The Best Coffee Cake Recipe Ever

The VERY Best Coffee Cake Recipe ever is moist and buttery, with a cinnamon sugar layer in the middle topped with crumb topping and a sweet glaze icing. Perfect for breakfast or brunch with a hot cup of coffee!

A slice of the coffee cake on a spatula

Make sure to try my Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake too!

Is there anything better than cake for breakfast? Of course it’s not an indulgence I afford myself on the regular, but the day after my birthday is the best because I know there is leftover cake waiting for me to have with my cup of coffee…which leads me to today’s long overdue post…

The VERY Best Coffee Cake Recipe Ever EVER!

I’m not sure of the genius who coined the term coffee cake, but I would like to extend a firm handshake. Well done, sir or ma’am. Well. done.

I feel like I have crammed all the things that you would ever want in a coffee cake into my recipe. What you have is a dense, but moist, buttery cake with a layer of sweet cinnamon filling baked in the middle. The whole cake is topped with a buttery, cinnamon crumb topping and then drizzled with a sweet icing glaze. No cake mix is involved in this recipe, it is a from-scratch-baked-with-love kinda vibe, and you are going to LOVE it.

Looking for more Coffee-Cake Recipes? Try These:

Coffee Cake with a cinnamon sugar layer baked inside and crumb topping

What Makes This Coffee Cake The BEST?

Well, I am sure this could be up for debate. I know after almost 11 years here on the internet that it’s impossible to make all y’all happy. I’ve tried. But I will say, that I have eaten my fair share of cake since the inception of this website (and for years before that), so I think I can call myself an expert in cake eating.

And this coffee cake is the best I’ve ever had. Hands down.

The cake itself is a dense, yet still fluffy texture with a buttery, vanilla flavor. The whole cake has a thick layer of cinnamon sugar filling baked in the middle, which, with the addition of flour, stays thick and doesn’t melt into the cake, which is amazing.

And of course I ALWAYS prefer a crumb topping on my coffee cake, and this one has the perfect amount, without being too much!

collage image making crumb cake

How Do You Make Coffee Cake?

There are a few defining characteristics of a coffee cake:

  • No Frosting – OR a light drizzle of an icing glaze. A lot of the time coffee cake is just dusted with powdered sugar, which you could absolutely do on this recipe!
  • Cinnamon. Coffee Cakes are generally spiced with cinnamon. I don’t make the rules.
  • Crumb Topping – This is not a must, but it’s very common. A lot of coffee cakes include nuts in the crumb topping as well, which you could do here if you like that! I’ll hit on that in a minute.
  • Vanilla Cake – It’s very typical for a coffee cake base to be a vanilla cake as opposed to chocolate.
  • A Single Layer Cake – Whether it be a 9×13, or a round cake, coffee cake is generally a single layer cake!

Are the Steps Easy?

Yes! You most likely have all the ingredients to make this cake in your kitchen now! There are a few steps, but they all come together with minimal effort.

  1. The cake is a butter/sour cream cake. The addition of sour cream makes it extra moist and the batter comes together very quickly and easily.
  2. The filling is simply a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and flour that you spread over half of the batter. Spread the remaining cake batter carefully overtop!
  3. The crumb topping is quick to prepare, using melted butter, which makes it very easy to mix!
Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake with a fork and a bite taken out

I LOVE to enjoy this cake while its still warm, but it’s also delicious at room temperature!

PRO TIP: Make sure that once this cake is cut you cover it AIRTIGHT immediately, as it can dry out quickly. I like to use Press and Seal plastic wrap, and press it down directly over the cake, and then covering the entire pan again with foil!

STILL looking for more Coffee Cake Recipes? Here You Go!

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The Best Coffee Cake Recipe Ever

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category Category: Cake
  • Method Method: Oven
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Breakfast

Description:

Grab a cup of coffee and get ready for the best coffee cake ever! Soft vanilla cake with a sweet cinnamon layer inside, topped with buttery crumb topping!


Ingredients:

Cinnamon Filling

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Crumb Topping

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Cake

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 2/3 cup all purpose flour

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 23 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Prepare Cinnamon Filling: In a medium bowl prepare the cinnamon filling by whisking together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.

Prepare Crumb Topping: To prepare the crumb topping, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl until it resembles coarse crumbs. Use your hands to mix to form larger crumb pieces. Set aside.

Prepare Cake Batter: For the cake, mix the butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, salt, and baking powder and mix for 1 minute until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour and milk in alternating portions, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just combined and smooth, again, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Assemble and bake: Spread half of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling evenly on top of the batter. Carefully spread the remaining cake batter on top of the cinnamon layer.  Evenly sprinkle the crumb topping on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

Add icing to cake: Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth and drizzle on top of the cooled cake. Or alternately sprinkle with powdered sugar instead of making the icing.


Notes:

Store airtight for up to 3 days

Keywords:: cookies and cups, coffee cake, crumb cake, cake recipe

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The Best Coffee Cake Recipe

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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annie hung
February 21, 2021 9:53 pm

this is amazing! but it took more like an hour and a half to cook rather than 45 minutes

Mya
February 21, 2021 6:39 pm

Honestly, I thought this recipe would be a lot better planned- no offense but I do not think you accommodated the people with glass pans. I had to cook mine another half hour and scrape off the top of the cake in the center so it could actually cook. If you are cooking yours in a glass pan I do suggest putting the crumble on a different pan underneath at the end to crisp it up because due to the amount of time my pan was in the oven the crumble burnt and ruined the tastse a bit. after the… Read more »

Steve Drew
February 14, 2021 2:11 pm

So many pop ups. I gave up even trying the recipe.

