Delicious Brown Sugar Coffee Cake Recipe

If you are looking for a delicious and easy-to-make coffee cake recipe, then you have come to the right place! This brown sugar coffee cake recipe is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert. It has a moist and tender crumb that is perfectly complemented by a sweet and crunchy streusel topping.

What makes this coffee cake recipe stand out is its use of brown sugar, which adds complexity and depth of flavor to the cake. The combination of light brown sugar and cinnamon in the streusel topping adds an irresistible warmth and aroma that will fill your kitchen as it bakes.

I have made this recipe countless times, and it never fails to impress. It’s a crowd-pleaser that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a family brunch or simply want to enjoy a decadent treat with your morning coffee, this recipe will not disappoint.

So let’s get started! Gather all the ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to bake the best brown sugar coffee cake you’ve ever had.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Brown Sugar Coffee Cake
Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

Are you tired of the same old coffee cake recipe? Well, I have just the thing for you. This Brown Sugar Coffee Cake Recipe is something truly special, and it’s something that you will love.

To start, the recipe uses a combination of flour and baking soda to make the perfect crumbly texture. Mix this with milk and sour cream, and it creates a light and fluffy base that will melt in your mouth. But what sets this recipe apart is the use of brown sugar. This ingredient gives it a warm, rich flavor that perfectly complements any morning coffee.

The streusel topping is made with a blend of light brown sugar and cinnamon to give it a perfect balance of spice and sweetness. When combined with melted butter, it creates an irresistible crumbly crunch on top of the cake.

But don’t let this rich taste fool you; this recipe is incredibly easy to make. With simple ingredients like margarine, eggs, and brown sugar, it’s a recipe that anyone can do.

Not only is this recipe perfect for breakfast or brunch, but it also pairs well with other dishes as well. The sweetness of the cake goes great with plain yogurt, fresh fruit or apple toppings. It’s also perfect for an afternoon snack with some coffee or tea on the side.

So if you are ready to fall in love with your coffee cake all over again, give this Brown Sugar Coffee Cake Recipe a try! You won’t be disappointed.

Ingredient List

 A sweet escape from reality
A sweet escape from reality

Ingredient List for Brown Sugar Coffee Cake Recipe:

  • For the Cake Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    • 1 cup of sour cream
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 cup of light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup of margarine, softened
  • For the Streusel Topping Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
    • 1 cup of chopped pecans
    • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup of butter, melted

Note: You can substitute margarine with butter if desired.

This recipe lists all the ingredients required to make a delicious Brown sugar Coffee Cake. The cake is made with basic pantry ingredients – Flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sour cream, eggs, light brown sugar and margarine. Whereas, the Streusel topping is made by combining flour, granulated sugar, chopped pecans, ground cinnamon and melted butter. This recipe calls for margarine but it can be swapped with butter which will not alter the taste much.

The Recipe How-To

 Bring the bakery into your kitchen
Bring the bakery into your kitchen

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the pan

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with margarine or non-stick spray. Dust it with a bit of flour to prevent sticking.

Step 2: Make the cake batter

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Add in 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and mix well.

In another large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup of margarine and 1 cup of brown sugar, until creamy and light. Add in 2 large eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix in by alternating 1 cup of flour mixture and then adding 1 cup of sour cream followed by the last remaining cup of flour mixture while stirring until just combined.

Step 3: Make the crumb topping

In a small mixing bowl, add in 1/2 cup of flour, both types- dark and light- measuring equally (1/4 cup each), 1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Mix well until all ingredients are uniform mixed

Drizzle in melted butter over the mixture using a fork to combine along with nuts like pecans if you wish.

Step 4: Assemble cake

Pour half or slightly more than half (about ~2 cups) cake batter into prepared pan followed by adding evenly ~half crumb topping mixture over made cake batter in the pan using your hand or spoon. Don’t worry if some chunks form, that’s what makes it delicious!

