Whether for breakfast or an afternoon break, treat yourself to coffee and a slice of gluten-free coffee cake with browned butter streusel.
The Food: Gluten-Free Coffee Cake
Almond and oat flours combine in this gluten-free coffee cake. There’s a middle layer of cinnamon sugar and a rich, buttery streusel on top. The cake is light enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, but I highly recommend taking an afternoon coffee and cake break, especially if you can share it with a friend.
The Personal: Browned Butter Meditations
After describing myself as “scattered” in several conversations, I started to examine why I was feeling so distracted. Between technology temptations, reading, podcasts, audiobooks, Netflix, conversations, planning, and the convincing guise of multi-tasking, I noticed my mind had very few breaks.
I love reading. I love learning. I do not, however, love doing the dishes. I love that podcasts give me much to ponder and distract me from scrubbing springform pans and mixing bowls. However, I was inundating my brain, so I am reevaluating what mindfulness means for me.
This gluten-free coffee cake was a sweet practice in mindfulness. Instead of business advice, I listened to the whir of the KitchenAid. I inhaled deeply and languished in the “present moment,” when browned butter and brown sugar swirled together. Smoothing the middle layer of cinnamon and sugar felt like raking a zen garden. However, the cinnamon-sugar version is far better than sand because, in the end, there is cake!
The mindfulness journey is ongoing, lifelong in fact, but isn’t it reassuring to know cake can be such a helpful compass?
Coffee Time: Gluten-Free Coffee Cake + Commonplace Coffee + Stay Tuned
For the ideal afternoon coffee and cake break, I recommend serving a fresh brew of this Papua New Guinea variety from Commonplace Coffee. They’re one of my favorite local shops and roasters. (You might remember them from my Winter Solstice & cookie pairing.) CP and I are collaborating on a giveaway, so be sure to stay tuned here, and follow me on Instagram for the details.
The Fluff/Julep’s Corner:
Julep is my constant mindfulness guru. She reminds me that life is simple. Play hard. Love hard. Eat well. Sniff the flowers. Rest often. Repeat!
You Might Also Like: Blackberry Matcha Tea Cakes
If you’re more of an afternoon tea person, try these lightly sweet, wholesome muffins from my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook. I recommend serving them with a warm slathering of butter (for mindfulness, remember?) and a drizzle of honey or jam.
Gluten-Free Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel
- ¼ cup + 3 Tablespoons super-fine blanched almond flour
- ¼ cup gluten-free oat flour
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, browned
Cinnamon Swirl Layer
- 3 Tablespoons gluten-free oat flour
- 1 Tablespoon superfine blanched almond flour
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons gluten-free oat flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons superfine blanched almond flour
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper, or use a 9-inch round springform pan.
For the Cinnamon Streusel
- Mix together the almond flour, oat flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
- Pour the melted butter over the top and mix with a fork until completely moistened and it holds together when pinched. If you prefer a clumpy crumble, place the crumble in the fridge while you prepare the rest. Otherwise, set aside.
- For the Cinnamon Swirl:
- Mix together the oat flour, almond flour, light brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
For the Cake Batter
- Sift together the oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar over medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping down the sides after each one.
- Add the vanilla extract, mixing until just combined.
- Keeping the speed on low, slowly add the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream and mixing until just combined.
- Scrape half of the batter into the prepared baking pan and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon filling in an even layer over the top.
- Carefully dollop the remaining batter over the cinnamon filling and carefully spread it into an even layer with an offset spatula. It's normal if your cake batter is thick, just dollop the batter, work slowly to spread it. It doesn't have to be perfect.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon streusel evenly over the top, clumping it together as you go.
- Bake the cake for 60-65 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. When gently tapped, the center should spring back and not indent at all. If the center wobbles or doesn't seem firm under the streusel, bake for up to 5 minutes longer.
- Place on a wire rack and cool for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.