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Fluffy Coffee Cake by Stacey Antine, MS, RDN

Updated: Jun 26

Fluffy Coffee Cake by Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, Bergen County Moms

The traditional version of Coffee Cake is topped with a butter and sugar based crumb topping, but we use flaxseeds to get that same flavor with a dose of good-for-you unsaturated fats. This recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser and perfect for any celebration!

*Named Coffee Cake because it is usually served along with the popular breakfast beverage; we’d recommend your kids skipping the coffee part (but parents may need the caffeine boost every now and then!).


3⁄4 cup whole wheat flour 3⁄4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, divided 1⁄2 cup unsweetened applesauce 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk 1 large egg 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large egg whites, beaten 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds 1 tablespoon canola oil 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 9 inch square baking pan.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt.

  3. In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup brown sugar and applesauce. Whisk in buttermilk, egg and vanilla until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture into liquid mixture and whisk until smooth. Fold beaten egg whites into the batter.

  4. Transfer batter to baking pan and set aside.

  5. Prepare crumble topping: In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, flaxseeds, and canola oil with a fork until mixture resembles small crumbs. Stir in cinnamon.

  6. Sprinkle crumble topping over batter, distributing evenly.

  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

  8. Allow cake to cool completely then slice into 12 bites and transfer to serving dish.

Makes 12 servings (1 coffee cake per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 80 calories; 2g fat (0g sat fat, 0.5g mono, 1g poly, 0g trans fat); 10mg cholesterol; 13g carbohydrate (1g fiber, 7g sugar); 2g protein; 80mg sodium; 0% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 0% DV vitamin C; 2% DV calcium; 4% DV iron.

Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.

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