Gluten Free Coffee Cake


Blueberry Boy Bait
Makes 8 servings (gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, and sesame free)

This moist, buttery coffee cake with its crisp, cinnamon-sugar topping is based on an old-fashioned recipe from the 1950s, called Blueberry Boy Bait, a coffee cake named for the effect it had on teenage boys. My boys aren’t teens yet, but this bait works for them. They’ll gobble it up in one daywith not a crumb left over.

  • 2 cups my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix or Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons rice milk
  • 3/4 cup rice milk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries tossed with 1 tablespoon Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 9-inch baking pan and sprinkle with a little gluten-free lour mix, tapping out any extra.
  2. Whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until fluffy.
  4. Add the egg replacer and mix for about 20 seconds.
  5. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in one-third of the flour, mixing for 15 seconds.
  6. Add half of the rice milk, mixing for 20 seconds.
  7. Beat in half of the remaining flour, then the remaining rice milk, and finally the remaining flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  8. Add half of the batter to the pan, using a frosting spatula to spread the batter evenly across the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with half of the blueberries. Top with the remaining batter, spreading it as evenly as possible across the blueberries. Top with the remaining blueberries, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  9. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, until the cinnamon-sugar mixture has begun to caramelize and the top is golden. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes before turning out onto a serving platter (or just cut into pieces and serve out of the pan). Serve warm or at room temperature. This cake is even better on day two!

Tip: If using frozen blueberries, keep frozen until the last minute, or they’ll turn your batter blue-green.

Reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Chugrad McAndrews.

30 Responses

  1. Cassie Rivera says:

    Hi Cybele,
    My grandmother makes the regular version of this. So glad to see you made a gluten , and dairy free version of this. Can’t wait to try this.

  2. Andrea says:

    Hi! Quick quetion: my kid is dairy/egg/nut allergic, but she can eat wheat. To make this with regular flour, would we just use reg. flour and omit the xantham gum?

    Thank you, sounds yummy!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by chupieandjsmama, Cybele Pascal, Cybele Pascal, Cybele Pascal, Cybele Pascal and others. Cybele Pascal said: Check out Gluten-Free Coffee Cake: Blueberry Boy Bait! (Vegan and Allergy-Friendly Too) @ […]

  4. admin says:

    Hi Cassie:

    Does she call it “boy bait”????

  5. Hi Andrea:

    Sure that’s fine. Just measure flour by spooning into a dry measuring cup, and leveling off with a straightedge and omit xanthan gum as you note. Enjoy!


  6. Robin says:

    this is the first recipe I made from the Baker’s Handbook, truly is Boy Bait, the family(my boys and girl) loved it. Time to make it again! Happy holidays to you!

  7. Carolyn Hernandez says:

    This cake is sooooo awesome. Made it for the first time last night and can’t stay away!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this Cybele! I’m always amazed at what you can make without eggs! I really want to try this! Thank you SO much for sharing this on my “A GF Holiday: Breakfast/Brunch Roundup!”

  9. Carolyn Hernandez says:

    Cybele….have you ever tried this with a different berry like rasberries?

  10. Rachel R. says:

    This has nothing to do with this specific post, but…your cookbook is billed as having every recipe free of wheat, among other allergens. I’m not sure if that was your description, or just an editorial description, but just in case, I wanted to be sure you’re aware that spelt is a variety of wheat. You may already know that, but I wanted to mention it, on the off-chance that you weren’t. 🙂

  11. Dear Rachel, thanks for your comment. The first edition of The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook came out before spelt was classified as wheat. It was considered an ancient cousin of wheat at the time, and tolerable for those with wheat allergies. After it came out, the FDA declared spelt a form of wheat! However, that version of the book is no longer in print, and the revised edition has no spelt in it. If you are looking for a gluten-free cookbook, The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook is 100% gluten-free.

  12. Carrie:

    My pleasure! Thanks for hosting!

    all best,


  13. Thanks, Robin! Happy the recipe is doing as its supposed to, and acting as bait to get the loved ones to the table!

  14. Carolyn:

    Yes, this is also delicious with raspberries! Let me know how you like it.

    all best,


  15. Michelle says:

    Wow, this is incredible, and the first good baked good I have had since starting this new life 4 months ago. Thank You!

