Cinnamon Swirl Cake (Gluten-Free) - Danielle Walker

Though I love being in the kitchen, let’s face it, December is a wild month for cooking and baking. The multicourse meals, cooking for big crowds, endless potlucks, and don’t forget the bake sales! So to me, December ‘tis the season for….dishes that look fancy enough for a holiday or party, but are secretly super quick and easy. Because we all want to impress our families or friends with special treats, but at such a crowded moment, we need easy-to-execute recipes that are surefire hits. So I humbly present… my Gluten and Grain-Free Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Combine just eight ingredients (I’ll swear you have them on hand already), a toothpick and a blender, and less than 30 minutes in the oven; and viola, out comes this soft, fluffy, cinnamon swirly cake. Personally, I think it is the perfect Christmas morning breakfast, though you’ll want to make one wayyyy before then 😉

above shot cinnamon swirl coffee cake ingredientsCake mix coffee cake 

My absolute favorite shortcut to cake is using a great grain-free boxed cake mix. Cake mixes are fantastic because they already contain leavening agents (like baking soda) and sweetener in perfect measure.

My favorite grain-free flour mix is available in my Eat Well, Feel Great course, but a great boxed mix option is Simple Mills’ grain-free cake mix which is what I tested this recipe with. When you choose a boxed mix, you want to make sure to check the package to ensure it contains baking soda, baking powder, and sweetener as otherwise you’ll need to add those separately. If you use the course baking mix, it is unsweetened so please see recipe instructions below for quantity to use. 

Cinnamon swirl cake 

The key to this cinnamon swirl cake? The sugared cinnamon mixture you swirl throughout the cake. And it couldn’t be easier — a little reserved cake mix, a little yogurt, a bit of maple sugar, and cinnamon. After pouring half the batter into your cake pan, drop dollops of this cinnamon mixture and drag a toothpick through to make swirls. Then add the rest of the cake batter over top and repeat the process. This gives you pockets of cinnamony swirl throughout the cake! 

above shot cinnamon swirl coffee cake in a pan with parment paper on the counter ready to bake

Greek yogurt in baking 

Greek yogurt is a fantastic ingredient for baking as it adds lots of moisture and creaminess. Since it is a bit tangy, it works similarly to sour cream or buttermilk in baked goods. Plus, its acidity activates the baking soda it mixes with, creating a light and fluffy product. 

I tested this recipe with a dairy-free yogurt as well (Cocojune) and it worked, however, it was a bit denser and less light and fluffy than the Greek yogurt version. 

slice of cinnamon coffee cake with a mug of coffee sitting on a white counter

Make ahead Christmas breakfast 

Remember when I said that this Gluten Free Cinnamon Swirl Cake would make an excellent breakfast for Christmas morning? You could either choose to make it that morning, or if you’re strapped for time, you could bake it the day before and then just warm it in the oven before serving. See? Easy and special. 

Gluten-free breakfast options 

If you’re looking for more sweet treat, gluten and grain-free breakfast inspo, here are some more recipes to tempt you…

Caramel Apple Spice Waffles

A plate stacked high with Caramel Apple Spice Waffles.

 

Paleo Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts 

Gluten-Free Spiced Apple Muffins 

above shot of apple spiced muffins on a white plate next to a cup of coffee

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Cinnamon Swirl Cake (Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Breakfast

Ingredients

Scale

Swirl 

  • ¼ cup reserved cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt*
  • 3 tablespoons maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. In a blender, combine the remaining cake mix (minus the reserved ¼ cup), eggs, Greek yogurt, avocado oil, cashew milk, and vanilla extract. Blend until well combined and smooth, 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. In a separate bowl, prepare the cinnamon swirl mixture by mixing together the reserved cake mix, Greek yogurt, maple sugar, and ground cinnamon. Stir until it forms a thick, smooth paste.
  4. Grease an 8×8 baking dish lightly with avocado oil and line with parchment paper.
  5. Pour half of the cake batter into the pan, spreading it evenly.
  6. Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon swirl mixture on top of the batter. Use a knife or toothpick to gently swirl the cinnamon mixture into the batter.
  7. Pour the remaining cake batter over the cinnamon swirl layer, spreading it evenly.
  8. Add another layer of cinnamon swirl mixture on top and swirl it gently into the batter.
  9. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.
  11. Carefully remove the coffee cake from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Slice into squares, serve the cinnamon coffee cake, and enjoy!

Notes

  • I tested this once with dairy-free plain yogurt by CocoJune and it works, but does make a bit more of a dense cake.
  • **To use my Eat Well Feel Great course baking mix, use 7.5-8 oz of course mix and add 4 oz (1/2 cup) of coconut or maple sugar to it. Please note, this recipe hasn’t been tested with this mix and may require some trial and error to find the perfect ratio.

 

12/06/23

Cinnamon Swirl Cake (Gluten-Free)

above shot of cinnamon coffee cake cup of coffee and raspberry and gold fork

COMMENTS

  1. Tricia Bittinger says:

    If I use your flour mix, should I just weigh out 11.5 oz?

    • Danielle says:

      So to replicate 11.5 oz of boxed cake mix, you’d want to use 7.5-8 oz of EWFG course baking mix + 4 oz of coconut or maple sugar to sweeten.

  2. Terissa says:

    What brand of Greek plain yogurt would you rec , & do you think almond milk would work instead of cashew ?

  3. Lindsay says:

    I have been tested and I have an extreme allergic reaction to ingredients in Simple Mills. Can you suggest an alternative, please.

    • Danielle says:

      Sorry to hear that! You could use any grain-free (or gluten-free if that works for you) boxed mix. The ratios would remain the same.

  4. Nancy Clark says:

    Can I use Almond Milk instead of Cashew Milk?

  5. Heidi says:

    Hello, do you have your flour mix recipe in one of your cookbooks? I would love to make this but will need to know how to make the flour mix. Thank you!

    • Danielle says:

      Hi! My flour mix is a recipe that is exclusive to my Eat Well Feel Great course. But, check the ingredients at the bottom of the blog post for a link to the boxed mix I used to test the recipe. You can easily use that.

  6. Rachel says:

    Me too, Lindsay!

  7. Taylor says:

    Hi! I made this for the first time. It’s currently in the oven. Is it normal for the cake batter to be fairly liquidy?

  8. Meg says:

    I made this today and it was yummy! I did have one issue though… My cinnamon swirl sunk to the bottom of the dessert. I followed the recipe directions. The only difference was I used coconut sugar instead of maple because that’s what I had. Any ideas on what happened? Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  9. Meg says:

    Hello, I made this yesterday and it tasted yummy! I had one issue though… my cinnamon swirl sunk to the bottom of the dessert. I followed the directions. The only thing I did different was use coconut sugar instead of maple because that’s what I had. Any thoughts on what went wrong? Thanks for the delicious recipe and Merry Christmas!

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Meg, I haven’t heard of this happening but thanks for letting me know! I’m glad it still turned out delicious!

  10. Cindy says:

    This cinnamon swirl cake is delicious! Amazingly light and fluffy! I had a little trouble swirling the cinnamon mixture – it was very thick and didn’t want to swirl. However, the cinnamon clumps were still delicious!
    I didn’t use parchment; I just greased the pan and cut/served from the pan. It didn’t stick at all.
    My only recipe alteration was that I used almond milk instead of cashew milk.
    I will definitely be making this again!

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