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Crumb Coffee Cake (Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Vegan, Anti-Candida) for Our Panera’s Gluten Free Dream Day

The quaint old notion of friends “dropping in” for a visit seems to have disappeared somewhere around the same time as shoulder pads, Eight Tracks, or Electric Light Orchestra.

When I was a child, my mother and her friends would pop over to each other’s homes at a moment’s notice, stopping by without any embellishment (never any makeup, and sometimes still in their slippers and “housedresses,” which were basically just glorified pyjamas). Because, after all, it was just mom and the kids, and for whom would they need to get all decked out, anyway, if the men weren’t around?

In those days, people lived closer together, women were friends with their neighbors, coffee was always on, and there was invariably something home-baked on the counter. Mom’s best friend–who also happened to be her cousin–lived only 3 blocks away.  Ms. Cuz could call up at 9:20 AM and be at our house by 9:40.  In the interim, my mother would put up a fresh pot of coffee and get a cake mixed and into the oven. By the time Cuzzy arrived, the cake would be just about ready to come out of the oven; the women would sit down, light up a cig, pour a cup of coffee and catch up on respective kids and husbands–and by then it was time for cake.

Nowadays, it seems, that’s all changed. Everything in our lives is faster, everything requires instant gratification and everything is immediate–everything, that is, except human contact. I mean, you know it’s gotten bad when couples have to make an appointment just to have a date with each other. Gah!

A while back , I was asked by Marly of Namely Marly to join today’s “Our Panera’s Gluten Free Dream Day” event, which she co-created with Allyson of Manifest Vegan.  The idea was to create a gluten free (and in my case, sugar free, egg free and dairy free) baked good based on something from the Panera menu.  Well, needless to say, I was totally chuffed and couldn’t wait to get started! I took a gander through the online list and immediately hit upon “Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake.” 

Why did I choose this particular cake?  Well, it was one of my mom’s specialities when I was a kid, and even just thinking about it brought back a flood of memories.  My parents played cards every weekend with a group of friends, and when it was my mom’s turn to hostess, she always baked at least two sweet offerings for the socializing portion of the evening, after the game.  Without fail, the table held her “famous” Chiffon Cake, often paired with Farmer’s Cheesecake or perhaps fancy cookies, or–this coffee cake.

Well, okay, not exactly “this” coffee cake. My mom’s version was made with white (wheat) flour, white sugar, eggs, and Crisco shortening. It became a staple in my own home when I first moved out on my own, because it was cheap to make, tasted good, and could go from “idea-in-your-head” to “slice-on-your-plate” in under 30 minutes.

My modernized, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, ACD-friendly version is perfectly compatible with today’s fast-paced lifestyle, however.  As soon as you hang up from that impromptu invitation you issued to your neighbor, just start on the cake. This one takes a wee bit longer to execute than my mom’s–40 minutes versus my mom’s 30–but these days, it will take your friend that long to drive from her place over to yours, anyway.

When she arrives, be sure to offer her some cake.

Mum, you know that Chaser and I could get there much faster than that if you ever invited us over for cake.  And we won’t need to put on makeup first, either.”

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Cinnamon Crumb Cake (Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Anti-Candida, Vegan; can be nut-free)

Suitable for ACD Stage 3 and beyond

This quick and easy cake will impress your guests with its light, delicate crumb and cinnamon-walnut center and topping.  Perfect for impromptu visitors or just an afternoon snack.

For the Topping/Filling:

1/3 cup (80 ml) whole rolled oats (not instant or quick-cook)

1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut sugar

1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut flour

1 Tbsp (15 ml) cinnamon

pinch fine sea salt

1/2 cup (55 g) walnut pieces or coarsely chopped walnuts**

2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut oil

For the cake:

1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened applesauce

1 Tbsp (15 ml) finely ground flax seeds

1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) apple cider vinegar

20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste

1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut sugar

1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla soy, almond or rice milk

1/3 cup (80 ml) sunflower or other light-tasting oil, preferably organic

1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

1 tsp (5 ml) pure lemon extract

2 cups (260 g) Ricki’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix

1-1/2 Tbsp (1 Tbsp plus 1-1/2 tsp, or 22.5 ml) baking powder

1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking soda

1-3/4 tsp (8.5 ml) xanthan gum

1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).  Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.

