This morning was the first day of school for the boys and an important one for sure.
New state.
New school.
No friends yet.
So, what’s a mom do? Ask them what they want for breakfast!
(Because food is love, right?)

Thing 1 is pretty easy—as long as there’s no gluten, he’s probably okay with it.
Thing 2 has gotten progressively pickier over the years. We started running down the list of options last night and all the while I grew more and more nervous. There was NOTHING I could either make or that I approved of on the health scale (leftover chocolate birthday cake, for example, was out).
Then I remembered this: Bisquick Coffee Cake. And THEN I remembered that Bisquick now offers a Gluten-Free option!

I had two boxes on hand but no recipe on the box! I Googled around and found the original coffee cake recipe and tweaked it for the GF mix. The box says there’s xanthan gum in the mix already, so that’s one problem solved.

The gluten free version of the recipe on the Betty Crocker website is considerably different from the original—but I didn’t find the GF one on my original Google search (which is a little disturbing as I originally Googled “gluten free bisquick coffee cake”). However, over the last few years I’ve found that with a few small tweaks—and the right flours—you can usually fake it pretty well.

Here’s the downside to the GF Bisquick—the boxes are SMALL. I used an ENTIRE box to make one cake (and the boxes ain’t cheap, I’ll tell you what*). Regardless, I made the streusel topping according to the original recipe I found (they seem to have upped the amount in the GF recipe, so maybe they learned too) and I did swirl some of the streusel around in the batter before adding the topping (nummy!). Then I used the rest of the box (about 2-1/3 C. left) for the cake.

So, bleary-eyed, but excited by this little adventure, I got up super early to get the kids a special breakfast. One thing I’ve learned in all of the GF-ness is that GF flours soak up more liquid and since I was using 1/3 more mix, I knew I would DEFINITELY need more milk. All told, I added nearly another 1/2 C of milk and probably could have added another egg if I’d felt like getting an eggier cake. But I didn’t.
Now, it’s pretty humid here in NoVa (Northern VA), and I’m fairly certain in AZ I might have needed as much as another 1/2–3/4 C of milk. I just kept adding VERY SLOWLY until the goo looked more like batter and less like cookie dough. At least that’s what it looked like in the dim light. As my former students will tell you, I’m the Queen of Darkenss and loathe electric lights early in the morning. I’d light a hurricane lamp before I’d turn on the ceiling light. So I flipped on the oven light and cooked by it. Much quieter that way. (HA!)

I also cooked the cake for 23 minutes at 400 ° (closer to the original recipe. The GF version says 350 °). I checked at 18 minutes and it wasn’t done yet. (Gas range, btw.) The coffee cake cooked until a toothpick came out clean (ish—there’s always a little GF-ness that sticks, in my experience). I pulled it out, let it cool, kept the kids at bay long enough to not burn their mouths, then let them pounce.


mmmmm... gluten free coffee cake

And for tonight? Chicken Marbella!  


OTN—still finishing the sweater for the book, then onto the knitting for the weekend’s Knit-a-Thon in NYC! (Sept 10, 2011) Come if you can! It should be a great time with lots of entertainment–and I’ll even teach you to knit if you don’t know how yet! Hope to see you there!


*There are some GF Bisquick mix recipes online. I’ve used this one with success.

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