Indulge in the Sweetness of Braided Coffee Cake Today!

Are you ready to add a delicious and comforting coffee cake to your recipe collection? Look no further than this scrumptious Braided Coffee Cake recipe. The aroma of cinnamon and brown sugar will fill your kitchen as this cake bakes to a golden perfection, ready to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea.

Perfect for breakfast or brunch, the buttery dough of this danish-style sweet bread makes for a lovely treat any time of day. Not only is it visually stunning with its unique braided pattern, but the flavors of the cinnamon-brown sugar filling and cream cheese frosting will leave you wanting more.

But why stop there? This recipe allows for substitutions and variations, so you can customize it to your liking. And with helpful tips for perfect results, make-ahead instructions, and serving suggestions, making this Braided Coffee Cake has never been easier. So, let’s get started on baking this delectable treat that’ll have you coming back for seconds (or thirds)!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Braided Coffee Cake
Braided Coffee Cake

Are you in search of a recipe that can make your breakfast or afternoon coffee more enjoyable? Look no further! This braided coffee cake recipe is the perfect addition to your coffee routine, and here’s why you’ll love it.

Firstly, this recipe uses simple ingredients that are readily available in your kitchen. All-purpose flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and active dry yeast are just some of the ingredients you may already have. The use of these basic ingredients makes this recipe easy to follow and ensures that it is budget-friendly.

Not only is the recipe easy to make, but it also results in a delicious coffee cake with a light and fluffy texture. The braiding technique used adds an attractive look to the cake which makes it perfect for serving to guests or enjoying on your own. Whether you prefer a plain coffee cake or one with cream cheese filling or streusel topping, this recipe has endless variations to suit your taste.

What makes this coffee cake even better is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later consumption. You can even freeze it and reheat whenever you feel like having a treat. It’s an excellent opportunity to get creative with your serving and pairing choices- enjoy it with a hot cup of tea or coffee, serve as dessert, or even gift wrapped for a friend who loves baKed goods.

In conclusion, this braided coffee cake recipe is sure to become one of your favorites with its simplicity, versatility in flavoring, attractive appearance and delicious taste. So go ahead, give it a try and discover for yourself why it’s a winner!

Ingredient List

 Braided beauty ready to be shared
Braided beauty ready to be shared

Key Ingredients for a Delicious Braided Coffee Cake

Here is a list of ingredients you’ll need to make a classic braided coffee cake recipe.

Dry Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 4 cups
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Ground cinnamon – 2 tsp
  • Brown sugar – 2 cups

Wet Ingredients:

  • Water – 1 cup
  • Whole milk – 1/2 cup
  • Butter, softened to room temperature – 1/2 cup (1 stick)
  • Egg, at room temperature – 1
  • Active dry yeast – 2 tsp

Optional filling ideas: cream cheese, streusel topping, raspberry pie filling, lemon curd, peanut butter.

Note: To make the sweet bread dough, consider using danish style sweet bread. It makes lovely breakfast and afternoon snack options. With that said, you can substitute this for regular sweet bread.

The Recipe How-To

 Twist, turn and indulge
Twist, turn and indulge

Step 1: Proof the Yeast

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, add 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast,**1/4 cup of warm water (105 to 110 degrees F), and a pinch of sugar. Stir to combine and let it sit for about 5 minutes** or until foamy.

Note: If using instant yeast, there is no need to proof the yeast in warm water; instead just mix it in with the flour.

Step 2: Mix the Dough

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl, combine 1 cup of whole milk (warmed to room temperature), 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 eggs(room temperature), 4 tablespoons of melted butter, and the yeast mixture.

Add in 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Mix until dough forms.

Step 3: Knead the Dough

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Alternatively, use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead on low speed for 5-7 minutes.

Note: If using a bread machine, put all ingredients into the bread machine pot and run the “dough” program.

Step 4: First Rise

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour or until its size has doubled.

Step 5: Shape The Bread Dough

After the first rise, punch down dough to release excess air. Cut dough into three equal parts.Roll each part out into long ropes measuring about 14 inches.

Pinch ends together at one end and then braid by alternating outer sections (left over right, right over left) until finished.

Step 6: Second Rise

Place the braided dough into a greased 9-inch cake pan or loaf pan, cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rise again in a warm place for approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

Step 7: Bake

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush the braided coffee cake with egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle with a mixture of 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 8: Icing Braided Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Beat together 6 oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup of soft butter, and 2 cups powdered sugar until smooth. Add in 1 tsp real vanilla extract. Spread over the cooled coffee cake before serving.

