Mini Mocha Coffee Cake – Gluten Free

This Mini Mocha Coffee Cake is gluten free, small batch, and made with actual coffee!  The coffee cake is incredibly moist, filled with a layer of chocolate sugar, and finished with a mocha streusel.  Top with a dollop of Dalgona whipped coffee for an energizing breakfast – or dessert – treat!  

Slice of mocha coffee cake with coffee whipped topping

Mini Gluten Free Coffee Cake

There is a lot to be said about this Gluten Free Mini Mocha Coffee Cake.  I’ll start with the most important:

  • Gluten Free – In keeping with my most recent gluten free recipes, this coffee cake uses an almond flour (and paleo!) blend.
  • Small Batch – Depending on which baking vessel you choose to use, this recipe can make 2 mini loaves, 1 6-inch cake, or 4-5 muffins.
  • Made with Coffee – There is actually coffee in this coffee cake.  We use instant coffee to flavor the mocha streusel.
  • Easy – We like easy!  
  • Moist – The more gluten free recipes I make, the more I find the almond flour blend naturally yields a moist cake.  But for extra measure, milk and sour cream keep the cake moist beyond the day it is baked.
  • Layers of Flavor – There are 3 components to this coffee cake recipe that impart flavor in every bite:  the cake itself, the chocolate sugar center, and the mocha streusel on top. 

Want even more coffee in your cake?  Top it with a little Dalgona whipped coffee!

Stack of gluten free mocha coffee cake slices

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Mini Coffee Cake Made With Coffee

I hear stories of coffee cake recipes receiving feedback that it is not coffee cake because there is no coffee in the cake.  Now, while this may be true for a lot of coffee cake recipes, there is another reason why it is called coffee cake. 

In the States, we call it coffee cake because it is intended to be eaten with coffee.  Like the Mini Cherry Coffee Cake recipe.  While other countries have their own version of coffee cake where the cake is infused with coffee.

This Mini Gluten Free Mocha Coffee Cake recipe is a hybrid of both.  The cake is delightful with your morning coffee, because who doesn’t love a sweet breakfast treat.  And, there is coffee in this cake.  The streusel topping is flavored with instant coffee and cocoa – to make it a mocha.  And trust me, this is a coffee forward cake.

Cakes Made In Mini Loaf Pans

We covered that this is a small batch recipe for coffee cake.  And with that, there are a few ways you can make the coffee cake, which I covered above.  

To keep things charming, I think making the cake in a couple mini loaf pans makes for a cute presentation.  Not to mention, they make great hostess gifts, or a surprise treat for friends and family.  

The mini loaf pans are 3-inches by 5.75-inches.  Small, and cute.  

Dalgona Whipped Topping

This part of the recipe is completely optional.  It adds an extra shot of coffee flavor.  And it makes for a pretty topping!  I have a few recommendations on how to make Dalgona whipped coffee:

  • Instant Coffee – Use a light roast.  Otherwise you may find the whip to be too bitter.  I use Nescafe House Blend Instant Coffee.
  • Only Instant Coffee – If you try to use regular coffee grounds, it won’t work.  There is something about the dried instant coffee granules that makes them whip.
  • Equal Ingredients – Dalgona may be one of the easiest recipes because you use equal amounts of all of the ingredients.   
  • Sugar – I use granulated sugar because it almost acts as a stabilizer for the whip.  And it makes the Dalgona shiny.  I have seen recipes where you can substitute any sweetener – even liquid sweeteners like maple syrup.  However, I have yet to test these, so I can’t offer an opinion on how the whip will turn out.
  • Hot Water – Use hot water so it dissolves the coffee and sugar faster.
  • Add Spices/Flavors – I have tested the Dalgona with added spices.  Powdered vanilla, ground cinnamon, and cocoa powder work.  For these added ingredients, I would start with 1/4 teaspoon each, and add more to taste.
  • Use A Hand Held Mixer – With just one (1) whisk attachment.  Because we are working with such a small amount, one whisk will whisk the ingredients better.  Additionally, the volume of ingredients is not enough to work in a stand mixer.  You could mix by hand, but it will likely take twice as long, and will make your arm tired!

What You Need To Make Gluten Free Mocha Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • Instant Coffee – I recommend a light roast like Nescafe House Blend Instant Coffee
  • Blanched Almond Flour
  • Arrowroot Starch/Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Tapioca Starch/Flour
  • Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt
  • Cocoa Powder – Dutch process is great for this recipe because it has a rich cocoa flavor, and it is not as bitter.
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar – For the Mocha Streusel.  I like to use light brown sugar because it doesn’t have a strong molasses flavor.
  • Milk – Any milk will work.  I use Unsweetened Coconut Milk because it is typically the only milk in the house!
  • Sour Cream
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Chocolate Chips – I use semi-sweet, though any chip you prefer will work.

Baking Equipment

  • Mini Loaf Pans These are the mini loaf pans I use.  
  • Parchment Paper
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Odd Size Measuring Spoons – Baking in small batches requires a smaller quantity of certain ingredients.  Odd size measuring spoons are handy when you need to measure small amounts like 1/8 teaspoon.
Pieces of mocha coffee cake on a cutting board

Common Questions To Make Mocha Coffee Cake

What is the best type of coffee to use in the coffee cake?

