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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!

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

The VERY Best Coffee Cake Recipe Ever EVER!

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. 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.

What To Expect:

  • A dense, but moist, buttery easy coffee cake recipe. I like my crumb cake to be sturdy, but NOT DRY. Think of it like a fluffier version of a pound cake. This stands up to the sweet cinnamon filling and the crumb layer, matching textures.
  • The crumb topping is next level delicious, and of course I top mine with a sweet glaze icing.
  • This “from scratch” coffee cake is an absolute old-fashioned favorite.
  • The recipe has a few simple steps, but my teenage sons have baked this with great results!
  • Baking time: Common feedback I have received on this recipe is that it needed more time in the oven. I have made this recipe time and time again and the time written is what works for me. But as always, add more time if necessary. Home ovens can vary, and this is a thick cake. If you need to add more time, and notice the top getting a little too brow simply tent it with aluminum foil and continue baking until the center is set.

Why Isn’t There Coffee IN This Cake?

There are a few defining characteristics of a coffee cake. And nope there is no ACTUAL coffee in this recipe. This cake is meant to be enjoyed WITH coffee.

  • 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!

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. I prefer this cinnamon filling instead of a cinnamon swirl because you get a little more buttery cinnamon bang for your buck!
  • And of course I ALWAYS prefer a crumb/streusel topping on my coffee cake, and this one has the perfect amount, without being too much!
  • You could even sub in pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon in this recipe to give it a real fall vibe!
collage image making crumb cake

Ingredients:

The full recipe with measurements and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post! This is just a quick guideline to make sure you have all the ingredients in your kitchen!

Cinnamon Filling

  • Light brown sugar
  • All purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon

Crumb Topping

  • Melted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • All purpose flour

Cake

  • Room temperature butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Large eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sour cream. You can also use full fat Greek Yogurt if you prefer.
  • Kosher salt
  • Baking powder
  • Milk
  • All purpose flour

Icing

  • Confectioners/Powdered sugar
  • Milk

How Do You Make Coffee Cake?

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. For the Cinnamon Filling: In a medium bowl prepare the cinnamon filling by whisking together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
  3. For 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.
  4. 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. You can also use a hand mixer.
  5. 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 with a rubber spatula as necessary.
  6. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour and milk in alternating portions, beginning and ending with flour. Mix/stir until just combined and smooth, again, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  7. Assemble: 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.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove cake from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. For the Icing: 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.

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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A slice of the very best coffee cake recipe ever!

The Best Coffee Cake Recipe Ever

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 154 reviews
  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • 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

Scale

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

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl prepare the cinnamon filling by whisking together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove cake from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. 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

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 660
  • Sugar: 55 g
  • Sodium: 248.4 mg
  • Fat: 24.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 101.1 g
  • Protein: 9.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 108 mg

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420 comments on “The Best Coffee Cake Recipe Ever”

  1. In my opinion it was not fluffy enough. So it was actually very heavy.
    The flavour was good and the recipe clear.






  2. I, and everyone who I have served this to, LOVE this coffee cake!

    I was thinking about adding blueberries to it and leaving out the cinnamon filling. Thoughts?






  3. Stephanie Blue

    This coffee cake is fantabulous! I have never made or eaten coffee cake before, so I didn’t have anything to compare it to, I like that it is not too sweet, it tastes a lot like pound cake to me, which I love. It was easy to prepare, with easy to follow instructions. My husband ( who has eaten more cakes than anyone I know) absolutely loved it. It will be going in our “ Family Recipe Book” to pass on to our children and grand children….and so on. Thank you for a delicious recipe.






  4. It turned out beautifully, and I even substituted for gluten free flour. Very yum! I will have some happy coworkers tomorrow!






    1. To achieve the same acidic effect of buttermilk use yougert thinned with milk slightly. It must of course equal the same amount of buttermilk called for in the recipe.

  5. I don’t get all the nasty reviews.. I’ve made this several times, and it is absolutely delicious.. I always come back to it. Thank you.






    1. Exactly…People that are not experienced bakers who dont know to use their nose, touch and sight rather than written times will always complain and leave bad reviews and ratings because of their own inadequacies when baking. This recipe is FANTASTIC!

  6. Recipe is fine, except for time. 1 hour to 1 hour/ten is correct. Baked in aluminum half pan. This cake is supposed to be tall as presented.

    Those of you who gave up and tossed it without using your noodles your solve any problems, need to learn how to bake and how to logically use a scientific method when doing so. Recipes are merely a suggestion.






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