Make the topping:  In a medium bowl, combine the oats, coconut sugar, coconut flour, cinnamon and salt.  Stir to combine.  Add the coconut oil and pinch the mixture between your thumb and fingers until it’s evenly moistened and crumbly. Add the walnuts and toss to combine.  Set aside.

Make the cake: In a small bowl, whisk together the applesauce, flax, vinegar, stevia, coconut sugar, soymilk, oil, vanilla and lemon extract.  Set aside while you measure the dry ingredients, or at least 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, baking powder, soda, xanthan gum and salt.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk just until blended (do not overmix!).

Spread about half the batter in the bottom of the pan (you can measure it, or just estimate).  Sprinkle with about half the topping mixture.  Scooping out heaping tablespoonsful of the remaining batter, dot the top of the cake with the rest of the batter in spoonfuls, covering as much as you can.  Use the back of the spoon to carefully spread the top layer of batter evenly over the cake, filling any spaces as best you can.  Sprinkle with the remainder of the topping, covering the batter as evenly as possible (it’s okay if there are a few blank spots here and there). Press the topping lightly into the top of the cake.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Cool at least 20 minutes before serving. Makes 9 large or 12 more reasonable servings.  May be frozen.

**Note: I’ve made the cake nut-free by simply removing the walnuts–it worked beautifully!  It will bake up a little faster, but that’s the only difference I noticed.

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Here’s a list of the entire group of bloggers (and their recipes) who are part of today’s Dream Day (recipes will appear during the day):  

Bagels

Allyson Kramer — Jalapeno Cheddar Bagel

Muffins

Family Fresh Cooking — Wild Blueberry Muffins
Oh She Glows — Apple Crunch Muffins
Veggie Num Num — Pumpkin Muffin
Multiply Delicious — Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Scones

Heather Strang — Orange Scones

Breakfast Sweets

Namely Marly — Caramel Pecan Rolls
Diet Dessert Dogs — Cinnamon Crumb Cake

Souffles

Clean Green Simple — Spinach & Artichoke Souffle

Also, check out some other great Gluten-Free bloggers offering delicious recipes for café-type bread bar items:

This recipe has also been submitted to Amy’s weekly event, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Last Year at this Time: SOS June Roundup: Rhubarb Recipes

Two Years Ago: Über Healthy Kale and Seaweed Salad (ACD All Stages)

Three Years Ago: The Staff of the DDD Household (Beer Bread with Olives and Sundried Tomatoes–not gluten free; not ACD friendly)

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62 comments to Crumb Coffee Cake (Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Vegan, Anti-Candida) for Our Panera’s Gluten Free Dream Day

  • Gosh, you’re so right! These days, I’m scared even to call people rather than text in case I interrupt something – I can’t imagine just dropping by someone’s place unannounced! I hope that, if I make this, no one drops by on me… i wanan eat it all myself. 😛

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    And I totally forgot about texting as part of the mix! (can you tell I don’t text?) 😉 I actually *could* have eaten it all by myself. . . glad the HH was a fan or I might have! 😉

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  • Looks great, Ricki! I have never eaten at Panera, but I hope someone recreates their Spinach & Artichoke Souffle, vegan-style, not only gluten-free.. I went to the cutest resto in Kleinburg in my pre-vegan days, and they served something similar… and it was divine. 😉

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Well, you KNOW I can’t resist a culinary challenge, right–? 😉

    (Actually, it looks like Clean Green Simple is taking on that recipe–just not sure if it will be vegan or not. If not, I’m on it!) 😀

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    Tammy Reply:

    A vegan one would be awesome! We aren’t vegan, but none of us can eat eggs. :(

    I wish sometimes that friends lived closer together, or you knew your neighbors better and could just pop in. I think our families would benefit in many ways if it was still that way.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Tammy! Not sure if you realized, but my recipe is vegan–no eggs, dairy, butter, etc. :)

    And I couldn’t agree more about neighbors–I sometimes wish we said more than “hello” to each other as we hop in our cars!

