Today’s post is suuuper #TrendyTuesday because a whole bunch of RecipeReduxers will be posting brunch makeover recipes (see links at the bottom of this post) just in time for baby, wedding, and holiday brunch season!  For my recipe, I tried to think of a dish that’s typically pretty much a nutritional throwaway, and see if I could rescue it from empty calorie status.

Spoiler alert: I succeeded.  Coffee cake is normally pretty much butter, sugar, and flour – your basic carb + fat combo that’s delicious but not much else.   With a few ingredient subs and alterations, however, it has potential to offer the same soft, crumbly, perfect-with-coffee delectability as its original counterpart.  At less than 200 calories for a square, this little guy won’t break the calorie bank while offering more calcium, fiber, and protein and less carbs and fat.  Brunch guests miss the old version, I promise.

It’s a perfect make-ahead to partner with maybe a nice quiche, maybe a bowl of fruit and yogurt…maybe a cup of coffee.  (Upon doing some recipe research, by the way, I found that there is no coffee IN coffee cake, it’s just meant to complement.  Huh.)

Among tasters, the feedback was “delicious,” “totally muffin-esque,” and “you can substitute oil for applesauce?!  How does that work?”  To the first two I said “thank you!” and to the latter I said “I don’t even know…” – but I do now because I looked it up!  Apparently the short answer is that the pectin in apples can perform the same function as oil in coating the flour to limit gluten formation (think really chewy bread) so that cakes and muffins still come out crumbly.  See a more in-depth answer here.

And enjoy some healthier coffee cake at your next brunch!



  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce (I use homemade!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted


  • 1/2 c almonds
  • 1/2 c oats
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix dry ingredients (first 7 listed) in a bowl.  Blend the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl with a whisk, then add the dry to them and mix with a spoon until just combined – don’t over-mix!  Pour into a square 8″ or round 9″ pan (use silicon or spray to prevent sticking).  Pulse topping ingredients in a blender, and distribute evenly on top of batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Nutrition facts for 1/10th of the cake: