Sure, cinnamon rolls are great … if you have 4 to 24 hours to spare! But now you can get all the delicious flavor of ooey gooey cinnamon rolls in a much faster and beautiful breakfast with our Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake. Tender gluten free coffee cake batter gets infused with a ribbon of cinnamon roll filling and pecans that runs through the middle of each slice. Simple, easy to serve, warm, and ready in under an hour. Now that’s how we like our cinnamon rolls!
This recipe was originally published Dec 15, 2021; Updated Dec 12, 2022.
Cinnamon Roll Flavor in Easy-to-Make Gluten Free Coffee Cake
We’ve taken all the best parts of cinnamon rolls, from the tender crumb and gooey cinnamon filling to the crunchy pecans and glaze on top, and turned it into an easy-to-make gluten free coffee cake. We’ve tried our hand at gluten-free cinnamon rolls and we are always a bit frustrated by the effort and time it takes to make a batch. There had to be an easier way! This recipe makes it easy to scratch an itch for homemade cinnamon rolls, and it comes together easily in cinnamon coffee cake form.
Ingredients to make Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake
Our Gluten Free Coffee Cake (that tastes like cinnamon rolls) calls for simple, everyday ingredients from your pantry and refrigerator. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Gluten-free flour blend – if you don’t want or need gluten-free coffee cake, you can use the same amount of unbleached all-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon – a little goes in the batter and a lot goes in the cinnamon roll filling
- Plain Greek yogurt – yogurt helps create a moist and tender coffee cake; we recommend using full-fat plain Greek yogurt for the best consistency. See the recipe card for our suggestions for dairy-free swaps
- Eggs – you’ll need 2 whole eggs for this recipe. See the recipe card below for our suggestions for egg-free coffee cake
- Cane sugar
- Milk – use dairy or unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice
- Pure vanilla extract
- Brown sugar – brown sugar gets used in the ribbon of cinnamon roll filling
- Pecans – omit for nut-free
- Powdered sugar – use a bit of powdered sugar in the glaze on top
How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls into coffee cake
Follow these steps to turn the delicious flavors of gluten-free cinnamon rolls into a coffee cake that looks like one large cinnamon roll. Here are the quick steps to make this Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake:
- Make the batter: Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl: the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: the yogurt, eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined into a thick batter.
- Pour half the batter into the pan: Pour a little less than half the batter into a misted 9-inch springform pan or cake cake pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly.
- Make the cinnamon roll filling: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Spoon a little more than half of the cinnamon roll filling over top of the gluten free coffee cake batter in the pan. Carefully spread it out evenly over the entire batter surface. Sprinkle the pecans over the filling.
- Add the remaining batter: Pour the remaining coffee cake batter over the filling layer and pecans. Use a spatula to carefully smooth it out.
- Make the swirl pattern: Add the remainder of the cinnamon roll filling in a circular swirl pattern over the batter, starting at the center and working outward. Use a butter knife to help shape and spread the filling in a swirl pattern. This should make the unbaked coffee cake look like one large cinnamon roll.
- Bake the coffee cake: Place the baking pan in the middle rack in the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, let the cake cool slightly before removing from the pan and cutting into 8 slices.
- Add the glaze: In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle the glaze over the slightly or fully cooled cake or over individual slices just before serving.
Video: How to Make Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake
It looks like one large gluten free cinnamon roll!
This gluten free coffee cake recipe is an easier version of cinnamon rolls. But that’s not all! It’s also magically fun because the whole recipe looks like one big cinnamon roll that gets baked into a round springform pan, making it a beautiful presentation to bring to the table. Drizzle it with a simple powdered sugar icing and, voila, you’ve got the flavor of cinnamon rolls without spending hours waiting for the dough to rise, forming it in individual rolls, letting those rise again, and then baking. Phew. Our recipe is much easier!