Add rest ~one cupof cake batter followed by the crumb topping on top, patting down slightly to make sure the topping adheres. The crumb layer should be thick and even.

Step 5: Bake the cake

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Step 6: Enjoy

Serve this delicious Brown Sugar Coffee Cake Recipe warm or at room temperature with your favorite cup of coffee.

Substitutions and Variations

 Brown sugar and cinnamon goodness in every bite
Brown sugar and cinnamon goodness in every bite

When it comes to baking, it’s always good to experiment with different ingredient combinations to create new and diverse flavors. Here are some substitution and variation options for the brown sugar coffee cake recipe:

1. Margarine – Unsalted butter or coconut oil can be used as a substitute for margarine in this recipe.

2. Flour – Use whole wheat flour or almond flour to add a healthy twist to the traditional all-purpose flour.

3. Milk – Swap out the milk for almond milk or soy milk to make the recipe dairy-free.

4. Sour cream – Greek yogurt can be used instead of sour cream, which gives a similar tangy taste.

5. Brown Sugar – Replace brown sugar with coconut sugar or honey for a more natural sweetness.

6. Streusel topping – Make cinnamon streusel by adding ground cinnamon to the topping mixture, or add chopped pecans for a nutty crunch.

7. Chocolate coffee cake – Replace half of the flour with cocoa powder and add ¼ cup of strong brewed coffee for a delicious chocolate twist.

8. Fruit variations- Add diced apples, raspberries, blueberries, banana slices or pumpkin puree to mix up the flavors and textures

With these substitutions and variations, you can customize the recipe according to your preferences and create an unlimited number of Brown sugar coffee cake varieties that suits your taste buds.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect complement to your morning coffee
The perfect complement to your morning coffee

The Brown Sugar Coffee Cake recipe is a classic dessert that is perfect for any occasion. It is especially great for serving at breakfast or brunch as a sweet treat to go along with your morning coffee or tea.

To serve, simply slice the cake into generous portions and place on a plate. This cake tastes amazing both warm and cold, so feel free to enjoy it either way.

Pair this coffee cake with a hot cup of coffee or tea for the perfect combination. The rich flavors of the brown sugar cinnamon and streusel topping are balanced perfectly by the subtle bitterness of coffee.

If you’re looking for a more indulgent pairing, add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream on top of your slice of cake. This will take the sweetness to the next level and provide a creamy contrast to the tender texture of the cake.

Overall, this Brown Sugar Coffee Cake recipe is versatile enough to be served as dessert after dinner, or alongside your favorite hot beverage for breakfast or brunch. Its subtle sweetness and fluffy texture make it an irresistible treat for any time of day.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Moist, light and fluffy, this cake is a dream come true
Moist, light and fluffy, this cake is a dream come true

Making Brown Sugar Coffee Cake ahead of time is an excellent way to save time in the morning while still serving a delicious breakfast. To make this recipe ahead of time, prepare the cake as instructed and store it in an airtight container or on a plate covered with plastic wrap. The cake will remain fresh for up to three days at room temperature or five days when refrigerated.

To reheat the Brown Sugar Coffee Cake, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Cover the cake with foil and place it in the oven for 10-15 minutes until it is warmed through. Alternatively, you can heat individual slices in the microwave on high power for 20-30 seconds.

If you find yourself with leftover brown sugar coffee cake, you can also use it to make a delicious bread pudding. Simply cut the leftover cake into cubes, toss them with melted butter, milk, and eggs, and bake in a casserole dish for a sweet and decadent dessert.

This coffee cake can be stored frozen for longer periods. To freeze the Brown Sugar Coffee Cake, wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing them together in an airtight container or freezer bag. The cake can be frozen for up to three months.

When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature before reheating using one of the methods listed above. The coffee cake will retain its moistness and delicious flavor even after being frozen.

