What can I say about this gluten-free cinnamon crumb cake? The sour cream cake is moist and rich with a crunchy cinnamon crumb topping. And yes, it is supposed to be a breakfast food but my friends and family love it so much, it has become the most requested dessert. One of my friends has nicknamed it with the name of a very addictive recreational substance. When I bring it to the kids at the camp I run, the room gets very quiet and the cake disappears.
Baking the Crumb Cake
This gluten-free cinnamon crumb cake does best when it is baked in a tube pan with a removable bottom. It really needs the help of the center tube to climb and hold it’s rise.
I personally do not have a tube pan – space in my kitchen is limited and I just don’t need one very often. So here is my solution. I use a 3″ tall 9″ cake pan and put a metal cup in the center. Feel free to improvise with whatever you have in your kitchen.
Cinnamon Crumb Topping
I include more crumb topping than most crumb cakes I have tried. In my opinion, if you are going to bother to make a crumb cake it should be mostly about the crumb! I also like to have some of the crumb in the cake. So I stir some into the cake batter once it’s in the pan, then top with the rest.
I have used several different gluten-free flour blends for this gluten-free cinnamon crumb cake and they all worked well. My custom blend of sorghum, millet and brown rice flours with some starches is my favorite. My blog post on gluten-free flour blends has the recipe.
I have also included a super simple flour blend in the notes section in the recipe card. I highly encourage you to mix up your own gluten-free flour blend. It can be as much as half the price of buying a ready-made one. Vitacost.com is a great source for gluten-free flours. They have their own line of certified gluten-free flours at great prices.
Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Crumb Cake
A couple of easy substitutions will make this crumb cake dairy-free. The sour cream in the cake can be replaced with vegan sour cream. I have tried it with Follow Your Heart vegan sour cream and the texture of the cake is a little bit different but still yummy. The butter in the cinnamon crumb can be replaced with coconut oil (virgin coconut oil is best) or vegan butter substitutes like Earth Balance. Butter subs tend to be salty so omit the salt from the topping recipe and expect the crumb to be more sweet and salty.
A little icing on top will give this crumb cake a pretty pop of white. A basic icing recipe is 6 Tb powdered sugar mixed with 2 1/2 tsp water. Here’s an alternative icing without powdered sugar and just one teaspoon of sweetener.