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  • Writer's picturekitchenpotatoes

Dirty Chai Coffee Cake

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

With a perfectly spiced streusel topping, a complimentary vanilla cake, and a unique espresso layer hidden in the middle, this Dirty Chai Coffee Cake is the perfect pairing to an afternoon tea.

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake

Inspired by the drink, this cake takes the flavors of a sharp espresso and combines it with the spices of a chai tea to create a delicious dessert.

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake

Something I love about this Dirty Chai Coffee Cake is that it looks so difficult to make, however, it is so easy and fun! This is the perfect cake to bring to a function where you want to impress people without actually having to stress about making something difficult. Trust me, I have been there where I make a fancy cake for an event I am nervous about, but then the cake does not turn out so then at the last minute I have to go stop at a bakery. I have learned to say, “I am bringing a cake” instead of “I will bake a cake” because it is too embarrassing to admit that my cake fell.

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake

This Dirty Chai Coffee Cake feels like it came from a bakery with its incredible crumbly topping and flavorful espresso layer. However, this is a dessert you can throw together in no time without a worry. Even during the trials of creating this recipe, this cake always tasted unbelievable. The first few times of making it, we still had to tweak the recipe, and yet every time we managed to devour the entire cake! 

~ Tessa

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake


First, I preheat my oven and prepare a cake pan by lining it with parchment paper and lightly spraying it with cooking spray.

So that the assembly of my cake is easy and quick, I make the espresso layer and the streusel topping before making my cake batter.

For the espresso layer, I simply add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix them together. Since the instant coffee granules are coarser than the sugar and flour, they may not seem to mix well. Don’t worry!

The coffee granules will melt evenly within the espresso layer as the cake bakes.

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake

For now, I set the espresso layer aside.

To make the streusel topping I melt the butter and in a separate medium bowl combine all the other streusel topping ingredients. I mix these ingredients thoroughly, add the melted butter, and mix some more! I set the prepared streusel topping aside.

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake

Now that the other components of the cake are prepared, I can make the cake batter. I start with mixing together the vegan milk and vinegar to create a sour milk. I set this aside for a moment and with a large bowl, I combine all the wet ingredients including the sour milk. I mix the wet ingredients thoroughly.

In a separate, medium bowl I combine all the dry ingredients, whisking them together. Then I add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. The cake batter will be lumpy.

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake

I pour half of the cake batter in the prepared cake pan and spread it evenly with a spatula. Then I sprinkle the espresso layer on top. I then carefully spoon the rest of the cake batter into the pan, gently spreading it to cover the espresso layer. Finally, I sprinkle the streusel topping to cover the cake batter and bake the cake at 350°F for approximately 45 minutes or until a tester pick can be removed from the cake clean.

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake

After the cake has baked, I remove it from the oven and, while still in its cake pan, set it on a cooling rack. Once the cake has cooled and set, I use the parchment paper to remove the cake from the cake pan and set it back onto the cooling rack to cool further.

Once completely cooled I glaze the cake. To do this, I mix the powdered sugar with the milk, mixing thoroughly.

Powdered sugar can easily become aerated and so whenever I measure these glaze ingredients, they often create a varied consistency. Simply add ¼ cup of icing sugar extra if your glaze is too thin or add ½ tablespoon more milk if your glaze is too thick!

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake

Drizzle over cake, allow to set, and then serve!

~ Taylor

Dirty Chai Vegan Coffee Cake


Dirty Chai Coffee Cake



Yield: 1 cake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Bake time: approx. 45 minutes

Author: Kitchen Potatoes



Espresso Layer

· ¼ cup granulated sugar

· 2 tbsp instant coffee

· 1 tbsp flour

Streusel Topping

· ½ tsp cinnamon

· ¼ tsp all spice

· ¼ tsp ground cardamom

· ¼ tsp ground cloves

· ½ tsp ground ginger

· ¼ tsp ground coriander

· ¼ tsp salt

· ½ cup flour

· ½ cup brown sugar

· ¼ cup vegan butter, melted

Wet Ingredients

· 1 cup vegan milk + 1 tbsp vinegar

· ¾ cup vegetable oil (or any other neutral tasting oil)

· 2 tsp vanilla

· ¾ cup granulated sugar

Dry Ingredients

· 2 cups flour

· 2 tsp baking powder

· ½ tsp baking soda

· ¼ tsp salt


· 1 cup powdered sugar

· 1 ½ tbsp vegan milk



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, lightly spray with cooking spray, and set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, combine all espresso layer ingredients and set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, make streusel topping by combining all streusel topping ingredients except for the vegan butter. Whisk together until combined. Add melted butter, whisk thoroughly, and set aside.

  4. To make the cake batter, pour vegan milk and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring to allow the milk to curdle, creating a sour milk.

  5. In a large bowl, combine sour milk along with all other wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.

  6. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk together.

  7. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, whisking together until just combined. Batter will be lumpy!

  8. Pour half of the batter into the prepared cake pan, spread evenly, and sprinkle the espresso filling mixture evenly over the cake batter.

  9. Gently spoon the rest of the cake batter on top of the espresso filling, spreading evenly.

  10. Evenly sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the cake, covering the cake completely with streusel.

  11. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes or until a tester toothpick can be removed from the center of the cake clean.

  12. Once baked, place cake (while still in its pan) on a cooling rack and allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes. Then remove from cake pan, using the parchment paper to gently lift it out and place cake on cooling rack to cool completely.

  13. Once the cake has cooled completely (approximately 30 minutes after removed from cake pan), prepare the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and vegan milk in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly until all clumps are smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk, half a tablespoon at a time. If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time. Once the glaze is your desired consistency, drizzle over cake. Allow glaze to set for approximately 10 minutes, then cut and serve!


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Welcome! Our names are Tessa and Taylor. We are sisters who love vegan comfort food and binge-ing cooking shows. It has been our dream to create a blog to showcase how easy and delicious it can be to eat vegan. We hope you enjoy our recipes! 

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