It’s possible that I lost all sensibility in the process of conceptualizing this recipe. Each failed attempt only made me grow more obsessed with the idea of nailing the perfect, gluten-free coffee cake. I even dreamt about baking coffee cake last night. That dream also included me eating all the coffee cake without realizing it and forgetting to save some to share with my friends…a bizarre dream to say the least.
However, I finally achieved THE gluten-free coffee cake to end all coffee cakes. it is moist, fluffy, and delightfully vanilla and cinnamon-forward. It is the kind of good where I was sneaking crumbs off the top of the coffee cake like a child stealing a cookie from the cookie jar. Of course, I live alone so the only person to judge me is my conscience. But, my conscience and I decided that I could subsist off of coffee cake for the rest of my life and probably live my best life in the process.
Needless to say, I take my coffee cake seriously, so naturally, I held this recipe to a high standard. Not only is texture absolutely crucial, but matching the flavor of a traditional coffee cake was just as important to me. This recipe is in all honesty, my pride and joy, because although not all “healthified” recipes can accurately mimic the flavor and texture of the originals that they are based upon, this one comes pretty darn close and surpasses a classic coffee cake in its depth of flavor and rich, yet, fluffy texture. If you have a chance to make this recipe, I hope you find that you love it just as much as I do!
What’s in this Coffee Cake:
- Gluten-Free Flour: One of the batches I tested used almond flour, but it couldn’t support the structure of the cake, so the final product was a complete bust and borderline mush when I eventually mustered up the courage to slice into the collapsed cake. Thus, I would strongly recommend keeping with the recipe and using a gluten-free flour in order to achieve the perfect texture and body to the cake.
- Greek Yogurt: This “secret” ingredient truly transforms this coffee cake by giving it a more delicate and fluffy texture, while also preserving the moistness of the cake. if you are dairy-free you could certainly try and substitute with a high-fat non-dairy yogurt such as full-fat coconut milk yogurt. I haven’t tried this myself because Greek yogurt has a certain decadence and richness that is often lacking in dairy-free alternatives.
- Eggs: I originally used 1 egg in this recipe, but using 2 eggs definitely gives the coffee cake more structure while also helping it rise more. I haven’t tried to make a vegan version of this recipe yet, but would not recommend making a substitution here.
- Coconut Oil: Having tried both butter and coconut oil in this recipe, I was shocked to realize that I liked the version that used coconut oil so much more. There are some recipes that lose a lot of character when you try and substitute the butter with something else in them, but this is NOT one of them. Coconut oil provides just a touch of coconut flavor and plays off of the flavor notes in the cake much better than the butter did in my opinion.
- Coconut Sugar:I have a deep love affair with coconut sugar that has only grown with this recipe. A deep caramel flavor comes through in this recipe thanks to coconut sugar, but if you have trouble finding coconut sugar or are wary of using it, I would recommend regular granulated sugar as opposed to brown sugar just because the moisture content in the brown sugar might ruin the balance in the recipe.
- 1 cup GF flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted and cooled)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- 1/2 cup GF flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and lining the bottom of a 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan (or 6-inch cake tin) with parchment, then spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.
- First, prepare the crumble topping by combining the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, GF flour, cinnamon, and salt together. Use a fork to bring the crumble together to where you have pea-sized crumbs. If you find that your crumb mixture resembles more of a wet sand, add a tad more coconut oil to help bring it together.
- Next, beat the sugar, melted and cooled coconut oil, yogurt, and vanilla together. Then add in the eggs and mix until fully incorporated.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a separate bowl and slowly incorporate into the wet mixture, mixing on low speed until just incorporated.
- Spread half o the batter in the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle with half of the crumb mixture. Then, add the rest of the batter over the top and spread into an even layer before topping with the remaining crumble topping.
- Bake the coffee cake for 35-40 minutes, testing the middle with a toothpick, which should come out clean or with just a few crumbs, before removing from the oven to cool.
- Allow the coffee cake to cool before removing from the pan and enjoying!