Black Caramel Coffee Cake – Gluten and Dairy Free

Caramel. Coffee. Cake. These are a few of my favorite things — and in this yummy recipe, the three come together as one! I originally made this as my boyfriend’s post-birthday cake (his birthday falls between Christmas and New Year’s, so unfortunately I rarely bake him one of the day of because we’re pre-occupied with other plans… bad girlfriend, I know!). The “black” caramel in this recipe is actually just caramel that is flavored with coffee grounds. Grind them up as fine as you can to avoid any crunchiness (though the boiling step should remedy most of that). Though there are three parts to this cake, I wouldn’t call it labor intensive — it should take only about 30 minutes to prepare. It’s definitely more of a dessert, but for if you want a sweet something for breakfast, I won’t tell. It is a coffee cake after all ;-)


This recipe is:

  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Casein-free
  • Soy-free
  • Refined sugar-free

Black Caramel Coffee Cake // Naturally Lindsey

Black Caramel Coffee Cake


Cake base

  • Wet –
  • 7 pitted Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes and drained
  • 1/4 cup organic palm shortening
  • 1 medium green apple, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon organic virgin coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Dry –
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line the bottom of an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment. In the bowl of your food processor combine soaked dates with palm shortening and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add in remaining wet ingredients and process until combined. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Gently stir into wet ingredients until well combined.
3. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Set aside.

Black Caramel

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread
  • 1/2 cup sucanat or coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground coffee

1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Continue whisking until mixture comes to a rolling boil, then remove from heat. Let cool for 20 minutes (prepare the topping in the meantime).
2. Once cooled, spoon caramel evenly over the cake layer. Gently spread with a spoon dipped in melted Earth Balance if needed. Try not to disturb the cake layer here, but if you do it’s not the end of the world!

Crumble Topping

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup sucanat or coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread, melted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.The mixture should be crumbly. If in doubt, add more almond meal until it reaches the desired texture.
2. Crumble the mixture evenly over the caramel layer.
3. Bake in oven at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, until the crumble layer browns and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes before eating. Serve warm or at room temperature!

edit: This post is part of Allergy Free Alaska’s Whole Food Fridays


6 thoughts on “Black Caramel Coffee Cake – Gluten and Dairy Free

  1. No problem! I’m gluten and also egg free. This looked AMAZING and I got so excited. Oh well. You have other excellent recipes that are egg free, so I will just stick with those.

    • Have you tried doing flax/chia eggs? 1 egg= 1 Tbsp ground flax or chia seeds plus 3 Tbsp warm water. I haven’t tried it out in this recipe, but it might be worth a shot!

  2. I live in the MIddle East and the flours as well as the rest of the ingredients are SO expensive here. I like to follow recipes exactly how they are written, so there is little chance for experimenting. I leave that up to the “experts” like you. I have tried flax eggs with a lot of success in tried and tested recipes.

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