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Cream Cheese Stuffed Coffee Cake

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Vegan Junk Food

It might seem strange to see the author of “the healthy dessert blog” holding a book all about junk food. Contrary to what one might assume from reading the title of my blog, however, I don’t only eat healthy food 100% of the time.

And I don’t think I am any less healthy for it.

Maybe in a perfect world, all of the desserts sold in stores and at restaurants would be a heck of a lot healthier – with more whole grains, fewer processed ingredients, and much less sugar. Since this is not the case (yet!), we as consumers have two choices: never dine out, decline invites from friends, and only eat foods prepared from scratch; or eat as healthfully as we can for the majority of the time and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you live in a super-health-conscious community, you might not need to choose. And if you have allergies, you might not be able to choose. But for someone like me, who enjoys being social (and also who doesn’t always have time to make everything from scratch), it might be a good idea to follow the 80-20 rule: eat as well as you can 80% of the time and don’t worry so much about the other 20%.

I wrote more about all of this here: Orthorexia: The New Eating Disorder

There’s a difference between eating a healthy diet and eating a “perfect” diet, and if you are spending your entire life stressing over what, when, or where to eat for optimal health, it could be doing more harm than good.

Copycat Hostess Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Enough babbling. Time for food.

With a buttery streusel and cream cheese filling, this delicate crumb cake is reminiscent of those beloved New-York-style coffee cakes made by Hostess or Entenmann’s. It’s a wonderful addition to any brunch or tea party.

However, as is clear by the title of the book from where the recipe comes, this is not health food. If calories, fat, and sugar are an issue, I’d recommend a different recipe, such as my Coconut Breakfast Cake.

best coffee cake ever.

Although the majority of people who read this blog might not be a good fit for the Vegan Junk Food cookbook by Lane Gold, I wanted to review it for anyone interested in quick and not-so-complicated recipes, many of which can easily be tweaked to fit one’s specific dietary requirements. (Note: I am not getting paid to review this book. Opinions are my own.) The book author’s definition of junk food is not “food devoid of nutrition” but rather “sinfully delicious” food. So really, the cookbook is more comfort food than junk food. If you are the type of person who doesn’t ever follow a recipe anyway, you might have fun adapting some of the creative ideas to suit your needs. Recipes include: Deep Dish Hawaiian Pizza, Taquitos with Avocado Sauce, Eggplant BLTs, Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars, and Sticky Caramel Baked French Toast.

As with many “normal” recipes (i.e. recipes that haven’t been given a healthier makeover), you can probably cut back on the sugar and fat in Gold’s recipes and still end up with a tasty result. However, since I was doing a cookbook review and wanted to stay true to the book, I made the following coffee cake recipe almost exactly as written. The only change I did make was to use ww pastry flour for the all-purpose, knowing it would be my own fault if the recipe didn’t turn out well. Gold calls for sugar in her recipe; I used evaporated cane juice, which is essentially the same thing. But if you’d prefer to use xylitol for a lower-sugar option, that will be fine. (As a reference: xylitol can be subbed for sugar in non-yeasted baked foods in a 1-to-1 ratio.)

best coffee cake ever.

Cheesecake Filled Crumb Cake

(reprinted with permission)

Cake layer:

  • 3/4 cup milk of choice (180g)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (15g)
  • 2 cups ww pastry, spelt, or all-purpose flour (280g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut or vegetable oil (80g)
  • 1 cup xylitol or sugar (195g)


  • 1 8-oz container cream cheese-style spread (I used Tofutti non-hydrogenated)
  • 1/3 cup xylitol or sugar (65g)
  • 2 tbsp ww pastry, spelt, or all-purpose flour (16g)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • 2/3 cup brown sugar or coconut brown sugar (120g)
  • 1/2 cup ww pastry, spelt, or all-purpose flour (70g)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter-type spread, softened (I used Earth Balance) (150g)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9×9 baking dish. Combine milk and vinegar in a medium bowl; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the the oil and sweetener to the vinegar mixture, stirring. Now add wet to dry and stir until completely smooth. Pour half the batter into the prepared baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix filling ingredients and pour over the batter layer. Cover with remaining batter. Then, in a small bowl, mix together the topping and crumble over the cake. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting. Serves 8-12.

View Coffee Cake Nutrition Facts

hostess coffee cake recipe

(Giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Nicole@fruitnfitness.)

Link of the day:

coconut cake

…….Coconut Breakfast Cake

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Mac and cheese is by far my favorite junk food. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Michelle says:

    This looks so yummy!