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  • Scrumptious. I love your reminiscing about your mom and her friends. I was born in 1978 so I have a sense of life pre-internet, pre-cell phone, pre-texting and it was slower then.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Definitely a lot slower then! The new technologies allow for so many great things in life (blogs, obviously!), but it does make one feel a little rushed. . . all the time. Sometimes I do wish we could go back a bit!

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  • Oh wow you’ve really outdone yourself Ricki! I can’t wait to try this cake. Coffee cake is one of my all-time favs. :)

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Angela! I love coffee cake, too, so I knew I had to come up with something. Of course, I didn’t write about all the flops that preceded this one. 😉

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  • Oh my GOD. YUM. I love crumb cake. LOVE it.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yay!! Hope you like this one. :)

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  • I adore coffee cake, especially gluten free and sugar free ones! I shouldn’t keep all the goodness to myself though, once I make this, I’ll simply invite my neighbors over to share. :)

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    Ricki Reply:

    Ha ha! Let’s hope they get there asap. 😉

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  • I knew I would fall over when I saw your post, Ricki! Wow… wow and wow! This looks better than any egg laden, sugar based, gluten filled versions I have ever seen. And now I’m craving crumb cake. Beautiful… <3

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Aw, thanks so much! 😀 And can you believe I’ve never even SEEN the Panera one–? 😉

    [Reply]

  • […] Namely Marly — Caramel Pecan Rolls Diet Dessert Dogs — Cinnamon Crumb Cake […]

  • oh, ricki. oh, oh oh. i want it!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    C’mon over and I’ll share! 😀

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  • Ricki, I don’t see your AP flour mix when I click on that link – just a delish looking recipe for blueberry danish. Am I missing something, or is the link wrong? xo Kim

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yes, you’re right! Thanks so much for pointing out the error. Fixed now! 😀

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  • At my parents house people still drop by without calling ahead or something. My parents never lock their door when they are at home during the day. I could never imagine doing that. But you know, looking at your cake, I’d come over right now without any announcement and help myself. Too bad I live so far away.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yes, it really is too bad because I’d LOVE for you to come on over! And not locking doors. . .wow. Can’t even imagine.

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  • […] Diet, Dessert and Dogs – Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake […]

  • Absolutely fantastic cake, Ricki. I especially love that second photo. This is a must make cake for sure. :-) What a fun idea for a challenge! I admit that I have only been in Panera once in my lifetime. Wouldn’t want to go back now because of the flour flying around, even though they have some gf options I understand.

    Love the memories you shared, too. Yep, very much like that then. Honestly, our families are largely still like that (although I don’t think most indulge in cake on visits), but even though we are not far, we’re off the beaten path a little and don’t get dropped in on much. 😉 Kinda sad AND kinda glad about that. LOL

    Shirley

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Shirley! I knew I had a winner when the HH asked for a 2nd piece! 😉 And I know what you mean by being glad as well as sad–some days, I wouldn’t want anyone to be scared by what they saw if they dropped in unannounced!

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  • […] Fresh Cooking 5. Jalapeno Cheddar BagelRecipe: Manifest Vegan6. Cinnamon Crumb Coffee CakeRecipe: Diet, Dessert and Dogs7. Pumpkin MuffinsRecipe: Veggie num num8. Orange SconesRecipe: Heather Strang9. Apple Crunch […]

  • Looks so good. I love me a good slice of coffee cake. It was funny to read the portion of your post where your mom and The Cuz would sit with coffee in hand, dressed in house coats and light up a cig. It reminds me of that show, Mad Men. Gave me a little chuckle.
    Ricki, I will be referencing your site much more now because I am going sugar free. Trust me, this will be HARD as I LOVE muffins and desserts and anything sweet. I am super scared about this journey. I made the decision because I found out that sugar increases BP!?! Who knew? In my family we have high BP on my dads side and diabetes & HBP on my moms. I thought I should try to counter this all by going plant strong in my vegan diet and stopping bad sugars. Hence, coming here more often. I hope you won’t mind me maybe pestering you with a barage of questions?

