Gluten Free Coffee Cake


I have to give credit for this idea to Andy, my husband. The other day I made my Vanilla Bean Cake, and he said, “You know what would be really good? If you made this into coffee cake.” I thought making a variation of it sounded great. One of the reasons I think everyone loves the Vanilla Bean Cake so much is because it’s grain-free. More and more people are asking me for grain-free recipes. My other baked goods are very low-grain, but this one has no grains at all.

Also, I tricked the eye with the topping, which looks like brown sugar, but is not. I pureed walnuts, coconut sugar and cinnamon to get a similar look and taste. Then I crumbled it on top and swirled it into the cake batter. It came out so yummy! I can’t wait to try it out on a neighbor. I get such a kick out of that: “This is made of what? Beans? No, you’re kidding. This isn’t brown sugar? Really?” heehee :-)

Gluten Coffee Cake

Add to food processor:
2 cups cooked white beans, room temperature, so they don’t cook the eggs (I make mine myself by soaking dry white beans overnight. In the morning I rinse them well, and cook them. Directions to follow in tip below.)
6 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla liquid stevia (do not measure over the batter, just in case it spills out)
(What is stevia & why do I love it? Click here )
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey

Puree well.

1/4 cup coconut oil, liquified
(Why coconut oil? Click here )
1/3 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder

Puree well.

Pour batter into large rectangular greased pan.

Puree Crumble Topping

3 cups of walnuts
2 tbsp butter, ghee, or coconut oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut sugar (depending on your taste)
1 tbsp cinnamon

Spread the crumble over the top of the batter.
Using a fork or knife, really swirl the topping into the batter.
Then pat the topping down.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Great hot or cold from the refrigerator.

Store in the refrigerator after the first day.

Recipe Tips

I would also like to offer another tip to eating healthier and saving money—Cook your own dry beans. Buying beans that come in an aluminum can was another big habit that I wanted to break. By purchasing dry, uncooked beans, I not only save money, but they are much easier to digest. The reason beans cause gas is because most of us eat beans from a can that haven’t been properly soaked and rinsed before cooking. It’s a shame that these canned beans have given beans a bad reputation, because beans are very nutritious and great for all sorts of recipes. Plus, beans come in all kinds of pretty shapes and colors. Here is how to make them yourself.

Pour beans one handful at a time into a large bowl, picking out any pebbles or discolored beans. I usually make 2 cups of dry beans at a time.
Cover beans in water plus a few extra inches of water, and soak overnight, or up to 24 hours.
Pour soaked beans through a mesh strainer in your sink to remove the soaking water.
Place the beans back in the empty bowl and fill with fresh water.
Stir the beans around in the fresh water and strain again.
Add the beans to a pot with enough water to cover plus an extra inch or two.
Bring water to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low and cover for about one hour.
Strain the cooked beans.



  1. says

    This looks beautiful Kelly! I love how you did the topping – it really looks like a brown sugar streusel. I have not made your white bean cake yet, but it is on my list to try. I make a grain-free, egg-free, sugar-free coffee cake, not with a topping though. I swirl cinnamon and a few other ingredients into the batter after I pour it in the pan. I can email it to you if you want to try it, though can’t share it on my blog because it will be in my new book! I love all of the great recipes you come up with, thanks for sharing your cooking genius with the world! -Ali :)

  2. says

    Oh my goodness! This sounds amazing! I am bookmarking it now, thank you for this genius.

    One question on the cake though. I love using honey, but only keep pure stevia powder on hand, and don’t really like it in baking. I can add vanilla, cinnamon, etc., no problem, but what would you say the amount of stevia you used is (equivalent) if using another sweetener? Thanks!

  3. says

    Thanks Alisa!

    It depends what sweetener you use in baking. Liquid stevia is very concentrated, so you may need 1/2 a cup or more of something like dehydrated cane juice. Or maybe 1/2 a cup of xylitol. I’m not really sure. Let us know :-)

  4. says

    I just added peach coffee cake muffins to my bakery site! This looks so good! Glad to know us gluten-free people are on the same wavelength.

    I’ve been reading your site awhile, and love it! Thanks.

  5. Alexa says

    I made this this morning after seeing the recipe on the Whole Gang Blog the other day. The whole bean things was just too intriguing, so I HAD to try it. I am blown away at how yummi the end result is. Light and fluffy and wonderful. I have stayed away from Stevia before, because just smelling the powered one in the store make me feel an aftertaste in my mouth, but the liquid stuff worked great in the cake.

    Using all leftover beans to make the white bean dip from Ali at nourishingmeals, it’s to die for!

  6. says

    Hey Kelly, I made your coffee cake for my husbands birthday and it turned out fantastic! It was my first experience baking with beans, and I was SO pleased with the result. So was my husband. I’m giving this recipe a shout-out on my blog also. I already shared it with my sister and she made it for Thanksgiving back home in Florida. Everyone loved it!

  7. Sue says

    I hope I am reading your directions correctly. You use 2 cups of cooked beans in the recipe and you cook 2 cups of dried beans at a time. That means you have extra cooked beans. How do you store the leftovers? Thank you.

  8. Anonymous says

    I am so excited to have found you! About a year ago I was tested for food allergies and it would be easier to tell you what I can eat rather than what I cannot. Main issues are not gluten but the mold on wheat’s and grains, I am not allergic to dairy but the mold on it. I am so excited to be able to indulge a sweet tooth without feeling bad for days! Please keep up your work for people like me who do not have time to cook and/or do not have the cooking knowhow you have!

  9. says

    Thanks guys!