Substitutions and Variations

 Delightful swirls in every bite
Delightful swirls in every bite

If you’re looking to experiment with this braided coffee cake recipe, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try to make the recipe your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Streusel topping: In place of the cinnamon brown sugar streusel, try using chopped nuts or dried fruit for a different texture and flavor.

2. Cream cheese filling: For a tangy twist on this coffee cake, swap out the cinnamon brown sugar filling with a mixture of cream cheese and your favorite pie filling. Raspberry or lemon curd would be particularly delicious in this braided cream cheese coffee cake.

3. Candy cane coffee cake: If you’re making this recipe around the holidays, consider swapping out the cinnamon brown sugar in the dough with crushed candy canes. This will give your coffee cake a festive peppermint flavor.

4. Danish pastry braid: If you want to take this recipe to the next level, try making a danish-style sweet bread instead of a traditional braided bread. The dough is enriched with butter and eggs for a richer, more decadent texture.

5. Peanut butter and jelly coffee cake: For a fun twist on classic PB&J sandwiches, use peanut butter instead of butter in the dough and add a layer of jelly before braiding the dough together.

No matter what substitutions or variations you choose to make, be sure to adjust your baking time accordingly and keep an eye on your coffee cake as it bakes. With these creative twists on the classic braided coffee cake recipe, you’re sure to find a new family favorite.

Serving and Pairing

 A delectable treat for any occasion
A delectable treat for any occasion

Once baked and cooled, this braided coffee cake is a delightful addition to any breakfast or afternoon tea. Its gorgeous braided design makes it easy to slice and serve to guests, while the decadent cinnamon brown sugar filling adds flavor and texture that everyone will love. For an extra special treat, try serving your braided coffee cake warm with a dollop of creamy cream cheese frosting on top – it’s a match made in heaven!

To complement the warm spices and sweet filling of this coffee cake, I recommend pairing it with a cup of coffee or tea. The rich and slightly bitter flavor of coffee pairs perfectly with the sweet and spicy notes of the cinnamon brown sugar filling. For those who prefer tea, I recommend a black tea like earl grey or chai – their bold flavors will stand up well to the rich taste of the braided coffee cake.

If you want to get creative with your braided coffee cake, try adding different toppings or fillings for a unique twist on this classic recipe. For example, you can sprinkle chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts on top of your cream cheese frosting for an added crunch. Alternatively, you can drizzle some sweet glaze made from powdered sugar and milk over the top before serving.

Overall, pairing your braided coffee cake with your favorite hot beverage is sure to be a hit with family and friends. Whether you’re enjoying it as part of breakfast or as an afternoon treat, this delicious dessert is sure to impress!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Coffee cake just got a whole lot fancier
Coffee cake just got a whole lot fancier

As a barista and lover of all things coffee, I understand the importance of having a delicious, freshly baked coffee cake to pair with your morning cup of joe. However, I also know that many of us lead busy lives and don’t always have the time to dedicate to baking. Luckily, this braided cream cheese coffee cake recipe allows for some make-ahead options.

If you want to prepare this cake ahead of time, simply follow the recipe up until the point where you are ready to bake it. Once your dough has been braided and shaped, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, simply remove it from the fridge, let it come to room temperature, and follow the baking instructions as written.

If you find yourself with leftover coffee cake (though I can’t imagine why), this recipe also stores well. Once fully cooled, tightly wrap your cake in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it at room temperature for up to 2 days. Alternatively, you can freeze your cake for up to 1 month by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and then placing it into an airtight container before freezing.

To reheat your braided cream cheese coffee cake, simply place slices on a plate or baking sheet and warm them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-10 minutes. You can also warm slices in the microwave for about 20 seconds on high power.

Remember that while reheating will restore warmth to your cake, it won’t bring back any lost moisture. To keep your coffee cake moist and delicious for even longer, store individual slices in resealable plastic bags and freeze them until needed. You’ll never scrape stale crusts off a piece of day-old coffee cake again!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfect for impressing guests or treating yourself
Perfect for impressing guests or treating yourself

When making braided coffee cake, there are a few tips that can help you achieve perfect results. First, make sure to measure the ingredients accurately, especially the yeast. Adding too much or too little yeast can affect the rise and texture of the dough.

Another tip is to knead the dough thoroughly until it reaches the desired consistency. This can take up to 10 minutes of kneading by hand or using a mixer with a dough hook attachment. Don’t be tempted to add more flour if the dough feels sticky as this can result in a dense and dry cake.

When braiding the dough, make sure to seal the ends tightly and tuck them under to prevent any filling from spilling out during baking. It’s also important to let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for at least an hour before baking to develop flavor and texture.

