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Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake (Easy & Gluten Free)

cinnamon-roll-coffee-cake-(easy-&-gluten-free)

Sure, cinnamon rolls are great … if you have 4 to 24 hours to spare! But now you can get all the delicious flavor of ooey gooey cinnamon rolls in a much faster and beautiful breakfast with our Gluten-Free Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake. Tender coffee cake batter gets infused with a ribbon of cinnamon roll filling and pecans that runs through the middle of each slice. Simple, easy to serve, warm, and ready in under an hour. Now that’s how we like our cinnamon rolls!

Overhead view of a round cinnamon roll coffee cake with a white frosting drizzle and chopped pecans sprinkled on top.

Cinnamon Roll Flavor in Easy-to-Make Coffee Cake

We’ve taken all the best parts of cinnamon rolls, from the tender crumb and gooey cinnamon filling to the crunchy pecans and glaze on top, and turned it into an easy-to-make coffee cake. We’ve tried our hand at gluten-free cinnamon rolls and we are always a bit frustrated by the effort and time it takes to make a batch. There had to be an easier way! This recipe makes it easy to scratch an itch for homemade cinnamon rolls, and it comes together easily in coffee cake form.

A slice of gluten free coffee cake being lifted from the round cake with a silver serving utensil.

Ingredients to make Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

Our Gluten-Free Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake calls for simple, everyday ingredients from your pantry and refrigerator. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gluten-free flour blend – if you don’t want or need gluten-free coffee cake, you can use the same amount of unbleached all-purpose flour. For gluten-free flours, we recommend Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One Gluten-Free Baking Flour or King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Gluten-Free Flour.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Ground cinnamon – a little goes in the batter and a lot goes in the cinnamon roll filling
  • Plain Greek yogurt – yogurt helps create a moist and tender coffee cake; we recommend using full-fat plain Greek yogurt for the best consistency. For dairy-free, we recommend you use a non-dairy yogurt and add 1-2 additional tablespoons of flour if the yogurt is thin. Alternatively, you can use 1/2 cup of coconut yogurt and 1/4 cup of coconut cream (the thick cream from the top of a can of canned coconut milk)
  • Eggs – you’ll need 2 whole eggs for this recipe. For egg-free, replace the eggs with a flax egg mixture (4 tablespoons flax meal mixed with 8 tablespoons water); please note, the texture of the coffee cake will be a little gummy like most egg-free baked goods, but overall a success
  • Cane sugar
  • Milk – use dairy or unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Brown sugar – brown sugar gets used in the ribbon of cinnamon roll filling
  • Butter
  • Pecans – omit for nut-free
  • Powdered sugar – use a bit of powdered sugar in the glaze on top
All ingredients for cinnamon roll coffee cake arranged in small bowls and measuring cups

How to make gluten-free cinnamon Rolls into coffee cake

Follow these steps to turn the delicious flavors of gluten-free cinnamon rolls into a coffee cake that looks like one large cinnamon roll.

  • Make the batter: Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl: the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: the yogurt, eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined into a thick batter.
  • Pour half the batter into the pan: Pour a little less than half the batter into a misted 9-inch springform pan or cake cake pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly.
  • Dry ingredients for cinnamon roll coffee cake in a clear glass bowl with a whisk
  • The batter for cinnamon roll coffee cake in a clear glass bowl with a whisk
  • Half the batter for cinnamon roll coffee cake in a round springform pan.
  • Make the cinnamon roll filling: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Spoon a little more than half of the cinnamon roll filling onto the coffee cake batter in the pan, and carefully spread it out evenly over the entire batter surface. Sprinkle the pecans over the filling. 
  • Add the remaining batter: Pour the remaining coffee cake batter over the filling layer and pecans. Use a spatula to carefully smooth it out.
  • Make the swirl pattern: Add the remainder of the cinnamon roll filling in a circular swirl pattern over the batter, starting at the center and working outward. Use a butter knife to help shape and spread the filling in a swirl pattern. This should make the unbaked coffee cake look like one large cinnamon roll.
  • A round springform pan layered with gluten free cinnamon roll coffee cake batter, cinnamon swirl, and pecans.
  • Overhead view of cinnamon roll coffee cake in a round cake pan with cinnamon mixture swirled into the top
  • Overhead view of a gluten free cinnamon roll popped from a round springform cake pan.
  • Bake the coffee cake: Place the baking pan in the middle rack in the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, let the cake cool slightly before removing from the pan and cutting into 8 slices.
  • Add the glaze: In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle the glaze over the slightly or fully cooled cake or over individual slices just before serving.

It looks like one large gluten-free cinnamon roll!

This gluten-free cinnamon roll coffee cake an easier version of cinnamon rolls. But that’s not all! It’s also magically fun because the whole recipe looks like one big cinnamon roll that gets baked into a round springform pan, making it a beautiful presentation to bring to the table. Drizzle it with a simple powdered sugar icing and, voila, you’ve got the flavor of cinnamon rolls without spending hours waiting for the dough to rise, forming it in individual rolls, letting those rise again, and then baking. Phew. Our recipe is much easier!

