The best Homemade Coffee Cake recipe you’ll ever taste, this easy dessert recipe is anything but plain! Sour cream ensures a soft texture and tender crumb, and a sweet cinnamon filling and a crumbly streusel topping make it better than any coffee cake you’ll find at your local bakery!
Pin this recipe now to save it for laterPin Recipe
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! Especially when paired with a hot cup of coffee or refreshing pumpkin spice cold brew.
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. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
No matter the time of day, go ahead and cut yourself a nice, thick square of warm, homemade coffee cake, and enjoy!
Classic Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe
Believe it or not, coffee cakes don’t actually contain any coffee! Instead, they’re meant to be paired with a cup of coffee for a sweet breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up. A classic recipe, coffee cake is believed to have originated in Northern Eastern Europe in the 17th century and has evolved and adapted since.
While there are many different variations of this classic cake, we definitely think this homemade coffee cake recipe is the best! It’s sweet and full of bold cinnamon flavor while remaining moist and surprisingly light. Then, to top it all off, I add a crumbly, buttery topping that perfectly complements the taste and texture of the fluffy cake!
A show-stopping breakfast like this should really be hard to make….but it isn’t! In fact, it’s so simple you can easily assemble it in the morning and have it on the table in just an hour. The smell of rich coffee cake will be wafting through your house in no time, drawing everyone out of bed eager to eat along with it! We can just imagine it now…mmmm.
(If you love this recipe, you’ll enjoy my Honey Bun Cake too!)
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Butter – Make sure your butter is soft and at room temperature. Unsalted is best.
- 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 – I recommend whole milk for a rich, moist coffee cake, but 2% will also work.
- Sour cream – Full-fat sour cream works best.
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 an even more decadent treat.
- Nuts – Add sliced almonds to the crumb topping. You can pulse them in the food processor with the rest of the topping ingredients, 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 similar to a classic NY coffee cake.
- Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake – Replace the sour cream with pumpkin purée, and use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. A perfect homemade pumpkin coffee cake recipe is just that easy!
How to Make Homemade Coffee Cake
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350ºF, and grease a 9×9 baking pan with butter or baking spray. Make sure the corners are coated well!
- Make the filling: Whisk all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
- 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 in a separate bowl 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 to the bowl. Mix the cake batter just until smooth.
- Layer the coffee cake in the pan: Pour ½ of the coffee cake batter into the pan, and sprinkle the prepared cinnamon filling evenly on top. Pour 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. You should be able to insert a toothpick into the center and pull it out clean or with just a few tender crumbs.
Turn this recipe into coffee cake muffins by lining a muffin tin with paper liners. Layer the cake batter, cinnamon filling, and crumble topping, filling each cavity of the muffin tin roughly 2/3 of the way full. The muffins will bake much quicker than the whole coffee cake. So, start checking them after about 23 minutes! This is a great, easy way to make individual coffee cakes.
How to Store Coffee Cake
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 stay fresh for about 4-5 days at room temperature when wrapped well.
You can also freeze this coffee cake for up to three months. Wrap it with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and place it in the freezer. To serve, let your cake thaw at room temperature, and enjoy! Or, pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes to make it warm and super fresh.
One of the misconceptions about coffee cake is that it contains real coffee. However, 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), traditional 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! Just be sure to measure carefully.
Coffee cake can also become dry when it is baked too long. Be sure to check your cake often within the last 10 minutes of baking to ensure it is removed from the oven the second the center is set.
Beating the butter and sugar at the beginning of the recipe really helps ensure the cake is soft and fluffy. In addition, alternating between adding the dry flour mixture and the milk mixture keeps the batter light and smooth.
Homemade Coffee Cake
- 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
- 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
- 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.¾ cup brown sugar, ¾ cup all purpose flour, 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 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.5 Tablespoons butter, ¾ cup all purpose flour, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt
- 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.½ cup butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar
- Add the vanilla and egg to the mixing bowl and beat again to make a smooth batter.1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 egg
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.2 cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk and sour cream.½ cup whole milk, ½ cup 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.