cinnamon roll coffee cake for a special morning
We think this simplified gluten free coffee cake recipe is perfect for special breakfasts, like holiday mornings. Here are several occasions for when to serve this cinnamon coffee cake:
- weekend breakfasts and brunches
- bridal and baby showers
- Christmas morning, New Year’s Day, Easter morning, and more holidays
- Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
- when catching up with a friend over coffee
healthy ingredients in this gluten-free coffee cake
Just like all of our recipes here at The Real Food Dietitians, this cinnamon roll coffee cake is made with all recognizable, real-food ingredients. Not only can this coffee cake fit into special diets if needed, such as gluten free or nut free, but it also boasts nutritious ingredients, such as:
- Greek yogurt – this thick, fermented dairy food is a great source of protein and gut-friendly probiotics
- Pecans – in addition to providing essential vitamins and minerals needed for bone health and good digestion, pecans supply healthy monounsaturated fats and protein, too
- Eggs – providing high-quality protein (they contain all the essential amino acids), eggs are also a good source of choline and vitamin D, both nutrients important for brain health
- Cinnamon – high in antioxidants, this aromatic spice has been connected to lowered inflammation and reduced risk of heart disease
Frequently Asked Questions
A spring form pan is nice to have on hand for coffee cake recipes, cheesecake recipes, and other desserts that might be compromised when you lift them out of the pan. However, this coffee cake can be made in a 9-inch round cake pan and turned out onto the counter to release it from the pan.
Don’t get us wrong, we love cinnamon rolls! But making cinnamon rolls from scratch can take hours (a minimum of 4, and often even longer). By using all of those favorite flavors but making them into this gluten free cinnamon roll coffee cake, you can get the best of both worlds.
For best quality, store any leftover coffee cake in a covered container at room temperature for up to three days. Enjoy leftovers at room temperature or reheat wedges in the microwave (heat in 20-second increments until warmed through) or in a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes.
Yes! You can fully bake this gluten free coffee cake ahead of time. Leave the icing off until before you plan to serve it. Drizzle it with the icing before serving.
For The Coffee Cake Batter
- 1½ cups gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour (220–230 grams)*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of fine salt
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (see notes below for non-dairy options)
- 2 large eggs (see notes below for egg-free option)
- ½ cup granulated or cane sugar
- ½ cup milk of choice
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For The Cinnamon Roll Filling
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
For the Glaze
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1–2 teaspoons milk of choice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously mist a 9-inch round springform pan or 9-inch round or square cake pan with nonstick spray; set aside.**
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined into a thick batter.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared cake pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly.
- To make the cinnamon roll filling, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter (but not the pecans – you’ll use those soon).
- Next, spoon a little less than half of the cinnamon roll filling onto the coffee cake batter in the pan, and carefully spread it out evenly over the entire batter surface. Sprinkle the pecans over the filling.
- Pour the remaining coffee cake batter over the filling layer and pecans. Use a spatula to carefully smooth it out. Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t perfectly cover the filling layer.
- Finally, pour the remainder of the cinnamon roll filling in a circular swirl pattern over the batter, starting at the center and working outward. You may need to re-whisk it quickly first. Use a butter knife or spatula to help shape and spread the filling in a swirl pattern. This should make the unbaked coffee cake look like one large cinnamon roll. Again, it doesn’t need to be perfect as the batter will bake up around the filling swirl.
- Place the baking pan in the middle rack in the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, let the cake cool slightly before removing from the pan and cutting into 8 slices.
- To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle the glaze over the slightly or fully cooled cake or over individual slices just before serving.***
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* For gluten-free flours, we recommend Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One Gluten-Free Baking Flour or King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Gluten-Free Flour. If you don’t need gluten-free coffee cake, you can use the same amount of unbleached all-purpose flour.
** If you have one, we recommend using a 9-inch springform pan, as it will be easiest to remove the coffee cake from the pan sides and then serve it right from the springform pan base. If you don’t have a springform pan, it will be helpful to line your cake pan with parchment paper.
*** If you’re not serving the coffee cake right away, wait to drizzle the glaze over the coffee cake until just before serving. If you drizzle too early, the glaze will melt into the warm coffee cake. You’ll still taste it, but it won’t be as visible.
For dairy-free, in place of the Greek yogurt, we recommend you use a non-dairy yogurt and add 1-2 additional tablespoons of flour, if the yogurt is thinner than a Greek yogurt texture. Alternatively, you can use 1/2 cup of coconut yogurt and 1/4 cup of coconut cream (the thick cream from the top of a can of canned coconut milk) without adding any additional flour.
For egg-free, replace the eggs with a flax egg mixture (4 tablespoons flax meal mixed with 8 tablespoons water); please note, the texture of the coffee cake will be a little gummy like most egg-free baked goods, but overall a success
- Serving Size: 1/8 of coffee cake with glaze
- Calories: 357
- Fat: 11 g
- (Sat Fat: 5 g)
- Sodium: 349 mg
- Carbohydrate: 55 g
- (Fiber: 2 g
- Sugar: 30 g)
- Protein: 6 g
- Cholesterol: 59 mg
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