Blueberry Coffee Cake (Gluten-Free)


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Red Star Yeast.  As always, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

When I first decided that I was going to start doing some gluten-free baking, I was terrified. I had dabbled a bit in gluten-free in the past, and it didn’t go real well. But, this time I was also determined.  And, if you know me, you know that when I set my mind to something, I do it.

I had this idea in my mind that there was a right and a wrong way to bake without gluten. For someone who is rather comfortable in the kitchen, substituting left and right, I refused to deviate from the recipes in the gluten-free cookbooks I had. I was too afraid to mess it all up.

Then, as I was reading through an article by Shauna (Gluten-Free Girl), hoping that she would show me the “right” way to come up with a flour blend, I stumbled upon this quote

“What’s the worst that can happen? A few bad baked goods? Eh, there are worse fates.”

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

My fear of baking a bad cookie or a flat loaf of bread had crippled me. It was silly. The best way to learn is to play around, to try things out, to experiment… And, to fail.


Instead of looking to gluten-free cookbooks and existing recipes (and, there’s nothing wrong with that… and there are some fabulous ones out there!), I decided to start working on my own recipes, taking inspiration from things that I already knew how to do well.

I started with a recipe for coffee cake that was passed down to me from my grandmother. It’s a rather simple recipe, a light and soft cake with a nice crunchy brown sugar and cinnamon topping. I have memories of eating it for breakfast as a kid… It was always my favorite.

I replaced the all purpose flour in the recipe with a blend of gluten-free flours (measuring by weight) and attempted to substitute yeast for the baking powder in the recipe. The first attempt was awful. It was flat and dry. We ate it, doused in some yogurt and berries. And, I laughed about it, remembering Shauna’s words.

I kept at it, though… Each attempt got a little bit better. I tweaked the blend of flours that I was using… I used a bit more yeast… I let the batter rise overnight to develop the flavor… And, I decided to keep the berries. They had just been a garnish to make my first attempt edible, but I had been on to something. The blueberries were the perfect addition to the cake.

Finally, I had the light and fluffy cake that I was looking for.


The original version of this coffee cake has been a favorite of my family for years… And, I’m really happy to say that my gluten-free revised version of the cake has become a new favorite. My husband claims he wouldn’t even know that it was gluten-free, and the kiddo happily nibbled on her slice for breakfast. She also begged for more later in the day (requesting a “cooooookie” – her word for anything she deems delicious at the moment).

This recipe will be featured on the Red Star Yeast website… Yes, it’s a coffee cake made with yeast! And, you’ll be glad it is. In addition to giving the cake a lift, the yeast adds a nice depth of flavor, which allowed me to pull back on the amount of sugar in the recipe.

Even if you’ve been afraid of baking with yeast (or, like me, without gluten), I think you’ll find this recipe is an easy starting point. I simply mixed the cake up with a bowl and a wooden spoon. Since you’re dealing with gluten-free flours, you can’t overmix the batter, and there’s no need to knead.

Looking for more gluten-free recipes? You’ll find a great selection of recipes to try from Red Star Yeast in the Our Best Recipes section of their website. You’ll also want to check out their Pinterest boards and Facebook page.


Gluten-Free Blueberry Coffee Cake
Serves 10-12

I’ve chosen blueberries for this cake, but any berries that you like would work well. And, if you prefer, you can skip the berries entirely.

This cake is best prepared the night before. Allowing the batter to rise overnight gives the cake a nice rise and also develops the flavor. For a quick breakfast in the morning, you can prep the topping the night before, too. Simply store it in an airtight container and add it to the coffee cake right before baking.

For the coffee cake batter:

  • 120 grams (approx. ½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 grams (approx. ¾ cup) millet flour
  • 80 grams (approx. ½ cup + 1 tablespoon) tapioca starch
  • 65 grams (approx. ½ cup) almond flour
  • 65 grams (approx ½ cup) sorghum flour
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husks
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg

For the topping:

  • 75 grams (¼ cup) dark brown sugar
  • 20 grams (2 tablespoons) millet flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flours – millet, tapioca, almond, and sorghum, psyllium husks, yeast, and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine the milk and butter and heat in the microwave until the milk is warm and the butter has just melted (approximately 1 minute on high in my microwave). Stir and add to the flour mixture. Add the egg. Use a wooden spoon to stir the batter until the liquid and egg are incorporated into the batter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Transfer the batter to a lightly greased 8 by 8-inch baking dish, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the batter come to room temperature (and rise slightly) while allowing the oven to preheat and making the topping.

To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, millet flour, and butter in a small mixing bowl.  Use a your fingers or a fork to cut the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles wet crumbs. Stir in the almonds.


Just before baking the cake, sprinkle the top of the batter with the blueberries. Top with the crumble topping. Bake for 30 – 32 minutes, until the topping is golden and the center does not jiggle when moved.

Allow the cake to cool before slicing. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 – 2 days.


My Kitchen Addiction Disclosure – This post was sponsored by Red Star Yeast.  Though I have been compensated to write this post, all opinions expressed are my own.

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