Unique Dairy-free Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake
This Dairy-free Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake has a soft lemon poppy seed cake base that is topped with a layer of crumbly lemon zest streusel and sprinkled with a lemon glaze. It is an easy, delicious and unique lemony twist on the classic coffee cake recipe!
If you like lemons and if you like coffee cake, then this from scratch lemon coffee cake recipe is for you.
The way that the lemon flavor comes out in this recipe is surprising, but in a good way. It is subtle and yet pops.
The lemon poppyseed taste, along with the coffee cake texture, combine to make this recipe a wonderful breakfast, dessert, or snack option.
This recipe is also naturally dairy-free. There is no milk and no butter inside. It is made with olive oil and almond milk. But you would never know that this is a non-dairy coffee cake by the taste of it!
It’s hard to describe what I mean by saying that the lemon flavor here is subtle yet it pops. I think the zest makes the lemon flavor pop. But it isn’t overpowering.
Basically when you eat this Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake, you know you are eating coffee cake because it tastes like one. You just have a bright citrusy pop of flavor to it.
I’ve had several people try this recipe and all of them loved it and were pleasantly surprised by how much they liked the flavor.
The lemon glaze here is clutch for the flavor.
Lemon glaze makes everything better. I actually made a similar lemon glaze in my Lemon Poppyseed Banana Bread recipe and it is just SO good.
Ingredients needed to make this dairy-free lemon crumb coffee cake:
- olive oil
- brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- lemon zest
- lemon juice
- poppy seeds
- baking powder
- almond milk
- confectioner’s sugar
For the brown sugar: you can use maple sugar or coconut sugar.
For the lemon juice and zest: you can use lime juice and zest. This will result in a different flavor all together though.
For the almond milk: you can use any non-dairy milk of your choice like oat milk or cashew milk.
For the olive oil: you could use avocado oil.
However, I think that using olive oil here is key. It results in a light airy texture. I’m a huge lover of baking with olive oil, so it is no surprise that I made an olive oil coffee cake.
Easy lemon coffee cake instructions
To make this dairy-free coffee cake, you need to make 1) the lemon poppyseed coffee cake 2) the lemon zest streusel and 3) the lemon glaze.
1) Lemon poppyseed coffee cake
To make the cake portion of this recipe you’ll need to mix together the olive oil, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, lemon zest and lemon juice together.
Then, you’ll mix the poppy seeds, flour, baking powder and salt together.
Lastly you’ll add half the flour to the sugar/oil bowl and mix it. Then mix the almond milk into the mixture. And after that add the rest of the flour.
At this point the batter is done and you can put it into a pan.
2) Lemon zest streusel
Then you make the streusel! To do this you add the olive oil, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and lemon zest to a food processor and pulse until crumbs form.
Pour this streusel on top of the cake and pat it down and then bake it.
3) Lemon Glaze
And lastly you need to make the lemon glaze! You can’t skip this step. It ties the flavors all together.
You don’t need to worry about it being too much glaze or making the coffee cake wet. It doesn’t do this, it really just adds a hint of sweetness and tangy lemon, which really takes this lemon poppy seed coffee cake to the next level.
To make the glaze, you add lemon juice, lemon zest and confectioner’s sugar to a food processor and mix.
Then you pour it on top of the cooled coffee cake.
Tips and tricks
- Have 3 lemons ready.
Before making this recipe, zest the lemons first. I zested 3 lemons and kept the zest in a bowl.
Then use those same lemons to juice them. The juice of all 3 of those lemons will be used in this recipe.
2. Make sure to grease your pan.
This makes it easier to cut out pieces.
3. Don’t skip the lemon glaze!
It adds moisture and flavor. The coffee cake won’t be as delish without it.
I get asked this question so often! There isn’t coffee in coffee cake. It is called coffee cake because it is a cake to be eaten with coffee. If you google it, you’ll see!
Yes, but you could probably use limes or oranges as well.
Other lemon recipes you may enjoy:
Lemon Poppyseed Banana Bread– for anyone that loves lemon poppy seed breakfast recipes then this banana bread recipe is for you!
Lemon Arugula Salad– this fresh salad is tangy and sweet and delish!
Paleo Lemon Poppy Seed Banana Pancakes– these pancakes are like banana bread in pancake form.
Gluten-free Lemon Crinkle Cookies– these cookies have the best texture and taste!
Gluten-free Lemon Cake– this tangy delicious cake is absolutely beautiful and just as yummy as it looks!
Unique Dairy-free Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake Ingredients
Crumb Topping Ingredients
- 5 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar ( or maple sugar)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Lemon Glaze Ingredients
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the lemon poppy seed cake batter. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 egg, 1 Tablespoon lemon zest and 3 Tablespoons lemon juice.
- In a separate bowl, mix together 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds, 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add half of the poppy seed flour mixture to the sugar/oil mixture and mix. Then add the almond milk and mix again. After that, add the rest of the flour and mixed until combined.
- Then make the crumb topping. Add 5 Tablespoons of olive oil, 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest to a food processor and pulse until thick crumbs form.
- Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan. Pour the lemon poppy seed cake batter into the pan and spread it around to all four corners.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top and press lightly so it sticks to the cake batter.
- Then bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- While the coffee cake cools, make the lemon glaze. Mix 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 tsp lemon zest in a food processor.
- Pour the lemon glaze on top coffee cake. Evenly sprinkle it on the top.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.