Thursday, March 29, 2012

Apple Coffee Cake with Chia Seeds - Kim's Welcoming Kitchen

Chia seeds are a little powerhouse in this refined-sugar-free coffee cake.  Not only are the chia seeds the egg replacer in this vegan breakfast treat, but they also act as a binder for the gluten-free flour.  Not too shabby for an itty-bitty little guy!

It is the gluten in wheat that holds traditional baked goods together, so it is necessary to add a binder to gluten-free flours to replicate that effect.  Frequently, that binder is xanthan gum or guar gum, but they are not the only options.  When chia seeds are soaked in water they form a gel that not only can take the place of eggs in vegan baking, but the gel is strong enough to hold the gluten-free baked good together.  There are other options, too, like psyllium husks, but I didn't use that here.

I shared this recipe with Allergy Free Wednesdays.

Crunchy Topped Apple Coffee Cake


1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar, divided
1/2 cup soy-free Earth Balance
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup non-dairy milk beverage (I used rice milk.)
2 cups gluten-free baking flour mix (I used King Arthur Flour brand.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch diced, peeled apples (approximately 3 small apples)


1)  Preheat oven to 350.
2)  Lightly oil an 8-inch-square baking pan .
3)  Combine chia seed and water in a small bowl.  Set aside.
4)  Lightly toast pepitas in a dry skillet for approximately one minute or until lightly golden.
5)  In a food processor, pulse together pepitas, 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
6)  Cream together Earth Balance, 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar and maple syrup.  (I used my KitchenAid stand mixer.)
7)  Mix in chia seed mixture and non-dairy milk beverage.
8)  In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg using a whisk.
9)  Mix dry ingredients into wet, one half at a time until well incorporated.
10)  Mix in apples.
11)  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Smooth top with a damp spatula.
12)  Spread pepita mixture over top.
13)  Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Happy Cooking!

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  1. hi there,
    oh boy...looking good! question: there shouldn't be a problem subbing agave nectar for the maple syrup, right? thanks for this...and for all you both do to encourage and spur us on!

  2. Hi Coleen,
    Thanks! I don't think it should be any problem -- they're both liquid sweeteners, so it shouldn't impact the texture. If you give it a try, would you please let us know how it goes?


  3. This sounds delicious! I love finding good vegan recipes that I can serve to guests without them thinking I'm crazy!

  4. I know what you mean, Danielle! The whole point is to show how vegan food is yummy food!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing on Allergy-Free Wednesday. Hope you'll join us again this week with another great recipe!

  6. This recipe looks great but I have a question about the quantity of sugar. In the ingredient list you call for 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons. In the directions you use the 2 Tbsp. with the pumpkin seeds but then you say to cream 1/2 cup (not a 1/4) with the Earth Balance. Before I make this I just wanted to check for the correct amount.

    Plus this is my first time using chia seeds. I'll be very interested to see how it turns out.


  7. James,

    Thank you so much for your good eyes! I fixed the recipe; the amount is correct in the ingredient list, so I changed it in the directions. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know!