If you prefer a softer crust, cover the coffee cake with foil during the last 10-15 minutes of baking. For a crispier crust, leave it uncovered. Additionally, placing a pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven will create steam and help keep the coffee cake moist during baking.

Lastly, let the braided coffee cake cool for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the filling to set and makes it easier to cut without falling apart.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a delicious and perfectly braided coffee cake every time!


As our braided coffee cake recipe may be new to some, it’s natural to have questions about the recipe’s various ingredients, measurements, or any other preparation steps. In the upcoming section, we’ve gathered a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about this recipe. Hopefully, this will help you clear up any queries you may have and give you the confidence to bake a scrumptious braided cream cheese coffee cake with cinnamon-brown sugar streusel topping!

What’s the difference between coffee cake and streusel?

When it comes to crumb cake and coffee cake, the amount of streusel topping used is the primary distinguishing factor. Usually, crumb cake has a more substantial layer of streusel topping compared to coffee cake, which might not have any at all.

What makes coffee cake different from cake?

Coffee cakes are unique when compared to other cakes as they feature a streusel topping and usually lack a frosting layer. Unlike other cakes, coffee cakes may include a streusel swirl or filling of fruit, nuts, or chocolate, as opposed to frosting or ganache. A light glaze may be used to adorn the top, but it is not a defining characteristic of a coffee cake.

What makes a coffee cake a coffee cake?

Coffee cake is a type of cake that has a crumbly streusel topping and is meant to be eaten with a cup of coffee. Although its name may suggest it, there is no coffee present in the actual cake itself. Additionally, it typically consists of only one layer, and its texture is smooth and tender.

What is New England coffee cake?

Imagine a delectable blend of vanilla cake mixed with a swirl of cinnamon and brown sugar, finished off with a sweet and buttery crumble on top.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this braided coffee cake recipe is an absolute must-try for all coffee cake enthusiasts out there. With its sweet and aromatic cinnamon-brown sugar filling wrapped in a soft and buttery sweet bread, it’s perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea, or even as a dessert. What makes this coffee cake recipe extra special is that it’s so versatile and you can switch things up by adding your favorite filling or glaze.

Whether you’re craving a classic cream cheese filled coffee cake, a peanut butter and jelly twist or even a festive candy cane flavored one, this recipe has got you covered. So why not give it a try and impress your family and friends with your braiding skills?

To enjoy the best results, make sure to follow the tips we’ve provided for measuring ingredients accurately, rising the dough perfectly and storing it properly. And if you have any questions or concerns regarding this braided coffee cake recipe, feel free to refer to our FAQ section for answers or leave us a comment.

In conclusion, with its mouthwatering taste and simple ingredients list, this delicious braided coffee cake recipe is definitely worth trying out! So go ahead and give it a go – I promise you won’t regret it!

Braided Coffee Cake

Braided Coffee Cake Recipe

Got this recipe from Better Homes, and it produces a very nice sweet bread. The good part about it is that you can make the dough and then refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. You can make it in the evening and then just assemble the bread in the morning!
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine All
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 1136.5 kcal


  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut up
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • powdered sugar icing


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water. Stir in egg. In a small saucepan, heat and stir the 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar and salt until mixture is lukewarm and butter is almost melted. Stir butter mixture into the yeast mixture. Stir in flour.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 4 to 6 strokes or until ingredients are combined. Transfer to a greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap; chill if you like for 8-24 hours.
  • Let dough stand, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, lightly grease baking sheet. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a 14X9 inch rectangle. Spread the melted butter over dough rectangles. In a small bowl, mix nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut each rectangle into 3 14X3 inch strips. Sprinkle the mixture in the center of each strip. Using your fingers pinch dough to seal.
  • To shape a loaf, place 3 filled ropes, seam side down, 1 inch apart. Starting at the middle, loosely braid by bringing the left rope over the center rope. Next bring the right rope over new center rope. Repeat to end. Press ends together to seal; tuck under. Repeat to make a second loaf. Carefully transfer braids to cookie sheet. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F Bake for 20-25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove loaves from baking sheet. Cool on wire racks. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine 11/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 tbsp milk, and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoons at a time, until icing is easy to drizzle. Drizzle icing on loaves.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 325gCalories: 1136.5kcalCarbohydrates: 165.5gProtein: 18.5gFat: 45.9gSaturated Fat: 23.6gCholesterol: 144.4mgSodium: 828.8mgFiber: 5.8gSugar: 65.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, Yeast
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