Dairy Free/ Egg free/ Vegan/ Vegan/Vegetarian

Vegan Green Tomato, Almond, Olive Oil, and Orange Mini Coffeecakes

I am often accused of growing tomato TREES rather than tomato bushes. My record, to date, is 15′ tall tomato bushes. (Yes, that is a 5′ tall ladder that is dwarfed by my tomato plants.) But sadly, almost every year, there comes a day when I am in my garden with a flashlight, picking green tomatoes as fast as I can because the weather forecast has called for a hard freeze that evening.

By the time I am finished, I typically have filled two 3-gallon buckets with green tomatoes. In the past, I have made pickled green tomatoes or given green tomatoes to friends who love fried green tomatoes. I have also tried including them in cooking and baking. Green Tomato and Dried Apple Pie was one delicious result (actually 2, both the original and the gluten-free versions) of experimenting with green tomatoes. But I have also been intrigued with the use of olive oil in baked goods, because olive oil has a very pronounced taste. My previous attempts with olive oil cake recipes I found in various sources had always produced “unfortunate” tasting cakes. I decided olive oil needed to be used with cakes that have a “tangy” taste. Green tomatoes are tangy. Orange juice, orange zest, and candied orange peel enhanced the flavor just enough to make an outstanding coffeecake. Oh, and did I mention the cake is also made with almond flour?

Last year I used my green tomatoes to develop Green Tomato Mini Coffeecakes with Olive Oil and Orange Zest, and Gluten Free Green Tomato Mini Coffeecakes with Olive Oil and Orange. Sadly, the downside of using green tomatoes is how quickly they begin to turn red. So I had to wait until I had more green tomatoes to make the Vegan version and the Diabetic Friendly/reduced sugar version. So today, I present Vegan Green Tomato, Almond, Olive Oil, and Orange Mini Coffeecakes, and look for the Diabetic Friendly version later this week. Enjoy!


This is an easy to make coffeecake. Just a few “insider” bits of information:

When both volumetric and weight measures are provided, the volumetric measures should be considered approximations. The standard measure for a cup of flour is 120 grams. By volume, this measure will typically be less than 1 cup. When baking, it is always best to use a food scale to measure dry ingredients, especially flour. However, if you don’t have a food scale, sift the flour three times, then spoon the flour into a measuring cup and use the flat edge of a knife to level it off. This should result in a cup of flour that weighs about 120 grams.

DON’T LET YOUR CAKE BE A CLING-ON. This is a very moist coffeecake. Place 8 standard size cupcake papers in a muffin/cupcake tin. Spray the cupcake papers to prevent the coffeecake from sticking to the papers.

HOLD ME, SQUEEZE ME: It is important to place the chopped green tomatoes in a lint-free cloth and squeeze out as much water as possible before adding to the flour mix. Be sure to remove the seeds and gelatinous membrane from the tomatoes, as the membrane contains a great deal of water. Too much tomato water can cause the coffeecake to fail to rise properly.

At the Virginia Renaissance Faire, where I have a bakery stand (yes, I am under state inspection), I am occasionally asked what makes sugar vegan and why am I not using coconut sugar. I do not use coconut sugar because it can add a coconut taste to baked goods. What makes sugar vegan or not vegan is how the sugar source is processed, rather than the type of sugar used. Sugars labelled Vegan or Organic, such as Sugar in the Raw, are vegan.

To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then spread the almond flour on it and bake the almond flour for 3-4 minutes until it just begins to turn brown and an aroma rises. This will dry the almond flour (it will actually measure a couple grams less after baking than before baking), increasing its flavor and its ability to absorb moisture. This is important with vegan baking as too much moisture will cause the baked item to sink. I like to line my baking sheets with parchment paper because I know there are no possible carryover flavors from the baking sheet, plus I can simply pick up the parchment paper and pour the prepared almond flour into the mixing bowl.

Almond flour before baking…
and after baking. Note the almond flour is just beginning to turn brown.

White vinegar is added to coconut milk to “sour” the milk, which helps to maintain the rise. White vinegar is used, rather than cider vinegar, because cider vinegar adds an apple taste to the baked good, but white vinegar does not.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, granulated vegan cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and orange zest in a medium bowl. Make a well in the flour mix. This ensures that the moisture is distributed evenly throughout the flour and that the flour on the bottom of the bowl becomes wet.

Whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, and prepared coconut milk until it emulsifies, or begins to thicken. This is important so that the olive oil does not separate from the other wet ingredients when it is added to the flour mix and cause the coffeecakes to have an uneven olive oil flavor.

Emulsified olive oil, prepared coconut milk, and orange juice.

MAINTAINING AN EVEN KEEL. I use a food scale to measure 2.2 ounces of batter into each cupcake cup. This increases the likelihood that ALL of the cupcakes will bake in the same time frame. If larger or smaller cupcakes are desired, adjust the baking time as needed.

Once the prepared green tomatoes have been added to the batter, it is time to fill the cupcake papers. I made standard size cupcakes, but jumbo cupcakes and even small loaf pans can be used. The almonds and coarse sugar should be sprinkled on very lightly, as a heavy application will cause parts of the coffeecake to sink under the weight of the almonds and sugar.

Ready to bake.
And after baking.

GET ‘ER DONE! I use a metal cake tester or an instant read thermometer to check for doneness. An instant read thermometer should read 215-220 degrees. The toothpick test is not reliable with most vegan baking.

Oh, that looks yummy!
And this one looks even yummier!

Although the mini coffeecakes look and smell delicious when they come out of the oven, let them sit for a couple hours so the flavors can blend. You’ll be glad you did!

Remember, wait a couple hours before eating them.
But they look so good!
What do you mean I have to wait?????

Vegan Green Tomato, Almond, Olive Oil, and Orange Mini Coffeecakes

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By Connie Teunis Serves: 8

A wonderfully moist VEGAN mini coffeecake packed with green tomatoes, almond flour, olive oil, and orange zest, and topped with a sprinkle of sliced almonds and coarse sugar. What a great, tasty way to use up excess green tomatoes!


  • 56 g./ ½ c. Almond Flour *
  • 45 g./ 3 T. Full-Fat Coconut Milk (Thai brand)
  • 1 t. White Vinegar
  • 72 g./ approximately 1 Large Green Tomato
  • 120 g./ 1 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 96 g./ ½ c. Vegan Cane Sugar (e.g., Sugar In the Raw)
  • ¼ t. Baking Powder
  • ¼ t. Baking Soda
  • 6 g./ 1 T. Orange Zest, finely minced
  • 80 g./ 6 T. Olive Oil
  • 30m g./ 2 T. Orange Juice
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • Topping:
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Coarse Sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the almond flour onto the lined baking sheet and bake for 3-4 minutes, until flour just starts to brown and an aroma rises. Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.


In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and white vinegar. Let set at room temperature for 15 minutes.


Hull green tomatoes; remove seeds and gelatinous membrane. Chop tomatoes into ¼” pieces. Place chopped tomatoes into a clean, lint free cloth and squeeze to remove excess moisture; set aside.


Line cupcake tins with 8 cupcake paper liners. Spray the paper liners with olive oil cooking spray; set aside.


In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the prepared almond flour, all-purpose flour, vegan sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and finely minced orange zest. Make a well in the middle of the flour mix; set aside.


Add the olive oil and orange juice to the prepared coconut milk; whisk until the wet ingredients begin to emulsify or thicken.


Pour the wet ingredients into the well in the flour mix. By hand or on the slowest speed of a mixer, stir together until ingredients are just combined. Fold in the prepared green tomatoes. Batter will be thick.


Spoon 2.2 ounces of batter into each of the 8 prepared regular sized cupcake papers. Sprinkle a few almond slices on top of the batter; use the back of a spoon to gently press the almonds just enough that they “stick” to the batter. Top with a small sprinkle of coarse sugar (e.g., Sugar in the Raw).


Place cupcake tins in the oven and bake for 26 minutes until an instant-read thermometer registers 215 degrees, or a metal cake tester, when inserted into the middle of a mini coffeecake, comes out clean and dry.


Place baked mini coffeecakes onto a cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes, then tip coffeecakes out of the tin and place onto the cooling rack. Allow mini coffeecake to set for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.




*Different almond flour companies list different weights for a tablespoon of almond flour. Measure almond flour by weight rather than volume.


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