This easy Coffee Cake recipe has a generous amount of cinnamon crumb topping and a soft, moist crumb. Enjoy this brunch favorite at the holidays or any time of year.
This delicious coffee cake is brunch perfection! It’s bursting with warm cinnamon flavor and has the perfect amount of sweetness. Adding sour cream to the batter ensures that the cake turns out especially soft and moist.
I’ve kept this coffee cake recipe as simple as possible, using the same crumble mixture for both the topping and the cinnamon layer that runs through the center of the cake. Since the crumb topping is arguably the best part of any coffee cake, this cake is topped with a generous amount. It’s sweet, buttery, and spiced with cinnamon – everything you want in a coffee cake.
You won’t find any coffee in the ingredient list for this coffee cake recipe. It’s called coffee cake because it pairs especially well with a cup of coffee.
CINNAMON CRUMB TOPPING AND FILLING
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour.
- Brown Sugar: For sweetness.
- Cinnamon: The best coffee cake is made with lots of cinnamon! It brings warm spice flavor.
- Salt: To make the flavors pop.
- Cold Butter: Cubes of cold butter are worked into the dry ingredients to make the topping clump together into crumbs.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: To make the cake rise.
- Salt: Brings out the other flavors.
- Butter: Adds richness and makes the cake moist, light and tender.
- Granulated Sugar: To sweeten the cake.
- Eggs: Add structure to the cake.
- Vanilla: For warm sweetness.
- Sour Cream: Makes the cake soft, tender and moist. Use full fat sour cream for best results.
- Milk: Whole milk is best; you can also use 2% milk.
HOW TO MAKE COFFEE CAKE
Here is an overview of the recipe steps. Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts below.
Make the crumb topping and filling. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Then use your fingers or a pastry blender to work the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture clumps together.
Make the cake:
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, use a had mixer (or stand mixer) to cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Then mix in the sour cream.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Finally, mix in the milk on low speed just until it’s incorporated.
Assemble the cake. Spread half of the batter into a greased 8×8-inch baking pan. Sprinkle 1 cup of the topping evenly over the batter. Dollop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the filling and gently spread into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining topping over the top.
Bake. Then cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
COFFEE CAKE RECIPE TIPS
There are a couple of things you’ll want to keep in mind when making this coffee cake recipe. Follow these tips to ensure that it turns out perfect!
- Use room temperature ingredients (butter, eggs, sour cream, milk) for the cake so that they incorporate easily. This is very important for achieving a cake with the desired tender texture.
- Use cold butter to make the cinnamon crumb mixture.
- Don’t overmix the cake batter to ensure the cake has a soft, light texture.
- Spreading the top layer of batter over the cinnamon crumb layer can be a little tricky, since the batter is thick. What I’ve found works best is to dollop spoonfuls of the batter evenly over the crumble and then gently spread it out with a spatula.
- Use a metal baking pan, if possible. I tested this recipe in both a metal and a glass pan. In the glass pan, the edges of the cake browned more quickly but the center took longer (about 50 minutes) to bake through. Metal pans promote more even cooking. However, if the only 8×8-inch pan you have is glass, it will work.