Vegan German Butter Cake

reading time: 2 min

Vegan butter cake – sounds like a contradiction in terms? In fact, it's not only quite possible, but also quite delicious and very easy to make! 

Butterkuchen ("butter cake") is a popular coffee cake here in Germany, and is made of yeast dough with a layer of sugar and pieces of butter. Hence the name. Often roasted almond slices or chopped nuts are sprinkled on the cake. It's actually quite similar to the vegan bee sting cake recipe I shared a few weeks back, but without the custard filling and with less butter (crazy, right?).

I used to love "traditional" butter cake, and therefore I had to veganize my butter cake recipe. What I use instead of butter? Vegan butter of course! (no, it's not the same as margarine – it's way better) Instead of cream? Vegan oat cream! And to replace the eggs? Applesauce! 

Sounds weird? Just keep reading :)


Preparation time: 1 h 30 min
Main ingredients: spelt flour, vegan butter, almond slices, yeast
difficulty level: easy
makes: 1 baking tray
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, wheat-free, soy-free


1/8 cup packed (25g) fresh yeast
1 tbsp lukewarm water
1 tsp organic brown sugar
2 cups (250g) spelt flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp applesauce
2 heaped tbsp (30g) vegan butter (I use the German brand Alsan bio)
pinch of salt
1/8 cup + 1 tsp (30g) organic brown sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) plant-based milk (I use almond milk)

1 1/3 cup (125g) almond slices
1/3 cup (80g) vegan butter (I use the German brand Alsan bio)
4 tbsp organic brown sugar
6 tbsp vegan oat cream

powdered sugar to garnish


For the dough:

Dissolve yeast in 1 tablespoon lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Allow to prove for about 20 minutes. Gently heat up vegan butter and plant-based milk in a pot until both are lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, pinch of salt and the remaining sugar. Add dissolved yeast mixture, warmed up butter milk mixture, and applesauce. Knead vigorously using an electric whisk. 

Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes. Then knead once again briefly. Place the dough on a greased baking tray, cover with your kitchen towel and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. 

For the covering: 

Preheat oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.

In your mixing bowl, roughly whisk together your almond flakes and brown sugar. Spread evenly over the dough. Then spread butter flakes over the dough as well. 

Bake in the preheated oven at 180 °C for 20 to 25 minutes. 

Remove the baking tray from the oven and immediately spread the oat cream over the hot cake! Allow to cool.

Garnish with powdered sugar to serve. Lastly, enjoy with a cup of coffee or black tea :-)