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This is one of the best coffee cake recipes with a cinnamon filling, delicious streusel topping, and it has the softest and most tender crumb. You will love this easy recipe – it’s perfect for breakfast or brunch

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One piece of streusel coffee cake on a plate


What is Coffee Cake?

The type of coffee cake popular in the US (like what I’m sharing today) is not made with coffee. Instead, the name refers to the fact that a slice of this sweet cake goes perfectly with a cup of coffee.

Sometimes it’s referred to as a crumb cake, too, depending on the type of topping. You can serve it pretty much any time of day – breakfast, brunch, afternoon snack, or even for dessert.

Why you’ll love this easy recipe

  • First, it’s easy. Like really easy! There are three parts: a filling, a topping, and the cake, but each component uses a lot of the same ingredients, so you don’t need a lot to make it.
  • It’s an old-fashioned coffee cake – no crazy bells and whistles, just a simple amazing cake with a streusel topping and cinnamon filling baked inside.
  • It keeps well at room temperature, and it’s freezer-friendly, too!
  • I’ve often been told it’s even better than the Starbucks coffee cake recipe – it’s that good!
Overhead shot of streusel coffee cake in pan with one slice on a plate next to a cup of coffee

Best Coffee Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • Sugar: Granulated Sugar is needed in the cake and brown sugar in the streusel
  • All-purpose Flour: Be sure to measure it correctly
  • Ground Cinnamon: Necessary!!
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter and I start with it melted to keep the cake moist
  • Baking Powder: For that fluffy cake texture
  • Salt: Reduce to 1/2 teaspoon if using salted butter
  • Large Eggs: The fat from the yolk keeps the cake moist and the whites add structure
  • Vanilla Extract: For flavor
  • Milk: You can use nonfat, 2%, whole or nondairy
images showing how to make coffee cake

How to Make Coffee Cake

First we’ll assemble the filling and topping and dry ingredients:

  1. Filling: Make the cinnamon filling by whisking brown, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set the filling aside.
  2. What is streusel topping made of? To make the streusel topping, use a fork to mix melted butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. The mixture will look like wet sand. Set it aside while you make the batter.
  4. Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.
images showing how to make coffee cake

Then, make the cake batter:

  1. Stir or beat melted butter with the granulated sugar at medium speed in a separate large bowl with an electric mixer.
  2. Then mix in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Next, stir in the milk.
  4. Then add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
Side view of streusel coffee cake in a clear baking dish

How to make coffee cake layers

  1. Spread half of the cake batter in a prepared 9×13″ baking pan.
  2. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling over the top.
  3. Add the rest of the batter to the pan and top it with the streusel.
  4. Bake the crumble cake for 30 to 35 minutes at 375°F or until a toothpick comes out clean. For the cleanest slices, let the cake cool completely before slicing it. If you don’t mind them a little messy, you can slice and serve it warm. 
One piece of streusel coffee cake on a plate with corner piece missing

Pro Tips

  • For the best crumb, it’s important to measure the flour accurately. Ideally, you should measure it with a kitchen scale, but I have also included the cup measurements. If you use cups, lightly spoon the flour into the cup and then level it off with a dinner knife. Don’t scoop the flour or pack it into the cup.
  •  I also recommend using room-temperature eggs because cold eggs are harder to mix into the batter.
  • You can also make this with nonfat, 2% or nondairy milk. I recommend whole milk. If you’re using nondairy milk use a higher fat one. More fat in the milk makes a more moist cake.
  • If you want a crunchy streusel topping, you can add some chopped pecans. You can also mix them into the batter if you want a nutty texture in your cake.
  • Don’t over mix your cake batter – stir it just until it’s all moistened.
  • Don’t over bake the cake – it’s done when a toothpick comes out clean.

How to store leftovers

Store this loosely covered on the counter for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it whole or in slices.

Overhead shot of streusel coffee cake in baking pan with corner piece missing

FAQ

What makes coffee cake a coffee cake?

Here in the US, coffee cake refers to a type of cake that goes well with a cup of coffee. It usually has a streusel topping or crumb topping and is often flavored with cinnamon. 

Can I substitute butter with vegetable oil in a coffee cake? 

You can use the same amount of oil for the butter in the cake, but you need to use butter for the topping.

What is a coffee cake pan? 

You don’t need a special pan for this coffee cake recipe. A 9×13″ baking pan works fine.

How do you keep coffee cake moist? 

The best way to make a moist coffee cake is to accurately measure the flour, use butter in the batter, use regular milk instead of nonfat, and not overbake the cake.

Can you freeze it cinnamon coffee cake?

Yes, you can freeze it. First, cool the cake completely and then slice and freeze the slices for up to one month.

Is this better than Starbucks coffee cake? 

Yes, it is definitely better than Starbucks!

What’s the difference between coffee cake and streusel?

Coffee cake is the entire recipe and streusel is the crumble on top. Most coffee cake recipes (the good ones) have streusel!

Add this easy coffee cake to your recipe collection, and I know you’ll turn to it again and again. It’s perfect all year for so many occasions. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Close up shot of one piece of streusel coffee cake on a white plate

Streusel Coffee Cake Recipe

4.95 from 17 votes
This Streusel Coffee Cake is the best coffee cake recipe with a cinnamon filling, delicious streusel topping, and the cake has the softest and most tender crumb.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

Cinnamon Filling:

  • cup (134g) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (31g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Streusel Topping:

  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (31g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cake:

  • 3 cups (372g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (237ml) milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking.
  • Whisk cinnamon filling ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Place streusel ingredients in a medium bowl and stir with a fork until combined (will look like wet sand). Set aside.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Mix melted butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer at medium speed. Mixture will be grainy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Stir in milk, then stir in flour mixture until just mixed.
  • Spread half of cake batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon filling. Top with remaining cake batter. Sprinkle with streusel topping.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It cuts best when completely cooled, but you can serve it warm. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Cooled cake can be sliced and placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 1 month.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • You can substitute vegetable oil for the butter in the cake batter but I do not recommend it in the topping.
  • You can also mix the cake by hand with a whisk.
  • I recommend using room temperature eggs if you remember to take them out of the refrigerator.
  • You can also make this with nonfat, 2% or nondairy milk. I recommend whole milk. If you’re using nondairy milk use a higher fat one. More fat in the milk makes a more moist cake.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American

More Breakfast Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Streusel Coffee Cake is not only delicious, but it’s very easy to make! This is one of those recipes that you will make over and over – it’s a classic coffee cake that can’t be beat!

Last Updated on January 15, 2023



Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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