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Gluten Free Dairy Free Coffee Cake

Perfect Moist Gluten Free and Dairy Free Coffee Cake is going to be your favorite brunch treat. This gluten free coffee cake literally has the perfect texture. The crumb on top is made with nuts, vegan butter, and brown sugar, so it provides the exact amount of sweet crunch. This is truly the best gluten free coffee cake. 

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Gluten Free Dairy Free Coffee Cake

plates with coffee cake and a bite on a fork
There is nothing like the smell of cinnamon baking on a chilly afternoon. When I was a kid my mom had a cinnamon candle and I would walk home in the snow (I know, sob story right!), but when I would walk into the warm house and smell the cinnamon, it brought me joy! To this day that smell of cinnamon that fills a house with the brisk cold air outside takes me to my happy place. Every time I bake this delicious gluten free and dairy free coffee cake it takes me back to that moment in childhood.
First thing in the morning I love a cup of coffee and a light treat to go along with it while I wait for my caffeine to kick in and motivation to show up. This gluten free coffee cake is that perfect treat. I wanted to create a gluten free, dairy free moist coffee cake with just the right amount of crumb on top.

The Best Gluten Free Coffee Cake

a slice of the best gluten free coffee cake on a plate

It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of delicious hot tea on a brisk fall day. I need those pick me ups a lot these days. The kids, blog, cookbook and PTO keep me very busy. There’s never a minute to slow down, so these treats in the afternoon help to keep me going. 

I originally created this gluten free coffee cake recipe for my best friend. Her entire family loves coffee cake, so I wanted to create a gluten free version that she could enjoy. She recently came up to visit, so this recipe was one of my top priorities to make for her. It was a hit because she loved it and so did the kids and I had forgotten how much I loved it to! 


Gluten Free Coffee Cake

a slice of gluten free coffee cake on a plate
When I have overnight guests or anyone who is going to be around in the morning, I love having something to offer them with coffee or tea. This cake last for 3-4 days on the kitchen counter and will still taste amazing. 

If you serve this for guests they will be ever-so-grateful and keep coming back for more. They likely will have no clue that it is also gluten free and dairy free.

What ingredients are need for this gluten free coffee cake?

  • gluten free flour (either my premade blend, or a gf all purpose blend, see below for recommendations)
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains it alread)
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • vanilla
  • non dairy free (any will work, I usually use coconut or flax)
  • applesauce
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

Gluten Free Flour Tips

It is easier than it looks! A few things to keep in mind is that not all gluten free flours are created equal. I only bake with my Gluten Free All Purpose Flour blend (Grab the recipe HERE) or Better Batter flour. Better Batter is my prefered flour to use and if you want to try it use the code: LIVINGFREELYGF to get 30% off of your purchase. 

Over the years the common denominator of readers not getting preferred results is often the flour. Each flour blend uses different types of flour and some are more dense than others. This will absolutely change the texture of your baked goods. 

When you scoop your flour make sure to use the spoon  method. If you are unfamiliar with this then you can watch a video HERE. To use this method  you need to spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off. This helps to make sure you are not packing your flour. 

Always remember that if you decided to use a premade gluten free flour blend then OMIT the xanthan gum. 

What is xanthan gum and why do I need to use it?

Wheat flour contains gluten and gluten is the binder, it holds the mixture together creating that soft fluffy texture we all love. When you are not baking with gluten that binder needs to be replaced. Typically xanthan gum is used as the binder. It works very well and has become the staple for gluten free baking. 

Other binders that work well are guar gum and psyllium husk. Psyllium husk is a grain free alternative and it works, but not as well as xanthan gum. 

In this recipe you can use your favorite nuts, but I have found that pecans or walnuts are my favorite for this. Feel free to use either, or blend both, but make sure to chop them up fine.

How do I make this gluten free and dairy free Coffee Cake?

    1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Then cream the eggs, milk, vanilla, and sugar. You can use a stand mixer, or a hand mixer for this.
    3. Add the applesauce, coconut oil, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue to mix for 2 minutes.
    4. Add the Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, Baking Powder, and Xanthan Gum. Mix until it is all blended well.
    5. You will then need to pour this into a greased cake pan. I always grease with coconut oil and it gets amazing results. The pan you use does make a difference. For a long time I used a round cake pan, but readers were not always getting the same results as me. I would recommend using a 9X13 baking dish for this recipe for universal results. 
    6. After pouring the batter into your pan you will then make the crumb topping. To do this add all of the ingredients to a bowl and smash with a fork to create a crumb. Spread across the top and then bake for about 45 minutes, or until a butter knife comes out of the center clean. 
    7. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before cutting open. 


plate with coffee cake and a bite on a fork

It is so incredibly moist and spongy when you pierce your fork into it and watch the crisp crumble fall to the sides of the plate you will not be able to help yourself to keep coming back for each bite and then scraping the crumble off of the plate, onto the fork and into your mouth.


I was in shock when my 6 year old who will only eat chocolate baked goods finished an entire slice of this. It is a winner! Everyone will love this gluten free and dairy free coffee cake. You can also get this recipe along with over 100 other gluten free and dairy free recipes in my cookbook. Enjoy!


