Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake (Gluten-Free)

By: Amber

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This gluten free cinnamon coffee cake is quite possibly the best coffee cake ever! With moist, tender cake, a swirl of cinnamon sugar in the middle, a perfect crumb topping, and a simple drizzle of icing, this is the perfect thing to serve when you want to impress brunch guests.

gluten free cinnamon coffee cake cut into 16 squares on a marble surface

This cinnamon coffee cake is truly the coffee cake of my dreams. I've tested it off and on for the past year, trying to land on just the right recipe – and this one was a winner! As soon as I tasted it, I knew we needed to turn it into a cinnamon roll version to publish for the holidays. Growing up, my mom always made us something special for Christmas morning, and this cinnamon coffee cake absolutely fits the bill for an extra-special breakfast treat.

What is a coffee cake?

Coffee cake is a breakfast cake that gets its name because it is normally served alongside coffee. It is very similar in texture to a muffin but is baked into a cake instead of individual servings. It is also usually topped with some type of crumb topping, like the cinnamon crumble topping you see here!

What makes this gluten free cinnamon coffee cake the best-ever?

There are a few things that set this coffee cake apart from others, gluten free or not! Let's talk about it:

  • The Cake: First things first, the cake base of this recipe is moist, tender, and not too sweet. This lets the other components of the cake really shine! Many times, gluten free baked goods can be dry, crumbly, and gritty – that's not the case here!
  • The Cinnamon Sugar Swirl: In the middle of the cake is a simple layer of cinnamon sugar, this ensures that you never get a bite of coffee cake that's lacking in cinnamony goodness.
  • The Streusel: This was probably the hardest part of the coffee cake to perfect, but it was well worth it! This cinnamon streusel is buttery, perfectly-textured, and will have you going back for “just one more bite” again and again.
  • The Cinnamon Roll Icing: If you want to take this cinnamon coffee cake to the next level, this icing is the perfect way to finish it off! It gives this coffee cake all the flavor of a cinnamon roll without the work.

cinnamon roll coffee cake with icing on top cut into squares and placed on a marble surface

What is the best flour to use for gluten free coffee cake?

We used King Arthur Measure for Measure for this recipe! This is the flour we use to develop about 95% of our gluten free baked goods because it is easy to find, affordable, doesn't have a gritty texture, and, of course, makes a delicious end product.

How to Make Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This coffee cake has a few different components, but don't be intimidated – the process is easier than you think! Plus, if you want to cut out a few steps you can leave off the icing and the cinnamon sugar layer in the middle.

  1. Make the batter. First, you'll make the cake batter. To keep things simple, we've adjusted this recipe so that you can make the cake batter in one bowl and you don't even have to use an electric mixer for it! You'll add all the dry ingredients to a bowl, whisk them together, then add in the wet ingredients and stir them until fully combined.
  2. Make the crumble. Again, we've simplified here by opting for melted butter over softened, so you don't have to spend time working butter into the mixture with your hands. Instead, you'll add all the dry ingredients to another bowl, whisk until evenly distributed, then stir in the butter until the mixture achieves a crumbly texture.
  3. Pour half the batter into an 8×8 pan. Next, you'll grease an 8×8 pan, or line it with parchment paper, then pour half the cake batter in and spread it evenly.
  4. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over top. To get the cinnamon sugar swirl, you'll simply sprinkle sugar over top the batter, then sprinkle cinnamon on top of the sugar as evenly as possible.
  5. Pour the other half of the batter into the pan. Next, pour the remaining cake batter into the pan and spread it evenly over top.
  6. Put the cinnamon crumble on top. For the next step, sprinkle the cinnamon crumble on top of the cake in an even layer.
  7. Bake. Bake the cake in a 350 F oven for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Make the icing and drizzle over top. Finally, you'll whisk together the icing ingredients then drizzle the icing over top.

cinnamon coffee cake with icing drizzled on top on a glass plate with a fork sitting beside it on a marble surface

Can this be made ahead of time?

Yes! This coffee cake can be made ahead of time. I'd recommend making it one day in advance and then storing it in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat it, you can warm it up in a 350 F oven for 5-10 minutes, or microwave an individual piece for about 20 seconds.

What about freezing it?

Coffee cake freezes great! You can individually wrap each piece in parchment paper, then place the pieces in a Ziplock bag, label them, and store for up to 4 months in the freezer. You can then reheat it by microwaving an individual piece for about 1 minute or baking in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes.

Print

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake (Gluten-Free)

cinnamon coffee cake with icing drizzled on top on a glass plate with a fork sitting beside it on a marble surface

This coffee cake has all the flavor of cinnamon rolls without the work!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 16
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For the Cake
For the crumble
For the icing (optional)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (may substitute full-fat coconut milk)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease an 8×8 pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. To make the cake, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Then, add the butter, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and milk, and whisk until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour half of the cake batter into the bottom of an 8×8 pan, then sprinkle the 1/3 cup sugar over top, as evenly as possible, followed by the teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour the remaining cake batter over top and spread evenly.
  4. To make the crumble, add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon to a bowl and whisk to combine. Then, stir in the butter until a crumbly mixture forms.
  5. Sprinkle the cinnamon crumble on top of the coffee cake batter, then bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream for the icing, then drizzle over top and serve!

Keywords: gluten free, cinnamon, cinnamon roll, streusel, crumb cake

Comments

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  1. L says:

    Just important to note that ghee is Not dairy free. Ghee is clarified butter which still contains milk.

  2. Barbara LaRose says:

    Can I make this egg free? And what would be the best substitute-Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer/flax egg/applesauce?

  3. Andrea says:

    Hi, just read through and printed instructions and realized are not listed in the instructions portion with the other wet ingredients. Looks delicious though. I am going to make it.

    1. Andrea says:

      THE EGGS…were not in the instructions with the wet ingredients. Even I left the eggs out! LOL!!! Sorry!

  4. Kim says:

    Not sure where I went wrong…
    The batter is so thick that I could barely spread it. Used an 8×8 pan and this rose so much that it was double the height of the pan! Also it was nowhere near done at the 40 minute mark. Help

  5. Ileana says:

    The ingredients for the cake say 1/3 cup of sugar but the Instructions say 1/2. Can you clarify? Thanks

  6. Suzette C says:

    This was a hit in our house Christmas morning. Even my daughter, who swears I can’t bake, loved it. My mom, the master baker, even asked for the recipe.

    5.0 rating

  7. Andrea says:

    I made this for Christmas brunch using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend. The batter was thick to spread (could not pour), but it baked up beautifully!! My non-gluten and gluten eaters both LOVED IT!! The cake was not grainy, gritty, nor dry. It was still moist and delicious the second day!!

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    5.0 rating