Filled with applesauce, diced apples, and cinnamon, and topped with a Cinnamon Sugar Crumble, this gluten-free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake is a healthier take on a traditional coffee cake.
I love Apple Cinnamon.
Are you a strict “I only eat Apple Cinnamon in the Fall” type? I’m definitely not, and by the looks of it on my Instagram most of you aren’t either!
Since coronavirus, I’ve been tagged in several recipes this Spring that were Apple Cinnamon flavored (like my Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins and Apple Cinnamon Bread), which surprised me at first. But, of course, apples are easy to get, and apple cinnamon is a great flavor combo that’s truly good at any time.
And because I LOVED my Banana Coffee Cake that I made recently (over and over again..) I wanted to make another coffee cake recipe, that was just as delicious, healthier, and with ingredients that are hopefully easy for you to get a hold of right now.
So, here’s my Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake! The cake itself is lightly sweetened with brown sugar and applesauce, has diced apples throughout, with a Cinnamon Sugar Crumble on top. This cake is a fun breakfast, great brunch, or light dessert.
Of course, it screams Fall flavors, but it’s great for anytime! I think this would make a killer Thanksgiving breakfast, but I’m thinking ahead a bit on that one I know. 😉
Where to begin…
First, this coffee cake recipe in particular is lower in sugar than other coffee cake recipes. Yes, it still has one cup of sugar, but for the entire pan that’s very unusual for coffee cake! So, be sure to keep that in mind when you make this.
This coffee cake won’t be overly sweet like others you might have had. It focuses more on being naturally sweetened with applesauce and diced apples, with a little brown and white sugar to bring those flavors out.
I wouldn’t recommend trying to swap the brown or white sugar out for a type of liquid sugar, like maple syrup or honey. The texture may be off. Instead, I would recommend using coconut sugar if you prefer something other than white or brown sugar.
You can use sweetened or unsweetened applesauce in this recipe, either one works well. Of course, sweetened applesauce will give it a touch more flavor, so I tend to lean towards using sweetened applesauce first.
What type of apple to use? I recommend granny smith for the strongest apple flavor, but you can use gala or fuji too.
If you don’t like apple chunks too much (texture eater?? I’m with you!) you can always shred the apple instead (in a food processor) of chopping it up.
This Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake can easily be made dairy-free, with the use of almond milk and a dairy-free butter alternative, or coconut oil. I think a dairy-free butter alternative gives it the best flavor.
And finally, be sure to use high quality cinnamon and gluten-free all purpose flour (with xantham gum). I like King Arthur Measure for Measure, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 and a strong cinnamon (for the most cinnamon flavor!). If you love cinnamon like I do, it’s worth splurging a bit for a high quality one, the taste really can’t be beat.
Moral of the story: If you love apple cinnamon, and are looking for something different to make for breakfast (that’s not too loaded with sugar!) then you’ve gotta try this gluten-free Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake!
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1/4 cup softened butter (dairy-free butter alternative, or coconut oil)
- 3/4 cup applesauce (sweetened)
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 apple, finely diced (granny smith, gala or fuji)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted butter (or dairy-free butter alternative)
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 and line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper (or spray with non-stick spray).
To a medium sized mixing bowl, add your sugar and butter and beat them together with a hand mixer for a couple minutes. Add your applesauce and egg and lightly blend them in. Add your milk and blend till smooth.
To the same bowl, sprinkle across the top your flour, baking powder and salt. Stir all of your ingredients together to form your coffee cake batter. Add your apple and gently fold it into your batter. Pour the batter into the pan and evenly spread it across the bottom.
To a small mixing bowl, add your sugar, flour and cinnamon and stir them together. Add your butter to the bowl and stir your ingredients together. Sprinkle the mixture across the top of your coffee cake batter.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool, cut into pieces, and devour!
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, this coffee cake should last about a week.