Chocolate Pecan Coffee Cake (Gluten-free)

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that one of my favorite things to do is spoil the people in my life with baked goods. There is seriously nothing I love more than baking for my friends and family – especially when they come to visit! Breakfast is usually the meal I go all out on, because it’s pretty hard to top waking up to a freshly baked treat. Pancakes and biscuits are always a good option, but when I want to go allllll out and really pamper my guests……I make coffee cake. And this gluten-free Chocolate Pecan Coffee Cake just happens to be my new favorite.

Chocolate Pecan Coffee Cake

Growing up, my Dad made the BEST coffee cake. We always called it Buffalo Cake…..I have no clue why and if someone does know why – please tell me! Anyways, it was sour cream cake that had a layer of chocolate chips and walnuts in the middle and was topped with cinnamon, sugar, and even more crunchy walnuts. I loved that cake so much and still do! But I wanted to create a coffee cake that felt a little more cozy. Something that would be perfect for those cold, snowy, winter mornings.

I used my Dad’s Buffalo Cake as inspiration and decided that my coffee cake would also have a hidden layer of chocolate chips in the middle. But instead of just cinnamon and sugar on top – I went with a very generous layer of cinnamon laced pecan crumb topping. Because you can never go wrong with a crumb topping! I also decided early on that I would use pecans instead of walnuts. While I love both, walnuts have a tendency to be a little on the bitter side and I wanted something rich and buttery.

The cake itself is a tender, sour cream pecan cake spiked with just a hint of espresso. And thanks to the most amazing pecan flour – it was also easy to make this recipe gluten-free! When you combine all the layers of this Chocolate Pecan Coffee Cake, it creates the coziest winter breakfast treat. There’s just something magical about the combination of toasty pecans, rich chocolate, and warm cinnamon spice!

If you have friends and family coming into town for the holidays and really want to impress them – this is the coffee cake to make! I know I’ll be making it at least a few more times this holiday season!

Slice of gluten-free Chocolate Pecan Coffee Cake


Chocolate Pecan Coffee Cake (Gluten-free)

A tender pecan cake layered with chocolate chips and the most delicious cinnamon spiked crumb topping!

  • Author: Kristine Hinterkopf
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 9 - 12 servings


For cake:
• ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ⅔ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
• 2 eggs, at room temperature
• ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¾ teaspoon Amoretti® Espresso Coffee Extract
• ½ cup pecan flour
• ¾ cup almond flour
• ½ cup sweet rice flour
• ⅓ cup arrowroot flour
• ¼ cup oat flour
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the crumb topping:
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
• ⅓ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
• ⅓ cup pecan flour
• ½ cup + 1 tablespoon oat flour
• ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 8-x-8 pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1” overhang on each side. This makes it easier to remove the coffee cake from the pan once it’s baked.

To make the crumb topping:
Whisk together the dark brown sugar, pecan flour, oat flour, arrowroot flour, salt, and cinnamon. Then add in the butter and, using your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter into the dry ingredients. To do this, toss and squeeze the butter until it is evenly coated. Add in the toasted pecans and continue to work the butter in until a clumpy mixture forms. Set the crumb topping aside until needed.

To make the cake:
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the pecan flour, almond flour, sweet rice flour, arrowroot flour, oat flour, kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

Place the butter and dark brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together for 3 – 5 minutes or until it becomes light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time (beating well after each addition) and mix until well incorporated. Be sure to use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle between each addition. The mixture might look a little broken after adding in the eggs, but don’t worry – it will come back together once the dry ingredients are added!

Next, add in half of the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Then add in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and espresso coffee extract and mix until just incorporated. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for another 30 – 45 seconds or until everything is well incorporated and the batter looks light and fluffy.

Scrape half the batter into your prepared pan. Using a small offset spatula, spread the batter to the edges of the pan in an even layer. Evenly scatter the semi-sweet chocolate chips on top of the batter. Dollop the remaining batter on top of the chocolate chips and gently spread into an even layer. Then evenly distribute the crumb mixture on top.

Bake for 36 – 40 minutes or until the cake is puffed and golden brown (a toothpick inserted into the center should only have a few moist crumbs attached when removed). Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then use the parchment paper to gently lift the cake out of the pan and place on a rack to finish cooling.

Keywords: gluten-free, coffee cake, chocolate, pecan

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