Paleo Cinnamon Coconut Crumble Coffee Cake

Update 1/12/2017: I have been playing with photography more, and wanted to reshoot the images for this recipe. The images here are new, the recipe is the same!

Paleo Cinnamon Coconut Crumble Coffee Cake

Mmm... can you smell that? Wafts of warm cinnamon? Melodies of toasting coconut? Hints of vanilla? That's what leisure smells like. At 7am it smells dreamy, like you're not quite awake yet. This is what our house smelled like this week, letting everyone know it's official: winter break is here! 

On the last day of school, my usual mid-semester stress was already beginning to lift, and with no cramming left to do, I spent my morning making cake. This coffee cake, a Paleo makeover of one of my grandmother's recipes, has a soft crumb and is lightly sweet.

My grandmother's secret ingredient in coffee cake was sour cream, but I wanted to keep this recipe paleo-friendly, so I used bananas, which add a similar amount of moisture, and keeps it dairy-free. The banana flavor is subtle, and after a bite or two it's lost between the cinnamon and coconut, but that fruit provides a gentle sweetness that is the perfect match to a cup of chai. Hooray for natural sweetness! Really have a sweet tooth? The cakey part of this coffee cake is only subtly sweet, but you can add 2 tablespoons of honey if you’re sweet tooth is begging for it.

Another twist that my grandmother’s recipe didn’t call for — coconut on top. Most crumbs call for just a few ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon. Sometimes oats. But, since none of those ingredients (aside from the cinnamon and maybe the butter, depending on your definition) are Paleo, I improvised. Toasted coconut adds the “crunch” I was looking for with out adding grains or flour. GF, DF (though you can use butter over coconut oil if you prefer), and NF (nut-free, for anyone that needs it!).

Now who has the coffee??

Paleo Cinnamon Coconut Crumble Coffee Cake

Paleo Cinnamon Coconut Crumble Coffee Cake

Published December 12, 2014 by
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Yields: 8   |    Active Time: 60 minutes


  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canned full fat coconut milk 
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • For the Crumble Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut 
  • 4 tablespoon coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoon honey, melted or coconut sugar

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch by 9-inch glass baking dish or cake pan.
    2. Whisk together in coconut flour, baking soda, and salt, getting rid of any chunks of coconut flour as you do. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas well. Add the eggs, and vanilla to the bank mixture, folding together until incorporated. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until a smooth batter forms. **If you own a blender,  you can skip the mashing and stirring and throw all of the batter ingredients in (eggs, banana, coconut flour, coconut milk, salt, baking soda and vanilla) and blend until smooth. 
    3. Spread the batter into the greased baking dish or cake pan.
    4. In a small bowl, combine melted coconut oil, honey, cinnamon and coconut. Stir with a fork until a loose crumb forms. Use your fingers to sprinkle the crumble evenly over the top of the cake batter. 
    5. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Set on a wire wrack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with your normal breakfast beverage.