Defânia Nascimento
February 8, 2021 12:17 pm

My cake has cooled down, and it’s the best coffee cake ever.
I went a little free style with the ingredients: I used 1 ½ cup of brown sugar, 2 ½ of flour, and instead of milk I boiled something around 6 strong expressos + 4 spoons of instant coffee. I add to the batter 2 spoons of cacao (you can use Nesquik) and 2 spoons of shredded coconut.
I baked for 25 min at 200 °c and for 10 min at 150 °c.
I totally recommend!

Carole McFadden
February 10, 2021 7:01 pm

Your cake IS NOT Shelly’s recipe!

Bridget Albert
February 7, 2021 8:39 pm

Wonderful cake! I used cane sugar instead and baked for 45 min. Turned out perfect! Not too sweet either. I used a glass 9×13 also. Glass and metal bake differently. I used cold eggs and milk and nothing curdled. I can’t wait to have a piece tomorrow with my coffee.

Claudia
January 31, 2021 12:50 pm

This cake is not for me. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the ingredients when I first looked the recipe over. It has SO MUCH sugar in it, it is revolting. Mine is also going to take about 90 minutes to bake. At one hour, it is raw in the middle. And at 660 calories per serving, it is instant death. Definitely calls for too much flour. Mine also got curdled, but I am baking it anyway. The house has never smelled better though!

Donna Stevenson
January 30, 2021 6:33 pm

The glaze was too chewy.

Chelsea
January 25, 2021 10:06 am

Hi! Salted or unsalted butter – or does it matter? 🙂 Thanks!

Claudia
January 31, 2021 12:53 pm
Reply to  Chelsea

I think you bring up a good point in general. The written instructions are lacking. Salted butter or not? Eggs at room temperature? My butter was at room temperature and the ingredients still curdled. More information is needed please!

zoomlittlewing
January 24, 2021 4:34 pm

Unless you’re an experienced baker, this recipe is not intuitive. All things cold should be brought to room temperature before starting to mix, not just the butter as the recipe states. Without, everything will curdle and look like oatmeal before adding flour and milk in the last stages. I made the mistake of putting in the milk too early along with the sour cream; but when I redid the recipe in the correct order and got the same result, which is telling that the cold ingredients were to blame. There’s also a bit too much flower in this recipe, the… Read more »

Dave
January 24, 2021 1:02 pm

We made the cake without the icing. It did take about 60 minutes to bake in a 9×13 glass pan but our issue has to do with sweetness. The amount of sugar used in this recipe far exceeds what should be used. The taste was fine but we had to toss out the cake after one piece. I can’t imagine this with icing on top.

Sheryl
January 23, 2021 10:16 pm

I just tried this recipe and it came out wonderful. I think a lot of negative comments stem from lack of experience with your own oven and properly following directions e.g, room temperature eggs added one at a time, room temperature butter, or adding the premixed dry ingredients gradually. I use a stand up mixer and it makes baking so much easier. With the use of a filling and a topping, I did cut down the amount of sugar to the batter and it still came out great. I used a glass baking pan and it added a bit of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Sheryl
Nora
January 17, 2021 12:08 pm

So there I am. I’ve poured half the batter and I turn around to the 2 bowls waiting. One is topping the other filling. I grab the topping with the butter in it and pour it on. Then I pour onto it the other half of batter. The smaller bowl without the butter in it –the filling, I later read–is now the topping. I grab my phone and 55 scrolls up and 276 scrolls down I learn I’m wrong. Don’t write so many paragraphs! Hard to find where we were!

Nora
January 17, 2021 4:46 pm
Reply to  Nora

Delicious!! It turned out amazing!
I adore this! Am absolutely going to make this very soon again.
I ended up pouring melted butter on top. Perfect outcome. Way richer than ordinary coffee cake.
Took 55 mins in my oven

Josephine Moni
February 15, 2021 5:38 am
Reply to  Nora

I have looked till I was blue in the face and could not see any coffee in the recipe for the best coffee cake ever???!!!

Vicki
January 15, 2021 10:37 am

1/15/21 I am not sure what happened to my coffee cake. I followed the instructions and my cake turned out very dense and heavy, and with all the sugar and cinnamon I thought it would have more flavor. I did use natural raw sugar so maybe that is the problem. I had a small piece of it with coffee this morning, and it was interesting. I am sure if it turned out the way it should it has to be good. It did make the house smell good!!

Andrea Ruotsi
January 18, 2021 1:16 am
Reply to  Vicki

I followed the recipe to a T. The cake never really rose, never fluffed up. It’s dense and almost seems undercooked- even though I ended up baking nearly 15 extra minutes. Total bummer because it took awhile and used a LOT of my baking ingredients.

Alyssa Clark
January 14, 2021 11:11 am

I had a question with some other cake recipes sometimes it requires the eggs and the other wet ingredients to be a room temperature also is that required for this cake too or just the butter to be room temperature?

Rochelle Kaikai
December 31, 2020 7:49 pm

I followed the instructions to a T, but the cake didnt really turn out. It took a very long time to cook, although I did use an oval pan so maybe this is why. The crumble ended up becoming too crunchy and I found the center filling had no flavour at all. Even though the recipe had a ton of sugar the cake tasted very bland to me. Not for me.

Andrea Ruotsi
January 18, 2021 1:16 am

Agree!

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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