This gluten free strawberry breakfast cake is light and fresh-tasting with a tender crumb and plenty of fresh strawberries. Life is short; have cake for breakfast!

What’s a gluten free breakfast cake?

A breakfast cake is a sweet treat that takes very little time to make (one bowl, one pan, right in the oven) and is still satisfying and beautiful on your table. Most “regular” cakes have more sugar added, and don’t contain fruit in the batter, whereas a breakfast cake usually does.

I think of breakfast cake as an alternative to pancakes or French toast. All that fresh fruit baked right into it releases tons of moisture in the oven, so the rest of the batter is very thick—but the result is super moist and tender, even without that much sugar.

Why this is the best gluten free breakfast cake recipe

This gluten free strawberry breakfast cake is relatively low in sugar, with just 1/2 cup in the whole cake. It also has only 4 tablespoons butter total. A “regular” cake would have twice as much of each ingredient.

It’s loaded with fresh strawberries. They sweeten and moisten the cake batter as the cake bakes, so the texture is just right for a gluten free breakfast. It’s even a relatively healthy breakfast cake, since strawberries contain lots of antioxidants and vitamin C, and are low carb but sweet.

This cake is so moist, tender, and lightly sweet, and the batter is so easy to throw together that the 15-minute prep time in the instructions is really only true if you get distracted by something while you’re baking. Mom and kid approved!

The cake freezes so well in single-serving portions, which makes it perfect for busy mornings. But without any additional effort, it’s the star of your Mother’s Day table with all the fresh strawberries as we enter that season of the year.

Whole baked strawberry breakfast cake in square pan

 

Gluten free strawberry breakfast cake ingredients

  • Gluten free flour blend – As usual, you must be careful when choosing your gluten free flour blend. I really like my Better Than Cup4Cup blend here, but Better Batter also works well, as does Cup4Cup itself. Please be sure to click through to learn about appropriate gf flour blends, and stay away from King Arthur Flour and Bob’s Red Mill blends!
  • Baking powder and baking soda – Make sure these ingredients are fresh, since they’re the chemical leaveners that cause your breakfast cake to rise in the oven.
  • Salt – Balancing the sweetness and bringing out the beautiful strawberry flavors of this cake is salt’s job.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar adds sweetness and is also a tenderizer in this cake. There’s already a reduced amount of sugar compared to other cakes, so don’t cut it down further if you want a tender cake!
  • Butter – Butter provides most of the fat and some of the moisture that makes this cake moist, and is a flavor delivery system.
  • Milk – Milk provides the only liquid moisture in this cake, and you want something with richness, so don’t use nonfat milk. Plain yogurt also works in the same amount, and I’ve even made this cake with buttermilk or plain milk kefir, and it turns out beautiful every time.
  • Eggs – Adding rise, richness, and helping to bind this cake together are the 2 eggs, at room temperature.
  • Strawberries – The star of the show are ripe, fresh strawberries, chopped into rough pieces. We want the strawberries to be nice and juicy, so they have tons of flavor, but not overripe or chopped fine or they’ll disappear into the batter.

Gluten Free Strawberry Breakfast Cake, Step by Step

Tips for baking a gf breakfast cake

Working with fresh strawberries

Strawberries can be difficult to bake into a cake, as they’re so packed with moisture, and they release it during baking. This cake handles the extra moisture with ease since it’s properly balanced with less moisture in the batter.

You can replace baking pieces like chocolate chips and chopped nuts with one another without altering the recipe at all. But if you’re baking with fresh berries, they have more moisture than nuts and chips, so you need a recipe formulated for them.

I’ve also made this cake with an equal number of fresh blueberries and fresh raspberries, without changing anything else. Just wash the berries quickly, pat them dry, and use them in the same manner as the strawberries.

Strawberry breakfast cake pieces served on two plates

Don’t overmix your cake batter

As we’ve discussed, this is a relatively thick cake batter so that it has the structure to support all the moisture from the berries. You add the chopped berries at the end, but mix carefully to fold in the berries or you’ll crush them.

Preparing your baking dish

Even if you’re using a nonstick baking dish, I recommend that you line it with parchment paper so that it’s easy to remove the cake after it’s baked. To get the paper to stay in place as you spread out the thick batter, though, try clipping it to the sides of the pan with plain metal clips.

Raw strawberry breakfast cake batter in square baking pan

GF strawberry breakfast cake serving suggestions

Just because this cake is beautiful and delicious on its own doesn’t mean you can’t dress it up a bit when you serve it. Here are some suggestions:

  • For a special occasion, try drizzling on some of our homemade strawberry syrup, like you see in the first photo above. 
  • Try sprinkling the cake with sifted powdered sugar after it cools. A little goes a long way.
  • Treat it like a pancake, and drizzle a slice with pure maple syrup
  • A light cream cheese frosting like we use on our gf banana cake would be a welcome surprise
  • Fresh, lightly sweetened whipped cream is a perfect simple topping, with some more fresh strawberries like we do in our gf strawberry shortcake.
  • Make it more decadent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve it as a light warm weather dessert

Square piece of strawberry breakfast cake on small white plate with strawberries in background

How to store a gluten free strawberry breakfast cake

The cake freezes really well. Just wrap the pieces tightly in freezer-safe wrap and freeze. Defrost at room temperature and then refresh in a 250°F toaster oven for a minute or two before serving.

