This classic cinnamon coffee cake is completely paleo, gluten free, and nut free! It’s a healthy twist that tastes just like the traditional cinnamon coffee cake!

piece of cinnamon coffee cake pulled from stack

I absolutely love a good cinnamon coffee cake, and this one in particular…

Let me just say, you won’t be able to stop at one.

I’m sorry, but it’s true!

cinnamon coffee cake pulled from whole coffee cake

From the actual cake to It’s completely paleo, gluten free, dairy free, and nut free for my nut-allergy friends! However, the taste is just absolutely delicious and decadent.

Perfect with a cup of coffee (because ya know, there’s no coffee in coffee cake! I wish though ha! Maybe I should make one… 😉 ).

Origins of the paleo cinnamon coffee cake:

I actually used to be a huge fan of the cinnamon coffee cake at Starbucks as a little kid. I would ask for a slice of that with my kid’s “coffee” (a.k.a. I would ask for coffee and my mom would order me a kid’s hot chocolate and tell me it was coffee… I thought I was very adult, but now that I am an adult, I just want to go back to the hot chocolate days hahaha! I kid, I kid…sorta 😉 ).

While my tastebuds have matured to like a little less BAM with the sweetness, I do enjoy a really good sweet treat every now and again!

And who doesn’t love a good coffee cake?!

hand plating coffee cake

So this take on an old fashioned coffee cake is actually a paleo cinnamon coffee cake, so that means that it’s completely gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. BUT me being me, I want to make sure it’s still a viable option for more people.

cinnamon coffee cake pulled from whole coffee cake

Since many paleo options tend to be heavy on the nuts, I went for a completely nut free. Instead, I use a lot of coconut and…SWEET POTATO!

It adds an insane amount of sweetness without any added sugar, which means saving a lot of that high quality maple syrup for more important things…like pancakes!

plated coffee cake

Gluten free cinnamon coffee cake is typically made with a whole mix of different flours and gums to try and resemble its gluten sibling…

…and Paleo cinnamon coffee cake is usually full of nut flours, which yes, I do love almond flour, but that’s a lot of nuts to go through!

close up of coffee cake

That’s why I just love using sweet potato as the base. It just keeps things simple!

When you pair it with an agent like baking powder, it rises just like normal bread! That’s usually the trick for getting any paleo bread recipe to rise without yeast (since yeast actually needs gluten in order to get that airy like texture!).

fork taking a bite from the coffee cake

I will say, the sweet potato adds a really nice flavor to this paleo cinnamon coffee cake, and it’s complemented well with coconut for flavor and added sweetness without adding a bunch of sugar!

By now I bet you’re wondering what’s in this beautiful paleo cinnamon coffee cake! Let’s find out (yes, I sound like the owl from the tootsy roll pop commercial)!

hand grabbing coffee cake

Paleo Cinnamon Coffee Cake Ingredients:

This coffee cake is broken down into two layers: the actual cake and the cinnamon streusel!

For the cake part, you’ll need

  • Japanese sweet potato: a given! This will be the base of your cinnamon coffee cake.
  • Coconut flour: for this recipe, we’re actually going to use a decent amount: about a cup for the actual batter because there’s a lot of moisture going on in this cake!
  • Coconut milk: to get a less coconut flavor, you can absolutely use light coconut milk, and you can definitely sub in a nut milk if you aren’t nut free.
  • Coconut oil
  • Eggs: you can also sub in flax eggs here if you’re vegan!
  • Maple syrup: just a touch 😉
  • Cinnamon: but of course, the star of the cinnamon coffee cake show! Cinnamon is also a great sweetener too!
layers of cinnamon and coffee cake

Now for the cinnamon streusel layer, you’ll need:

  • Coconut flour: this helps with clumping
  • Coconut sugar: or maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut oil

How to make a grain free cinnamon coffee cake:

Now the best part of this recipe is that we get to use our handy dandy food processor!

That’s right! Little work is required for this gluten free cinnamon coffee cake! The only real hand mixing you’ll do will be for the cinnamon streusel after you whip up the batter.

Then it’s all about layering the batter in the cake pan! I split half the cake batter for the first layer, topped with some cinnamon streusel, and then continued that pattern for the second layer.

Pretty easy, right?

sweet potato batter in food processor

Making the cinnamon streusel

Now the original recipe I first shared called for maple syrup, which you can still use, but I do actually really like the coconut sugar here!

It adds a really nice clumpy texture that you get with more traditional streusels.

cinnamon streusel in bowl

Simply mix all of your ingredients in one bowl and that’s it!

For the streusel, depending on how big your streusel clumps are, you might need to make extra! If you do need to, no worries at all. It’s a really easy streusel that you can whip up in a nano second!

The coffee cake layers

Now, an old fashioned coffee cake is traditionally cut into squares, so that’s what I decided to go with here, but I’ve also made this Paleo cinnamon coffee cake with a bundt pan!

Works great both ways 🙂

tilted coffee cake to show layers

Start with a layer of the sweet potato cake, then sprinkle on half of the coconut sugar cinnamon streusel.

Add the second half to the sweet potato cake, then finish off with the last of the streusel.

baked old fashioned cinnamon coffee cake

Now just bake and slice into squares!

I’m actually shocked at how well this resembles an old fashioned coffee cake. It tastes just like the standard flour and milk and eggs and sugar version to me!

fork taking slice of coffee cake

Especially the streusel; like WOW is that out of this world!

This paleo cinnamon coffee cake also comes together in record time. I had it all done within 45 minutes! Depending on your oven, yours may need to cook longer but it should still be really quick.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Enjoy and I cannot wait to see what you think!

bite taken from coffee cake

If you give it a go, let me know in the comments below (too much rhyming, but I also don’t hate it haha!). As always, I can’t wait to see your beautiful creations on Pinterest and Instagram!

Happy baking and cinnamon streusel-ing!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

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coffee cake on grey plate with fork

Classic Cinnamon Coffee Cake {Paleo, GF, DF}

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4 from 2 reviews
  • Author: The Banana Diaries
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: baked goods, Breakfast, Dessert


This classic cinnamon coffee cake is completely paleo, gluten free, and nut free! It’s a healthy twist that tastes just like the traditional version!



Coffee Cake

  • 1 extra large Japanese sweet potato (about 1214 ounces, cooked, cooled, and skin removed)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 16 oz can coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs (can sub flax eggs for vegan)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder (can sub in paleo baking powder here (1 tbsp vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda))

Cinnamon Streusel

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 9″ cake pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a large food processor, puree sweet potato.
  3. Add in the remaining coffee cake ingredients and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  4. For the streusel, combine coconut flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  5. Add half of the coffee cake batter to the pan and top with half of the coconut flour streusel,
  6. Add remaining coffee cake batter on top and finish with the remaining streusel (if you need more, you can make another batch!).
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.


*Make sure that you bake your sweet potato rather than steaming or microwaving it- baking it helps to remove some of the moisture so that the cake isn’t soggy.

*If you’re using an orange sweet potato, I recommend a Jewel sweet potato over a Garnet- garnet yams tend to be moisture and have a stronger sweet potato taste

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