Monday, October 6, 2014

Gluten Free Streusel Crumble Coffee Cake with a cup of memories.

Gluten Free Streusel Crumble Coffee Cake

One of the reasons I love facebook is because of the surprise connections I find.  It's fun to hear from long lost friends and acquaintance that I never thought I'd hear from again.  One such friend is a guy who went to my elementary school for only a few months when we were in eighth grade. 

I attended a small Christian Day School, so everyone knew everyone, and most of the same families also attended our church.  It was our neighborhood.  Our primary community.  When a new family moved into the area, they were instantly part of our circle of people.  Bob's family moved to our city for only a few short months.  He had several brothers and a sister, the different ones of them aligning with different kids in our family.  For whatever reason, we've always remembered their family.  Throughout the years, we've talked about them periodically.  We've tried to remember their names and ages and which one was in whose grade, etc.  And we've wondered where they ended up.  They were a nice family and a nice addition to our "neighborhood" for the short time they were with us.

A few months back, I heard from Bob on facebook.  I had posted a picture from my gradeschool years and tagged some of the others of my friends with whom I'm still in touch.  And Bob had seen the tag and gotten in touch with me.  What a fun surprise!

Besides the getting-to-know-an-old-friend, thing, I've also totally appreciated Bob's photos of the wonderful Puget Sound area.  Oh, how I sometimes pine for those views.  And seeing periodic photos seems to feed that little hungry spot in my heart.

Bob is a single dad of two beautiful girls, and in such a role, he does many "Mom" type things.  One of the things he's been working on lately is teaching his girls to cook.  And as he finds recipes that work well or that look like something they might try, he posts them on facebook. 

The other day he posted this recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cake.  The picture reminded me of the Cinnabon Rolls that my friend, Ann, used to periodically buy us when I lived in the Madison area.  All the gooey cinnamony sweetness.  The tactile pleasure of the yeasty rolls. The glutenous goodness.

I saw right away that this was not a yeast leavened cake.  But I bake Gluten Free, and since generally I have better luck producing something wonderful using quick bread type leavenings rather than yeast. 

I opened a document straight away and began transposing the Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe into a Gluten Free version.

And Saturday morning, I finally tried it out.

Some of the kids said it was too dry.  Others said too crumbly.  When I got back to the house after some work I had to do down at church that morning, I eagerly tasted a piece.  Or two.  Yes, it was a bit crumbly, but I don't think much more so than many other gluten free baked goods.  It wasn't dry either.  But it was heavy.  And kind of, ... well, ... Clara said it best when she said, "It kind of gets stuck in the back of your throat like homemade doughnuts."  Yes, that's it.  It had a similar clingy heaviness.  Which many of us like and others don't.

It's wonderful with a hot cup of coffee.  I've been eating a square of it each morning with my first cup before the kids get up.  And that's how I know it's not terribly crumbly.  We don't allow the kids to eat in the living room.  And Joe and I only allow ourselves occasional adult living room indulging.  I've been eating my cake in here each day without making a crumbly mess.  I have it on a napkin, but I can life up the piece and take a bite with only a minimal dropping of crumbs upon my bathrobe. 

But I've only had it after it cooled the first day, and then the two mornings since, it has bee refrigerated.  Perhaps that makes a difference.  Because of the high amount of fat, I suppose that it might hold together better when chilled.  Maybe when the kids had it fresh from the oven, it fell apart more readily. 

You'll have to try it your self to see.

I'm going to veer off one more time into some memories before posting the recipe.  So, read on or skip to the recipe according to your preference.

After my parents passed away when I was five and six years old, I went to live in "the city" to be raised by my aunt and uncle.  A few things were packed away for my sister and I to have when we were older.  One of the things that we found when we went through such things was a couple of 1969 church cookbooks from Holy Cross Lutheran Church, in Withrow, WA.  Our mom had purchased one for each of us girls and written our names inside the front cover.

Holy Cross had been our church when we lived with Mom and Dad, and Withrow was our home town.  A very small town.  Fewer than 50 people probably lived there at that time.  And although there are a few residents still in Withrow today, I've seen it listed among Washington's ghost towns.   Holy Cross church as since closed down, although I understand there is still a core group of people in that area who would like to try to reorganize.

Needless to say, this cookbook, for all the sentimental reasons listed above, is one of my special possessions. 

Within it's pages is a recipe for a coffee cake called Deelish coffee cake.  My gluten free version of the Cinnamon Roll Cake kind of reminded me of this recipe I used to make quite often. Of course I always changed things up a bit, and you can still see my variations penciled in.

Here's what I think I did for my Gluten Free variety.  I do have it written down, but, because of my change-it-up tendencies, I have no idea how close it is to what I actually made.  It seems like I must have used some almond meal, too, but, ... I just can't remember for sure.

Gluten Free Streusel Crumble Coffee Cake
Grease two 9x13 pans
Preheat oven to 350°F

  • 6 c GF flour mix flour*
  • (perhaps 1/2 - 1 c almond meal)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs. baking powder
  • ½ tbs xanthan gum
  • 3 cups sour milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbs. vanilla
Mix together.
  • 1 cup melted fat (I used about half butter and half coconut oil)
Drizzle fat in as you mix.
When well mixed, pour into cake pans.

  • 1 cup fat, softened (I used coconut oil)
  • 2 cup brown sugar (usually for this I'd use white sugar with a little molasses, but I didn't have it, so I just used white)
  • 1/4 c GF flour mix. flour
  • 1/8 c cinnamon
Mix together until cream. Drop by tablespoons onto cake. Swirl into the cake batter with a knife.

GLAZE (I only had about 1/2 c of powdered sugar, so our glaze was very minimal)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
Drizzle over warm cake.

1 comment:

Bob R. said...

Thank-you for the kind words Mary! I have enjoyed getting back in touch with you as well! The memories brought back messaging back and forth on FB with you have been fun and I've been telling my daughters some of my memories. Their eyes got kind of big when I told them we played soccer against Bethany when they were still in the log church 34 years ago. :) Keep up the blogging! I enjoy reading when I get a chance and I still haven't forgotten to get some pictures together. When I get the time... God's blessings to you and your family! Have a wonderful Christmas! Bob R.