It’s moist enough, though, to stay fresh for a day or even 2 on the countertop at room temperature. Just be sure to wrap the whole cake tightly if it’s uncut, or each slice separately if you’ve already made it into squares.

Strawberry gluten free breakfast cake: substitutions

Gluten free dairy free breakfast cake

In place of the butter in this recipe, you can try using Melt or Miyoko’s Kitchen brand vegan butter. Earth Balance buttery sticks might work, too. 

If you’d like to use milk, unsweetened nondairy milk like almond milk would work great. In place of plain yogurt, you can use plain nondairy yogurt. My favorite brand for this ingredient is So Delicious. 

Gluten free egg free breakfast cake

There are two eggs in this recipe, which is generally my upper limit for optimism about an egg replacer’s working. Try one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) for each egg in the recipe.

Substituting fresh berries

When fresh strawberries aren’t in season, you can still make this cake if you can find frozen strawberries that are chopped already. Don’t defrost the strawberries; instead, keep them frozen until it’s time to mix them into the otherwise prepared batter.

If you try to chop frozen strawberries or even strawberry halves, they’ll melt and wilt as they defrost, and your cake will have dry spots and some soggy parts. 

Trying a different fruit

Instead of chopped strawberries, you can try this recipe with lots of other fruits, as long as they’re similar in size and juiciness to our strawberries. Here are some ideas:

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Halved, pitted cherries
  • Pineapple chunks

Strawberry breakfast cake baked in pan

FAQs

How is breakfast cake different from regular cake?

Breakfast cake usually has fresh fruit baked right into the cake, and much less sugar and butter than a “regular” cake. Think of it like you might gf blueberry muffins, as distinct from cake.

Are gluten free breakfast cakes and coffee cakes the same thing?

I don’t think of them the same way, but many people do! I might serve our gluten free coffee cake for brunch, but I wouldn’t make it for my daughter to eat in the morning before school, as it’s really just, well, cake.

What’s the best gluten free flour for this breakfast cake?

I really like our Better Than Cup4Cup blend, which is really my favorite all purpose gluten free flour blend, in this recipe. But all of my recommended all purpose gluten free flour blends work well here, including Better Batter.

Can I make this gf strawberry breakfast cake with almond flour?

No, this cake must be made with an all purpose gluten free flour blend, which is a combination of individual flours, starting with superfine rice flour. Almond flour is not a proper substitute, and to use it would require a separate recipe that’s been developed to be made with almond flour, like our almond flour sponge cake.

Can I make this gf breakfast cake without fruit?

No, this recipe is developed to be made with the additional moisture that fruit provides when it is mixed into the batter. If you replace the fruit with something dry, like chocolate chips or nuts, the cake is likely to turn out dense.

Can I double the batter and make the cake in a 9-inch x 13-inch pan?

No, I don’t recommend doubling this recipe to make a larger cake, as it may burn on the bottom toward the center before it’s baked cleanly all the way through. You can make 2 cakes by doubling the ingredients and dividing the batter between 2 8-inch square (or round!) pans.

Square of strawberry breakfast cake on small white plate with cut strawberry in background

 

Strawberry gluten free breakfast cake recipe

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Strawberry Gluten Free Breakfast Cake

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Make dessert the first meal of the day with this delicious gluten free breakfast cake. Celebrate Mother's Day or everyday mornings with this fruity treat.
Course Breakfast, Cake
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten free breakfast cake, strawberry gluten free breakfast cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 1 square cake (8-inches)
Author Nicole Hunn

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used my Better Than Cup4Cup flour; click thru for appropriate blends)
  • ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your blend already contains it
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 9 tablespoons plain whole milk or lowfat yogurt at room temperature
  • 2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups fresh roughly chopped strawberries from 8 to 10 strawberries that are washed, hulled, dried and chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan, then line it with crisscrossed sheets of unbleached parchment paper, overhanging both sides of the pan. Set the pan aside.

Make the batter.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well.
  • Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, yogurt and eggs, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick.
  • Add 1 cup of the chopped strawberries and mix gently until the strawberries are evenly distributed throughout the dough, taking care not to crush the strawberries.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer with a wet spatula. Scatter the remaining 1/4 cup chopped strawberries over the top of the batter, pressing them gently into the batter.

Bake the cake.

  • Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is very lightly golden brown (about 25 minutes).
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before lifting out by the overhung parchment paper and placing on a wire rack to cool (peeling off the parchment from the bottom of the cake if possible).
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing into 16 squares and serving.

Storage.

  • The cake freezes really well. Just wrap the pieces tightly in freezer-safe wrap and freeze. Defrost at room temperature and then refresh in a 250°F toaster oven for a minute or two before serving.

Video

Notes

Originally published on the blog in 2019. In 2022, recipe unchanged, some photos added, more text resources added.
strawberry breakfast cake in the pan and on a plate

The post Gluten Free Strawberry Breakfast Cake appeared first on Gluten Free on a Shoestring.

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