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Rhona! And yes, I suppose my mom was in her heyday around the same time as the Mad Men women. . . I seem to recall Betty wearing one of those house dresses! 😉

    All the recipes on the blog (even those before I started the ACD) are sugar free–no refined sugar in anything. After March, 2009, you’ll find anti-candida recipes that contain no sweeteners except (at first) stevia and yacon; then later, coconut sugar and a touch of agave here or there (ie, all low glycemic sweeteners). I’d love if you have specific questions if you’d ask them on the Candida FAQ page (if appropriate) so that everyone can see the answers and perhaps benefit from them. Happy to answer what I can. :)

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  • This looks great! My grandmother used to bake coffee cakes and breads all the time, but especially when we would come visit. A cinnamon crumb coffee cake reminds me of her.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Glad I could elicit that memory for you! :) It also makes me think of my mom. . . she loved to bake, too. :)

    [Reply]

  • What a cool event! This cake looks amazing Ricki. I am a fan of anything with a lovely and crumbly topping. Mmmmm!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I agree–crumble toppings are always good! :) And Marly/Allyson get all the credit for the event. . . I just played along. :)

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  • I love coffee cake, but don’t make it often. Yours looks terrific! I agree with Shirley, that second photo is particularly nice (especially since I’m terrible at taking that kind of shot).

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Linda! I’m the same way–when I do make it, I really enjoy it, but don’t make it often. And as for the photo. . . it’s still all luck where I’m concerned–must some day learn what all the buttons on my camera are for! 😉

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  • Okay, I just discovered your blog and am so excited! I’ve been following a Candida cleanse for almost a month now, and while I’m absolutely LOVING it so far, it’s nice to find a fellow blogger who is mindful of candida issues!!

    You’ve got a new follower, for sure! 😀

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Great to know–thanks so much! I’m off to check out your site as well. Always interested to see how others approach the diet! :)

    [Reply]

  • […] Marly ~~ Caramel Pecan Rolls Diet Dessert Dogs ~~ Cinnamon Crumb […]

  • Oh my, this looks super tasty and especially love the sound of that topping and you know I have never heard of coconut sugar, will be keeping my eye out from now on!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Coconut sugar is a fantastic low glycemic sweetener–sometimes called palm sugar. It’s light brown and sort of caramelly in flavor. . . fabulous!

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  • oh my, healthy vegan coffee cake. this is amazing!!!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks! I’d say it’s “healthier” coffee cake. . . still uses flour and sugar, even if coconut sugar! 😉

    [Reply]

  • always love hearing about your mother – she sounds like a great social person – I see where you get it from! Your comments about not dropping into a neighbours house seem so right – I remember my mum and her neighbour who lived two doors down exchanging gossip and recipes and haircuts (the neighbour was a hairdresser).

    It saddens me even to remember how so many friends lived nearby in my student days and we would walk to each others houses. Then I remembered that I now have a neighbour who we drop into each others houses every now and again – I even occasionally go into the front yard, leave my door open and find myself wandering across the street to say hello – so maybe there is hope that these days aren’t gone altogether.

    I know the sort of cake you mean – not the one my mum made regularly (although I think she made one a bit like it) but one of the ones I used to lust after in magazine recipes as a girl. Imagine the coconut sugar would be wonderful in the topping!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    How great that you are still that casual with your neighbors! I don’t even know our neighbors names, sadly. And glad you like the sound of the cake–it is, somehow, a very “social” cake! :)

    [Reply]

    Johanna GGG Reply:

    I think we have got to know some neighbours because we have kids a similar age but we also know some of our neighbours because we live in a units where we are members of a body corporate – however I think it is nice to know neighbours who have kids that play with sylvia because I get to socialise less with work colleagues and friends as a result of sylvia – swings and roundabouts i figure.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    The same has happened with all of my friends who have kids–an entirely new social circle opens up. I was hoping we’d have a something similar with the dogs, but Elsie’s antisocial behavior with other dogs (except Chaser, of course) has totally ruled out that possibility!

