This easy coffee cake recipe is a simple, yet elegant crumb cake that’s topped with the most delicious cinnamon sugar streusel. My classic coffee cake is made moist with sour cream and is perfect for a baby shower, holiday brunches or a coffee date with some girlfriends!

coffee cake with cinnamon streusel topping

Classic Coffee Cake

You can never go wrong with a perfectly sweet, scrumptious, tender coffee cake! And today’s coffee cake is an easy-to-follow recipe that you are all going to love. You’ll notice this homemade version is not like the overly-sweet, fake-tasting store bought versions you may be used to. The cake has a wonderful buttery, vanilla flavor with the perfect soft and moist texture. And the crunch from the cinnamon sugar crumb topping is quite irresistible. In fact, my daughter told me this cake was her favorite thing I’ve ever made! 😀

Because my daughter loves this cake so much, we’ve made it more times than I could count. She even makes it herself now! I love to enjoy a piece with a morning (or afternoon) cup of coffee or hot tea. Such a wonderful treat!

What Is Coffee Cake?

A classically flavored coffee cake like this one is a buttery, vanilla cake that’s topped with a cinnamon sugar streusel crumb topping. It is most often served for brunch, but it’s one of those magical dessert foods that’s acceptable to eat any time of the day.

Strangely enough, there’s actually no coffee in coffee cake. Coffee cake is thought to of originated in Germany and the name comes from the idea of eating sweet cakes while enjoying coffee.

pieces of coffee cake stacked on a plate and served with coffee

Ingredients needed

This crumb cake is made with simple ingredients to give it an incredible soft, moist crumb, plus delicious sweet flavor. Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need to make it:

  • Streusel topping. A simple mix of all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon and melted butter makes for a sweet crunchy layer that pairs so well with the tender cake. So good!
  • Flour. To give this coffee cake the perfect texture, you need regular all-purpose flour. I have not experimented with using different flour varieties for this recipe.
  • Baking soda and baking powder. Helps the cake rise!
  • Salt. Really brings all of the flavors together!
  • Cinnamon. We’re adding plenty of cinnamon to give this coffee cake that warm, cozy, fall flavor.
  • Unsalted butter. Adds incredible moisture and lightens up the crumb. If you only have salted butter, reduce the 1/2 teaspoon salt called for in the recipe to 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Granulated sugar. Sweetens the cake and gives it amazing flavor and texture.
  • Egg. One egg is needed to add moisture and bind the cake together.
  • Sour cream. Feel free to use full fat or light sour cream to achieve the perfect moist texture. Plain whole milk yogurt or Greek yogurt works great too!
  • Vanilla extract. Flavor booster!
  • Glaze. Optional, but highly recommend. A simple mixture of powdered (confectioners’) sugar and milk drizzled over the top is incredible.
spread the cake evenly in a baking dish

How to make Coffee Cake

Coffee cake looks fancy, but it is really easy to make. Before starting the recipe, preheat the oven and either grease the pan or line it with parchment paper. Then grab all of the ingredients and start mixing!

Make the Cinnamon Streusel

  1. Dry ingredients. In a small bowl whisk together flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
  2. Melted butter. Stir in melted butter. Use your hands to really mix it up good.
  3. Set it aside and make the cake layer.

Make the Cake

  1. Dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. To ensure the correct amount of flour and best cake results, whisk the flour, then spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the top with a straight edge.
  2. Beat butter and sugar. Add the butter and sugar to a separate mixing bowl and use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) on medium speed to combine ingredients for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add wet ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed and then add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix for 1 minute until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on low speed and gradually add the flour mixture to the butter/sour cream mixture. Mix until just combined and smooth, again, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Assemble & Bake the Cake

  1. Pour batter into pan. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Spread it out with a spatula. It will seem very thin, but don’t worry, it will bake up nice and fluffy.
  2. Streusel topping. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the cake and gently press down with your fingers. It might seem like too much streusel, but we really enjoyed the amount.
  3. Bake. Place the coffee cake in an oven that has been preheated to 350ºF and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My cake was done in 30 minutes.
  4. Enjoy! Remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes. Once cool, you can add stir together the optional glaze and drizzle it over the top. Slice up your cake, then enjoy!
sprinkle the cinnamon sugar streusel over the top of the cake

Tips For Making Coffee Cake

This coffee cake recipe with crumb topping is really straight-forward and easy to make, but here are a few tips so your cake is perfect every time.

