Coffee cake. A truly delicious mix of everything that is good in this world. While the cake is not actually made of coffee (news flash to my 8 year old self), it pairs perfectly with the signature warm brown sugar and cinnamon flavor that makes coffee cake so good! It's so simple to throw together- we even made it in a dorm hall kitchen! Dorm kitchen chile coffee cake is our early 20-year-old college student version of a sophisticated pastry.

We decided to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by adding a hint of heat to the glaze and candied pecans. Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15th-October 15th, and it is celebrated to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

Chile Coffee Cake

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:45 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 15 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Medium


  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups + 6 Tbsp AP flour divided
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup neutral flavored oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups brown sugar divided
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon divided
  • 1 Tbsp plant based butter
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 4 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 chile peppers seeded and diced divided
  • 4 Tbsp liquid sweetener
Danielle Hunckler
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Add milk and apple cider vinegar to a small mixing bowl. Mix, then set aside. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, 1 cup sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk/vinegar, applesauce, oil, and vanilla to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

    Danielle Hunckler
  • Step 2

    To make the streusel, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour half of the cake batter into a cake pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel mixture on top, then pour in the rest of the cake batter. Sprinkle with the remaining streusel. Melt the plant based butter, and drizzle evenly on top of the cake. Bake the cake for 45 minutes.

    Danielle Hunckler
  • Step 3

    While the cake is baking, start making the chili glaze by combining 1/3 cup brown sugar, powdered sugar, 6 Tbsp flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, and 4 chopped chile peppers in a small pan on medium heat. If you can't take the heat, reduce the number of chiles down to 1-2. Add in 1/3 water slowly, until desired consistency is reached.

    Danielle Hunckler
  • Step 4

    To make the candied pecans, toss pecans, liquid sweetener (we used honey), and desired amount of cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, and chiles together until the pecans are coated completely. Spread onto a baking tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes (this can be done while the cake is in the oven as well).

    Danielle Hunckler
  • Step 5

    When the cake is done, generously pour the chile glaze over the top. Sprinkle on the toasted pecans. Best served hot and with a nice cup of coffee!

    Danielle Hunckler

Don't forget to share this recipe with your vegan (and non-vegan) friends this fall. It will keep you warm and get you in the fall spirit! Kick it up a notch with a cool scoop of dairy free ice cream!

Recipe adapted from