August 15, 2009

Mixed Berry & Cream Cheese Coffee Cake (B&P18)

Baking & Pastry Project #18 - Mixed Berry & Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

The beach is the place for me. White sand, emerald water and crisp tan sea oats waving in the wind.

Five generations of my father's family can claim the Gulf Coast of Florida home. In the grand scheme of things, they are relative newbies. While my mother's family has been here for millennia. Throughout my travels, I have always called the Gulf Coast home.

Back when I was single, one item on my list of things I'd like in a guy, was a love of white sandy beaches. As I got older, I discovered that everyone doesn't love the beach and there are people who prefer different types of beaches. The khaki sand or rocky beaches of the Atlantic weren't my perfect beach, but they were to someone else. Other people preferred the snowy mountains of Colorado or the grassy rolling plains of Nebraska.

In my late twenties, I was working in Wichita. To my surprise, I found a guy who loved white beaches. He was from Houston and as I got to know him better I found out his background was similar to mine. His mother's family could trace their heritage back to colonial times, while his father's family had been living in Alabama for millennia. He became my best friend and later my love.

Every year, we make our pilgrimage to the Gulf Coast. Rest, relaxation, family, fellowship, lack of sleep and lots of strong coffee permeate our visits. Trips to the beach, favorite restaurants or activities and sundown over the Gulf are things we love to do.

This year my niece stayed on with us after her family headed home to Atlanta. We had lots of fun going places, finding out how much seaweed you could actually get into a swim suit, riding the surf, making tie-dye shirts, taking turns battling each other with the World of Mythology on the Nintendo, caring for my Mom and eating all types of food. The highlight of the week for them was the day at Gulf World Marine Park for Dolphin Day camp.

It was a hands on camp designed to teach the kids all about marine mammals and how the park cares for the animals. Plus an in depth tour of the park facilities...all those cool places only employees get to go. After signing all the check in forms, fourteen totally pumped preteens were ready to follow their teacher Carol all over the park for the next 6 hours.

After signing the kids into their care, my husband and I headed out to Thomas' Donuts on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach. They make the best doughnuts on the beach and I enjoyed eating them back when I could eat wheat. Our mission was to restock the breakfast doughnut supply for all the wheat eaters. The gluten free folks were going to enjoy the mixed berry and cream cheese coffee cake that I had made the night before. After selecting an assorted couple of dozen donuts, we headed back to the house for some strong Italian roast coffee and a warm slice of gf pastry.

We sat out on the deck and enjoyed the brilliant white sun and true blue sky while slowly working our way through our pastries. The coffee cake had a fabulous taste. The bread had an airy texture that stayed together and the flavor of the filling complemented the taste of it.

Would I do anything different with this coffee cake? Yes...I'd make more. When all the adults in my extended family realized how good it tasted, the coffee cake was gobbled up. When my husband discovered that the container holding the coffee cake was empty, he put his arm around my shoulders, gave me a big kiss and said, "That was absolutely horrible 'hun, how about you make some more?"


Makes: 1 coffee cake
Protein Content:
Original Amount: 38.74 g
GF Amount: 38.45 g


35 g brown rice flour (3.15 g)
35 g sweet rice flour (2.1 g)
35 g arrowroot starch (.105 g)
60 g almond meal (12 g)
60 g millet flour (6.9 g)
6 g chia seed meal (1.26 g)
52 g white bean flour (11.18 g)
28 g instant dry yeast
43 g sugar
9 g sea salt
3 g agar agar powder
120 ml whole milk
64 g eggs
43 g butter, soft

Cream Cheese Filling

114 g cream cheese, softened
28 g confectioner's sugar
8 ml vanilla extract
1 g lemon zest

Mixed Berry Filling

284 g mixed berries, fresh or frozen
62 g sugar
10 g cornstarch
60 ml water

Egg Wash

57 g egg
60 ml milk
smidgeon sea salt

Apricot Glaze

64 g apricot jam
45 ml water
64 g corn syrup
11 ml liquor (i.e. rum, vodka)

Fondant Drizzle

1 g gelatin
15 ml water
28 g corn syrup
2 ml glycerin
227 g confectioner's sugar

Cream Cheese Filling

Cream the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest in a electric mixer. Blend on medium speed, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the the mixture is smooth and light in color (approximately 5 minutes). Place into a piping bag with a plain tip for spreading it on the bread dough.

Mixed Berry Filling

Work the cornstarch into a small amount of the water until it makes a slurry. Place the mixed berries (and liquid), sugar, water and cornstarch slurry into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely before using.

Egg Wash

Combine the eggs, milk and salt into a small bowl and then whisk together.

Apricot Glaze

Combine the apricot jam, water, corn syrup and liquor (I used vodka) in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Use a pastry brush to spread the warm glaze on top of the baked coffee cake.

