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Coffee Cake Recipe

Coffee cakes are the perfect treat to enjoy with your morning or afternoon cup of coffee or tea. Their tender, cake-like crumb paired with a sweet topping (streusel) makes them an irresistible breakfast or brunch option.

But do you know how to make one? Here is an easy yet perfect coffee cake recipe for you. 

Today, we will walk through the steps to make a classic coffee cake with a cinnamon streusel topping from start to finish. With a prep time of just 20 minutes and a bake time of around 55 minutes, this easy coffee cake recipe can quickly become a go-to recipe in your baking repertoire.

So, where do you start?

Gathering Ingredients

coffee cake recipe

Before beginning the coffee cake recipe, you will need to gather all of the ingredients required.

For the cake itself, you will need:

- 450g (3.75 cups) of all-purpose flour

- 2.5 tablespoon baking powder

- 1.25 teaspoons salt (when you use unsalted butter)

- 71g (1/3 cup) of granulated sugar

- 170g (3/4 cups) of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

- 3 large eggs

- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

- 1 cup (227g) sour cream

- 1 cup of milk

For the cinnamon streusel topping:

- 1 cup all-purpose flour

- 1 cup light brown sugar

- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

- 2/3 cup (85g) unsalted butter, softened

- ¼ teaspoon of salt

You will also need:

- 9x13 inch baking pan

- Parchment paper

- Mixing bowls

- Rubber spatula

- Hand mixer or stand mixer

After you have all the ingredients and baking equipment ready, it’s time to prepare and bake your coffee cake. Follow the steps below:

1. Preparing the Pan

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (177°C). While the oven heats, prepare the baking pan. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom and sides of the pan.

You can also spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray before adding the parchment paper if you wish. The parchment will make removing the finished coffee cake much easier.

2. Mixing the Dry Ingredients  

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar until well combined. Use a fork to fluff the mixture and break up any lumps. Set this dry mixture aside.

3. Creaming the Butter and Sugar

Here, you need one large bowl and a hand mixer. You can also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for the mixing. 

Now, beat the butter on a moderate speed for around 1 minute until it's completely smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy. Stop to scour down the walls of your bowl.

4. Adding Eggs and Vanilla

Next, crack the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. After adding the second egg, add the vanilla extract. Beat again for 1 minute until combined.

5. Alternating Dry and Wet Ingredients

On low mixer speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by 1/2 of the sour cream. Once partially combined, add the next 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then the remaining 1/2 of sour cream. Finally, add the last of the dry ingredients. Scour down the walls of the bowl and mix just until the batter is evenly blended - be careful not to overmix.

6. Preparing the Streusel Topping

In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the streusel topping. Cut in the softened butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

7. Transferring Batter to Pan

Transfer ½ the coffee cake batter on to the baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Evenly sprinkle about a cup of streusel topping over the batter.

Add the rest of the cake batter on top, spreading it with a spoon. And finally, crumble the remaining streusel on top. 

8. Baking the Coffee Cake

Bake the coffee cake on the center rack for 55-60 minutes at 350 °F, rotating the pan halfway through baking time. Check whether the cake is ready by inserting a toothpick from the top. If the toothpick remains clean, then the cake is ready. 

Allow the coffee cake to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. From here, use the parchment paper to lift and transfer the coffee cake from the pan to the rack. Give it at least another one hour before glazing, dusting with powdered sugar, or slicing and serving.

Now, enjoy your fresh homemade coffee cake.

If stored in an airtight container, the cake will keep well for 3-4 days at room temperature. The cinnamon streusel coffee cake is also a perfect make-ahead breakfast option. You can bake it for up to two days before enjoying it and store it tightly wrapped in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Making Substitutions

There are plenty of ways to put your own spin on this easy coffee cake recipe if desired. Here are some substitution ideas:

  • Streusel topping: Use pecans or walnuts instead of cinnamon, or make a brown sugar oat streusel.
  • Glaze: Drizzle the warm coffee cake with a powdered sugar glaze or chocolate ganache.
  • Add mix-ins: Fold 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or raisins into the batter.
  • Yogurt: Substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
  • Whole wheat flour: Use up to 1 cup in place of the all-purpose flour.
  • Alternative pans: Make mini coffee cakes in a muffin tin or a large sheet cake to serve a crowd.

You can get creative and have fun tailoring this easy recipe to your tastes! The tender vanilla cake base pairs perfectly with countless mix-ins.

Storing and Freezing Instructions

  • Store unfrosted coffee cake covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • For longer storage, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight on the counter before serving.
  • Wrap slices individually in plastic wrap to freeze, then remove and defrost as needed so you always have a grab-and-go breakfast or snack!

I hope you enjoy baking up this simple yet delicious coffee cake! And, of course, that it makes your coffee or teatime memorable.



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