This classic cinnamon streusel coffee cake is rich and buttery, with a ribbon of cinnamon sugar filling in the middle.
Though my husband is much more of a cookie and brownie person, he does have a weakness for coffee cake. It might be because he drinks so much coffee! And though I’ve shared my recipe for pumpkin coffee cake, Swedish blueberry cake, Mexican chocolate and corn coffee cake, and my Earl Grey infused blueberry coffee cake, I somehow have not shared my go-to cinnamon streusel coffee cake recipe. This is the buttery, rich, and moist coffee cake that you find at a coffee shop, but SO. MUCH. BETTER. Topped with the perfect amount of cinnamon streusel crumb topping, this is the coffee cake that you want to serve with coffee, tea, or pretty much any hot beverage of your choice, for breakfast, tea time, or as dessert.
How do you make this Coffee Cake?
For me, a proper coffee needs a crumb or streusel topping. This coffee cake is no exception. Start by mixing together flour, sugar, brown sugar, a heavy dose of cinnamon, and a little salt in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle in melted butter and toss until everything starts to clump together. Then refrigerate while you make the rest of the cake!
I like to give my coffee cake a little middle swirl of extra brown sugar and cinnamon. Just blend it all together in a small bowl and set side. But you can totally skip this if you want to simplify the recipe a bit.
Then the cake batter! Cream together butter, white and brown sugar, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until light, fluffy and the mixture clings to the side of the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time. Add some flour, then sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and milk, them more flour.
Spread half the batter into a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling on top of it. Then spread the remaining batter on top of the filling. Take the refrigerator cold crumb topping and sprinkle it all over the top of the cake, breaking up any big chunks into small pebble sized pieces. Bake, cool and serve!
Can you make this cake ahead of time? How do you store it?
This cake can be made ahead and stays nice and moist for 2 to 3 days. Cool it completely, then make sure to store it in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature on your counter or table.
Can you freeze this cake?
Yes! This cake freezes well. You can freeze the entire cake as is by letting it cool completely, then wrapping it in plastic wrap and placing it in a very large resealable freezer Ziploc bag. But I like to cut up the cake into individual slices and freeze those, as then I can just take a slice out for myself when I want a treat. Place cake slices on a baking sheet in the freezer for 2 hours, or until frozen solid. Then place in a large resealable freezer Ziploc bag or air-tight container for storage. Cake will keep for up to 2 months frozen. To defrost, leave at room temperature at 2 hours before serving.
Make it your own
If you want to play around with this coffee cake, here are a few suggestions:
- Nuts: try adding 1/3 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios to the topping. Or add 1/4 cup chopped nuts to the cinnamon filling in the middle of the cake.
- Cacao Nibs: Allergic or don’t like nuts, but still want a crunchy nutty texture? Use 1/3 cup crushed cacao nibs in the topping or 1/4 cup crushed cacao nibs in the filling.
- Spices: try playing around with the spices, swapping out some or all of the cinnamon with cardamom, ginger, all spice or another warm wintry spice.
- Citrus: Add the zest of fresh lemon, lime or orange juice to the butter and sugar creaming stage of the recipe, then add 2 tablespoons of the juice to the milk and reduce the milk by 2 tablespoons.
- Glaze it: I don’t make a glaze for this coffee cake as I feel like it’s gilding the lily, with the sugary crunchy streusel topping, but if you want to truly mimic a classic coffee shop coffee cake, make a simple glaze by mixing 1/2 cup of sifted powdered sugar with 2 or 3 teaspoons of milk or citrus juice. Add in 2 teaspoons first, then add in a little more liquid if you need it. Once the cake is cooled, drizzle the glaze over the crumb topping in a zig-zag or criss-cross pattern. Let the glaze dry before slicing and serving.
If you like this coffee cake, check out these other coffee cake recipes:
- Easy Strawberry Cake
- Rhubarb Coffee Cake with Blackberries
- Strawberry and Grape Coffee Cake
- Peach and Basil Olive Oil Coffee Cake
- Cherry Buckle with Cocoa Crumb Topping
- Strawberry Coffee Cake with Pistachio Crumb Topping
- Peach and Blueberry Coffee Cake
Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Cinnamon streusel topping
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 140 g
- 1/2 cup white sugar 100 g
- 1/4 packed brown sugar (dark or light) 65 g
- 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar sometimes labeled Sugar in the Raw (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 packed cup brown sugar (dark or light), 110 g
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder optional (for dark coloring)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature 1 1/2 stick or 170 g
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar 300 g
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar dark or light, 65 g
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour divided 490 g
- 1 1/4 cup milk any kind, 305 g
- 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt, 200 g
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking oil.Make the streusel topping by placing the flour, sugar, brown sugar, Turbinado sugar (if using), salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium-sized bowl. Mix together with a fork or a balloon whisk until blended and uniform in color. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture, until all the butter is absorbed, and clumps start to form. Refrigerate (uncovered is fine) until use.
- Make the cinnamon filling by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder (if using), and nutmeg together with a fork in a small bowl.
- Make the cake batter by placing the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed, until the mixture is light in color, creamy in appearance, and clings to the side of the bowl.
- Add the eggs, one a time, and mix until each is incorporated before adding the next one. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition.
- Add 2 cups of flour the bowl and slow mix to incorporate. Once the flour is absorbed, add the milk and sour cream (or Greek yogurt) to the bowl. Mix until incorporated. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix until absorbed and a batter has formed. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl between additions.
- Pour and spread about half the batter into the prepared pan (about 825 g if you have a scale) and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling over the entire top of the batter.
- Carefully spoon the remaining batter over the cinnamon filling. Spread it gently to cover the filling.Get the cold streusel topping from the refrigerator. Sprinkle it over the top of the cake batter. Break up the really large chunks, but leave some chunks together, as that’s what makes the streusel topping so great! Be sure to cover the entire top of the cake.Bake in the oven 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.