You guys went nuts over my Gluten Free Cherry Swirl Coffee Cake last year, and I totally understand why! I’m not a big sweets eater, and I’m not a cherry pie filling fan, but man-oh-man that coffee cake. Wowza was it ever good. So many of you have made it and emailed to thank me for such an awesome recipe, but cursed me a little for making you crave that pillowy soft yeast cake with luscious fruity filling and a confectioners’ sugar glaze. I know, I know. I am not always a friend to your waistline. Please forgive me, times two, because after lots of questions about trying other flavors of pie filling and my telling you Y-E-S. I have made that recipe with blueberry, strawberry and now, apple, I wanted to show you how it turns out. So, let me introduce you to your new best food friend for fall, Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake.
This is where it’s at right now, folks. Fluffy and lightly sweetened with brown sugar, the soft dough is just the right support for sweet apple filling. The icing on top is fragrant with cinnamon, sweetened with just enough brown sugar to balance the tangy cream cheese (if you’re dairy-free like me, substitute an equal amount of dairy-free cream cheese product for a very similar result).
Brew the coffee, set the table and dig in for a long, languid weekend breakfast or late night dessert because fall is here and we have fallen for this treat indeed!
The recipe is written using a 21-ounce can of apple pie filling, but feel free to use an equal amount of homemade apple pie filling if you are so clever as to have some handy. Or you may feel inspired reading this and whip up a batch right now.
If that’s the case, you might find The Ultimate Guide to Autumn Apples super-useful. I used a variety of apples I had on hand to make my Homemade Caramel Apple Pie Filling. It’s great for a pie using my Easy GF Food Processor Pie Crust, but as this recipe demonstrates, it’s a versatile filling you can use for any dish calling for apple pie filling.
And if you can’t get enough of apples this time of year, check out 8 Easy Ways to Add Autumn Apples to Your Meals, because fall, and apples.
Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake
This recipe is free from gluten, dairy (optional), soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut.
For the cake portion:
¼ cup light brown sugar
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
¾ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (add up to 1 t. if you like more cinnamon flavor)
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
½ cup water
1/2 cup butter or dairy-free butter substitute (or 1/2 cup of oil, but I prefer this with the butter substitute personally)
2 large eggs, room temperature
21 ounce can apple pie filling (or use my recipe to make your own in about 10 minutes!)
For the icing:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature (or equal amount of dairy-free cream cheese substitute, if you prefer)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 – 4 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Additional cinnamon or nutmeg for sprinkling on top after icing, optional
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk 1 ½ cups of the flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, warm milk, water and butter to between 110-120F.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients in stand mixer; blend on low speed 1 minute, then increase speed to medium for 2 minutes.
Turn off mixer, then add eggs and mix again on medium until eggs are completely incorporated.
Turn off mixer and by hand, stir in remaining 1 ½ cups of the flour until no dry ingredients remain visible.
Cover mixing bowl with damp paper towels or a clean, damp kitchen towel and let dough rise in the mixing bowl, covered, in a warm place, for 1 hour.
While the dough rises, lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and preheat your oven to 350F.
After 1 hour rise time, remove towels from over the mixing bowl and stir the batter.
Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan, spoon apple pie filling over the top and top the pie filling with the remaining batter by the spoonful.
Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap or wax paper and place on top of the preheating oven (or in another warm place) to rise 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes rise time, remove plastic wrap and discard, then place pan in oven to bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top and cooked through.
Remove pan from oven and set aside to cool while you make the icing in your stand mixer by combining all ingredients and beating until smooth.
When the cake is cooled, spread with icing, add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg on top, then slice and serve.
Store covered at room temperature up to 3 days, or refrigerate up to 1 week, reheating prior to serving.