These little babies went through a number of tests before they made it onto the blog. They started out looking like this:
The original recipe had the texture of a carrot cake and was amazing! But it contained tapioca starch, and I wanted to see if I could make them starch-free.
The next batch looked like this:
Tapioca starch out. Coconut flour in! Tapioca and coconut work completely differently, but I've made a recent discovery that the two can be exchanged in small amounts in some recipes, albeit with completely unique, yet equally delicious results. I'll go into further details on this in my next post!
I loved the flavor of this second batch, but at that point I started to think I could cut down on the sugar even more. You see, I don't bake with sugar very often, but I've been allowing myself to have a little fun with it lately. But since batch one and two both contained raisins in addition to the sugar, the cake was a bit sweet for me. So I decided to try apples instead. That's when I became addicted to these snack cakes. I kept taking another bite, and another, and another... They reminded me of something from my childhood, and I finally realized they tasted like the Little Debbie Coffee Cakes my mom put in my school lunch. Now, these cakes here may have sugar in them, but I googled the Little Debbie Apple Streusel Coffee Cake ingredients, and...oh my! After looking at that list of food combined with chemicals, this recipe looked downright healthy to me!
Which of course gave me all the encouragement I needed to add a teensy bit more sugar in the form of a streusel topping. And believe me, it was worth it.
Apple Streusel Coffee Cake (Gluten-Free, Vegan) (Print-Friendly Option)
1/4 cup organic light brown sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup diced apples (no need to peel; I liked it best with a Fuji)
1/4 cup canola oil or coconut oil
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup brown rice flour (130 grams)
1/3 cup coconut flour (40 grams)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch glass pan.
- In a small bowl, stir together the streusel ingredients until well mixed (brown sugar, coconut oil, brown rice flour, and cinnamon). Set aside.
- In a food processor, quickly mix the apples, oil, and milk (about 5 seconds).
- Mix the sugar, rice flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt in a medium sized bowl, then pour into the food processor and process until evenly mixed.
- Scoop batter (it will be thick) into the pan and press evenly. Sprinkle the streusel on top and bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
Notes: Feel free to exchange both sugars in the recipe for coconut palm sugar. The flavor and texture will be slightly different, but it will still be delicious! If you prefer to limit the sugar, just keep the streusel topping off and it becomes a snack "bar" instead of coffee cake.
Wondering what other substitutions you can make? On Thursday, I'll be posting the evolution of this recipe as part of my Experiments in Gluten-Free Baking 101 Series. I'll explain the many substitution options you have, as well as posting the recipe for the original carrot cake-like version, which by the way, did not have carrots in it! I'm hoping to find time between now and Thursday to make the original recipe again with carrots so I can tell you exactly how to turn it into a carrot cake.
p.s. In case you haven't seen it, my fellow Jumbo (Tufts alumni), Isabel Foxen Duke, just put out an incredible free video training series for any of you who may be struggling with "feeling crazy around food." You know, like thinking about food and dieting all day long, only to end up with your fingers in a jar of peanut butter later that evening. She's onto something, and one of the few health professionals out there who are really making the connection between poor body image and emotional eating. I am a proud affiliate and big supporter of her work. You can check out her free video training series here.