This homemade coffee cake recipe is easy to make and a favorite for breakfast, brunch or any celebration. It’s light and moist with a streusel filling and crumb topping!
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Best Coffee Cake
Breakfast cake, sign me up! It’s easy to make, better than Starbucks and never fails to bring a smile whenever I serve it.
This coffee cake is a classic made with a moist buttery cake that has a tender crumb and contains a ribbon of streusel in the middle and plenty more on top. We love it so much I make blueberry coffee cake in the summer and pumpkin coffee cake in the fall!
Why This Recipe Works
- Taste and texture. If you like butter, cinnamon, sugar, or a combination of all three, this cinnamon cake is for you. It’s moist, soft, and with brown sugary sweetness.
- Topping. A tender crumb topping contains a ribbon of cinnamon sugar swirled throughout the center and then topped with a sweet and crispy crumble topping.
- Freezes well. It’s the perfect freezer-friendly cake and can be pulled out for any last-minute occasion including Thanksgiving or Christmas brunch.
No fancy ingredients required to make this easy recipe for coffee cake. A few common baking staples are all that’s needed to get started.
Find the full printable recipe below.
- All-purpose flour: This recipe is pretty straightforward. It’s all about achieving the perfect textures in each of the layers and knowing how to measure flour is part of that.
- Milk: The higher the fat content the more moisture the cake will retain, so I use whole milk or at least 2%.
- Baking powder: Check to see that yours has not expired. Otherwise, it won’t give it the lift it needs for a light and airy texture.
- Crumb topping: Easily made with flour, sugar, and butter.
- Butter: I prefer to use salted rather than unsalted butter. There is no added salt anywhere else and quite a bit of sugar, so it offsets it nicely.
Substitutions and Variations
- Top with a glaze. Sometimes I’ll drizzle it with powdered sugar icing or cream cheese glaze for a little something extra.
- Add nuts or berries. For extra crunch and flavor add some chopped nuts on top. Walnuts, sliced almond and pecans are favorites! Try this with blueberries, sliced apples or peaches.
- No oil. Applesauce, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt can be added to the batter in place of the oil for a lighter version with just as much moisture.
- If using unsalted butter. Add a teaspoon salt to the mixture.
How to Make Easy Coffee Cake Recipe
With only 10 minutes of prep time, you’ll soon understand why this easy coffee cake is a recipe I reach for again and again!
- Prepare batter. Whisk together wet ingredients in a bowl then add in the dry ingredients including flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour half of the cake batter into a prepared 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper.
- Make filling. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle it over the bottom portion of the batter. Drizzle with melted butter and then add remaining batter on top.
- Add crumb topping. In another small bowl, combine flour sugar, and softened butter. Use your hands to crumble it until coarse pea-sized crumbs appear. Sprinkle over top the batter and cover the dish loosely with foil.
- Bake, cool, and slice. Transfer dish to a preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before slicing it into 9 squares.
- Make muffins. Turn this classic coffee cake recipe into coffee cake muffins! You’ll divide the batter into a muffin pan, swirl in the cinnamon sugar, and top with a crumble or cinnamon streusel topping.
- Pan size. Instead of an 8-inch pan, you could use a 9-inch round cake pan with no changes needed. You could also use a 9×5 inch loaf pan and increase baking time to around 40 minutes.
- No mixer is required. This cinnamon coffee cake can be made just by mixing by hand. However, if you do prefer to use a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, go right ahead. I prefer just a medium bowl or large bowl, a whisk, and a wooden spoon.
- Double the recipe. To feed a large crowd, double this easy coffee cake recipe and use a 9×13″ baking pan. Add an extra 5-10 minutes to the bake time.
The name comes from eating cake with your cup of coffee during “coffee breaks.” Good news for kids and caffeine-free adults, because it’s not actually made with coffee as an ingredient.
Traditional coffee cake has a crumb topping or a cinnamon streusel topping layered on what resembles a pound cake. A regular vanilla cake is what you’d put frosting or fondant on!
Not exactly. They are very similar, however, a crumb cake is all about the crumb topping, whereas a coffee cake has the topping, but a thinner layer of it. When the crumble topping is piled high it’s referred to as a crumb cake.
For breakfast or snack serve it with coffee, tea, apple cider or hot chocolate. A smoothie or a refreshing glass of lemon water is great, too! For a holiday brunch or baby shower, I love to serve this sausage breakfast casserole.
For dessert, a scoop of vanilla ice cream is in order. A little extra indulgence with a drizzle of caramel sauce or glaze never hurts either!
Store: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. It doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge and will stay moist as long as it stays covered.
Freezer: Wrap slices tightly with plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn and store in a freezer-friendly bag for up to 3 months.
You can enjoy it cold, at room temperature, or even warmed up in the microwave. Heat in 10 second intervals in the microwave or heat in oven but wrap in aluminum foil to retain moisture.
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Easy Coffee Cake Recipe
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon salted butter , melted
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons salted butter , slightly melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, if desired.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, sugar, egg, and vanilla.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon. Pour half the batter into the baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the batter. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top. Pour the remaining batter over the filling.
- In a small bowl combine the flour, sugar, and butter. Crumble evenly over the batter.
- Cover dish loosely with foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Slice into 9 squares and serve.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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