This gluten free crumb cake has the perfect ratio of crumb to cake. The cake is tender and light, but it’s really all about those big and crunchy crumbs. Bonus? It can be made with ingredients you probably already have in your gluten free pantry!
We just found out two days ago that our schools here are closing for the rest of the school year! I still can’t wrap my head around all that’s happening in the world today. And although it’s everywhere and it’s very serious (and I’m listening to what they’re telling us to do), I choose to NOT let it be the focus of my life. I have to, for my own sanity.
So here we are with this beautiful gluten free crumb cake!! It’s everything we remember a great crumb cake to be. Big craggy crumbs that are crunchy and sweet atop a light and tender cake mainly used as a vessel for transporting the crumbs. It’s one of those forgotten treasures and yet it’s a breeze to make and no one will know it’s gluten free.
Making the Cake Part of Gluten Free Crumb Cake
This cake has a short list of ingredients, similar to any other cake:
- Gluten free flour blend — I use my own (Kim’s gluten free flour blend), but any flour blend containing xanthan gum would work.
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Whole milk
- Sour cream–just a tad of sour cream added to cake batter results in a very tender crumb.
Cream the butter and sugar until lightened. Add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix well. Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour.
Pour the batter into a 9 by 13-inch greased and floured cake pan and spread with an offset spatula to smooth out.
Making the Crumb
Who can argue that the crumb is the absolute best part of a crumb cake? All that crunchy craggy brown sugary goodness in one bite is so satisfying. The ingredients are most likely in your pantry and refrigerator right now:
- Flour — again, I use Kim’s gluten free flour blend, but any gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum will work.
- Light brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well mixed. Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture comes together into somewhat of a crumbly stiff paste.
Squeeze together clumps of the crumb mixture in your palms and break off large chunks of it to sprinkle over the cake batter. Continue to do this until all of the crumbs have been added to the cake.
Bake the cake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F until the center is firm to touch and springs back lightly. If the cake doesn’t feel baked through, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F and continue to bake in 5-minute intervals until the cake is set but the topping doesn’t get too brown.
Crumb cakes are often sprinkled with powdered sugar when they come out of the oven, but I feel that’s a little overkill so I choose to leave it out. Feel free to dust away if that’s your desire!
Whether you serve this gluten free crumb cake as a quick breakfast or as a snack cake, make this now and your family will thank you!!
Gluten Free Crumb Cake
- 2 cups (280 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend (or your favorite flour blend containing xanthan gum)
- 5⅓ tbsp (⅓ cup or 75 g) butter, at room temperature (butter alternative may be substituted)
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (60 g) sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, at room temperature (non-dairy milk may be substituted)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 cups (280 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend (or your favorite blend of choice containing xanthan gum)
- 1¼ cups (290 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ pound (2 sticks or 226 g) butter, melted
- powdered sugar for dusting, if desired
FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray (or lightly grease with butter or shortening), dust it with gluten free flour, and tap out the excess flour.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
- Spread the mixture into prepared pan in an even layer to the edges. The batter will be thin, only about one inch high. Set aside.
FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon until well combined. Add the melted butter and stir until it comes together into a thick paste.
- Using your hands, scrunch together large handfuls of it and then break it apart right over the pan, sprinkling large and small chunks here and there to cover the entire surface of the cake batter.
- Bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or until set in the center and the cake springs back when lightly touched on the top. If the center is still not quite done, reduce the temperature to 325° F and continue to bake at 5-minute intervals until completely done and top isn't too brown.
- Remove from the oven and, if desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Allow to cool and slice and serve.