Fondant Glaze

1. Warm the water in a sauce pan and pour in the gelatin. Let the gelatin sit in the warm water for a few minutes, then stir to make sure it has melted into the water. Take the pan off the heat and then add the corn syrup.

2. In a medium sized bowl, pour in the confectioners' sugar. Then add the gelatin mixture, stirring until it is blended. If necessary, add a little extra water to make sure the fondant is the texture of a glaze.

3. Pour the fondant into a piping bag with a small plain tip. It will be drizzled on top of the baked and apricot glazed coffee cake.


Combine the flours, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the water, egg yolks and oil together. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. The dough should be slightly firm, smooth and slightly sticky.

Shaping Coffee Bread

1. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle it with sweet rice flour. Place the dough in the center of the parchment paper and sprinkle with sweet rice flour. Pat the dough out into an oblong, 10 x 12 in/25 x 30 cm, and 1/4 inch/6 mm thick. Turn the paper so that the short side of the dough is facing you.

2. Spoon the mixed berry filling down the center of the dough. Then pipe a line of cream cheese down either down of the berry filling.

3. Using a sharp knife, make parallel diagonal (45 degree angle) cuts down both sides of the dough. The cuts should be spaced about 1 in/2cm apart. Fold the top left strip diagonally over the top of the filling, then fold the top right strip over and press it gently into the left strip. Continue in this manner, alternating sides so that the top has a braided effect.

4. Slide the parchment paper with the coffee cake on it onto a sheet pan. Brush the dough with egg wash and then set aside in a warm location to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

5. Preheat a convection oven to 350 degrees F/177 degrees C. Brush another coating of egg wash on the dough and then sprinkle the top with sugar. Bake the coffee cake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and shiny.

6. Brush the top of the coffee cake with the warm apricot glaze. Allow it to cool for a few minutes and then drizzle the fondant over the top. Allow to cool on a rack before serving.


1. White Bean Flour – You can purchase white bean flour from Barry Farm or you can grind your own using a coffee grinder. Make sure to sift your bean flour before using to make sure any bits that weren’t ground are removed.

2. Chia Seed Meal – You can purchase chia seeds from Barry Farm and use a coffee grinder to turn them into meal.

Other Baking & Pastry Project Posts

Baking & Pastry Project #17 - Braided Challah
Baking & Pastry Project Week 9 - Twisted & Braided
Baking & Pastry Project #16 - Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Baking & Pastry Project #15 - Rustic Raisin Bread
Baking & Pastry Project Week 8 - Raisins & More Raisins
Baking & Pastry Project #14 - Cheddar & Onion Mock Rye Batard
Baking & Pastry Project #13 - Prosciutto & Provolone Bread
Baking & Pastry Project Week 7 - Ham & Cheese

Want More?

You can find me on Twitter at glutenagogo.


Anonymous said...

This is one of the best looking coffee cakes (GF or not) I've ever seen! It is beautiful!

Amy Green said...

Your coffee cake is beautiful - I made one after taking a baking class and it was gorgeous but my the bread part was too dry. I have never used chai seeds but I am going to try this - I'd love to be able to make a delicious gf coffee cake!! :)

thewholegang said...

That looks so amazing. I could dive in except I can't eat cheese. You're an amazing baker. Are you in the NOVA area? I'd buy the non dairy things you create. They all look so good. I want to figure out how to make a good hamburger bun without tapioca and rice.

Sheltie Girl said...

Cinnamonquill & Amy - Thank you very much for visiting.

Chia seeds make a great gel. It's a smoother gel than the one made by flax seeds. If you can find them, try salba seeds (they are the white variety of chia seeds), as opposed to chia which has a grayish shell over a cream center. Currently you can find ground and seed salba on Amazon.

Take care,

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Whole Gang - Actually, I lived in the NoVA area for about 12 years, before moving north of NYC. We lived in the Alexandria and Vienna areas. We have family in the NoVA area and go back on a regular basis.

There is a pastry shop in Falls Church that sells gf cakes. It's call Natalia's Elegant Creations (230 W Broad St, 703-241-8040, that I've been meaning to try out. The Whole Foods in Vienna has a large GF cold case near the bread dept. They carry a nice array of mini cakes + larger versions. Next visit...

Anyway, since I'm not sure if you have any other food intolerances or allergies (besides wheat/gluten). I would suggest millet flour as a substitute for rice flour. It has a very neutral flavor like rice flour.

Rather than use tapioca, you could try potato starch, corn starch, sweet potato flour ( or arrowroot starch. Sometimes, arrowroot can have this rather menthol aroma when you open a bag. It doesn't effect the flavor of the food.

I hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by to visit and for all the kind words.