Gluten Free Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

While staying at the all-inclusive Hyatt Zilara in Cancun, Mexico last week, their bakery served these little gluten free apple coffee cakes with streusel topping. I absolutely fell in love with them! It was so nice to have a few gluten free treats. I created a duplicate recipe for you. Of course, I made the lower-fat version after indulging so much on vacation. In the cake, I used mainly dairy-free margarine and non-fat Greek yogurt instead of butter and sour cream. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 48 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Yield: Makes sixteen 2-inch squares

Gluten Free Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

A moist gluten free apple coffee cake topped with a cinnamon streusel topping. Great for snacking or dessert. Add nuts to the streusel or cake, if desired.


    For the Streusel Topping:
  • 1/2 cup white or brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (or dairy-free substitute), cold (or dairy free¬†baking sticks- Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • For the Cake:
  • 1 cup Carla's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend recipe, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†gluten-free baking powder (Rumford's*)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free margarine (Smart Balance) (or unsalted butter at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free nonfat Greek¬†yogurt (Chobani) (or gluten free¬†sour cream)**
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and small diced (1-1/4 cups)


    To Make the Streusel Topping:
  1. Mix together the flour blend, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter until small lumps form.. Alternatively, you can smear them together using your fingers.
  2. To Make the Cake:
  3. Preheat the oven to 325¬ļF.
  4. Oil a square 8 x 8 square dish. (I used glass.) Flour the dish, shaking to distribute the flour evenly and discarding any excess; set the dish aside.
  5. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour blend with the baking powder and salt; set aside.
  6. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together the margarine, sugar, (and vanilla, if using organic sugar) until fluffy and some of the sugar breaks down, 1 - 2 minutes if using margarine (5 minutes for butter). (You need as much liquid as possible to break down organic sugar.
  7. Add the eggs and egg whites one at a time, beating on medium speed after each addition until thoroughly combined. (The eggs contain lots of water and will break down the organic sugar further.)
  8. Add one-half of the dry mixture at a time while beating after each addition on medium-low speed until smooth, scraping sides if necessary.
  9. Add the Greek yogurt, and vanilla, if not already added, and beat until thoroughly blended.
  10. Fold in the apples using a rubber/silicone spatula or the paddle attachment of your mixer.
  11. Scoop the batter into the prepared dish and even out the top as best you can. Evenly distribute the crumble topping on top.
  12. Bake for about 48 minutes. (Test the cake with a wooden toothpick or cake tester to be sure it comes out clean. However, a clean toothpick or tester is not an indication that the cake is done. Also be aware that the cake is certainly not done if the batter jiggles.)
  13. Remove the dishfrom the oven and allow the cake to cool completely in the dish on a wire rack, about 2 hours. If the cake falls/collapses early on, return it back to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. It will puff right back up.
  14. Slice into 16 pieces. Serve immediately and freeze any leftover cake that will not be consumed within one day.


*Use Featherweight brand for corn-free baking powder

**Dairy-Free: If you do not have access to dairy-free yogurt (even vanilla flavored will do), increase the sugar by 3 tablespoons and the butter by 1 tablespoon. This will make up for the lack of moisture in the yogurt or sour cream. If you use sour cream, feel free to reduce the butter by 1 tablespoon.

Dairy-Free UPDATE: I tried a different flour blend, my new oat flour blend with a new dairy-free yogurt substitute: 3 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk + 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons lactic acid. It worked well!

8 Replies to “Gluten Free Apple Crumb Coffee Cake”

    1. Also, since your first batch came out lighter, I suggest that you weigh the flour. Always use a tablespoon to scoop the flour into a dry measuring cup and level off with a straight edge of the spoon. Scooping flour causes it to compact, creating heavier baked goods. If you weigh the flour each time that you bake, when something is successful, you’ll know exactly how much to use the next time. If you use the scoop method the last two times that it turned out heavily, you may consider removing at least 1 tablespoon of flour before adding it to the recipe.

      Good luck.


  1. Hi! This is my go to crumb cake recipe! I just have one issue though and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I follow exactly your recipe except when I make it dairy free I use df sour cream with a little df milk mix it up to make it like buttermilk and I use df butter and everything else is the same. I use your AP flour in it too. The first time I made it it was more light and airy and then now the last few times I make it it’s more like heavy and more dense. Maybe I should use less apples? I use 1-1/4 cups of apples .. are the apples weighing it down? I’m so confused. If you can help that would be awesome!

    1. Maria,

      I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this cake recipe.

      If you wish to make it lighter, try beating the egg whites by themselves until soft peaks form, in a separate bowl; set aside. Then, add the egg yolks By themselves to the butter mixture and beat until creamy. Then, add in the appoint and continue with the recipe.

      Traditionally, this cake is a little heavy.


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