The leaves are gently falling here in the northeast, and the golden-hued days are quickly turning into chilly evenings. It’s time to light a fire in the fireplace and do a little autumn baking. You might have noticed that the farm stands are still filled with crisp apples and fresh cider. How about making some apple cider doughnuts? Or you can go big with some bright orange pumpkins (or canned puree)! Make an elegant pumpkin roll, or smile-inducing pumpkin bars. And don’t forget about everyone’s favorite: pumpkin bread.
But if you’re in the mood for something a little different, read on. I’ve created a delicious new coffee cake to share with family and friends. I used the much-loved recipe for my sour cream coffee cake from my first cookbook (Gluten-Free Baking Classics) and filled it with a luscious pumpkin-pie like filling. Then I topped it with a streusel crumb topping. Is your mouth watering yet? It will be when this baby is baking in the oven! Try it and see for yourself.
Testing notes: I was concerned that getting the pumpkin custard filling to bake correctly would be a bit tricky, and it was. First, I tired to bake my new cake in a 9-inch round springform pan, but the filling and the cake layers were underdone in the center –even after 60 minutes. Trouble was, the sides of the cake and the top were going to get overdone if I left it in another 5- 10 minutes. I also noticed that the pumpkin filling made the cake layers a bit damper than I wanted. Do-over.
The second time, I reduced the amount of pumpkin puree and added a tiny bit of xanthan gum to keep the filling from leaking as much moisture into the cake layers. But more importantly, I baked the cake in a 9-inch springform pan with a tube insert (my pan is 3 inches high).
You can also use an angle food cake pan with removable sides, as long as the sides aren’t much over 4 or 5 inches. Wilton makes an inexpensive one with 4-inch sides, and there are others (I wouldn’t use one that is 6 or more inches). Success.
GLUTEN-FREE COFFEE CAKE with PUMPKIN FILLING and STREUSEL CRUMB TOPPING
Makes one 9-inch round cake
Streusel Crumb Topping
3/4 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or dairy-free substitute)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (1-15 ounce can)
1 large egg, well beaten
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 -1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature (or dairy-free substitute)
1/3 cup canola oil
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position rack in center of oven. Grease a 9-inch tube pan with removable sides (springform tube pan) or angel food cake pan (with removable sides) with cooking spray.
2. Prepare Streusel Crumb Topping: Combine flour, walnuts, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and xanthan gum in a small bowl; stir to blend. Pour in butter and vanilla and stir until all dry ingredients are moistened. Gently break into medium and small (the size of M&Ms®) crumb pieces with spoon. Set aside.
3. Prepare filling: Combine pumpkin puree, egg, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside.
4. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
5. Beat eggs in large bowl of electric mixer until well blended. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until creamy-colored and light. Add vanilla, flour mixture, sour cream, and oil and beat at medium-low speed for 30 seconds.
6. Evenly spread 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Drop small spoonfuls of the pumpkin filling along the center on top of the batter. Very lightly spread the filling with a table knife or cake spatula so that all the spoonfuls connect — but don’t spread them out so that they touch the (outer and inner) edges of the cake batter (you want to form a ring of pumpkin filling). Evenly spread remaining batter over the top. There is not much batter, so do not be afraid to spread what will appear to be two very thin layers; it will rise and give you a cake several inches high. Sprinkle Streusel Crumb Topping across the top of the batter.
7. Place in center of oven and bake about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean; remove from oven (do not open oven for first 50 minutes of baking time).
8. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove sides of pan and cool completely on rack. To remove cake from bottom, use two pancake turners to lift cake onto a cake plate.
Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Can be made a day ahead. Store cake covered tightly with plastic wrap in refrigerator. Best when eaten within three days of baking.
©2014 by Annalise Roberts