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Is coffee cake a breakfast food since it's served with coffee? Or is it strictly a dessert? Or is it more of an "I'm an adult and I'll eat whatever I want whenever I want and nobody can stop me" type of situation? I think I just answered my own question.
I once had somebody tell me my donuts were incorrectly categorized in the entree category but let me tell you, that was no mistake. Donuts = breakfast. Star of the show = entree. Therefore, donuts = entree.
Granted, this isn't exactly what I think of when I think of coffee cake. What typically comes to mind is cake with a streusel type topping but cherry coffee cake is actually pretty popular. This recipe was inspired by the classic Betty Crocker recipe for cherry swirl coffee cake which odds are, you've either made or at least eaten before.
If you have had that recipe for cherry swirl coffee cake before, you probably remember the texture is a little denser than typical coffee cake, almost biscuty, and the batter is more of a loose dough than a wet cake batter. On my first few attempts making this, I was aiming for the original texture but found out a lot of people don't like that. I felt like I might prefer something softer and more cake-like too.
Right as I was about to post this recipe, a case of six King Arthur Flour baking mixes that I ordered landed on my doorstep and I went back to square one. I'm not even kidding, I made this recipe mid-March and just when I thought I couldn't delay posting any longer, I decided to start over. Why am I so picky???
It was worth it though and I improved the texture on the first try. I kept the old photos since they take me several hours to do. The new recipe has a smoother structure and browns a tad more. Maybe looks a little fluffier too but other than that, there's really not much visual difference. In terms of texture - huge improvement!
A gluten and dairy free twist on classic cherry coffee cake. These single serving cakes include layers of cherry pie filling and dairy free cream "cheese".
- 1/2 C + 1 Tbsp almond milk, divided
- 1/4 C melted dairy free "butter" (I always like Earth Balance soy free baking sticks)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 C gluten free all purpose baking mix (not gluten free all purpose flour, I used King Arthur brand)
- 10 oz canned pie filling, cherry or preferred fruit
- 4-6 oz Daiya plain cream cheeze style spread
- 1/2 C powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a muffin tin with 9 cupcake liners. These will stick a little so you can brush the liners with some additional melted dairy free butter but it's not too bad if you'd rather skip that step.
- Whisk together by hand 1/2 C almond milk, melted dairy free butter, eggs, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Mix in the sugar then the baking mix until just combined. Don't overmix. Traditionally, the result would be like a loose dough but you should expect more of a wet batter for this recipe.
- Add just enough batter to the muffin cups to cover the bottom, probably less than a tablespoon. Spread it evenly.
- On top of the batter, add about a teaspoon of pie filling and a heaping teaspoon of the cream "cheese". The amounts aren't really meant to be precise, just whatever looks appetizing to you. The dairy free cream cheese will melt quite a bit so it helps to keep those chunks larger but the flavor should come through no matter what.
- Continue alternating approximately teaspoon sized globs of batter, pie filling, and cream cheese until the muffin cups are about 3/4 of the way full. No need to spread out the batter like you did in step 3, just plop everything there. Note that I overfilled mine. They puff up a ton so you might be able to get an extra mini cake or two out of the recipe but my overfilled ones baked fine.
- Bake approximately 18-20 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick, trying to avoid passing through the pie filling and cream cheese. Once they're done, allow them to cool enough to handle then move them out of the pan and onto a cooling rack to completely cool.
- While the coffee cakes are cooling, make the glaze. (I usually do plain powdered sugar and almond milk or coconut milk for my glazes but you can add in some vanilla and a dash of nutmeg if you want a little extra flavor.) In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and remaining almond milk, starting with just a half tablespoon of milk at a time. Stop adding milk when you reach a good consistency (runny enough to pour but thick enough to cling to the coffee cakes). Add any desired flavorings to taste. If you're adding an extract, it will likely be a very small amount of liquid but if it changes the consistency too much, just add a little extra powdered sugar to thicken.
- When they coffee cakes have cooled (or if you're ready to just enjoy them still warm!) drizzle some glaze on each coffee cake. Serve and enjoy!
Potential allergens contained in this recipe may vary due to brands of ingredients used, product reformulations, etc. Please verify that all your ingredients are safe for you to consume and always be mindful of allergen cross contamination while cooking.
This recipe was inspired by the classic Betty Crocker recipe for cherry swirl coffee cake.