  16. Cassie Rivera says:

    Cybele:my grandmother calls it Blueberry Coffee Cake. I think I like your name better.

  17. Eos Mom says:

    This is my favorite recipe, hands-down! I have not tried it with your flour mixture yet because my son has been trialing beans and berries. So, I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill G/F flour (a blend with garbanzo/fava) and it was AWESOME! It’s no good for me though, because I can’t stop eating it. If I make it too often, I may turn into a blueberry and someone will have to roll me away! 😉

    Thank you VERY much for putting this recipe in your book!

    -Debbie (“Eos Mom”)

  18. Michelle says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! It’s my favorite (followed by the maple chocolate cupcakes)! My two roomates and I devoured this within an hour. It was one of the best things I’ve tasted!

  19. Dominique Valencia says:

    Hello Cybele,
    My name is Dominique and I live in The Netherlands.
    First of all, THANK YOU!!!
    Thank you so much for all your research and wonderful recipes!
    Since a couple of years I am allergic to milk and all it’s products, eggs, soy and almonds. I had been a vegetarian for 14 years, and suddenly was “forced” to become vegan. Although I have bought several vegan cookbooks, I have not found recipes like mayonnaise, creme brulee, etc. that I can eat because they all include soy. And some recipes for pie, f.i., are not always delicious…
    You can just imagine my joy when a couple of days ago I discovered your recipes in the internet! I simply could not believe my eyes! I have already ordered your two books and can’t wait to receive them! They will make my life much easier, and that of my family as well. Specially for family gatherings, when the search begins: what is Mum going to eat?
    So thanks again, and here are a couple of questions which I hope you can answer for me:
    1. In Holland I can only find only 1 brand of margarine that has no milk or soy. Vegetable shortening does not exist here. Is it possible to replace one for the other?
    2. Since I am not allergic to gluten, may I use normal flour in your recipes?
    3. In many recipes you use Canola oil. Here it is sold by another name, (koolzaad olie, made with Brassica napus) and many people consider it to be very unhealthy. Are we talking about the same product?
    4. I am also allergic to all sorts of parfume, something called Peru Balsam, Cobalt and Nikkel. I read somewhere that chocolate contains nikkel and eating it may affect people with this type of allergy. Do you know if this is true?

    I believe this is all for now. Maybe more questions will arise once I recieve the books. 🙂
    Thank you once again, and please keep delighting us with new recipes!
    Kind regards,

  20. […] Boy Bait, a coffee cake named for the effect it had on teenage boys. You can also find the recipe here on the author’s […]

  21. Tanya says:

    I have made Blueberry Boy Bait twice now and my family can’t get enough of it. We are new to the food allergy world and I have realised something since following Cybele’s recipes: I haven’t tasted real food unitl now. I had no idea that simple ingredients could hold so much flavour, and the joy of not having migraines and stomach pains from dairy and soy products cannot be described.

    We are in Australia and find it so hard to get quality recipes for allergen free foods. I have been telling everyone about Cybele and her recipes. I even made allergen free cakes for the school fete, all from Cybele’s book. They were amazing.

  22. ash says:

    how can I replace the egg replacer with actual eggs? how many?

  23. Hello everyone, it’s my first go to see at this web page, and paragraph is truly fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting these types of content.

    my homepage :: international channels

  24. […] can find the recipe at Cybele’s website here, as well as a great recipe for gluten free flour […]

  25. […] (Modified slightly from Cybele Pascals own recipe – her original recipe can be found here) […]

  26. Sarah says:

    I’ve made this so many times (including with regular AP flour to replace the GF flour mix & xanthan gum when my son was trialing wheat) and it’s always a hit! I’ve also made it in muffin tins with and without the berries for classroom parties. Kids (and adults) love it. I’m wondering though if anyone has frozen it and, if so, does this work well?



    • cybele says:

      Hi Sarah:

      I don’t know about freezing this one. I freeze my crumb cake with excellent results. Anyone else out there frozen the boy bait? I think it would work, but you might need to rewarm it in the oven once defrosted.

      all best,


  27. […] Blueberry Boy Bait recipe can be linked to here. […]

  28. Karen Wegner says:

    Hello we love your cookies!!!!! With this recipe can you use any fruit my brother is allergic to blueberries. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks Karen

Leave a Reply