What can I say about this gluten-free coffee 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 (also known as crumb cake) 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.
I have used several different gluten-free flour blends for this gluten-free cinnamon crumb cake and they all worked well.
For a store bought blend, I use King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure flour. It is widely available, certified gluten-free and works well in many recipes. Be sure to check out this collection of King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour Recipes. Cup4Cup and Pamela’s All Purpose Artisan Blend will also work in this recipe. Both are certified gluten-free. All of these flours contain binders so there is no need to add the xanthan gum called for in the recipe.
My custom blend of sorghum, millet and brown rice flours is my preferred DIY gluten-free flour. My blog post on the best gluten-free flour for baking 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 a more affordable option and a great way to expand beyond rice flour. Vitacost.com is a great source for gluten-free flours. They have their own line of certified gluten-free flours and super fast shipping.
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 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.
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 that uses just one teaspoon of sweetener.
More Gluten-Free Cake Recipes
Gluten-Free Coffee Cake
Cinnamon Crumb Topping
- 7 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1¼ c gluten-free flour blend*
- ½ c dark brown sugar
- ⅓ c sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp salt
Sour Cream Cake
- 1¾ c flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsps vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 1 c + 2 Tbsp sugar
- ¾ c sour cream
- ⅓ c oil sunflower or canola
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a tube pan or, if you don’t have one use a 8 or 9 inch cake pan, or 8" square baking dish and place a metal cup or something oven-safe in the middle.
- Make the Cinnamon Crumb Topping
- Melt the butter with the vanilla extract
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well and break up any brown sugar clumps.
- Add the melted butter and vanilla and stir until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Make the Sour Cream Cake
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, sugar, sour cream and oil. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is pale and creamy.
- Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and stir until smooth.
- Spread the cake batter into the pan. Top with 1/3 of the cinnamon crumb. Use a fork or spoon to press the crumb into the batter.
- Top with the remaining crumb and gently press down to adhere the crumb to the cake.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.