This amazing homemade coffee cake is better than anything you can find in your local bakery. It is perfectly spiced, has an amazing, soft texture, and it looks picture-perfect the second it comes out of the oven!
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Even if you are one of those people who typically skip breakfast, you are going to want to grab a piece of this coffee cake. It is impossible to resist!
But it isn’t just great for breakfast. This homemade coffee cake is so good that it makes a great dessert. A warm slice of coffee cake with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream sounds truly heavenly, or maybe you’d rather top it with a dollop of whipped cream.
However, you don’t really need any ice cream, butter, or jam to make a slice of this coffee cake tasty. It is incredible on its own. Cut yourself a nice, thick square of warm, homemade coffee cake and enjoy!
Classic Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe
Coffee cake is a classic treat that has been gracing the breakfast table for decades. While there are a lot of great coffee cakes out there, this easy coffee cake recipe is definitely the best we have ever tried. It is sweet and cinnamon-y, moist but still surprisingly light.
The sweet cinnamon layer in the center of the cake is not only beautiful, but it also adds so much warm flavor. The crumbly, buttery topping perfectly complements the fluffy cake.
But do you want to know the best part about our classic coffee cake recipe? It is pretty darn easy.
You make the filling, you make the topping, you make an easy cake batter and then you put it all together and bake! A show stopper breakfast like this should really be harder….but it isn’t! It is a morning coffee cake recipe that you can actually put together in the morning. The smell of rich coffee cake will be wafting through your house in mere minutes. We can just imagine it now…mmmm.
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Butter – Make sure your butter is soft and at room temperature.
- Brown sugar – Light or brown sugar will work in this recipe.
- White sugar
- Vanilla extract – A little vanilla extract goes a long way so measure carefully.
- All-purpose flour – Use gluten-free all-purpose flour to make a gluten-free coffee cake.
- Baking powder
- Milk – Use whole milk for a rich, moist coffee cake.
- Sour cream – Full-fat sour cream works best.
How to Make Homemade Coffee Cake
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×9 baking pan with butter or baking spray. Grease the corners well!
- Make the filling: Whisk all the filling ingredients together.
- Make the crumb topping: Add all the topping ingredients together in a food processor, pulsing until the mix looks like fine crumbs.
- Make the coffee cake batter: Beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream and milk mixture. Mix the cake batter until smooth.
- Layer the coffee cake in the pan: Pour ½ of the coffee cake batter into the pan and sprinkle it with all the cinnamon filling. Add the rest of the batter carefully on top of the cinnamon filling layer. Sprinkle the coffee cake crumbles over the cake batter.
- Bake: Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center of the cake is no longer wet.
This really is the best coffee cake recipe we have ever tried but if you feel like getting a little creative, try these variations:
- Icing – Whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract to make a simple vanilla icing. Drizzle it over the cooled coffee cake for a more decadent treat.
- Nuts – Add sliced almonds to the crumb topping. You can mix them into the food processor and pulse or just sprinkle them over the coffee cake before it bakes.
- Extract – Replace the vanilla extract with almond extract for a flavorful twist
- Cream cheese – Use half butter and half cream cheese to make a more dense, tangy coffee cake. This is close to a classic NY coffee cake.
- Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake – Replace the sour cream with pumpkin puree, then use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. A perfect homemade pumpkin coffee cake recipe is just that easy!
How to Store
Once your coffee cake is completely baked and cooled, keep it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or store the slices in an airtight container. Homemade coffee cake will keep for about 4-5 days at room temperature when wrapped well.
You can freeze this coffee cake for up to three months. Wrap it well and place it in the freezer. When you are ready to enjoy the coffee cake, let it thaw at room temperature, then enjoy! Try popping it back in the oven for about 5 minutes to make it warm and super fresh.
One of the misconceptions about coffee cake is that it contains real coffee. Coffee cake actually has no coffee in it at all. It is just delicious when served alongside a cup of coffee! So while yes, you can put coffee in the cake batter to make it richer (many chocolate cake recipes have coffee to enhance their flavor), coffee cake batter does not have real coffee.
Coffee cake is typically dry because the recipe doesn’t have the right proportions of ingredients. Coffee cakes should always have a good amount of milk, sour cream, cream cheese or even yogurt. These ingredients will help keep it nice and moist. Don’t worry, our coffee cake recipe is perfectly balanced!
Coffee cake can also become dry when it is baked too long. Be sure to check you coffee cake often within the last 10 minutes of baking time to ensure you take it out of the oven the moment the batter is baked in the center.
Beating the butter and sugar at the beginning of the recipe really helps make a cake that is soft and fluffy. Alternating between adding the dry flour mixture and the milk mixture also keeps the batter light and smooth.
Homemade Coffee Cake
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons butter softened
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×9 square baking pan. Set the pan aside.
- Make the cinnamon filling first. Whisk all of the ingredients for the cinnamon filling together in a small bowl then set aside.
- Next, make the topping. Add all of the ingredients for the topping to a food processor and pulse until the mix looks coarse and crumbly. Set the topping aside as well.
- Make the cake batter by beating the butter, brown sugar and white sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl well to ensure everything is evenly blended.
- Add the vanilla and egg to the mixing bowl and beat again to make a smooth batter.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk and sour cream.
- Add about ⅓ of the flour mix into the mixing bowl with the butter and egg mix. Let the batter come together and then add half of the milk mix. Add another ⅓ of the flour, mix well, then add the rest of the milk. Add the remaining flour to the mixer and stir until smooth and thick.
- Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Spread the batter evenly in the pan, making sure it gets into the corners.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon filling over the cake batter in the pan, making it as even as possible. Try to coat the entire pan with a nice layer of cinnamon filling.
- Pour the remaining cake batter into the pan carefully, trying not to mix in the cinnamon filling layer too much- you really want that cinnamon layer to stay in the middle of the cake batter!
- Gently spread the cake batter in the pan so it is even.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping over the batter evenly.
- Bake the coffee cake for 40 to 50 minutes. The center of the cake should be set and a toothpick should come out cleanly when stuck in the center of the cake.
- Let the coffee cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.