The Best Homemade Coffee Cake Recipe (Easy to Make)

10 min read SEP 30, 2022

As any coffee lover knows, there's nothing quite like the perfect cup of joe to start your day. But for those who also love a good slice of cake, why not combine the two and create the ultimate breakfast treat? 

Coffee cake is one of those indulgent breakfast treats that everyone loves. It is easy to make and can be customized to your own taste. So put on your apron and get ready to brew up some deliciousness!

This blog post will show you how to make both a simple coffee cake and a cinnamon cake from scratch. We'll also share some tips on how to make it extra delicious. So if you're looking for a new recipe to add to your repertoire, be sure to read on!

How to Make a Coffee Cake

When baking a coffee cake, various characteristics and ingredients are associated with it.

Note that coffee cakes don't contain coffee itself; they are sweet cakes that should absolutely be enjoyed alongside a cup of coffee.  

Here we will look at some of the most common elements of coffee cakes.

  • Cinnamon: Generally, all coffee cakes are spiced with cinnamon. Nothing changes that.
  • No frosting: Unlike regular cakes with a drizzle of icing glaze, coffee cakes can be dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Crumb topping: Crumb topping is not compulsory. Some coffee cakes have nuts in the toppings, which can be used for any recipe.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla enhances the flavor of a coffee cake and pairs well with the Cinnamon spice used. It's, therefore, typical for coffee cake as opposed to chocolate.
  • A single-layer cake: Generally, coffee cakes are single-layer cakes, regardless of size and shape.
  • Best Coffee Cake Recipe


    • ½ cup softened unsalted butter (113g)
    • 8 oz softened cream cheese (225g)
    • 1 cup light brown sugar (200g)
    • ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2½ cups all-purpose flour (335g)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup buttermilk (120ml)
    • Cinnamon Swirl
    • ¼ cup cinnamon sugar (50g)
    • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • Streusel Topping
    • 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose baking flour (175g)
    • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed (225g)
    • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 4 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 10 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter (140g)
    • Glaze (optional)
    • ½ cup powdered sugar (65g)
    • 2-3 teaspoons of milk
    • 13×9 baking pan
    • Mixing bowls


    • Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly Grease and flour your baking pan.
    • Cream butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer or stand mixer in a large bowl.
    • Beat the sugars until it becomes soft. Then add the egg mixture. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl using a rubber spatula. Then stir in vanilla extract.
    • Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl.
    • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and alternate with buttermilk until all the flour mixes.
    • Spread about half the batter onto the prepared pan
    • Whisk cinnamon and sugar for a cinnamon layer in a bowl, then sprinkle it evenly over the batter.
    • Pour the remaining batter over the cinnamon layer, then spread it evenly over top. Now, start preparing streusel topping.

    Streusel topping

    • Use a medium size bowl to melt the butter on a 10-second increment.
    • Stir your sugar and cinnamon, flour, and salt. Add melted butter to the mixture and claw together until the mixture becomes crumbly.
    • Sprinkle the streusel over the batter
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, then check its doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center. The toothpick should come out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool completely.

    How to Store a Coffee Cake

    You can store your coffee cake in a few different ways to stay fresh and delicious. 

    • If you're going to be eating it within a day or two, you can just keep it covered on the counter.
    •  If you want it to last a little longer, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. 
    • And if you're really looking to make it last, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer bag before freezing it. Just be sure to thaw it out completely before eating!

    When stored properly, your coffee cake should stay fresh for several days. But of course, the best way to enjoy it is always going to be freshly baked! So if you can, try to eat it within a day or two of baking. 

    Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

    What you will need;

    • Hand mixer: A hand mixer comes in handy while preparing this recipe. Make use of this hand mixer!
    • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is perfect for any recipe. They are always sold in different sizes.
    • Food processor: You will need a food processor for this recipe to make toppings. The best food processor should be easy to use and dishwasher safe.
    • Baking pan: Find the most suitable baking-covered pan for your baking. I will recommend a 9 by 9-inch baking pan for this recipe.


    This American dessert cuisine is the best cinnamon coffee cake to consider. It will take you 20 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to cook. The cinnamon coffee cake is full of cinnamon flavor, buttery, and moist.


    • Cake
    • 1 stick softened butter
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • Pinch salt
    • ¾ cup milk
    • Cinnamon Filling
    • 3 tablespoons softened butter
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • ½ cup flour
    • ½ cup packed brown sugar
    • Topping
    • 5 tablespoon butter softened
    • ¾ cup flour
    • ½ cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


    • Preheat your oven to 350F
    • In the mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar while scraping down each side. Add eggs and vanilla, then mix.
    • Use a separate bowl to mix flour, salt, and baking powder. Add one-half the mixture to the mixing bowl, then mix it. Add milk and add the remaining flour after it's well incorporated into the mixture.
    • To make the filling, mix the softened butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl till it forms soft crumbs.
    • To make the topping, use the food processor. Add flour, butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar and pulse until it forms a coarse crumb topping. Use a pastry cutter.
    • Grease your baking pan. In the prepared pan, pour half the batter and spread it to all corners. Sprinkle the filling, then carefully pour the remaining cake batter across the top layer. You can use an offset spatula at this stage.
    • Sprinkle the crumble topping over the top, then compress it lightly.
    • Bake it in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. To check if ready, insert a toothpick ( it must come out clean).
    • Allow it to cool on a wire rack. 

