This cinnamon streusel-topped coffee cake recipe makes a great breakfast or dessert. The base is a tender gluten-free sour cream cake that’s filled with a layer of cinnamon sugar and topped with a gluten-free streusel.
You know I love muffins and quick bread. But there’s just something extra-special about a cinnamon coffee cake. The cinnamon-sugar filling and crunchy streusel topping are one of my favorites. I created this recipe for my first cookbook. The original recipe called for a large 12-cup bundt pan.
I’ve updated it to fit in a square pan. And I tinkered with the streusel topping. Now, it’s made with a combination of gluten-free flour, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. The topping is so easy to make. If you love it, consider making a batch and sprinkling it on these banana muffins.
Gluten-Free Coffee Cake Ingredients.
At first glance, the ingredient list might look long. That’s because the recipe calls for a cake batter, cinnamon filling, and streusel topping. Happily, all the ingredients are common. You might already have them in the house.
- Gluten-free flour. Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in the cake and in the streusel topping. Look for one that contains xanthan gum. It gives the cake a nice texture. If your blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum, whisk 1/2 teaspoon into the flour before using.
- Butter. Adds flavor and richness to the cake and topping. Be sure your butter is soft before using it. If it’s too cold, it won’t blend easily with the sugar. For a gluten-free and dairy-free coffee cake, use your favorite dairy-free butter.
- Granulated sugar. For the best results, use granulated (white) sugar or organic sugar.
- Sour Cream. A cup of sour cream makes the cake flavorful and moist. Full-fat Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream. I’d avoid fat-free sour cream and yogurt. It tends to make the cake dry. If you’re dairy-free, use a dairy-free sour cream or yogurt.
- Eggs. Use room temperature large eggs.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda. The combination of baking powder and soda helps the cake to rise.
- Salt. Enhances the other flavors. Use table (fine) salt.
How to Make a Gluten-Free Coffee Cake.
Prepare the Filling and Topping.
Start this recipe by mixing together the filling and topping. This way they’re ready to use after you’ve made the batter.
To prepare the cinnamon-sugar filling, simply stir together granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. That’s it!
Make the streusel topping by combining gluten-free flour, cinnamon, and sugar with melted butter. Stir everything together with a fork until the mixture looks clumpy. By the way, don’t skip the gluten-free flour. It’s what gives the topping its wonderful “crumb” texture.
Make the Batter.
Too many coffee cakes are dry and flavorless. Not this one! Thanks to the sour cream, the cake is soft and tender. Here’s how to make it.
In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter and sugar until light and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until fluffy. At this point, the mixture almost looks like vanilla frosting. It’s so pretty!
Stop your mixer and add half the gluten-free flour. There’s no need to measure out exactly half. Just eyeball it. Stir until the flour is fully combined. Then mix in half the sour cream.
Repeat, adding the remaining flour and sour cream, and mix until the batter is thick. Stop and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. A rubber spatula works great for this. Stir in any gluten-free flour that’s clinging to the bowl.
Fill the Pan.
Bake the Cake
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This gluten-free coffee cake takes almost an hour to bake. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool right in the pan.
- Adding Nuts. If you love nuts in your coffee cake, add 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the streusel.
- Adding Dried Fruit. Stir up to one cup of your favorite dried fruit, like cranberries or blueberries, into the batter.
- Reducing the Topping. As written, this recipe has a thick layer of crumb topping. If you don’t want a lot of topping, reduce the topping ingredients by half.
Gluten-Free Coffee Cake
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (1 ¾ ounces; 50 grams)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup granulated sugar (3 ½ ounces; 100 grams)
- ½ cup gluten-free flour, see note (2 ½ ounces; 70 grams)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted (1 ½ ounces; 42 grams)
- 2 cups gluten-free flour, see note (10 ounces; 283 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened (4 ounces; 113 grams)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces; 198 grams)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature (8 ounces; 226 grams)
Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 9×9-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
Prepare the Filling: Stir together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Prepare the Topping: In another bowl, stir together gluten-free flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter. Mix with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
Prepare the Batter: Whisk together gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth and creamy, about one minute.
Stop the mixer. Add half the gluten-free flour mixture. Mix until combined. Add half the sour cream. Repeat until all the flour and sour are used .Mix until the batter is smooth.
Spread half the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar filling over the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the following. Top with cinnamon streusel topping.
Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the coffee cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan before serving. Store the cake covered on the counter for up to four days.
Gluten-Free Flour: Use a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum or whisk xanthan gum into the flour before using. For the streusel, whisk ⅛ teaspoon into the flour. For the batter, whisk ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum into the flour.