Coffee Cake Recipe

It goes without saying that having cake for breakfast is just better than enjoying cake any other time of day. There's just something about it that makes you feel like you're breaking the rules. But if leftover birthday cake or a slice from a celebration is a bit too sweet for your morning meal, we're here to dish up the perfect replacement.

This coffee cake recipe is the ideal answer. Oddly enough, nobody will judge you for eating a slice of not-as-sweet coffee cake for breakfast. After all, it's meant to be enjoyed at that time of the day. But don't be fooled by its name. This cake doesn't have any coffee in it at all.

With a delicate crumb, a hearty cinnamon streusel topping, and a drizzle of sweet glaze, this coffee cake is as classic as can be. Certainly, coffee cakes can be layered with streusel in the middle as well, but this recipe embraces the time-honored classic, with a layer of not-too-sweet cake and a tall level of crumb on top. Make this recipe for breakfast to pair with your morning cup of joe, or enjoy it throughout the afternoon with a cup of tea. Either way, it's sure to satisfy even the strongest craving for cinnamon streusel topping.

Gather the ingredients for this coffee cake recipe

First thing's first, you'll want to start by gathering all of the ingredients needed for this coffee cake recipe. Luckily, everything needed to whip up this delicious breakfast cake is easy to find at any store.

For this coffee cake recipe you'll need white sugar, brown sugar, softened butter, sour cream, eggs, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and hot water.

But of course, a coffee cake would be nothing without the cinnamon streusel topping. In addition to the ingredients for the cake batter, you'll also need more butter, melted, along with an additional quarter cup of flour, half cup of brown sugar, quarter teaspoon of salt, and teaspoon of cinnamon. To top this coffee cake with a simple, sweet glaze, you'll also need two cups of powdered sugar and two tablespoons of milk.

Cream the butter and sugars for this coffee cake recipe

To get started on making this coffee cake recipe at home, first start by preheating the oven. Turn the oven on to 325 degrees Fahrenheit to allow it to come up to temperature so it's ready once the coffee cake batter is done.

To make the batter for this coffee cake, start by adding the white sugar, brown sugar, and softened butter into a mixing bowl. Cream the butter and sugars with a hand mixer, or you can use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this recipe.

Once the butter and sugars are creamed and fluffy, add in the sour cream, and then add in the eggs. Mix until the wet ingredients are well incorporated before moving onto the next step.

Add the dry ingredients for this coffee cake recipe

Once the wet ingredients are fully incorporated, it's time to add the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.

With the mixer running, gradually add in the dry ingredients for this coffee cake recipe. You'll want to mix on low speed to allow the dry ingredients to be fully incorporated into the wet ingredients mixture. Then, mix in the hot water. 

For this step, be sure not to ove-rmix the batter. Mix until the dry ingredients are just incorporated, mix in the hot water, and then don't continue to mix further than that. Continuing to mix the batter will cause the gluten in the recipe to further develop, ultimately changing the texture of your cake. Instead of a nice, moist crumb, you'll end up with a coffee cake on the drier side, which is best to avoid.

Mix the streusel topping for this coffee cake recipe

Making the cinnamon streusel topping for this coffee cake recipe is incredibly simple. And really, the streusel topping is what makes the cake. It adds a great texture with a delicious cinnamon flavor and a hint of salt.

To make the cinnamon streusel topping, first combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Use a whisk or a large fork to mix the dry ingredients until fully incorporated and free of any clumps.

Next, melt the four tablespoons of butter. You can do this quickly by putting the butter in a microwave-safe mug. Once the butter is melted, pour it in the bowl of the dry ingredients and use a large fork to mix the streusel. As the melted butter is worked into the dry ingredients, small clumps will begin to form, which is what you want. Mix until all of the butter and dry ingredients are incorporated.

Top the batter with streusel and bake the coffee cake recipe

Once the coffee cake recipe batter is ready, it's time to add the streusel and then bake the cake. First, prepare an eight-inch square cake pan by spraying it generously with cooking spray. This will keep the cake from sticking. If you don't have an eight-inch square pan, a round cake pan will work as a replacement.

Use a spatula to spread the coffee cake batter into the prepared cake pan. It will be a fairly thick batter. Be sure your batter is spread to all sides and corners of the pan. Once all of the batter is in the pan, generously sprinkle the top of the coffee cake with the cinnamon streusel topping.

Bake the cake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes until the cake is fully baked and set. Be sure the streusel on top is set as well. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool.

Top the coffee cake recipe with glaze

This coffee cake recipe is perfectly delicious on its own, especially with the addition of plenty of cinnamon streusel topping. However, if you'd like to add a bit more sweetness on top of the cake, along with enhancing the look of the cake a bit with a pretty drizzle, a simple glaze can go a long way.

Mixing together a glaze for this coffee cake is simple. Pour two cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Use a whisk to remove any clumps from the powdered sugar. Then, mix in the milk, one tablespoon at a time, to form the glaze. You'll only need one to two tablespoons of milk to create a thick glaze. You don't want it too runny. If the glaze is too thin and runny, add a bit more powdered sugar to balance the mixture.

Once the glaze is ready and the coffee cake is cooled, use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over top of the coffee cake before enjoying it with a cup of tea or coffee.

Coffee Cake Recipe
5 from 47 ratings
This coffee cake recipe is for when you want cake for breakfast. Nobody will judge you for eating a slice of not-as-sweet coffee cake for breakfast.
Prep Time
Cook Time
coffee cake recipe sliced
Total time: 45 minutes
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (plus ½ cup for topping)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened (plus 4 tablespoons melted for topping)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-¾ cups flour (plus ¾ cup for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus ¼ teaspoon for topping)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (plus 1 teaspoon for topping)
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (for glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (for glaze)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cream the white sugar, brown sugar, and softened butter in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer.
  3. Mix in the sour cream, and then mix in the eggs.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  5. Gradually mix the dry ingredients mixture into the wet ingredients mixture until the batter comes together. Mix in the hot water.
  6. To make the streusel topping, combine ¾ cup flour, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Pour 4 tablespoons melted butter into the bowl, and mix the mixture with a large fork to combine. Mix until large clumps form.
  7. Prepare an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray. Use a spatula to spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top generously with cinnamon streusel topping.
  8. Bake the coffee cake for 30 to 35 minutes until set. Once baked, remove from the oven to cool.
  9. To make the glaze for this coffee cake, whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons in a small bowl. If the mixture is too runny, add additional powdered sugar. Once the coffee cake is cool, use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the top.
Calories per Serving 372
Total Fat 11.5 g
Saturated Fat 6.7 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 62.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 64.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 44.0 g
Sodium 258.5 mg
Protein 4.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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