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Cinnamon coffee cake is the classic breakfast cake everyone loves! It features a sweet cinnamon streusel inside and out for a craveworthy taste.
One thing I truly enjoy making and eating is coffee cake. In fact, coffee cake is one of the first recipes I learned to make as a kid.
However, my original love is for classic cinnamon streusel coffee cake. The perfect swirl of cinnamon in the center with crunchy streusel topping… I can’t resist it!
In fact, I used to always order the Starbucks cinnamon coffee cake when I was out and about. That’s how much I adore coffee cake.
Happily, cinnamon coffee cake is so easy to make at home.
Why you’ll love this crumb cake recipe
I’ve made a lot of coffee cakes in my life, so I can safely say this recipe is my absolute favorite. Here’s why:
- Pantry ingredients – I always have the ingredients for coffee cake on hand. I love that I don’t need to buy anything special to make it. In fact, I’ve started making sure we keep sour cream in the fridge just in case a craving hits.
- Comes together quickly – You can have this coffee cake ready to eat in under an hour, including baking time.
- Crowd-pleasing – My whole family loves this recipe, so I love making it for holiday gatherings and weekend breakfast alike. Plus, you can easily double it for larger groups or to ensure leftovers.
- Super soft and moist – Thanks to the sour cream, the texture of this cinnamon streusel coffee cake is perfect! It stays tender even after a day or two, so leftovers are perfect for snacking or another day’s breakfast.
All in all, this classic coffee cake is a must-make!
Gather your ingredients before starting so everything is at hand. I like to have everything on my counter and put away containers as I go for fast cleanup.
This recipe uses all-purpose flour. Be sure to measure your flour by scooping it into the measuring cup with a spoon or dedicated flour scoop, then swipe off the excess with a bench knife or the flat side of a butter knife.
Scooping your measuring cup directly into your flour can result in using too much flour, giving you a drier, denser cake.
You’ll need both granulated sugar and brown sugar. You can use all granulated sugar or all brown sugar if you like. If using sugar substitutes, follow the package guidance on correct quantity.
Unsalted butter is preferred here, but I often use salted butter for baking because we have it on hand! You’ll need butter both for the cake and for the streusel.
Make sure your butter for the cake is softened to room temperature.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda
I use both in most of my baked goods to give lift to the cake.
This recipe uses large eggs. You can safely swap in the same amount of extra large, jumbo, or medium eggs.
If using small eggs, increase the amount to 3.
The wonderful texture of this old fashioned coffee cake is due to the addition of sour cream. The flavor will not be noticeable, but it will give the cake a lovely tender crumb.
If you prefer, you can swap in plain yogurt.
Use pure vanilla extract, not imitation. It does cost more, but it’s worth it! You can also swap in vanilla bean paste in the same amount for the extract.
We couldn’t make this cinnamon coffee cake without cinnamon! Your cinnamon should have a strong scent. If yours is a few years old, consider getting a new jar.
Don’t neglect using salt in your baked goods. I like to use fine sea salt.
How to make homemade coffee cake
Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly coat a 9×9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar together. I prefer to use a stand mixer to get the mixture light and fluffy.
Beat in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. It will be somewhat thick; that’s OK!
Set aside the cake batter while you make the streusel.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, breaking up any sugar lumps. Then mix in the melted butter, using a fork to create crumbles. Mix until coarse crumbs form.
Scoop half of the cake batter into the prepared pan and spread to the edges. Sprinkle half of the streusel on top of the batter.
Dollop the rest of the batter into the pan and spread carefully over the streusel. Because it is thick, it will likely not cover the entire layer of streusel. Don’t worry! It will even out as it bakes.
Sprinkle on the rest of the streusel for a crumb topping.
Bake the coffee cake for about 35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center only has moist crumbs.
Let cool completely before serving, or serve warm with a pat of butter on top.
Breakfast Cake Variations
This cake is easy to change up depending on what you like.
Add nuts to the crumb topping, such as chopped pecans or walnuts.
Swap in cocoa powder for some of the flour for a chocolate variation.
Stir in fruit like blueberries, blackberries, or chopped apple pieces.
Drizzle on icing to make it even more special.
Try other spices such as ground nutmeg, ground cardamom, or a pumpkin pie blend.
Cinnamon coffee cake will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
For longer storage, keep in the refrigerator.
Want to freeze this coffee cake? You can either freeze it whole, or portion into individual slices.
Cool completely before freezing, then wrap well in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and store in a freezer-safe container.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Other Coffee Cakes to Enjoy
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly coat a 9×9-inch square pan with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, cream together granulated sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
- In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Carefully mix into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Batter will be somewhat thick.
- To make the streusel, in a small bowl stir together flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, breaking up any sugar lumps. Stir in melted butter with a fork until large crumbs form.
- Spoon half the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle on half the streusel. Dollop on the remaining batter and spread over the streusel carefully. (It's fine if it does not cover the filling.) Sprinkle on the remaining streusel.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only moist crumbs. Let cool, then slice and serve.