Monday, February 25, 2013

Gluten-Free & Vegan Blueberry Coffee Cake, or not - Refined Sugar Free

Most of the time, my baking is dictated by what I need to use up before it goes bad.   I had some leftover blueberry pie filling after making some braided crossover blueberry strudels (as shown in the red bean puff pastries entry).  I was going to make a Cherry Sour Cream Coffee Cake with the leftover blueberry pie filling, but I had a sudden urge to try make a coffee cake that was gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free.  What a challenge!

Success!  Things worked my way!  Very easy to whip up and versatile for an after school snack or afternoon coffee or tea break.  My 5-year old Nessa helped me make this.  I had to add this recipe to my repertoire.  I will make again! 

Instead of cow's milk, I used unsweetened Coconut Dream.  The flaxseed replaces the egg and maple syrup is used instead of refined white sugar.  Being lazy, I did not want to blend my own gluten-free flour.  I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour in my pantry.  I had a package of this and didn't like the flavour of this chickpea flour blend.  I am so glad I gave this another try! 

This is originally a vegan whole wheat blueberry muffin recipe. Luckily, I was able to modify this to be gluten-free and in a pan for a lovely coffee cake.  I sprinkled some coconut sugar and cinnamon on the top of the batter before baking.  Next time, I will combine the sugar and cinnamon together before sprinkling for a prettier presentation.  I will also try make blueberry muffins too.  

If you do not have to go egg, dairy and/or gluten-free, you can use two eggs, cow's milk and whole wheat flour. 

I was impressed how soft and fluffy it turned out!  Not crumbly at all.  I would not have known that this was gluten-free and vegan.    

Gluten-Free Vegan Blueberry Swirl Coffee Cake, or not
makes 1 8"x8" pan and 1- 7"x3" loaf pan

1/4 cup ground flaxseed or 2 eggs
1 3/4 cup Bob's Gluten-Free All-purpose Baking Flour or whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum, if using Bob's Gluten-Free All-purpose Baking Flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup dairy or non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened Coconut Dream)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (I prefer lemon juice)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used 1/3 cup maple syrup, since my blueberry pie filling is already sweetened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zest (I used 1/2 tsp lemon extract + 1/4 tsp orange extract)
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used roughly 1/2 cup leftover blueberry pie filling)
optional:  brown sugar or coconut sugar, cinnamon sprinkled on top

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line 1- 8"x8" square pan and 1- 7"x3" loaf with parchment paper.  Or line muffin tin with paper liners.  

Mix together milk and vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Set aside

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients:  flaxseed, flour, baking soda, xanthan gum (if gluten-free), cinnamon and salt.  

Add the maple syrup, oil, vanilla and orange zest to the milk/vinegar mixture.  

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula until just moistened.  Fold in fresh or frozen blueberries.    

Scoop batter in prepared pans or muffin cups.  If using blueberry pie filling, dollop by tablespoonfuls all over the pans and swirl around with a butter knife.  

Optional:  sprinkle the top of the batter with sugar and cinnamon.

Bake about 15-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.   

- Adapted from Madhuram's Eggless Cooking:  Vegan Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

I can't wait to share this recipe with my gluten-free and vegan friends! 

[Edited to add] As the cake sat a few hours later, the texture was still soft and fluffy, but the taste of the chickpea flour and ground flaxseed gave the cake a strong aftertaste.  This recipe is worth another try with a different gluten-free flour blend.  


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