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Good morning! I wanted to pop in with a brief photo essay today, of cake and strawberries and roses, because sometimes even words on a page can be overwhelming, and it’s nice to look at the beautiful things nature provides us to help us relax. So: Blooms. Berries. A very easy and totally vegan strawberry pistachio crumb cake. And: The link to join us for the Kale & Caramel Book Release Party here in Los Angeles! There are just a limited number of tickets available (a signed book is included!), so hop on over now if you’d like to join us on May 2. I can’t wait to meet you.

And for now, here is a colander of berries and white roses from my morning stroll.

strawberries and roses

dry ingredients strawberries crumb cake

hemp milk pour crumb cake

colander roses strawberries lemons batter strawberry pistachio crumb cake

This crumb cake is adapted from one of my favorite recipes by vegan chef Renee Loux—I’ve been making variations of it for over a decade now, and it never ceases to delight. It’s got a perfectly satisfying crumb, it accommodates any fruit you’d like to throw into it, and the nutty streusel topping makes it feel particularly decadent.

You can add any spices you like—I chose cardamom here, whose warmth and elevated spice highlights the earthy grain of pistachio.

closeup strawberry cake batter

pistachio crumble dry mix

pre-bake vegan pistachio strawberry crumb cake

Serve this up for a holiday brunch, or make it as a quick treat for any morning—you can bake it year-round with any fruit you have on hand. Free yourself to play with texture and flavor. Try different nuts in the crumble, add nuts or seeds to the batter, or add some whole nuts to the streusel for texture.

Notice how you feel when you can be totally free to make something your own, and then go deeper. Don’t be afraid to mess it up.

baked vegan pistachio strawberry crumb cake

plated vegan pistachio strawberry crumb cake close-up vegan pistachio strawberry crumb cake

side pistachio strawberry crumb cake

I wish you sweet weekends and even sweeter crumb cakes. And I hope to see some of you on May 2 at the Kale & Caramel Book Release Party here in LA!

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A vegan, lemony, brunch-perfect crumb cake laced with fresh strawberries and cardamom and topped with a pistachio streusel.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 people


Strawberry Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil of choice like grapeseed or safflower
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup agave, or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon almond milk or liquid of choice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups quartered strawberries

Pistachio Crumble

  • 1/4 cup shelled roasted pistachios
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt omit if pistachios are salted
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil of choice like grapeseed or safflower
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup agave, or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Oil and flour a 9” cake pan or pie dish. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, maple syrup, almond milk, lemon juice and zest, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar.

  3. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet, and fold them in using a silicone spatula. Fold in the quartered strawberries. Pour into prepared cake pan or pie dish.
  4. In a high speed blender or food processor, grind the pistachios into a fine meal. Empty them into a medium bowl, and whisk with flour, and salt (only if nuts are not salted). Add oil, maple syrup, and lemon zest, and mix with a spatula until you’ve got a sand-like texture. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

  5. Bake about 45 minutes, loosely covering the cake with foil after 25 minutes or when it's reached peak golden-brown status (so it doesn't burn). Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

  • That colander of berries and roses!! Loving the contrast between the ruby red of the berries and the crisp white of the roses, with the pops of leafy green mixed in. All of these pictures–dang. It makes me even more excited to see your book! 🙂

    • I love it, too—so soothing! I could look at berries and petals all day. Thanks, sweet lady! Sending ease.

  • Bee Kum Cheng

    Hello! Have you tried making this gluten free? And if so what would you use instead of the all purpose flour? Thanks!

    • Hi Bee! I’m sad to say I haven’t, but you can always try replacing the flour by weight—let me know how it goes if you do. I bet you could make a great gluten-free version!

  • I love these bright and beautiful photos, and this cake looks delightful. I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on your book, I know it’s going to be a gem! xo

  • Alejandra

    Made this last night, and it was soooo good! Really great texture, and lots of flavor. I only found whole cardamom so had to grind it and it gave the cake such a nice touch. I think next time I would add more strawberries, and do a it less lemon zest! I also your idea of trying or adding different nuts to the top! Thanks for this great recipe.

    • So thrilled to hear this, Alejandra! It’s such an infinitely customizable recipe—enjoy all the variations!