Pro tip: To extend the shelf life of your Brown Sugar Coffee Cake by adding yeast. It will help keep moisture inside, keep the crumb tender, and add flavor to your coffee cake.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Meals shared with this cake are filled with love
Meals shared with this cake are filled with love

When it comes to brown sugar coffee cake, there are a few key tips to keep in mind that can help you achieve perfect results every time. Here are some of my top tips for baking the perfect brown sugar coffee cake:

1. Use room temperature ingredients: Be sure to take your eggs, sour cream, and milk out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan to use them. This will ensure that they mix together better and create a more uniform batter.

2. Don’t overmix the batter: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix them together just until everything is combined — don’t overmix! Overworking the batter can cause it to be tough and dry.

3. Grease your pan generously: This will help prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and ensure that it comes out cleanly.

4. Add some texture with streusel topping: Consider adding a streusel topping to your brown sugar coffee cake for extra flavor and texture. Mix together some flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and pecans until crumbly and sprinkle it on top of your batter before baking.

5. Use high-quality ingredients: Whenever possible, use high-quality ingredients in your baking. Fresh flour, good butter, and high-quality brown sugar can make a big difference in the taste and texture of your cake.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to baking a perfect brown sugar coffee cake every time.


As you prepare to whip up your own delicious brown sugar coffee cake, you may encounter a few questions along the way. Here, I have compiled some frequently asked questions to help guide you through the process and ensure your cake turns out perfectly.

What makes coffee cake different from cake?

What sets coffee cakes apart from other cakes is their unique streusel topping and lack of frosting. While sometimes drizzled with a glaze, these cakes often feature swirls of streusel or are filled with tasty additions like fruit, nuts or chocolate.

What’s the difference between coffee cake and streusel?

Two types of cakes are available, crumb cake and coffee cake, with the main difference being the quantity of streusel topping used. Generally, crumb cake involves a more substantial layer of streusel topping compared to coffee cake, which can also be made without any streusel topping.

What makes a coffee cake a coffee cake?

Have you ever heard of a coffee cake? It’s a deliciously tender cake with a scrumptious crumbly topping. Surprisingly, it doesn’t contain any coffee at all! The cake is perfect for enjoying with a cup of coffee.

What does adding coffee to cake mix do?

Combining brewed coffee with cake batter creates a uniquely rich and creamy texture that our team has described as resembling pudding. For a truly luxurious treat, adding chocolate to a coffee-flavored cake takes this already excellent pairing to the next level, producing an indulgent and decadent sensation akin to drinking a mocha latte.

Bottom Line

This brown sugar coffee cake recipe is an easy and delicious way to impress your guests or treat yourself to a special breakfast. With a mix of cinnamon, brown sugar, and streusel topping, it will satisfy your sweet tooth and fill your kitchen with a heavenly aroma.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy breakfast idea that will make your mornings brighter, this recipe is definitely worth trying. It requires simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry: flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, and margarine. Plus, it’s versatile enough to be adjusted to your liking – you can add nuts, chocolate chips, or fruit to the mix for an extra flavor boost.

In conclusion, the Brown Sugar Coffee Cake Recipe is perfect for any occasion: from Sunday brunch with friends to weekday mornings when you’re rushing out the door. It’s an easy-to-make classic that everyone loves and will have you reaching for another slice. Go ahead and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

Brown Sugar Coffee Cake Recipe

No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 329.2 kcal


  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons margarine


  • Sift flour and baking soda together set aside.
  • Cream together margarine and brown sugar.
  • Add eggs, sour cream and milk.
  • Mix.
  • Add flour mixture and mix until all combined.
  • Pour into a 13 x 9 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Mixed together crumb topping.
  • sprinkle top of cake with topping.
  • bake at 350 deg oven for 30- 35 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 93gCalories: 329.2kcalCarbohydrates: 47.7gProtein: 4.5gFat: 13.7gSaturated Fat: 3.9gCholesterol: 42.3mgSodium: 248.7mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 26.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Breads, Breakfast, Easy, Kid-Friendly, Oven, Yeast
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You