  3. Leora says:

    My favorite junk food is your 3 ingredient chocolate bars! I also loveeee Cacao Bliss on anything… if it’s on a banana does that count as healthy? =)

  4. Monica says:

    Chocolate cheesecake is my faaaavorite junk food of all time!

  5. Jane says:

    Cinnamon rolls, for sure. Good thing I don’t make them very often!

  6. That coffee cake looks super delicious! I wouldn’t even say it’s THAT bad for you– if you’re going to eat junk food once in a while, making homemade “junk” with whole wheat flour is a decently wholesome way to go. If can also be a little easier to get people to give vegan foods a try if you let them be a little more sinful.

    I have a long list of favorite junk foods, but luckily most of them don’t have to be 100% junk. I like cinnamon rolls, french fries, pancakes + veggie bacon covered in syrup and peanutbutter 😀 and DEFINITELY mac and cheese (with a crumbly bread crumb topping!)

  7. courtney says:

    oh man, i’m a big fan of ice cream and nachos. sparingly! :]

  8. I love coffee cake and your filling it looks mighty good! WOuld love some with my tea right now!! Favorite junk food??? Depends on my mood, but I would have to say real fried french fries!

  9. Pat Ives says:

    Favorite junk food definitely has to be rice crispy treats

  10. Cecile says:

    I really enjoy this post and completely share your view about “junk” food. I’m enjoying a sinful treat when I feel like it, as I know I’m pretty healthy the rest of the time. My favorite is a plain fatty buttery croissant (not vegan, I need real butter to make it worth it by my standards, sorry 😉 ). It reminds me my home country, France.

  11. Katey B says:

    I absolutely love chips and baked beans. Whoopsies 😀

  12. Mandie says:

    Hey Katie, I totally agree with the 80/20 eating plan. As someone who has stressed/stresses over eating I can say that it does more harm than good – sometimes it just kills me! (I am trying to stop doing this though 🙂

    My favorite junk foods are fudgey/gooey brownies & blondies, raw cookie dough, and cinnamon bread or coffee cake!!! Non dessert wise though, I like pizza 😀

  13. The coffee cake looks delicious Katie and I love seeing pictures of you on the blog. You should do it more – I think it gives the blog a more personal feel to it! 🙂

    My favorite junk food is a cookie. Any kind, preferably homemade!

    1. Emma says:

      I like the pictures too, but sometimes I wish the pictures of Katie were what she actually looks like around the house. (unless she actually does wears makeup every day and curls her hair every day, which would be crazy when you get to work from home!). I love when bloggers just post how they look every day, and not try to pretty it up for the camera. Though I can understand only wanting good pictures out there too 🙂

  14. Carrie says:

    Oreos 🙁

  15. Cat O'Brien says:


  16. Alexa says:

    My all-time favorite junk food is definitely mint chocolate chip ice cream…followed closely by anything involving the words “peanut butter” and “chocolate.”
    Thank you for your post regarding Orthorexia. I definitely see myself having all of those tendencies, and it’s definitely an eye-opener knowing there’s an actual name for my constant worries regarding food.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Mmmm peanut butter and chocolate ~ I’m with ya on that one! 😉

    2. Violet says:

      I used to be “orthorexic” – constantly obsessing over eating only the healthiest foods. There is something satisfying about it, and I was down to a very slim 112 lbs… I’ve since stopped doing that and gained back my starting weight of 125. I don’t look or feel much different except I have my boobs back 😀

  17. Sharky says:

    I agree with you that it’s okay to eat junk food in moderation, especially if not eating it makes you feel deprived and sad. Allowing yourself the occasional decadent treat can be great motivation to eat healthy food most of the time. My problem comes when I allow myself those high-fat, high-sugar foods every day. It’s very addictive.

    My favorite sweet junk food is chocolate mousse. My favorite savory junk food is mozzarella sticks (and there is no decent vegan substitute, sadly).

    1. Linde says:

      Mozzarella sticks are absolutely delicious! How about this recipe by Foodie Fiasco?

      1. Sharky says:

        Thanks Linde — I’ll try it!

  18. Katherine says:

    My absolute favourite junk food is Cadbury mini eggs!

  19. Anne says:

    I know it is soo seasonally out of date but I love stollen – German Christmas-type cake. Unfortunately hard to get good stollen outside of Germany and in any case never vegan!! Normally eaten with butter but I have a feeling it might just be delicious with coconut oil also… And of course one can have it anytime of the year 🙂

  20. Karen Jung says:

    Jellybeans! I sit there and eat until my stomach hurts, then say “I am never eating another jellybean again!” then eat the rest of the bag the next day

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