These gluten-free coffee cake muffins have a rich, moist sour cream cake and a cinnamon crumb (aka cinnamon streusel) with a little crunch. They have been lovingly nicknamed by my friends with the name of a highly addictive drug. Yes they are that good, and fortunately they are legal! I am excited to share this recipe.
More Gluten-Free Muffin Recipes
If you are a lover of cinnamon too, you’ll love my gluten-free banana muffins with cinnamon crumb topping. Check out my full list of gluten-free (mostly dairy-free) muffin recipes including these festive gluten-free cranberry orange muffins and savory gluten-free breakfast muffins which are a perfect grab and go breakfast.
If you prefer a store bought gluten-free flour blend, King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure works very well in this recipe. Be sure to check out my collection of King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour recipes. Other flour options include Cup4Cup (contains milk powder) and Pamela’s All Purpose Artisan Blend which are similar and will work well too.
I prefer to mix up my own gluten-free flour for baking because of the flavor it adds to gluten-free cakes and muffins and it is way more affordable. I have also developed a DIY gluten-free flour without rice flour which works well in these muffins.
Flour can be a confusing subject if you are new to a gluten-free diet. I answer questions about which flours are gluten-free and questions about many other foods. This will help you choose the right flours for baking.
I believe that any crumb cake should be mostly about the crumb so these muffins are half cake and half cinnamon crumb. In my opinion this is the perfect ratio.
Sour cream gives the cake a rich moist texture. Full-fat sour cream works best. Green Valley Sour Cream is my go-to for this recipe if you need a lactose-free option.
Xanthan gum is a binder used in gluten-free baked goods to make up for the absence of gluten. Most store-bought gluten-free flours contain xanthan gum, guar gum or inulin. Just check the ingredients in your blend, and if it has one or more of those, no need to add more.
Oil – I prefer oil over butter for adding moisture to gluten-free baked goods. This recipe needs just 2 tablespoons. Avocado, sunflower, canola, safflower or any neutral flavored vegetable oil will work.
Cinnamon – I am often asked, are spices gluten-free? The simple answer is yes, because spices do not come from wheat, barley or rye. But it can be a little more complicated than that. Some spice mixes contain ingredients with gluten and manufacturing can result in gluten contamination even if the spice has no gluten. The best way to be sure spices are gluten-free is to use Spicely Organics which has gluten-free certification.
How to Pan the Bites
Using the right amount of batter for each muffin is key. The cake part does rise quite a bit, so it’s important not to overfill the muffin tin. I have found that a heaping 2 tablespoons of batter works best (this cookie scoop is just the right size).
Top each muffin with 2-3 Tbsp of the crumb topping. This fills the muffin tin just about level with the top. Press down on the crumb to make sure that it adheres to the batter, otherwise much of it will fall off after baking.
Muffins always look better with a drizzle on top. Here are two options for icing.
- Make a simple powdered sugar vanilla icing or even an orange icing. Mix 6 Tbsps powdered sugar with 2 1/2 tsp water or orange juice and a 1/8 tsp vanilla extract.
- For a lower sugar icing, try my Icing without Powdered Sugar which uses coconut cream as the base.
Gluten-Free Coffee Cake Muffins
Cinnamon Crumb Topping (Streusel)
- 6 Tbsps unsalted butter. melted
- 1 c gluten-free flour blend* gluten-free rice-free flour option
- ⅓ c brown sugar
- ¼ c sugar
- 2 tsps cinnamon
- ½ tsp xanthan gum omit if your flour blend contains it
- ⅛ tsp salt
Sour Cream Cake
- 1 c gluten-free flour blend*
- ⅔ c sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp xanthan gum omit if your flour blend contains it
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 egg room temp
- ½ c sour cream room temp
- 2 Tbsp oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 6 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1½-2½ tsp water milk or milk substitute
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease (generously) the muffin tin or line with paper liners. If the egg and sour cream are straight out of the refrigerator, place the egg in a bowl of warm water while you make the crumb topping, The sour cream can be heated in the microwave for 10 seconds to take the chill off.
Make the Cinnamon Crumb Topping
- To a small-medium sized mixing bowl, add the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Break up any chunks of brown sugar.
- Add the melted butter and stir until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
- Set the bowl aside covered with a towel.
Make the Sour Cream Cake
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and xanthan gum, if using.
- Beat the egg, sour cream, oil and vanilla together in a small bowl.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the well.
- Stir with a silicone spatula or wood spoon until the batter is uniform (electric mixer not needed). This is a thick batter.
- Divide the batter evenly in the muffin tin – a little more than 2 Tbsp batter per muffin. This cookie scoop is just the right size and makes quick work of getting the batter in the pan.
- Grab a small handful of crumb topping. Squeeze to press it together. Sprinkle over each muffin, gently breaking it into chunks. Fill the well or paper liner to the top.
- Press gently on the crumb to adhere it to the batter. This will keep it from falling off once baked.
- Bake 20-23 minutes or until the top is set and bounces back from a gentle tap.
- Cool the muffins in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Icing (optional)
- Mix the powdered sugar and 1½ teaspoons water together in a small bowl. If it's too thick, add more water ½ teaspoon at a time.
- Drizzle over muffins using a spoon or piping bag.
- Or make my Icing with no powdered sugar and no cane sugar (coconut cream base).
- These muffins will stay fresh for 4-5 days, unrefrigerated, if in a sealed container.