  • Follow the recipe. For best results, I highly recommend following the recipe and using the exact ingredients I’ve listed.
  • Correct measuring. To ensure the correct amount of flour and best cake results, whisk the flour, then spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the top with a straight edge.
  • Room temperature ingredients. For the best results, bring the butter, egg, and sour cream to room temperature before getting started. All of the ingredients will mix together more easily and you won’t have to worry about over-mixing the batter.
  • Do not over-mix the batter. Over-mixing the batter can result in a dry, tough cake. You can even mix in the last little bit of the dry ingredients by hand. Here’s more info on over mixing and why it should be avoided.
  • Leftover coffee cake. If you’re enjoying the coffee cake the next day give it 10-20 seconds in the microwave. We love it a bit warm!
small squares of coffee cake on a plate near a mug of coffee

Coffee Cake Variations

This easy coffee cake recipe is perfect as-is, but it’s also easily adaptable to include other spices and add-ins. Here’s some tasty options:

  • Spices. Swap the cinnamon for pumpkin pie or apple pie spice.
  • Nuts. Add 1/3 cup of finely chopped walnuts or pecans to the streusel topping for a delicious crunch.
  • Glaze. (highly recommend!) Make a glaze by mixing 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 to 2 teaspoons milk. Mix until smooth and drizzle over the cooled cake.
  • Powdered sugar. Dust the top of the cooled cake with a bit of confectioners’ sugar.

Storing coffee cake

  • Leftovers. This coffee cake recipe is best within 2 to 3 days, stored at room temperature in an air-tight container. I doubt it will last much longer than that, but you can also store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze it.
  • To freeze the coffee cake. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature and then wrap it in plastic wrap, put it inside an airtight container and into the freezer for up to around 2 months. When you’re ready to eat the cake, let it thaw at room temperature for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • To reheat. If you’d like to enjoy your coffee cake warm, reheat in the microwave for 10 second increments until warm. To heat in the oven remove any plastic wrap, then wrap in aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and heat for 6-8 minutes or until warm.
a piece of coffee cake served on a small plate with a fork

This is the best coffee cake I’ve ever tasted, it’s perfect for an every day dessert, birthday parties, wedding showers, you name it! You better believe I’ll be serving it for Christmas morning brunch!

Watch the video, below, to see how easy this coffee cake recipe is to make!

If you try this easy coffee cake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

coffee cake with cinnamon streusel topping
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Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

This easy coffee cake recipe is a simple, yet elegant cake that’s topped with the most delicious cinnamon sugar streusel. My classic coffee cake is made moist with sour cream and is perfect for a baby shower, holiday brunches or a coffee date with some girlfriends!
Author: Kim

Ingredients

Streusel topping

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, or plain whole milk or Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment and set aside.
  • To prepare the streusel topping, mix together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter and use your hands to really mix it up good. Set aside.
  • For the cake, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a separate mixing bowl and use an electric mixer on medium speed to combine ingredients for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape sides as needed and then add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix for 1 minute until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined and smooth, again, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Transfer the batter into prepared baking pan. Spread it out with a spatula. It will seem very thin, but don't worry, it will bake up nice and fluffy. Sprinkle streusel topping over the cake and gently press down with your fingers. It might seem like too much streusel, but we really enjoyed the amount.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My cake was done in 30 minutes.
  • Remove cake from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Notes

Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cake tastes best on day 1 or day 2. The cake may be made 1 day in advance. Store covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cake can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for several hours at room temperature. See post for reheating options.
Glaze: I didn’t make the glaze for the photos, but I typically do and it’s SO good! Mix 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 to 2 teaspoons milk. Mix until smooth and drizzle over the cooled cake.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 129kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 155mg, Potassium: 35mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 192IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg

Did you make this recipe?

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