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This classic Coffee Cake is super easy to whip up and makes a great companion to your morning routine. It will soon become your favorite sweet brunch dish to serve for any celebrations you’re hosting or just any time the mood strikes.

If you love coffee cake everything, you will for sure love these Coffee Cake Muffins, or these Coffee Cake Scones, or this Skinny Blueberry Coffee Cake.

Cross section of a coffee cake

Coffee Cake Recipe

When I first discovered coffee cake, I was surprised to find out it doesn’t actually have any coffee in it. But instead it’s a soft, moist and delicious cake laced with cinnamon streusel in the middle and on top. The sweet cinnamon compliments breakfast wonderfully and gives an extra sweet treat in the morning!

Making the Streusel:

  1. Mix Together: The cinnamon streusel is made with a mixture of flour, sugar, just a tiny pinch of salt, lots of cinnamon and butter. You can use a pastry blender to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture, or simply use your fingers if you don’t have a pastry blender.
  2. Butter Tip: You want to work the butter into the mixture such that it becomes crumbly like wet sand, but work quickly so you don’t melt the butter. Keep the streusel in the freezer until you are ready to use it. If you don’t have space in the freezer, keep it in the refrigerator.
  3. Keep it Cold: Keeping the streusel cold is important so it becomes crumbles once baked instead of melting into the cake completely.

Making the cinnamon streusel in a bowl

Making the Cake Batter:

  1. Beat Wet Ingredients: This cake batter is very simple, just beat together the wet ingredients which include sour cream, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. I use sour cream in this recipe, but you can replace it with yogurt or buttermilk if you wish.
  2. Sift Together: You’ll need a separate mixing bowl to sift together the dry ingredients, then fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Don’t overmix the batter to avoid drying out the cake.

Coffee cake batter in a mixing bowl

Assemble for Baking:

To get the classic layer of cinnamon streusel in the middle of your cake, you’ll need to do a little bit of assembling before baking.

  1. Get your cake pan ready before assembling the cake. I’m using an 8” cake pan here. Brush it with melted butter and line with parchment paper as shown.
  2. Add half the cake batter to the prepared pan, spread it into a flat layer.
  3. Add half the streusel on top, you may need to break up some of the larger clumps to spread it evenly over the cake batter.
  4. Dollop the remaining cake batter on top of the streusel layer.
  5. Use your fingers to nudge it into an even layer.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the streusel on top.

Now your cake is ready for the oven. This recipe bakes in 45 minutes at 350°F using an 8” round cake pan.

You can use whatever size pan you have but if your pan is larger, your cake will bake faster, so check the doneness using a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.

A collage of how to assemble coffee cake

Storing Leftover Cake:

This coffee cake can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also keep it refrigerated for up to a week.

Coffee cake slices on a wooden board

More Amazing Breakfast Cake Recipes:

A slice of half eaten coffee cake

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Coffee Cake

5 from 16 votes
By: Trang Doan
This classic Coffee Cake is super easy to whip up and makes a great companion to your morning coffee. It will soon become your favorite sweet brunch dish to serve for any celebrations you’re hosting or just any time the mood strikes.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 10 slices


Coffee Cake



  • Make the streusel by combining flour, brown sugar and granulated sugar, just a pinch of salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl, mix together thoroughly with a whisk.
  • Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add to the dry mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry mixture or pinch it together with your fingers until the texture is of wet sand. Cover and freeze until ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds.
  • Use the melted butter to brush an 8” cake pan, line the pan with two pieces of long parchment paper and a piece of round parchment paper to cover the bottom of the pan, let the excess hang over the sides for handles. Then brush the parchment paper with melted butter as well.
  • Set the baking pan aside and allow the rest of the melted butter to cool.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add sour cream, eggs, the cool butter, and vanilla extract, beat with a whisk until smooth.
  • In another mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add salt and sugar and whisk to distribute evenly. Then add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Fold with a spatula until just combined.
  • Add half the cake batter to the prepared pan, and use a spatula to spread it into a flat layer. Sprinkle half of the streusel over the top, about 1 cup. Then add the rest of the cake batter over the streusel layer in dollops and gently nudge it into a flat layer with your fingers. Sprinkle the rest of the streusel on top evenly.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool on a wire rack completely before unmolding the cake. To remove the cake from the pan, take a butter knife to gently loosen the side then lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper “handles”.


  • You can bake this coffee cake in a 9” cake pan or a 8” square baking pan but bake time will be shorter.
  • Using a springform pan will make unmolding the cake easier. But be sure to place the springform pan on a baking sheet when baking since the springform pan may leak a little bit.
  • You can substitute sour cream with plain yogurt or buttermilk.


Calories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 4gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 207mgPotassium: 110mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 687IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast, brunch, Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Trang Doan

Trang Doan is a self-taught baker, food photographer and recipe developer behind the blog Wild Wild Whisk. A chemical engineer by trade, she is obsessed with ingredients and all the chemical reactions happening underneath the surface of delicious pastries, bread, and all baked goods. Visit her blog for even more indulgent treats!

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  1. 5 stars
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