I recommend a light roast instant coffee. A light roast won’t make the cake bitter. And, instant coffee granules dissolve, so you won’t have any offensive coffee grounds in your treat.

Can I double the recipe to make a larger cake?

I have only tested a small batch. Therefore, I can’t say how doubling the recipe will turn out. There are factors to consider like the ratio of liquid to dry ingredients, and sometimes just doubling everything doesn’t work.

Will a 1:1 gluten free flour blend work instead of the almond flour blend?

Kind of. I have tested this and the cake turns out just ok. I find the 1:1 gluten free flour blends to yield dry bakes.

Can I add more cocoa to make it more ‘chocolatey’?

You can! The great thing about the streusel topping is you can taste test it before baking. If you want it to be more cocoa forward, add more in small increments.

Is it ok to add some chocolate chips to the coffee cake filling?

You bet! I would start with a 2-3 teaspoons and you can chop them to get a better distribution. Any more than that, and the chocolate flavor may over power the cake.

Can I use a different baking pan(s)?

Yes. A 6-inch cake pan will work. As will a muffin/cupcake pan to make about 4-5 muffins.

It doesn’t seem like enough batter to fill 2 mini loaf pans – is that correct?

Yes. The cakes will rise, so have no fear on the batter amount for two mini loaf pans. I have tested trying to get the batter into 1 mini loaf pan, and it was too much – the cake didn’t bake properly.

Do I have to use the Dalgona whip?

No. If you don’t want the extra coffee flavor, replace this topping with regular whipped cream. Or an simple powdered sugar and milk drizzle.

More Sweet Breakfast Recipes

Side view of a gluten free mocha coffee cake with dalgona whip

Mini Mocha Coffee Cake – Gluten Free

This Mini Mocha Coffee Cake is gluten free, small batch, and made with actual coffee!  The coffee cake is incredibly moist, filled with a layer of chocolate sugar, and finished with a mocha streusel.
Prep15 mins
Cook25 mins
Total40 mins
Servings: 2 Mini Loaves
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss

Equipment

  • 2 – Mini Loaf Pans

Ingredients

Mocha Streusel

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch process
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2-3 tablespoons chocolate chips

Coffee Cake Filling

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature (any kind)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dalgona Whip Topping (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Spray two mini loaf pans with baking spray. Then line the pans with a parchment paper sling – so the sides of the parchment paper hang over the sides of the pan. Note – You can also use a 6-inch square cake pan, or a muffin/cupcake pan to make muffins.

Mocha Streusel

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all of the streusel dry ingredients to combine. Add the butter cubes. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a fork until the streusel is completely moistened by the butter. Set aside. Note: I recommend a light roast instant coffee for a lighter, not bitter, coffee flavor.

Coffee Cake Filling

  • In a small bowl, stir together all of the filling ingredients to combine. Set aside.

Coffee Cake

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot starch/flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch/flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Use a hand held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment – In a small mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed to cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy – 3-5 minutes. Note: I use a stand mixer with a 3-quart mixing bowl.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter mix and beat until combined. Switch out the attachment to the regular beater (or paddle if using a stand mixer).
  • On low speed, spoon in half of the flour mix in increments, and mix until just combined. Add the milk and sour cream and mix to combine. Spoon in the remaining flour mix and mix until just combined.
  • Spoon half of the coffee cake batter equally into the prepared mini loaf pans. Sprinkle the filling equally over the top batter. Top with the remaining coffee cake batter, then finish by sprinkling equal amounts of the streusel over the top.
  • Bake the mini coffee cake loaves for 25 – 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Cool the coffee cakes in the pans set on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then, using the parchment paper sling, carefully lift the coffee cakes out of the pans to cool on the wire rack completely.

Dalgona Whip Topping (optional)

  • In a small mixing bowl, add the Dalgona ingredients. Use a hand held mixer fitted with just one whisk attachment. Before turning the mixer on, stir the ingredients to incorporate and get the water to saturate the coffee and sugar. Starting on a lower speed, start to beat the mix until it is foamy. Increase the speed to high and beat the Dalgona to stiff peaks. It will resemble whipped cream. This may take up to 5 minutes. Notes: 1.) I recommend light roast instant coffee for a lighter, not bitter, coffee flavor. 2.) I recommend using a hand held mixer. It is difficult to use a stand mixer since the quantity of ingredients is so small. You can whip the Dalgona by hand using a whisk, but it will take about twice as long (and will make your arm tired!)
  • Spoon a dollop of the Dalgona Whip on top of the the coffee cake before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Baking Pans – This recipe can also be made using 1 6-Inch square cake pan, or a muffin/cupcake pan.  If making muffins, the recipe will yield 4-5 muffins.
  • Instant Coffee – I strongly recommend light roast instant coffee.   Unless you enjoy a strong, almost bitter, coffee flavor.  Do not use regular ground coffee.
  • Filling – You can add instant coffee to the filling as well.  I’d recommend starting with 1/8 teaspoon.
  • Dalgona – This is optional.  If you do not prefer a coffee forward flavor, skip this component. 
  • Flavored Dalgona – You can add other/additional flavors if you like – cinnamon, vanilla, or cocoa.  I would start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more to taste.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
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