    Yes, I cook two cups of dry beans at a time, and use two cups of cooked beans in the recipe, so there are leftovers. I use them for bean dip, biscuits (both of which are on my blog here) and I keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days :-)

  10. Anonymous says

    Omy I just made this cake. I wasn’t sure what to expect, with the whole beans. I was thinking of how much I love red bean buns from china town and how long it’s been since i’ve had any and then decided to try this recipie. It’s amazing! The texture is wonderful.

    I only had half the eggs, so i used some ground flax, mixed with water and sour cream. It turned out so so so good. I’m inspired! Thanks!!!

  11. says

    sounds great but is there something to sub for the stevia? we really hate the under taste of it and we use mostly raw honey for sweetening everything…not sure if i tried honey how much to use…but i would love to try it – it looks really good!

  12. says

    Saw this at the Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger posted by Sea and discovered I already had copied it to try! Those yeast-free buns are up next. Great recipes!

  13. Anonymous says

    Kelly –

    All I can say is “WOW”. I just made this for dessert tonight (my parents were over) and they couldn’t believe this was grain free. They LOVED it. My daughter (the reason we went grain and starch free) was so excited and absolutely loved this recipe.

    Can’t wait to get your new cookbook – it’s on its way.

  14. says

    This may be my new favorite breakfast/snack/dessert recipe. Today I’m making it with homemade berry jam swirled in. It’s not done yet but I already know it’s going to be amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful and creative recipes.

  15. AshleeP says

    I have this recipe in the oven right now, to be served to my family that is reluctant to give up sugar/grains. Keep your fingers crossed! Thanks for posting such helpful recipes!

  16. says

    This looks wonderful! I am trying to cut out sugar from my diet because of hypoglycemia and it’s nice to see a dessert that would be so yummy. I am wondering if there is a way to use Stevia from a packet instead of the liquid? What would the conversion be?

  17. Anne says

    Thanks so much for all your recipes. I am on a candida yeast cleanse and I have made several of your deserts and don’t feel like I’m missing much…except wine LOL.
    Can’t have honey tho, NO SUGAR, can I just add extra stevia or is it included for some moisture purpose? Thanks again, keep up the excellent work!

  18. says

    I’ve been following your blog for months and have recommended to many people. I’ve been collecting the unique ingredients over time and I finally made something today…this coffee cake. Wow! It’s so yummy! My hubby liked it and had no idea it was made from beans. So cool! I have a question…if cake is made from beans, is it ok to just have cake for dinner :o)

  19. says

    This looks so good! I’d love to make this –and the other Vanilla Bean Cake variations– but I’m not sure how they’d turn out if I omitted the baking powder. I’m new to the SCD way of life and can’t have baking powder. Do you have any suggestions for me?

    Many thanks,

  20. says

    I’ve made this many times now, oh so yummy! The other day I made a 1/2 recipe and added 1/4 cup pecans and 1/3 cup chocolate chips. I baked them in mini-bundt pans and they were a huge hit. (A 1/2 recipe makes 4 mini bundt cakes.)

  21. says

    This is my “go-to” recipe for cake/cupcakes/coffee cake now. Question: Can you use the medium heat coconut oil? I accidentally bought that kind- I usually use the high heat.

  22. says

    Love this recipe-it’s my go-to now.

    Question: Does it matter what type of coconut oil you use (high heat/medium heat)?

  23. Anonymous says

    Yum! this was delicious. It made a full 9×13 pan a good 1 1/2 inches thick. I forgot the kids don’t like nut toppings. So they were nibbling, not wolfing it down, and grandpa is allegic to walnuts..oops! I am going to try to freese half of it so I don’t eat the whole thing.

  24. Anonymous says

    Since it’s only us two at home, I halve the recipe and use an 8×8-inch pan which works well for me. I don’t cook my own beans, and I use a whole can of the white kidney beans, whatever I can find on sale. This a delightful recipe and so easy! Instead of nuts, I cut up a big mango, tossed it with some honey and a bit of lime and used that for the topping. It was stellar. Thank you so much for creating this recipe. It’s so easy to play with and everyone I share it with raves about it! I have yet to tell them I make it with white beans….that will be our little secret! ** Cecila

  25. says

    I’ve made this a few times now and absolutely love it. This time I made it without the crumble topping and with a fresh strawberry swirl. It was amazing!

    (3 cups fresh sliced strawberries with 1-2 tbsp arrowroot, lay down 3/4 of the batter, top with strawberries, top with rest of batter and swirl).

  26. says

    I just took this bad-boy out of the oven and tried a little square of it… and WOW, holy moo cow! Delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!
    My only qualm is with the descriptive title of the cake as being “sugar-free”… perhaps refined sugar-free is more accurate? :)

  27. says

    I have a bad reaction to Stevia and don’t like to use artificial sweeteners. Would you have a suggestion for a substitute for the Stevia? Coconut sugar or raw cane sugar, if so how much would you suggest? I know Stevia is far sweeter than most sugars and you only need a little. Thanks

  28. says

    My struggle is that my son has the dreaded peanut & tree nut allergy. He’s not allergic to coconut, which functions more like a fruit. But, any nut-based topping is out for us. Kelly, can you think of another topping I could substitute for the streusel, since it has walnuts in it? I’d so love to make this!

  29. says

    This is a delicious coffee cake with none of the side effects of sugar and refined flours. I’ve made this 3 times in less that 2 weeks. I had a group of house guests that loved it!! Thank you so much for sharing this and for what you do!!

  30. Anonymous says

    This is FAB!!! I can’t wait to make the vanilla cake version with chocolate frosting. I couldnt believe how great the cake texture was, and it was incredibly moist. My family loved it.

  31. Kate says

    Just made this, used real sugar [about a half cup] and was pleased with the results. Super yummy, not too coconutty, moist, and lovely. Thank you for this great recipe!

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