Gluten Free Coffee Cake

Is it coffee cake or crumb cake? I find myself alternating between the two, so when it came down to formally naming this post, I struggled a little bit. I decided on coffee cake because it is best served in the morning with a hot cup of coffee (or tea). This recipe is very close to my heart for a few reasons: I adore coffee cake and when I started my gluten free diet, I couldn’t find a good recipe anywhere. Over the next few years, I tweaked and experimented with this recipe until the cake was fluffy and moist (cringe), unlike most gluten free cakes.

For this recipe you will need a greased 9×13 pan. Most importantly, you will need gluten free flour. I use King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour so I don’t have to add xanthan gum to the mix. You will also need vanilla, eggs, sugar (granulated and brown), baking soda, baking powder, salt, and buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can easily make it with whole milk and lemon juice. For every cup of milk, you add one tablespoon of lemon juice and let it sit for about 15 minutes. For this recipe, you need 1 1/4 cups of buttermilk, so prepare 1 1/4 cups of milk and add 1 Tablespoon and 3/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Once you have all your ingredients, place the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cream them together until its light and fluffy. Once the butter and sugar look super fluffy and not chunky, add the eggs and mix that together completely. Add the buttermilk and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture.  In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour baking soda, baking powder, salt). Whisk them together. Fold the dry ingredients into the large bowl until combined.

By this point, you should have a greased up 9×13 pan. Evenly spread the batter in the pan. If you want a thicker cake, add all of the batter and if you want a thin cake, only add half the batter. “But Breezy, what do I do with the other half?!” I’m so glad you asked. They also make delicious cupcakes. I have make the coffee cake in cupcake form and they are amazing. You don’t need to worry about cutting anything and they’re easy to handle on the go. I would suggest making double the amount of topping if you are going to make cupcakes.

After you spread out the batter, whisk together the ingredients for the topping (minus the melted butter). It should look uniform like the pic on the right.






I melted my butter on the stove because I haven’t had a microwave in my kitchen for a few weeks now… Either way, you can melt the butter however you want: in a microwave, on the stove, over a campfire…whatever gets it done. Pour that butter all over your flour mixture and use some sort of utensil to mix it all together, so it is evenly coated with butter.

Evenly spread the topping over the batter and voila!!! It’s time for the oven!! Yippie!

Since my cake was on the thicker side, I baked it for about 45 minutes and it came out… *kisses fingers* … perfect. When testing the done-ness of a cake, you want to insert a toothpick into multiple spots. If the toothpick comes out completely clean, it’s probably overdone. You want a few crumbs to come out with the pick to ensure the cake is spongy and delicious.

Sprinkle some powdered sugar on that cake and into the mouth hole it goes.

Here’s the printable recipe for safe keeping.

Full recipe:


3 cups King Arthur Measure for Measure flour

¾ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 1/3 sticks butter (room temperature)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 ¼ cups buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla



2 ½ cups King Arthur flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of a 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and butter. Cream for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix until almost combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until evenly combined and fold into wet ingredients. Fold until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Spread batter evenly in greased 9×13 pan and set aside.
  5. In another medium bowl, combine ingredients for the topping except for the melted butter. Whisk together. Pour in melted and cooled butter and mix with a fork or spoon until the mixture is evenly coated with butter. Crumble topping on top of batter.
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean.

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