My grandmother baked all year long; for family, friends, neighbors, just because she loved doing it and bringing people enjoyment through her baked goods. This coffee cake, which she usually made with chopped walnuts swirled into the cinnamon sugar in the center and on the very top, was one of her standby, tried and true recipes. If you were coming over for coffee, this cake was plated and at-the- ready. If she was going to her sister’s or sister-in-law’s for lunch, this beauty was usually in hand. She always made this cake in a tall tube pan (basically, a Bundt-style pan but without the ridges and a large cylindrical tube in the center), which gave the cake impressive height.
I made my gluten free version of this family favorite this past holiday season and gifted the cakes to friends and teachers, even the kids’ bus driver! Instead of making one large cake, I divided the batter up between four smaller, rectangular paper baking pans, which allowed me to gift them to numerous people. The pans I used measured 7″ x 2 1/2″ x 2″; you can find them very easily at the party store, as well as stores like Marshalls, TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. I grab a couple pf packages at a time so I have them handy for when I need them. Although I gifted these during the holiday season, this cake is also a nice way to send off your New Year’s Eve guests! After a late night of nibbles and cocktails, what better take-home gift than the gift of a light, but sweet, breakfast for the next day! Just wrap each loaf, once cooled, in parchment paper and tie with a pretty ribbon or twine!
- If you are using the decorative paper pans like I did, there is no need to grease them first, which make it even easier.
- If you are making one large cake in a tube pan (like I explained above), you will need to grease the sides and bottom of the pan well. A standard Bundt pan may be too small for this amount of batter, so I recommend halving this recipe if using a regular Bundt pan.
- If baking this in a large tube pan, it will probably need to bake a bit longer than specified in my recipe. Keep a watch on it and periodically test with a toothpick. For a cake of this size, I like to insert a bamboo skewer or long toothpick in the center so I’m sure that it reaches down to the middle of the cake and not just the top portion.
- If using a gluten free flour blend that doesn’t contain xanthan gum, you’ll need to add xanthin to the dry ingredients. The rule of thumb is to add 1/2 tsp. xanthan per 1 cup of flour.
Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 16-ounce container sour cream at room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups gluten free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 which contains xanthan gum)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- Good pinch of salt
- For the cinnamon sugar swirl:
- Granulated sugar and cinnamon (chopped walnut optional)
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Step 2 In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
- Step 3 Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
- Step 4 Add vanilla extract and sour cream and mix.
- Step 5 In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and pinch of salt and whisk to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, about 1/3 at a time. Allow to mix well before adding more.
- Step 6 In a small bowl, mix about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with 2 tsp. of cinnamon and chopped nuts, if using.
- Step 7 Place the paper baking pans on a large rimmed sheet pan for stability.
- Step 8 Divide the batter between the four pans, spreading about a 1/4 of half the amount of the batter into the bottom of each pan. You’ll use half the batter for the bottom layer, then the rest for the top layer, so judge how much you’ll need to add so that you have enough to make the four loaves. Sprinkle with some of the cinnamon sugar, then spread the remaining batter on top of the cinnamon sugar, once again dividing it between the four pans. Smooth the tops with a wooden spoon or spatula and sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon sugar.
- Step 9 Bake for approximately one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Do not over-bake, so keep a close eye on them!
- Step 10 Allow to cool completely before wrapping in parchment.