This gluten-free coffee cake is made extra rich and tender with the addition of sour cream. It is filled and topped with a cinnamon sugar.

Based on a long-time family recipe, this coffee cake is sure to become your new go-to recipe!

close up shot of gluten free coffee cake in metal baking dish with piece scooped out

This is hands down the best coffee cake I’ve ever had. Bold claim, but it’s true! This recipe is based on my Grandma’s tried-and-true sour cream cinnamon nut cake.

With a good gluten-free flour blend and a few tweaks, I’ve made it to be undetectably gluten-free. Like this best gluten-free banana bread and gluten-free muffin recipe, nobody will be able to guess it’s gluten-free!

This gluten-free sour cream coffee cake is one of my favorite things to make as a special occasion breakfast cake (think Christmas morning served with this gluten-free quiche). Even if you’re just making it on a random Monday, it’s sure to brighten your day!

For more gluten-free cakes, try this gluten-free vanilla cake or this gluten-free chocolate sheet cake.

Ingredients You’ll Need

labeled collage of ingredients to make gluten-free coffee cake

For the Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

This cake is make with easy-to-find everyday ingredients. Here are a few notes on the key ingredients:

  • Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour: These muffins turn out best when you use a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour. Look for a blend that contains xanthan gum so the muffins have the structure they need. This is my favorite brand.
  • Sour Cream: This is the secret ingredient to amazing coffee cake! It adds richness and tenderness as well as a delicious flavor.
  • Spices: I love the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom in this coffee cake.
  • Nuts: You can use either pecans or walnuts. I usually use pecans!
labeled image of ingredients to make coffee cake topping

For the Cinnamon Nut Topping

A cinnamon nut cumble topping makes this gluten-free coffee cake especially delicious. You’ll also layer some of this mixture as a filling for delicious cinnamon sugar flavor in every bite.

You also might like these gluten-free cinnamon rolls!

cinnamon nut mixture for topping the cake

How to Make Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

dry ingredients mixed together and sour cream mixed with baking soda
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamon.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the streusel topping and set aside.
  • In another separate bowl mix together the sour cream and baking soda.
how to mix together the batter for gluten-free coffee cake
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) cream the room temperature butter, white sugar, and brown sugar for 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and eggs and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the side and bottom of the electric mixer bowl and mix again.
gluten free coffee cake batter with nuts folded in in glass bowl
  • With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Now add the wet ingredients, including 1/2 the sour cream. Mix, then add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients.
  • Repeat with the remaining sour cream and dry ingredients, mixing after each addition. Stir in nuts.
coffee cake batter layered with cinnamon nut mixture in baking dish
  • Now it’s time to layer the batter and cinnamon crumble! Spoon half of the batter from a large bowl and into the prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cinnamon swirl in an even layer over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the sand layer and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar nut sand on the top. (You may not use it all).
  • Bake! Let the gluten-free sour cream coffee cake cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
slice of cake on white plate with fork

Storage Tips/Make Ahead

This coffee cake is best eaten within a day it’s baked. It can be frozen for longer storage.

To Freeze: Wrap the crumb cake tightly in several layers of plastic wrap. Then wrap in foil. Store as is, in a cake pan, or in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months. Let the cake defrost in the refrigerator (the texture is better than thawing it at room temperature) when you’re ready to eat it.

Gluten-Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake FAQ

What makes a coffee cake dry?

Coffee cake can become dry if you add too much flour or not enough butter. Adding sour cream to coffee cake results in an ultra-moist, rich cake.

What flavor is coffee cake?

Coffee cake is an single-layer cake infused with cinnamon and a crumb topping of butter, flour, and sugar on top of the cake. It’s perfect with a cup of coffee, for breakfast, or dessert.

What is the difference between coffee cake and cake?

Coffee cake is unique because of its cinnamon flavor and cinnamon streusel topping. It’s a great recipe that can easily be made with pantry staples!

Gluten-Free Coffee Cake Tips and Tricks

  • Layer your baking pan with parchment paper to easily remove the coffee cake for serving.
  • You can use either pecans or walnuts for this gluten-free coffee cake. I like to use pecans. But of course, if you have a nut allergy or don’t like nuts, you can skip them!
  • Butter helps give this cake a more tender, rich crumb. Try splurging on a European butter like Kerrygold for an even richer flavor!
  • If you don’t have sour cream, you can try substituting with plain whole milk yogurt.
  • Adding too much flour with result in a dense, dry cake. Remember to use a measuring cup and be precise, using the back of a butter knife to level off your flour.
  • I love serving this gluten-free coffee cake with fresh fruit and quiche as a special occasion breakfast.

More Gluten-Free Baking Recipes

Happy Baking! I hope you like this recipe as much as we do. If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment/rating below!

close up shot of gluten free coffee cake in metal baking dish with piece scooped out
5 from 25 votes

Gluten-Free Coffee Cake (with Sour Cream)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 slices
This gluten-free coffee cake is made extra rich and tender with the addition of sour cream! It is filled and topped with a cinnamon sugar. Based on a long-time family recipe, this coffee cake is sure to become your new go-to recipe!

Ingredients

For the Sour Cream Coffee Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1 cup sour cream blended
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter or grease a 9x9x2 inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamon. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the topping and set aside. In another small bowl, mix together the sour cream and baking soda.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) cream the butter and brown and granulated sugar for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl and mix again.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add 1/2 the sour cream and mix, followed by another 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Repeat with the remaining sour cream and dry ingredients, mixing after each addition. Stir in the nuts.
  • Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar nut sand over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the sand layer and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar nut sand on the top (you may not use it all).
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Notes

Dairy-Free? I’ve successfully made this coffee cake dairy-free with vegan butter and Kite Hill dairy-free sour cream.
Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour: These muffins turn out best when you use a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour. Look for a blend that contains xanthan gum so the muffins have the structure they need. This is my favorite brand.

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This cake was moist and delicious. Everyone raved about it. I modified the topping by adding 2 tbsp of butter and a dash of salt for a moist, savory-sweet topping. Next time, I’ll increase the topping by 1/3 since there wasn’t enough to cover both layers. Overall, I would make this recipe again and again.

  2. 5 stars
    I literally NEVER leave comments, but I HAD to write one for this because it was THAT good. Best GF dessert I’ve ever made – like others said, you cannot tell it’s GF at all. Perfect texture, perfect amount of sweetness, and very well written instructions. It makes all the difference! Thanks so much for this incredible recipe. I won’t ever need to look for another one for coffee cake.

  3. 5 stars
    Love this moist cake so very much. Since I had milk that had soured, I used that in lieu of sour cream and it came out delicious! Highly recommend this recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Fabulous – I added more walnuts bc I like the texture. I did half and half of plain yogurt and sour cream. My mom used to make this when she had ladies over for coffee when I was a school aged child, and since I’ve become celiac I haven’t even thought of it. I had this craving for it, and googled it and voila this was wonderful! I took some to my mom and she could not believe this was gluten free. I used King Arthur 1:1 flour. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. I’m so happy you were able to recreate a childhood favorite! Glad it got your Mom’s approval too 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely scrumptious. No one could ever guess it’s Gluten free. So moist. One of the yummiest cakes EVER. I always make 2. A mandolin slicer is the trick to get super thin slices of apple. But be careful with the mandolin slicer.
    Use the hand guard! Trust me!

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