Gluten Free Coffee Cake

Gluten Free Coffee Cake

A good coffee cake recipe is one of life’s necessities, in my humble opinion. My family loves my gluten free coffee cake, but we actually know it as “Breakfast Cake.” Don’t ask me why I ever felt I had to encourage the eating of cake for breakfast, but at some point the name stuck with my kids.

I think I may have been the reason there was ever a hashtag for #cakeforbreakfast, but I’m not certain.

Gluten Free Coffee Cake in dish

This was the first cake-for-breakfast recipe that my picky son absolutely LOVED, and it’s still his favorite (amazing, since teenagers hardly ever say they like anything!), so he gets it every year for his birthday breakfast and of course, on other special occasions throughout the year.

gluten free coffee cake on tray

It’s really a treat for all of us, so I don’t mind making it (but don’t tell him that, of course!).

gluten free coffee cake

It’s a wonderful dish to serve for out-of-town guests, too – it’s not too sweet, and pairs equally well with traditional coffee or with fresh fruit and yogurt. I hope your family enjoys it as much as ours does!

gluten free coffee cake 2


Note, however, that the recipe only makes enough for 4 people on a diet. Please double the recipe if you’d like to feed more, or know you’ll want a second slice!


Gluten Free Coffee Cake (Gluten Free Breakfast Cake)

Gluten Free Coffee Cake (Gluten Free Breakfast Cake)

Yield: 1 loaf pan coffee cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes



  • 1 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. softened butter or non-dairy substitute (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
  • 1 large apple, peeled and sliced (optional)


Preheat oven to 350° F (static) or 325° F (convection).

Oil a loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium-size bowl, combine all dry ingredients for cake. Slowly stir in the liquid ingredients until the batter is smooth, but fairly thick.

Pour into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients with a fork until integrated. Distribute over the top of the batter and cut through slightly, with a knife pointed down, making criss-cross patterns into the top of the cake to marbleize. If using, lay apple slices across the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Did you decide to double it? Probably a wise move.

Pin this recipe for later!

This gluten free coffee cake recipe is delicious for a small breakfast gathering, or doubled for overnight guests. Quick to throw together & not too sweet, to suit all tastes! gfJules


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70 thoughts on “Gluten Free Coffee Cake

  1. I just made this today. I really like the apples on top, but was afraid they might dry out. So I doubled the topping and layered it under and on top of the apples. It is great! The addition of apples really made the difference.

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  4. I just made this recipe and added orange zest to the batter. Then I poured half the batter in, followed with about 1/2c lightly sugar coated blueberries, and then the rest of the batter. Oh my goodness. It was incredible!!!!

  5. Dear Jules

    I made your coffee cake yesterday and followed your recipe exactly !!
    It looked great in the oven. I tested it to make sure it was done as directed before turning the oven off. I let it sit for a few mins with the door open and then when I went to take it out it had fallen. I have been baking for 60 years and know how to bake. Baking with GF flour has been a real challenge, but I know when and how to make sure a cake is done before taking it out of the oven. What do you think went wrong.???
    Thanks,,,,,,Peggy from Florida

  6. I plan to make this Easter morning. How many times of this recipe would fill a 9×13 dish? All of the recipes of yours I have tried have been amazing. I am looking forward to trying this one :-)

    • Hi Kim – so glad you’ve been loving my recipes. It warms my heart to know that they’re being put to good use! :) I’d say to put this in a 9×13 pan, you’d use 3-4 times the recipe as written. It’s a thick cake the way it’s pictured here in the loaf pan – if you don’t mind it being slightly thinner, you could probably just triple the recipe.

    • Hi Kim – I don’t know if you made it this morning or not, but your idea was a good one – my kids voted for it this morning, too! I doubled the recipe and put it in am 8×8 pan and it nearly overfilled! I think 3 recipes would probably be perfect for a 9×13. :)

  7. I’ve had a craving for this for a couple of days but don’t have any yogurt and didn’t need to go to the store for anything else so I substituted canned pumpkin for the yogurt. I almost think it’s better! Of course I’m going to have to get that yogurt and to a comparison now which will make husband happy.

