbs Farm Coffee Cake, as a shout-out and thank you this magical place in Tanzania. Moist, crumbly, delicious - the perfect side for a warm cup of coffee, a cinnamon latte, or even a cup of tea! But it's called Gibbs Farm Coffee Cake for a reason.

See my post on Gibbs Farm and our Ngorongoro Crater Safari here.

The photos in this post are also in partnership with my lovely friend Crystaline Randazzo, an AMAZING photographer based in Rwanda. Crystal, a specialist in documentary and portrait services to nonprofits, came to help me improve my photography skills, and infused her own passion and creativity into these shots. See her website here, she's uber talented.

This cake is a healthy take on coffee cake, incorporating pecans, sunflower seeds, and vanilla. These ingredients toast so nicely in the oven and provide a vanilla-infused, crunchy texture to the cake, with a delicious crumble on top. And, there are only a few ingredients, so it's very easy to make.

We've also substituted butter and eggs for coconut oil, which also flavours the cake nicely. However, if coconut doesn't really float your boat (it does leave a distinct taste in baking), then substitute for the best vegetable oil you have, or, even better, try yogurt! I make mine homemade, so can control the sugar intake.

Lastly, I used buckwheat flour in this recipe, which gave an even stronger nutty flavour to the cake. In hindsight, I might instead recommend a lighter flour, such as unbleached white flour, or a mixture with spelt/buckwheat or whole wheat. Or, choose a gluten-free flour. I think this will give a moister cake. Although, I still really enjoy it! Your cake may therefore be a slightly different colour, depending on which one you use.

So, I hope you enjoy this cake alongside friends, or even co-workers (if they are so lucky). The cake makes enough, and is dense enough that you can cut it into small pieces to share. And of course, don't forget the coffee!

Magnificent Gibbs Farm Coffee Cake

This vegan coffee cake is moist, and wholesome. The nutty crumble on top gives an added kick, perfect for a snack with a warm cup of coffee.


  •     3 cups unbleached flour (I used buckwheat, which made the cake less moist, but healthier - I would recommend trying a mixture of 60/40 dark and light flour if you want more nutrition)
  •     1 teaspoon cinnamon
  •     1/2 teaspoon allspice
  •     3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  •     1/2 cup chopped pecans, or other nuts of choice
  •     1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or other seeds of choice)
  •     1 cup brown sugar (or molasses sugar, or cane sugar). It works best when the sugar is more moist.
  •     3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  •     3 teaspoons baking powder
  •     1 1/2 cups nut milk (I used soy, but you can also use others. Or, try 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 cup of nut milk)


  1.     Preheat the oven to 190°C (375 °F).
  2.     Melt the coconut oil. The best way to preserve the natural properties is to place the oil in a metal bowl, and put the bowl over another bowl of boiling water. You can also use the stove, but on very low heat.
  3.     Mix the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, nuts, seeds and sugar together in a large bowl.
  4.     Add in the melted coconut oil and stir to get a crumbly mix (see picture above).
  5.     Take out about 1 cup of the mix to use as a topping - keep in a small bowl.
  6.     Add in the nut milk and baking powder to the large bowl and stir to make a batter. Pour into a greased cakepan (a spring cakepan works best).
  7.     Add the topping to the top of the cake.
  8.     Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9.     Let cool for 15 minutes, then released the spring of the cakepan to remove the sides. Let it sit until almost completely cool before cutting.
  10.     Serve on its own with coffee/tea, or with a dollop of ice cream.