January 13th marks National Gluten-Free Day! A day to learn a little bit more about gluten-free baking and the challenges of loved ones that have to eat a gluten-free diet. To celebrate, we’re baking up a quick and easy Cinnamon Buckwheat Coffee Cake! You can watch us make this cake on January 13th at 12pm, live from our Kitchener location.
Gluten-free baking can be a difficult and challenging adventure - regular baking is typically one flour with leaveners and binders, whereas gluten-free baking requires an assortment of flour to get something similar to its glutinous counterpart. We say “gluten-free flours” to describe a whole category, but they’re really nutritious and delicious grains and seeds in their own right, some of which serve as a base grain in cultures around the world: millet, corn, rice, sorghum, buckwheat, and quinoa - just to name a few - have been cultivated and eaten for hundreds of years.
What is gluten? Gluten is the combination of two proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley, glutenin, and gliadin through moisture and mixing. Gluten forms an elastic structure which traps carbon dioxide from yeast, giving baked goods a chewy, airy texture. The more you mix a batter, the stronger the gluten structure, and the tougher the better. Gluten-free goods have more difficulty creating this structure trapping gasses can be a lot more work and require a more delicate hand at times, but that also means the risk of over-mixing isn’t a concern. For more information, check out this article from Modernist Cuisine.
Some softer grains can even be milled yourself with a high-powered blender, like buckwheat groats, quinoa, and oats. If you’re set for a more nutritious January, milling your own grains may be a good habit to start in your diet - eating freshly ground grains have more nutrients. One of our favourite blenders is the K400 Series from KitchenAid.
If cooking for someone who has gluten sensitivity or is celiac, cross-contamination is a big concern and cannot have any cross-contamination. To eliminate cross-contamination, separate tools are needed for food preparation, as gluten can hide in wooden materials and scratches on plastic cutting boards. In some instances, they may require separate dish sets. You will also need to make sure that you’re purchasing grains and ingredients that are certified gluten-free. Gluten-free grains like oats and buckwheat can easily be contaminated during processing unless marked specifically gluten-free.
The success of any baked goods depends on even heat distribution - which can be found in the KitchenAid 30” Combination Wall Oven - great for multitasking and getting the most out of your appliance.
Key features of the 30” 5 cu. ft. Built-in Combination Wall Oven with Convection includes professionally-inspired design Even-Heat™ True Convection Oven, and a plug-in temperature probe. Professionally-inspired design means satin textured handles, touch controls, and a beautiful chrome inlaid frame.
One of my favourite features of this oven is the Even-Heat™ true convection oven. This model has a unique bow-tie-shaped design and a convection fan for even baking. True convection, sometimes called European convection, means that there is a third heating element to assist in distributing hot air throughout the oven during convection baking.
But now, on to the recipe!
Buckwheat Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- 1 cup buckwheat groats
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice blend or ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup milk or dairy-free alternative
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup applesauce (or an applesauce snack cup)
- 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice or ground cinnamon
- ½ lemon
Crumble topping - optional
- ½ cup rice, sorghum or buckwheat flour
- ¼ cup butter or dairy-free substitute, cold and cubed
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice or ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350F and spray the baking pan with non-stick spray. Line with parchment paper.
Combine the buckwheat groats and quinoa in the blender until fine. Add the sugar, baking powder, pumpkin spice blend or cinnamon, and salt. Mix together until combined.
Add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and applesauce. Blend until mixed well, scraping down the sides as needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until thickened.
While the batter is thickening, peel and dice the apples. If using, mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Cut the lemon in half and juice half the lemon, being careful to remove any seeds. If making a crumble topping, mix together the sugar, pumpkin spice or cinnamon, and flour. Cut in the butter or butter substitute until it looks like gravel.
Fold the apples into the batter and pour them into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the sugar and pumpkin spice mixture across the top. Sprinkle the batter with lemon juice. If using a crumble topping, spread it evenly across the top.
Bake the cake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges have slightly pulled away from the sides. Be careful not to overbake or the cake will be dry. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool for about 20 minutes before cutting. The cake will continue to cook and set up as it sits. Slice and enjoy with coffee or tea!