Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Bread (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


We finally, FINALLY, got some rain here in New England. It was a day late and a dollar short for my poor frizzled lawn, but the other parts of my garden loved it. And for us humans, the cool drizzly weather was a pleasant change from the intense humid heat we’ve been having. It rained almost constantly for four days, however, and by the last day, I was looking forward to seeing the sun again. That last day had the aspect of cozy dreariness, the sort of day where you want to sit home all day, doing much of nothing, reading books, watching movies and eating comfort food.

Those sorts of days are when I get the overwhelming urge to bake. It’s so strong, it’s almost like a physical need. I NEED to bake, it hardly matters what, I just need to be in the kitchen, whisking, mixing and stirring. This time, I didn’t want to make dessert, I wanted something dense and comforting, the sort of baked good I might buy at Starbucks to go with a mid-morning coffee. All those lovely tea breads that are arrayed in rows, tempting me, mocking me with their carb-filled deliciousness. I’ve had so much success with low carb muffins, surely quick breads lend themselves well to low carb makeovers as well?

There are any number of low carb quick bread recipes out there, but I had something very particular in mind. I wanted the bread to be warm and cinnamon-y, with a crunchy streusel topping. Better yet, streusel in the middle and on top! It generally takes sugar to make streusel so I wasn’t sure how it would work with my various sugar substitutes. But I’d never know unless I tried, right???


The Results: Hoo boy, am I glad I tried. Turns out that granulated erythritol makes for an excellent streusel topping. Mixed with butter, cinnamon and pecans in a hot pan, it melts and then hardens as it cools. It’s not exactly carmelized but it’s close, and it turned out better than I could have hoped. I could hardly keep from eating all of the cinnamon/pecan mixture, and I was worried there wouldn’t be any left for the actual bread!

As is often the case with gluten free ingredients, the bread didn’t rise as much as a conventional quick bread would. It was dense, but it was moist and flavourful and it definitely hit the spot. I might put a tad more cinnamon into the batter mix next time, but I was very pleased with how this turned out.


Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Bread

3 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp granulated erythritol
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp granulated erythritol
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
16 drops stevia extract
1/2 cup water

For the streusel, melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and toss to coat. Add erythtritol and cinnamon and mix well. Set aside.

For the bread, preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan, line with parchment paper along bottom and long sides of pan and grease parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together coconut and almond flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, erythritol and xanthan gum. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, butter, vanilla and stevia extracts. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until well combined. Add water and stir until incorporated well.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan, the top with half of the streusel mixture. Spread the rest of the batter into pan, smoothing top, and sprinkle with remaining streusel.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until bread is golden brown on top and set. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then lift out by ends of parchment paper and cool completely on wire rack. The bread will be friable until completely cooled, so resist cutting into it early.

Store bread in foil in refrigerator.

Serves 12. 15g total carbs per serving, 5.5g of fiber. 8.5g of carbs if you subtract the erythritol.

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  1. Healthy Mamma says

    Sounds wonderful. It sure looks like it tastes delicious, especially for being gluten free! good job!

  2. Carolyn says

    torviewtoronto…yes, you could do regular sugar easily, if you don't have any blood sugar issues. It will carmelize nicely on the pecans, and of course it would be fine in the actual bread.

    I don't believe coconut flour is the same as coconut milk powder. If I am not mistaken, it is the actual coconut meat very (very!) finally ground. I ordered mine online.

  3. Carolyn says

    Christine, I am so glad you liked it! I was pleasantly surprised about how well the pecan streusel turned out with erythritol, and am already scheming on how I might use it again in other recipes.

  4. Stella says

    Yum! But I don't want to buy Xanthum gum (smile). I need to figure out how to get around this 'gum' situation in gluten-free baking;)…

  5. Carolyn says

    Stella, I know one gluten-free blogger who has done a series on various GF methods. I will dig up that link and send it to you, it may have some tips on other ways to bind your baked goods (I know that flax seed has some good binding properties).

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