Moist, buttery, Cinnamon Coffee Cake with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping is a delicious treat for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack!
Coffee cake is one of those things that confused me as a little kid. Why is it called coffee cake? It doesn’t taste like coffee… In fact, it tastes like the most delicious vanilla cake, with a cinnamon and brown sugar filling and creamy sugar glaze.
I soon figured out that it’s called coffee cake because people like to enjoy a slice of sweet crumb cake with a delicious cup of joe. And even if you don’t like coffee, coffee streusel cake is just as delicious served with a mug of tea or a cold glass of milk.
This coffee crumb cake is made in a 9-inch square pan and is carefully layered so that the crumb topping is inside and on top of every single decadent bite.
Want a different recipe for a delicious and easy vanilla cake? Learn how to make an old-fashioned Hot Milk Cake next!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Streusel crumb topping– A streusel is a combination of real butter, flour, and sugar that is crumbly, sweet, and delicious! Here, we’re making a brown sugar streusel. We’ll add it to the top of the coffee cake, and add even more as a cinnamon sugar filling.
- Amazing Flavors – Cinnamon, vanilla, butter, and brown sugar are easily the best combination of flavors for a coffee cake. The flavors are simple but completely perfect.
- Easy Instructions – Follow along with the step-by-step instructions for making a coffee cake. You’ll end up with a beautiful snack cake that everyone will love.
Ingredients In Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Here’s what you need to make this easy coffee cake recipe:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Streusel Topping/Filling: Softened unsalted butter, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and all-purpose flour make the perfect crumb topping.
- Dry Ingredients: Flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt make up the dry ingredients for this cake.
- Wet Ingredients: Butter, eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla are combined.
- Sour Cream: This is the secret ingredient that makes this cake so tender and moist! You can use greek yogurt instead, but the flavor is best with sour cream.
- Glaze: A simple glaze made with powdered sugar and half and half is the most delicious finishing touch for our cake.
How To Make Coffee Cake
- Get Ready: Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C, grease a 9-inch square baking pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the topping.
- Make Streudel Topping/Filling: Add the softened butter to the mixture, and mash with a spoon until the consistency is like sand with some clumps.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients: Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set it aside.
- Mix the Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, (or in a stand mixer) cream butter and sugar until smooth, then add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each. Add the vanilla and stir well.
- Combine: Add half of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until combined. Then add half of the sour cream and stir again until combined.
- Repeat: Repeat step 5 until you’ve stirred in all of the dry ingredients and all of the sour cream. The cake batter will be thick and sticky.
- Start Building: Add half of the cake batter to the prepared baking pan and carefully spread it into an even layer.
- Add Filling: Add half of the crumble mixture, distributing it evenly over the cake batter.
- Add Second Cake Layer: This is the most tricky step! Use a spoon or scoop to add small scoops of batter over the surface of the filling. Use a spatula to carefully spread the scoops into a solid layer.
- Bake: Top with the remaining crumb topping, then bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Make Glaze: Mix together the powdered sugar and half and half until you get a thick glaze that is easy to drizzle.
- Finish: Let the coffee cake cool completely before drizzling the glaze all over it.
Be sure to soften your butter to room temperature for both the cake and the filling. Melted butter will not give you the same results!
- This coffee cake will yield 9 large square servings or 16 smaller pieces.
- Be Patient. The batter for this cake is thick and sticky. Be careful and go slow when spreading the top layer of cake over the streusel! An offset spatula can be very helpful.
- You can use either sour cream or greek yogurt. In my tests of the recipe, the sour cream coffee cake was just a little bit tastier than the one made with yogurt.
- To make the cake easy to get out of the pan, butter the pan, then line it with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper. You need to have butter on both sides of the parchment to keep it from sliding around when you add the batter.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. You may get a bit more life out of it if you store it in the refrigerator instead.
Overall, this homemade coffee cake will be best if served the same day, or the day after you’ve made it.
What To Serve With Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Not a coffee fan? You can totally have tea with your coffee cake, or try a fruit smoothie instead.
Yes, this recipe freezes beautifully. Wrap either the whole cake or individual slices with plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag or container. It will stay fresh this way for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Nope! This cake is caffeine-free. We just call it a coffee cake because it’s so good to eat with a good cup of coffee.
Yes, either store the cake in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for longer storage. It’s a great recipe to keep in the freezer so that you are prepared for guests.
Cinnamon Coffee Cake makes the perfect snack! It’s also a nice treat for breakfast or a weekend brunch. Honestly, there’s no bad time to enjoy a slice of this tender and delicious cake, so be sure that you Pin the recipe to save it.
For the topping and filling:
- 1 cup (125g) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter softened
For the cake:
- 1 ½ cups (188g) all purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (6 oz./182g) sour cream or greek yogurt, at room temp
For the glaze:
- 1 cup (125g) powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons half and half
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C, grease a 9-inch square baking pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
- To make the filling/topping, In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Then add the butter and mash it in with a spoon until the consistency is like sand with some clumps. Set the filling mixture aside.
- Make the cake by mixing together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl; set aside
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth, then add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each. Add the vanilla and stir well.
- Add half of the flour and mix it in.
- Then add half of the sour cream and stir until combined.
- Repeat until all of the flour and all of the sour cream are mixed into the cake batter.
- Carefully spread half of the batter on the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
- Then add half of the crumble mixture to cover the layer of batter.
- Spoon the remaining batter in small scoops over the surface of the filling, then very gently spread the scoops to create a uniform layer.
- Top the coffee cake with the remaining crumb mixture, then bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until it's golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.
- Prepare the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar and half and half until desired consistency is reached.
- When the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the glaze over it.
- This coffee cake will yield 9 large square servings, or 16 smaller pieces.
- The batter for this cake is thick and sticky. Be patient when spreading the top layer of cake over the streusel! An offset spatula can be very helpful.
- You can use either sour cream or greek yogurt. In my tests of the recipe, the one with the sour cream was just a little bit tastier than the other.
- To make the cake easy to get out of the pan, butter the pan, then line it with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.
- To Store: Keep covered at room temperature or in the fridge for 3-7 days. You can also freeze this cake, wrapped in plastic wrap and in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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