  8. My sincere condolences to those unable to eat cinnamon!! I wonder about trying some finely grated or minced orange or lemon zest – and also substituting blueberries for the apple. The blueberries would have a more robust flavor and would be complimented by the orange – although orange would certainly work with apple too.

    • Hi Vicki, welcome from Facebook! In answer to your question, oil could be replaced with more yogurt, but the end result will be a much denser cake — not bad, just different. It may require a longer bake time as well. Have fun baking!

  9. I am also allergic to cinnamon, but I am also allergic to nutmeg…and other spices that come from ‘seeds’ and trees. Like pepper for example. This saddens me since I seem to have done this to myself many years ago when I jazzed up my coffee by adding a few dashes to it while dry before it’s brewed. I *am* able to tollerate enough of each of these that I can have one serving and this isn’t a life ending allergy as some have to, say, peanuts.

    I wanted to ask if this recipe can be made into muffins. You seemed to hint that muffins last longer? And I may be able to have a serving a day (I hope) Plus I can freeze the muffins and defrost as needed for a support group meeting that I host.

    Thank you so very much for your terrific products and recipes!

    • Hi Tami – the spice allergy is a sad one, but glad to hear that you have learned to tolerate one serving! I think this recipe would make fantastic muffins and would allow you to easily freeze them for one serving a day. Not sure on the bake time though, as I haven’t tried it yet. I would set the timer for 15 minutes and start testing so you are sure they do not overcook. Enjoy!!!

  10. This is such a great recipe. I have made it as is and in vegan versions and have had tons of compliments on it. its a really great base for plum & peach coffee cakes too! Thank you for posting this!

    • Fantastic, Allyson! So glad even with vegan modifications, it’s still a crowd-pleaser! :) How much plum or peach do you add to this base recipe to change it up? I’d love to try those additions!

  11. What is the best way to keep these gf baked goods fresh? air tight room temp, fridge.
    Bread as well…how long do they stay in good condition? Thx Jules!

    • Carol – I never recommend refrigerating baked goods, as it just dries them out. We cover coffee cakes tightly in the pan with plastic wrap (as soon as they’re cooled) and they’ll last for a day or two like that no problem. After that, you may want to zap it in the microwave for a few seconds just to soften it up a bit more. Muffins last several days in a zip top bag (I always bake a big batch and travel with them so I have breakfast on the run!). Breads I keep in a zip top bag on the counter as well. Depending on the recipe, they last for several days that way without needing toasting. After 3-5 days, depending on the recipe, I usually slice the remaining bread and freeze it in zip top bags. That way I’ll have slices at the ready whenever I want a sandwich or french toast, OR I can just cube them later for croutons or even process them for bread crumbs! Hope that helps!

    • B – you could try nutmeg for that spicy sweet kick in this recipe. Do not use as much nutmeg though, as it tends to be stronger than its milder cousin, cinnamon.

  12. Coffee cake is one of the things I miss most since having to go gluten-free. I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my 5-lb bag of your flour. As soon as it gets here, I’ll be trying this recipe!

    • Just a follow-up to let you know this coffee cake was fantastic! It was such a nice treat to have one of my favorites back. Wonderful recipe!

      • Debbie – thank you so much for taking a moment to let me know about your success with this recipe! It’s nice to know that it was a hit with more than just my picky son!!! :)

  13. Finally tried this today – I probably needed to cut back on the sugar along with the oil since I’m at 5,000 feet, but all in all it was delish! I did use the apples and put THEM on first, then after chilling and CUTTING in the butter to the brown sugar and cinnamon I sprinkled the topping over it all. Next time I think I’ll put half the topping on the dough and then place apples over it and put the rest on top of them. I think the apples would be a little plain without the topping on them but only under them….

    • Pam – toppings are a very personal thing! Some folks would want to cut the topping amount, others double it! Some would leave off the apples … I always take notes on my recipes so I know the changes I want to make next time – sounds like you’ll have this one tweaked to suit you perfectly next time!