This keto coffee cake is a bakery style cake with a walnut cinnamon swirl and crunchy topping. It’s an impressive sugar-free treat that’s perfect for a special brunch or just because!
In case I haven’t made it abundantly clear yet, I love coffee cake. I have so many delicious keto coffee cake recipes and I am now adding another. And I can assure you that I won’t stop here.
The enduring charm of coffee cake is that it’s meant to be served with coffee. Which, by extension, means you can eat it for breakfast. And I like cake for breakfast, don’t you? You can also eat it with your afternoon coffee as a little snack. Or you can serve it with your after-dinner coffee as dessert.
This cinnamon walnut coffee cake plays all of these roles remarkably well. It’s delicious and tender, and not overly sweet. And it’s stunning to look at too!
Bakery-style keto coffee cake
This is a large and impressive-looking cake that serves a lot of people. It has a tender crumb and a rich swirl of walnuts and cinnamon. It’s meant to mimic the coffee cake you might find in a bakery, the sort that you would bring into the office to share at a meeting.
Of course, many of us are working virtually these days, so you may be wondering what to do with it all. The good news is that it freezes really well, so you can divvy it up, wrap it tightly, and sock it away.
To make it more like an actual bakery cake, I used a tube pan. It’s the same kind of pan I used for my Keto Angel Food Cake, a tall circular pan with a center tube.
However, this keto coffee cake is not dependent on the pan shape. You could also use a bundt pan, a springform pan, or even a 9×13 rectangular pan. The pan shape will change how long the cake takes to bake
Ingredients you need
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- Walnuts: Chopped nuts add a delicious crunch to this recipe. I used walnuts but you could easily do pecans or hazelnuts, if you prefer.
- Swerve Brown: A brown sugar replacement really makes the cinnamon nut swirl stand out, like a bakery cake.
- Swerve Sweetener: I recommend Swerve or another erythritol-based sweetener for this recipe. Using another sweetener may change the texture and consistency. Allulose also browns very quickly in the oven and the exterior of your cake will look almost burnt. Learn more about how keto sweeteners work here.
- Keto flours: I use a combination of almond flour and coconut flour for this recipe, for the best texture. Coconut flour also increases the volume of the cake with fewer carbs.
- Whey protein powder: This helps to replace gluten and gives the cake its lighter, fluffier consistency. The best substitute is egg white protein, but collagen protein will make the cake gummy and harder to cook through. If you must skip it, please know that your cake may not rise as well.
- Butter: Make sure the butter is properly softened prior to mixing. You should be able to leave a dent in when you press lightly with your finger.
- Eggs: Large eggs are the standard for baking. Bring them to room temperature before adding them, as cold eggs will cause the creamed butter to clump up again.
- Pantry staples: Baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
Step by step directions
1. Prepare the pan: Grease a 9-inch tube pan (aka angel food cake pan) well. To line the tube pan, you need a 9-inch circle of parchment paper. Fold the paper in half and then in half again to create a cone. Cut enough out of the tip so that when it is opened, it fits over the center of the tube pan. It does not need to be perfect.
2. Prepare the cinnamon swirl: In a medium bowl, whisk together the walnuts, Swerve Brown, and cinnamon. Break up the clumps in the brown sugar substitute as much as possible.
3. Whisk the dry ingredients: Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, protein powder, baking powder, and salt.
4. Prepare the cake batter: Beat the butter with the sweetener until lightened and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined.
Add ½ cup water. If the batter is still quite thick, add additional water as necessary. The batter should be scoopable and spreadable, but not quite pourable.
5. Assemble the cake: Spread about half the batter in the prepared pan, then sprinkle with half of the cinnamon walnut mixture. Spread the remaining batter in the pan and sprinkle the top with remaining walnut mixture.
6. Bake: Bake at 350ºF for 45 to 55 minutes, until golden brown and just firm to the touch. A tester inserted in the center should come out clean. Remove and let cool in the pan, then run a sharp knife just around the edges to loosen and transfer to a plate.