    You can serve the cooled cake with….you guessed it, coffee!

    Top 3 Best Coffees to Take With Cake


    Espresso is one of the strongest black coffees. It has a bold flavor. Some coffee cake recipes use easy chocolate (semisweet) chips that make it sweet and enjoyable to take with the espresso.


    A mild, milky cappuccino goes well with the same variety of coffee cakes. Its mellow flavor pairs well with a rich treat. You can try a white chocolate cappuccino with cream cheese coffee cake featuring crunchy topping and cream cheese.

    Black coffee

    Many opt for a warm drink and coffee cake as their best fallback. The problem is many people do not know the best coffee cake variety that goes in hand with black coffee. Dark roasts are known for their natural nuttiness and rich aroma. They are also a perfect combination with a cream coffee cake.


    Lattes have the same milk and coffee ratio as cappuccino. What makes it different is that all its ingredients are blended together. A moist coffee cake will go perfectly with a latte. Due to this, considering a creamy coffee cake will be necessary. This also means you will opt for milk chocolate chips throughout if you add those in.

    Coffee Cake vs. Crumb Cake

    Both of these cakes are similar, especially the layers of the cake. The difference is the quantity of streusel topping used. A coffee cake has more cake quantity than streusel topping quantity. On the other hand, a crumb cake has chunkier and thicker layers of streusel toppings.

    How to make a good crumb cake

    A good crumb cake follows a simple recipe. To make a crumb topping, mix brown sugar, salt, granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter and use a fork to mix the flour mixture gently. Do not over-mix; keep the flour mixture as large crumbles. Over-mixing turns the flour mixture into a thick paste.

    The 5 differences between coffee cake and crumb cake

    For years, dessert lovers have found it difficult to distinguish between coffee cake and crumb cake. Though some argue that both cakes are the same, some dispute the same idea. As aforementioned, both cakes are similar, considering the cake layers. Here is where the difference comes in;

    Crumb size

    This is the major difference between the two cakes. For instance, if you have tested the New York Style crumb cake, you may have noticed the large size of the crumbs. They are large enough to pick them up and plop them in your mouth using your fingers.

    The same cannot be said for coffee cake. The cake crumbs are much smaller and difficult to hold and eat with fingers.

    Amount of crumb topping

    Knowing how different the crumb sizes are, it's nothing new to find that crumb cakes have more crumb topping. A freshly baked crumb cake consists of a crumbly dessert. It includes more crumbs than the cake itself.

    For coffee cakes, it is the opposite. The crumb layer is thinner - with more cake than crumb topping.

    Sweetness Level

    When choosing between coffee cake and crumb cake, the level of sweetness should be considered. Ideally, one of these cakes is absolutely sweeter than the other. Crumb topping is sugary, which means more crumb topping equals more sweetness. Giving crumb cakes the edge on coffee cakes when it comes to the sweet tooth (although both tend to hit the spot). 


    The texture of both cakes is different because of the crumb topping. Since coffee cake has a tender crumb and a minimal amount, coffee cakes will be a bit softer.

    Conversely, crumb cakes are crunchy and moist; therefore, all crumb cakes have a crunchy texture. As much as finding the best crumb cake is essential, texture plays an important role in distinguishing between coffee cake and crumb cake and it is really up to your own preference!


    Well, most people ignore this factor, but it is vital in different bakeries. Generally, coffee cake is a general term, unlike crumb cake. If you order a coffee cake, in some places, it is the same as buying any pastry that goes with coffee and can mean a wider variety of interpretations. It is also why coffee cake is called "coffee cake."

    On the other hand, crumb cake is more specific. If you make an order for a crumb cake, expect a crumb-covered cake. A crumb cake can also be called a coffee cake as it's designed to be eaten with coffee. But, a coffee cake is not a crumb cake as it doesn't have the same amount of crumbs.

    Frequently Asked Questions About  Coffee Cake

    What makes a coffee cake a coffee cake?

    When it first originated in Europe, the British described it as a cake with two layers of coffee-flavored sponge cake. Since then, various nations have embraced the coffee cake recipe giving it a different definition from their perspective.

    In the USA, coffee cake recipes create a delicious cake served with tea or coffee. Conversely, in Germany, it's known as Germany Kaffeekuchen, meaning it doesn't have coffee in it. The cake is categorized based on its social connotations.

    Does coffee cake have coffee as an ingredient?

    A few years back, most coffee cake recipes included coffee as an ingredient. Today's coffee cakes rarely contain coffee. Most coffee cakes are simple and flavored, featuring spices, nuts, fruit, or a simple glaze topping. But these same spices and nuts pair perfectly with a cup of coffee to wash the cake down!

    Is cinnamon crumb cake the same as coffee cake?

    Cinnamon crumb cake and coffee cake are the same in terms of the cake layer. But, they are different in terms of streusel topping. A crumb cake has a thicker yet chunkier layer of streusel topping and melted butter.

    Bottom Line

    A simple, yet classic, coffee cake recipe gives the best cake to take with your coffee or tea. It is the perfect pairing! So grab your cup of coffee, apron, and start baking!

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