Who doesn’t want to eat cake for breakfast? This coffee cake recipe is the perfect excuse to eat cake for breakfast. 🙂
The best coffee cake recipe that we eat every year on Christmas morning!
You will find this coffee cake recipe to be moist, buttery and full of cinnamon flavor! We like it for Christmas morning, but it makes the best brunch treat, snack or even dessert! It goes perfectly with a cup of hot coffee!
What is coffee cake exactly?
Well, contrary to the name, coffee cake does not contain coffee. Think of a regular cake and a pound cake and it’s somewhere right in the middle. It’s definitely heavier than a normal cake and it contains a buttery, nut streusel topping which is sometimes even swirled or layered in the cake. It’s meant to be paired with a cup of coffee, hence the name ‘coffee cake.’
Every Christmas morning, our family has this coffee cake recipe. It’s been a wonderful family tradition. The moist cake combined with nuts, cinnamon, and sugar gives all the flavors of Christmas! You might just find yourself adding it to your Christmas menu year after year like we do!
We usually bake this the day before and then put it in a warm oven while we do our Christmas stockings. The flavor wafting through the house will make you want to eat a piece right then and there! Serve it up with a hot cup of coffee or apple cider and it’s the perfect Christmas breakfast.
Want to know the secret ingredient to the best Christmas morning apple cider? Find out here.
This plastic lid to my 9 x 13 glass Pyrex pan is something I should have purchased sooner!
Make it ahead of time, pop the lid on and it will stay very fresh!
:: PIN IT NOW FOR LATER ::
What kitchen appliances you’ll need to make this coffee cake recipe:
- You’ll need a hand mixer or stand mixer to get everything creamed and mixed nicely! This hand mixer works greatly and is one I love to use!
- You’ll also need a mixing bowl. I like this Pyrex set because you can choose the one you need according to size.
- You’ll also need a simple food chopper or nut chopper for the nuts in the streusel topping. A food chopper like this or nut chopper like this will do the job!
- You’ll need a baking pan. I like the glass Pyrex with a lid because that makes it so easy to store and stay fresh!
What ingredients you’ll need to make coffee cake:
Head to the pantry and grab some basic baking ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and pecans.
And then from the fridge you’ll need butter, eggs, and sour cream.
It really only takes a few minutes to mix this up and get it into the oven – nothing tricky! Your result will be a nice and moist, tall delicious coffee cake.
Let’s make this easy coffee cake recipe!
(scroll down for a printable recipe card)
Moist cake with layers of cinnamon, pecan, sugar topping makes for the best breakfast!
Start by creaming the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Mix together the dry ingredients.
Alternately add 1/2 the flour mixture and 1/2 the sour cream.
Beat for 1 minute.
Add the other half of the flour mixture and the other half of the sour cream.
Beat for another minute.
Mix up the filling mixture.
Put half of the batter into the greased and floured pan. Pour over half of the filling mixture.
Put the other half of batter over being careful to spread and not pull up the filling mixture.
(It helps to put dollops of the batter all over like this to help easily spread it.)
Add the other half of the filling mixture.
Bake for 35-38 minutes.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- dash of salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
- Sift dry ingredients.
- Add half the sour cream and half the flour mixture alternately to creamed butter mixture.
- Beat for 1 minute.
- Add the other half of the sour cream and half of the flour mixture.
- Beat another minute.
- Spread half of batter in a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan.
- Combine the filling ingredients.
- Sprinkle half of the filling over the batter.
- Spread the rest of the batter over, then the other 1/2 of the filling.
- Bake for 35-38 minutes.
A coffee cake is a single layer cake full of cinnamon sugar flavor and topped with a cinnamon, nut streusel topping. The streusel topping can also be layered inside the cake.
The key to keeping a coffee cake moist is by storing it in an airtight container like a glass Pyrex pan with a plastic lid. Or you can cover it with foil or plastic wrap being sure it’s completely covered to prevent it from drying out. Properly stored and freshly made coffee cake will last about 1-2 days at normal room temperature. It can last up to a week stored in the refrigerator.
Sally’s Baking Addiction has the best answer to this question. She says, “The ratio of wet to dry ingredients determines a cake’s moisture level. If there’s simply too much flour and not enough butter, a cake will taste dry. On the other hand, if there’s too much milk and not enough flour, a cake will taste too wet.”
Yes, your coffee cake batter will be thicker than a typical cake batter.
The easiest way to test this is by inserting a pairing knife or toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, it is done. If it comes out with batter on the toothpick, it will need a bit longer.
Coffee cakes are different than normal cakes mostly because of their streusel topping. Although you might find some to have a little drizzle of glaze over, coffee cakes aren’t frosted whereas regular cakes are.
Our maple pecan recipe is based off this same coffee cake recipe.
So, if you are wanting a little twist to a coffee cake with a maple flavor, you will want to try this recipe.
IF YOU LIKE THIS HOMEMADE CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE RECIPE, YOU’LL ALSO LIKE EASY DESSERT RECIPES:
- Peanut Butter Sheetcake
- No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Pecan Crunch
- Peanut Butter Pie
- Mini S’mores Pie
- Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Coca Cola Sheetcake
This post was originally published December 2021 and updated November 2022