    [Reply]

  • Katie

    Ricki – First, let me just say that your website has been such a wonderful help to me over my 3-month ACD saga…not sure what I would have done at the beginning without you! I recently discovered I can tolerate coconut sugar pretty well, and was SO excited to see this post! I do love a good coffee cake, that is for sure. Quick question, though. After I put the first half of the batter in the pan and sprinkled the topping on, the remaining batter was very difficult to spread over the top – it was very sticky and almost impossible to spread, actually. I kind of just mushed everything together, sprinkled the rest of the topping on and hoped for the best. It turned out delicious in spite of not really being layered, which is great! Is the batter supposed to be sticky like this? Any hints on how to ease this problem next time? I did bake it in a 8×11 inch dish, for lack of a square one. Thank you again so much for inspiring me to be a better, healthier cook!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Katie, thanks so much! I’m so glad the site was helpful. :)

    The batter is fairly thick and sticky. . . that’s why I say to put blobs of it scattered across the filling, then connect them by spreading with a spoon. Because of the flax seeds that absorb moisture, it’s possible that if the batter sits for a while before you spread it, it will thicken up a bit more. I’d add up to 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra milk if necessary. However, the batter is never thin enough to just pour–it’s more like a muffin batter in texture. Hope that helps!

    [Reply]

  • This updated version of your mom’s cake looks delicious! I love the way things used to be where people just stop by for coffee and cake, instead of how it is now where you have to call and everyone’s so busy.

    [Reply]

  • […] – I am Baker Apple Cinnamon Cake – Food Mood Blog Buttery Cinnamon Cake – The Purple Foodie Gluten Free Cinnamon Crumb Cake – Diet Dessert ‘n Dogs Cinnamon Roll Cake – Heat the Oven to […]

  • Carolyn

    Super-fantastically yummy! I am following the ACD diet and it’s so reassuring that I can bake something when friends or kids come over that we can ALL enjoy! Great pics too! Thanks again!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yay! I wouldn’t eat this in the early stages of the diet, but as I say in the recipe, it’s great for Stage 3 or beyond. :)

    [Reply]

  • AJ

    Just made this, it’s so good! I think its my new favourite recipe :) only things different i did was substitute quinoa flakes for the oats(no gf ones on hand), and lemon zest for the lemon extract since I didn’t have any.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yay! So glad you liked it. :) It’s one of my hubby’s favorites.

    [Reply]

  • Kim

    These look amazing – and im not just saying that b/c i havent had anything sweet in a very long time! One question though – is the 1 3/4 t xanthan gum in the recipe in addition to the 1/2 to 3/4 t that you add to your gf flour mix?
    Thanks & i love this site!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Kim! But I don’t add any xanthan to my GF mix, so it’s just the 1-3/4 tsp in the recipe. :)

    [Reply]

  • Farzana

    THis looks so yummy ! I wondered if you ever tried adding blueberries (or any other type of berries) and if so, how much liquid would I need to reduce (if I add lets say one cup frozen blueberries)

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Hi Farzana,
    I’ve never added blueberries to this particular recipe, but I’d likelly not really reduce the liquid at all. . . if so, just a tablespoon or two. You can fold in frozen blueberries (keep them frozen) and then bake the cake a little longer than suggested. As I say, I’ve never tried it, but that’s what I’d do if I wanted to add the berries. Let us know how it works out if you do give it a try!

    [Reply]

  • […] challenge anyone to try these “Marry Me” Brownies or this Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake and see if they don’t taste just as decadent as any “regular” […]

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