A white frosting glaze being drizzled over a round gluten free cinnamon roll coffee cake.

cinnamon roll coffee cake for a special morning

We think this simplified gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe is perfect for special breakfasts, like holiday mornings. Here are several occasions for when to serve this cinnamon roll coffee cake:

  • weekend breakfasts and brunches
  • bridal and baby showers
  • Christmas morning, New Year’s Day, Easter morning, and more holidays
  • Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
  • when catching up with a friend over coffee
A slice of cinnamon roll coffee cake being lifted from the round cake, topped with white drizzle.

healthy ingredients in this gluten-free coffee cake

Just like all of our recipes here at The Real Food Dietitians, this cinnamon roll coffee cake is made with all recognizable, real-food ingredients. Not only can this coffee cake fit into special diets if needed, such as gluten free or nut free, but it also boasts nutritious ingredients, such as:

  • Greek yogurt – this thick, fermented dairy food is a great source of protein and gut-friendly probiotics
  • Pecans – in addition to providing essential vitamins and minerals needed for bone health and good digestion, pecans supply healthy monounsaturated fats and protein, too
  • Eggs – providing high-quality protein (they contain all the essential amino acids), eggs are also a good source of choline and vitamin D, both nutrients important for brain health
  • Cinnamon – high in antioxidants, this aromatic spice has been connected to lowered inflammation and reduced risk of heart disease
A slice of cinnamon roll coffee cake being lifted up from the whole cake, showing texture, cinnamon swirl, and pecans.

how to store Leftover Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

For best quality, store any leftover cinnamon roll coffee cake in a covered container at room temperature for up to three days. Enjoy leftovers at room temperature or reheat wedges in the microwave (heat in 20-second increments until warmed through) or in a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes.

Healthy & Delicious Breakfasts

More Breakfast Recipes To Try

A slice of gluten free cinnamon roll cake with white drizzle and chopped pecans on a speckled plate with a fork.

A wedge of cinnamon roll coffee cake being lifted from the round coffee cake with a silver server

Recipe

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

Here’s the perfect recipe for when you want cinnamon rolls, but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making them. The delicious flavor of gooey cinnamon rolls gets baked into a tender coffee cake that looks like one big cinnamon roll in the pan and gets cut into wedges. Easily make it gluten free, if needed. 

Prep: 25 minsCook: 35 minsTotal: 1 hour

Ingredients

For The Coffee Cake Batter

  • 1½ cups gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour (220–230 grams)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (see notes below for non-dairy options)
  • 2 large eggs (see notes below for egg-free option)
  • ½ cup granulated or cane sugar
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For The Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans 

For the Glaze

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 12 teaspoons milk of choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously mist a 9-inch round springform pan or 9-inch round or square cake pan with nonstick spray; set aside.**
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined into a thick batter.
  3. Pour half the batter into the prepared cake pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly.
  4. To make the cinnamon roll filling, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter (but not the pecans – you’ll use those soon). 
  5. Next, spoon a little less than half of the cinnamon roll filling onto the coffee cake batter in the pan, and carefully spread it out evenly over the entire batter surface. Sprinkle the pecans over the filling. 
  6. Pour the remaining coffee cake batter over the filling layer and pecans. Use a spatula to carefully smooth it out. Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t perfectly cover the filling layer. 
  7. Finally, pour the remainder of the cinnamon roll filling in a circular swirl pattern over the batter, starting at the center and working outward. You may need to rewhisk it quickly first. Use a butter knife or spatula to help shape and spread the filling in a swirl pattern. This should make the unbaked coffee cake look like one large cinnamon roll. Again, it doesn’t need to be perfect as the batter will bake up around the filling swirl. 
  8. Place the baking pan in the middle rack in the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, let the cake cool slightly before removing from the pan and cutting into 8 slices.
  9. To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle the glaze over the slightly or fully cooled cake or over individual slices just before serving.***

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Notes

* For gluten-free flours, we recommend Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One Gluten-Free Baking Flour or King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Gluten-Free Flour. If you don’t need gluten-free coffee cake, you can use the same amount of unbleached all-purpose flour. 

** If you have one, we recommend using a 9-inch springform pan, as it will be easiest to remove the coffee cake from the pan sides and then serve it right from the springform pan base. If you don’t have a springform pan, it will be helpful to line your cake pan with parchment paper. 

*** If you’re not serving the coffee cake right away, wait to drizzle the glaze over the coffee cake until just before serving. If you drizzle too early, the glaze will melt into the warm coffee cake. You’ll still taste it, but it won’t be as visible.

For dairy-free, in place of the Greek yogurt, we recommend you use a non-dairy yogurt and add 1-2 additional tablespoons of flour, if the yogurt is thinner than a Greek yogurt texture. Alternatively, you can use 1/2 cup of coconut yogurt and 1/4 cup of coconut cream (the thick cream from the top of a can of canned coconut milk) without adding any additional flour. 

For egg-free, replace the eggs with a flax egg mixture (4 tablespoons flax meal mixed with 8 tablespoons water); please note, the texture of the coffee cake will be a little gummy like most egg-free baked goods, but overall a success

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of coffee cake with glaze
  • Calories: 357
  • Fat: 11 g
  • (Sat Fat: 5 g)
  • Sodium: 349 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 55 g
  • (Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 30 g)
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 59 mg

Dietary

© The Real Food Dietitians

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A slice of gluten-free cinnamon roll coffee cake with white drizzle and chopped pecans on a speckled plate with a fork.

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

Jessie Shafer

Jessie Shafer

Jessie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living near Denver, CO where she splits her time among nearby playgrounds, typing away at her trusty laptop, and heating up her home kitchen with delicious experiments. Her best taste tester is her husband, a Denver firefighter with a well-trained palate. A former magazine editor-in-chief, Jessie has a long career in food publishing and health writing. While she once played centerfield for the Northwestern University softball team, Jessie now prefers her fitness in the way of biking up mountain passes and chasing two busy toddlers (the latter proving to be the more exhausting activity).

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