 Best Gluten Free Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake

This moist gluten and dairy free coffee cake with the perfect crumb topping will delight your senses. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Keyword: Gluten Free and Dairy Free Coffee Cake, Gluten Free Coffee Cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 401kcal

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  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Non Dairy Milk Cashew and Coconut are my favorite
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut Oil Melted
  • 1 1/2 Cups Applesauce
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups GF AP Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 Cup Dairy Free Butter
  • 1/3 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Walnuts or Pecans (Chopped)



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a stand mixer on a medium low speed cream the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and non dairy milk.
  • Add the applesauce, coconut oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat for 2 minutes. Turn the mixer off and add the GF All Purpose Flour.
  • Turn the mixer back on to slow and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
  • Turn speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes, scrapping down the sides of the bowl half way through.
  • Grease your 9X13 baking pan and pour the batter in and spread it evenly.
  • Spread your crumb topping over the top.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick and when it comes out clean it is done.

Crumb Topping

  • In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix with a fork until it is well combined into little crumbs. Pour on top of the cake batter before putting in the oven.


Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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Recipe Rating


  1. Michelle Kollhosser says:

    Wow, this recipe is a keeper (says my husband). So moist and delicious. I used coconut palm sugar instead of refined sugar. And added about 1 cup of frozen blueberries.

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      That sounds perfect Michelle! Thank you for sharing.

    2. Cheryl Bussey says:

      Can’t see any coffee in the ingredients !

      1. livingfreelygf says:

        Coffee cake is essentially crumb cake that is made to be enjoyed with coffee. It doesn’t typically have coffee in the ingredients.

  2. Can’t have coconut, what would the you use instead?

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      For milk you can use any dairy free milk. Coconut milk is just my personal favorite. Cashew milk is a great alternative because it is a little thicker than almond milk.

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      All Purpose Flour

  3. Jaqueline Bahu says:

    Looks yummy! Which brand of GFAP flour do you use? Which coconut milk ? In a Can?

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      I make my own blend. It’s very simple. For the coffee cake I use a carton of Silk or So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk.

      1. Mine looked so good but after 65 minutes came out gooey still? Followed the recipe exactly! 😕 I have it back in but I don’t know, it looked really weird but smelled amazing!!

        1. livingfreelygf says:

          Oh no Rachel! What size pan did you use and what all purpose flour did you use?

  4. Where can I found the recipe??

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      Hi Nancy. I’m not sure what happened, but I got it fixed and the recipe is in the blog post. Thank you for letting me know and sorry for the inconvenience.

  5. Does this cake need coffee as an ingredient? If so, how much? It isnt included in the ingredients list. Thank you.

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      Hi Lisa, no there is not any coffee in the recipe. This is a traditional style coffee cake usually served with coffee. An actual coffee flavored cake is a great idea though!

  6. Does ingredients have to be dairy free.? Can I use dairy milk and butter?

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      You can always use regular dairy with the same measurements in my recipes. 🙂

  7. I made this cake exactly as the recipe required. I used a 9” springform pan which was a perfect size. It is gooey and more like a solid pudding than a cake. The only crumb is on the bottom and top. I put it back in the oven at 400 for another 30 minutes on top of the 70 minutes. I used cup4cup all purpose GF flour mix which I have used for a number of baked recipes.

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      Hi Karen,
      I am so sorry it didn’t turn out for you. Did you substitute any of the other ingredients? I have never used cup4cup, so I am not sure how that would affect the recipe.

      1. Hi, I find Cup 4 Cup works really well in other GF baking including cakes and muffins. The only thing I can think of is that I used Motts fruitsations Apple sauce which may be more liquid than regular apple sauce.

      2. Hi, I’m having difficulty responding as I keep receiving an error that says duplicate comment detected.
        Here is my response to your comments: I find Cup 4 Cup works really well in other GF baking including cakes and muffins. The only thing I can think of is that I used Motts fruitsations Apple sauce which may be more liquid than regular apple sauce.

        1. livingfreelygf says:

          Thank you Karen. That’s a possibility. I have made this numerous times without any texture issues. I typically use a standard glass jar of applesauce.

          1. Thanks, I will be trying again.

  8. Do you need to add the xanthan gum if your AP flour already has it?

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      You can leave out the xanthan gum if your flour already has it.

  9. Any chance this can be made into muffins instead of a cake? Has any one tried with success?

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      I actually adapted these into a muffin for my cookbook 101 incredible gluten free recipes. They get oily so when you pull them out of the muffin tins put them on top of some paper towels to soak up the excess. They bake for about 17 or so minutes and let them cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.

  10. This doesn’t work with Better Batter. After 90 minutes in the oven, it was still raw in the center, and burning on the outside.

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      Hi Jane, I am so sorry to hear that. I am going to try to make this and troubleshoot any issues. Did you sub any of the other ingredients and what type of pan did you bake it in?

  11. Kassi Chapman says:

    I’m considering making this over the weekend. Do I need to add xanthan gum? Can I leave it out?

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      If your all purpose flour already contains xanthan gum then you do not need to add it, but if it does not then you will need a binder. Xanthan gum, guar gum, or psyllium husk will work.