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Not-So-Classic Coffee Cake

Gluten & Dairy Free

Story by The Cupboard January 2nd, 2017

Coffee cake is something nostalgic for me. On Sundays growing up, it became a tradition to enjoy crepes with fresh fruit and sweetened cream cheese or coffee cake, all thanks to my mom. Years later this would change when my mom's allergies to most of the ingredients in these dishes were finally discovered - but having a special meal on Sunday still has stuck with me. I recently thought of this and had the urge to recreate coffee cake using ingredients that align with my current diet - whole ingredients, no dairy, alternative flours, and naturally sweetened.

This coffee cake is outa-this-world delicious. You definitely want some friends around to help you eat it, ahem, so you don't have a cake to your face if you know what I mean. It's indulgent and a little sweeter than most things I would normally make. But dang, it's good. It's sweetened with coconut sugar, maple syrup, and a banana. The banana comes out in a subtle way which compliments the coffee nicely. And, of course, it pairs with a cup of coffee well.

Speaking of coffee, I've used locally roasted coffee here in San Francisco by Bedfellows. Deliciously roasted beans which you can purchase or subscribe to monthly!

The preparation may seem long and daunting, but I've given instructions for using both a spring cake mold and a bundt cake. The cake comes together rather quickly, and the longest time is just waiting for it to cook and cool.

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Batter ready to get baked!
Right out of the oven
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1 med banana, about 1/3 cup mashed

2 eggs

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup plant-based milk, I've used hazelnut

1/2 cup strong coffee

2 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp palm shortening


1 cup Gluten free all purpose flour, I've used King Arthur

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup tiger nut flour*

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp b. soda


2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp almond flour

1/2 c coco sugar

4 1/2 tbsp palm shorting

1/2 c walnuts

*If you don't have tiger nut flour, up the amount of the other two flours by 1/4 cup each.

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  1. Preheat: oven to 350F and grease either a bundt cake mold or a 9" spring form cake mold. Line the bottom of the spring form with parchment.
  2. Make the crumble topping/swirl: In a bowl add all ingredients but the walnuts, and combine with a fork, making sure to break up all the chunks of shortening/oil. Toss in walnuts and set to the side.
  3. Mix wet ingredient: Mash a banana in a mixing bowl with a fork, whisk in the apple sauce, coconut sugar, palm shortening (or coconut oil), then add in the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Mix dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients together and mix with a fork. You can break up any clumps with you fingers or sift the ingredients.
  5. Combine: Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing with a wooden spoon or spatula, until well combined.
  6. If using a bundt cake mold: Sprinkle 1/3 of the topping mix at the bottom (will be the top) of the mold, I like to make sure there's plenty of walnuts here. Then pour 1/2 of the batter into the mold, sprinkle the remaining amount of the topping/swirl in an even layer around the cake, and pour the rest of the batter, making sure not to disrupt that layer.
  7. If using a spring form mold: Pour 1/2 of the batter in the mold, sprinkle 1/2-1/3 of the topping/swirl, creating a layer, then pour the rest of the batter, top with the rest of the swirl.
  8. Bake cake in the oven for 45 minutes, rotate once, cook at 325F for another 30-45 minutes. Use a toothpick and stick it down into the middle of the cake, once it comes up clean, it's done!
  9. Cool: Once the cake is removed, allow it to cool for 20 minutes before removing it from the mold.
  10. Remove - bundt cake, place a plate directly over the top (will be the bottom) of the cake, flip the whole thing over - the cake should slide out onto the plate. Scrape any walnut topping off the mold and sprinkle it on the top of the cake.
  11. Remove - spring form mold, unhinge the spring and slide the sides off and up over the cake. Slide the cake onto a plate using the parchment paper. Once the cake is on the plate, you can tear and slip the parchment from under the cake.
  12. Cut and serve with our favorite tea or coffee! I've sprinkled my cake with coconut shreds and some more roughly chopped walnuts. Enjoy!
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