Expert Tips and FAQ
As I mentioned before, this keto coffee cake is great as breakfast or brunch, but it’s also lovely as dessert. Try warming it up a touch and serving with keto ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.
As with all keto cakes, let it cool completely before trying to remove it from the pan. It is more fragile when it’s warm and more likely to break apart on you.
Don’t have a tube pan? Try a 9-inch springform pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes.
Absolutely! The best way to freeze leftovers is to wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or foil. You can also cut it up into individual portions and freeze each of those separately. It will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
This keto coffee cake recipe has 5.8 grams of carbs and 2.9 grams of fiber. That means it has 2.9 grams net carbs per slice.
The term “coffee cake” can be confusing, but most American-style coffee cake recipes don’t actually contain coffee. They are so named because they are meant to be served with coffee. Coffee cakes are single layer cakes, often containing cinnamon and nuts, and can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.
Swaps and substitutions
For a dairy-free keto coffee cake, try replacing the butter with coconut oil, and the whey protein with egg white protein powder. Plant-based protein powders may also work.
There really isn’t a good nut-free option for this cake. You could try sunflower seed flour, but your cake will have a greyish color. You also need to add a few tablespoons of lemon juice to offset the green reaction.
To replace the coconut flour, you will need another 1 ¼ cups of almond flour. Use only 4 eggs.
Try these other recipes for keto coffee cake
- Readers adore Keto Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. It’s a gorgeous almond flour cake with a ribbon of cream cheese and fresh raspberries.
- Keto coffee cake muffins feature a delicious cinnamon crumb topping and a sweet vanilla drizzle.
- If you need an easy, heart-healthy dinner recipe, you can’t go wrong with Walnut Crusted Chicken!
- Missing baklava? Try my easy Keto Baklava Bars. They have a shortbread crust with a wonderful walnut and “honey” topping.
Keto Walnut Coffee Cake
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ⅓ cup Swerve Brown
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 ¾ cup almond flour
- 6 tablespoon coconut flour
- 6 tablespoon whey protein powder (or egg white protein powder)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter softened
- ¾ cup Swerve Sweetener
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ to ¾ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch tube pan (aka angel food cake pan) well. Line the bottom with parchment (see recipe notes).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the walnuts, Swerve Brown, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, protein powder, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the Swerve until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract, scraping down the beaters and the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined. Then beat in ¾ cup of the water. If the batter is quite thick, add additional water as necessary. The batter should be scoopable and spreadable but not quite pourable.
- Spread about half the batter in the prepared pan, and then sprinkle with half of the walnut mixture. Spread the remaining batter in the pan and sprinkle with the remaining walnut mixture.
- Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until golden brown and just firm to the touch. A tester inserted in the center should come out clean.
- Remove and let cool in the pan, then run a sharp knife just around the edges to loosen and transfer to a plate.
Robyn Wimmer says
I’ve made this a number of times and it never disappoints. Will be making again, this time for Fellowship on Easter Sunday. We have a few diabetics in the congregation and they rarely, if ever, get to enjoy something sweet after the worship service. I know they’ll like this coffee cake! Thanks, Carolyn.
Hi Carolyn, This walnut coffee cake is Delicious!!! It tastes just like the high carb coffee cake that I used to make. Thank you for your fabulous recipes!
Glad you like it!
Hi, if I make this in a bundt pan would it work to put the topping on the bottom instead of the top?
I really can’t be sure since I didn’t make mine that way. Should work… I think! 🙂
Maureen Paige says
I made this recipe hoping it was at least a little bit like my great aunt’s sour cream coffee cake recipe I adored since childhood. I was skeptical…..however, when I had it with my morning coffee, I swear I heard heavenly music playing! It tasted the closest I could ever get to my aunts. My non-Keto boyfriend loves it too. When I want to make something, your website and cookbooks NEVER disappoint.
Delicious cake, not hard to make and bakes beautifully. Tastes very good as well.