Vegan Papaya Streusel Cake

November 16, 2022
Whenever I am at a bakery or somewhere offering treats, I always like to try the more obscure flavors that I don’t commonly see. Thanksgiving is a big dessert holiday, so I wanted to try making something seasonal but a little different than the classics. I had a big papaya in my pantry, so I blended it into a puree to use in a cake. I know papaya doesn’t necessarily scream “fall”, but the streusel topping has a bunch of warming spices in it, and this bakes into a brilliant hue of orange.

This cake came out perfectly moist and was not overly sweet. I used Bob’s Red Mill egg replacement, but using two bananas would also work wonderful with the flavors in this recipe. Feel free to swap out the walnuts for whatever nuts you currently have on hand. You can also add in shredded coconut, cranberries, chocolate chips, or whatever else you would like. I prefer the streusel topping on this cake, but you can use a classic frosting in place of it. You can make this ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready to eat it, just take it out to thaw the night before.
vegan papaya streusel cake on white plates against a dark background

Vegan Papaya Streusel Cake

Recipe Type: Sweets
utensils YIELDS 1 cake, 8-10 slices
herb graphic for recipe card
  • For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 bobs red mill egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 cups papaya purée
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
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1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 inch round cake pan. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and spices. Drop in the chunks of butter and use a fork to combine it into the sugar, until it is crumbly. Fold in the walnuts and set the bowl in the fridge until it’s time to use it.

3. Prepare your egg substitute by following directions on package.

4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.

5. Stir in the egg substitute and vanilla extract and mix well.

6. Stir in the papaya.

7. Add the flour, ginger, and baking soda and mix until combined.

8. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan.

9. Top batter with streusel mix and place in the oven to bake for 40–45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

10. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes and remove to cool on a cooling rack before serving.

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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote

Lauren is a homebody who likes to spend time with her cat, explore new ideas in the kitchen, relax in the sun with a good book, and promote healthy living to friends and family.


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