This gluten free apple Bisquick coffee cake is a riff on the famous velvet crumb cake, made with everyone's favorite crumble topping. Perfect for brunch, or a snack!
There are a few flour blends that I have in sealed containers on my counter at all times. They are, in order of use:
One. My gum-free gluten free flour blend. I use this blend all. the. time. Every roux I make (every step I take) is made with this simple, 3-ingredient blend of superfine rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch.
Two. An all purpose gluten free flour blend. This is often Better Batter, but if I'm feeling industrious enough to build my own blend, I'll make my “Better Than Cup4Cup Blend.” If someone were even more industrious, they would build that blend and sell it commercially. I would buy it. It's the best gluten free flour blend.
Three. My D.I.Y. Bisquick-style gluten free pancake mix. Built on the back of my gum-free gluten free flour blend, this is the mix that I use whenever I want to make pancakes or waffles. Sometimes I make little itty bitty pancake bites.
Even if you could the flours used to make the gum-free blend, this blend has only about 6 simple ingredients. In fact, it's little more than a self-rising-style flour blend, with a bit of salt and a bit of sugar. Since it's not too salty, and it's not too sweet, it's a perfect blank canvas to make, say, this gluten free apple Bisquick coffee cake.
The classic on-the-Bisquick-box recipe for this coffee cake, I believe, is made with a somewhat simpler, very cinnamon-heavy topping—and doesn't have any apples. I've tried this recipe every which way by now, and this is my favorite.
If you ask me, you pretty much can't beat a nubby, sweet crumble topping. And since I already have the Bisquick mix at the ready, I thought I'd give it a try to see if I could use the pancake mix to make my favorite crumble topping like I make for my apple crumble. I'm happy to say that it worked beautifully.
Watch this quick 1-minute how-to video
Just push play ▶️ and watch me make this easy cake. With our homemade Bisquick mix, it couldn't be easier!
Ingredients and Substitutions
As per usual, I haven't tried these substitutions. These are just my best-educated guesses. Good luck!
Dairy-Free: In place of unsalted butter in both the topping and cake, try using Spectrum butter-flavored nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. For the milk, use any nondairy milk you like. You're best off with something that has some fat and is unsweetened.
Egg-Free: Since there's only one egg in the cake, you should be able to replace it with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).
Bisquick-mix: If you really want to make this cake easier than it already is, I bet you could use the commercially-available Bisquick brand gluten free pancake mix. But I've tried that, and it is soooooo gritty and not at all comparable to conventional Bisquick mix. Like, at all.
I know a lot of readers really love Pamela's gluten free baking mix, which isn't an all purpose gluten free flour but is a pancake mix. I bet that would work in this recipe. Try it and let us know how it goes!
Gluten Free Apple Bisquick Coffee Cake
1 cup (140 g) gluten free Bisquick mix
1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups (280 g) gluten free Bisquick mix
2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
2 small or 1 large green apple(s), peeled, cored and sliced
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease and line an 8″ square pan and set it aside.
Prepare the crumble topping. In a medium-sized bowl, place the melted butter. Add the Bisquick mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and mix to combine well. The mixture will be thick. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until firm (or the freezer for about 5 minutes).
Make the cake batter. In a large bowl, place the Bisquick mix and 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk to combine. Add the milk, butter, and egg, and mix until just combined. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Place the apple slices in a single, even layer on top and press gently to adhere. Sprinkle the apple slices lightly with ground cinnamon. Break up the chilled crumble topping with the tines of a fork into irregular pieces. Scatter the pieces evenly on top of the apples, and press gently to adhere.
Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the apples are fork-tender, the crumble topping is very lightly golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (about 25 minutes). Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.