Bakery Style Gluten Free Coffee Cake with Walnuts

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 23, 2021
5 from 2 votes
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This gluten free coffee cake recipe is sponsored by California Walnuts, a year long partner of Heartbeet Kitchen.

Whoever it was that originally came up with term “coffee cake”, thank you. I want to be your friend. Because you were not afraid to call it straight, as in –> cake, for breakfast, is a cup of coffee’s best match.

I longed for a gluten free coffee cake that met bakery style standards. A thick, crackly, buttery top, and the softest crumb underneath. Showered with powdered sugar, sliced into squares, and eaten with a boatload of happiness.

Bakery Style Gluten-Free Coffee Cake with StreuselBakery Style Gluten-Free Coffee Cake with Streusel

This is that cake. Impeccably moist, made with walnuts, warm spices, and a secret ingredient: sweet potato puree. You’ll probably notice that the cake is a bit darker in color, and this is why! So don’t let it fool you. The sweet potato also gives it just the texture I was looking for thanks to its moisture.

This winter is my first time baking with walnut meal/flour, and it’s been a welcomed addition to my kitchen. Because walnuts have a good amount of fat (the good kind, heart healthy omega-3’s!) it’s also one of the very important players in creating the soft texture of this gluten-free coffee cake.

They carry a full, rich flavor, which matches nicely to the warmth of the pumpkin pie spice used (which I use all year round, not just in the fall).

Bakery Style Gluten-Free Coffee Cake with StreuselBakery Style Gluten-Free Coffee Cake with StreuselBakery Style Gluten-Free Coffee Cake with Streusel

A few notes:

  • Surprisingly, vanilla gave the cake an off-taste, and I’m not sure if that was because of the reaction with the walnut meal, or the sweet potato. So don’t add it to the recipe thinking you’ll give it a little something extra. 😉
  • The coffee cake lasts at least four days when covered and kept in the refrigerator. It only gets better with time!
  • You can freeze leftover slices in a layer of saran wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil, then reheat in the microwave for snack time emergencies.
  • I made this coffee cake in a 6-inch springform pan, which I highly recommend, especially for the bakery style effect. It was too flat for my liking in an 8 inch cake pan.


If you make this gluten free coffee cake, be sure to tag me on Instagram with hashtag #heartbeetkitchen or @heartbeetkitchen!

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Bakery Style Gluten-Free Coffee Cake with Streusel

Bakery Style Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

Soft and fluffy gluten-free coffee cake, extra tender from sweet potato! Has a walnut crumble topping that creates the perfect crunch.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :40 minutes
Total Time :55 minutes
Yield: 8
Author: Amanda Paa




  • 1/2 cup 73 grams teff flour
  • 3/4 cup 85 grams walnut meal
  • 1/4 cup 40 grams sweet rice flour
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Crumb Topping

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, whisk together teff flour, walnut meal, sweet rice flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together sweet potato puree, egg, olive oil, and maple syrup. 
  • Make a small well in the middle of the dry mixture, and pour in wet ingredients. Gently stir together, until no streaks of flour remain. 
  • Pour into a parchment lined 6-inch round springform pan. Smooth out the top with back of a spoon. 
  • In a small bowl, mix together all crumble ingredients, using your hands to disperse butter throughout the mixture, until you have a thick crumble. Sprinkle on top of cake evenly.
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Test with toothpick and if no wet batter sticks on toothpick, remove and let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then release the sides and let finish cooling. If you do get wet batter on the toothpick, bake in increments of 3 minutes, until just moist crumbs stick on the toothpick. Dust with powdered sugar when ready to serve. 

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February 25, 2018


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  1. Cindy mays

    5 stars
    I made this last night so we could have it this morning with cool whip on it. I had to grind sorghum grain into flour instead of using Teff. It came out incredible! We are enjoying this so much. Thank you so very much for all of your fantastic recipes

    • Amanda Paa

      Oh, so great to hear Cindy! Bravo on the sorghum swap that you ground yourself!

  2. proBAKE

    Coffee cakes are a favorite of mine – The longer you can store them, the better. Make it on a Thursday or Friday and have a treat all weekend!