Heavenly Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake Recipe

Hey there coffee cake lovers, are you in the mood for a cozy and comforting treat that will make your taste buds dance with joy? Then you’ve come to the right place because I have a fantastic recipe that will satisfy your craving for something sweet and nutty!

I am excited to share with you my Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake Recipe, which not only has a deliciously moist and fluffy base but also flaunts a scrumptious streusel topping that’s loaded with crunchy pecans, ground cinnamon, and brown sugar.

If you’re tired of plain old crumb cakes or want to take your coffee game to the next level, this recipe is a must-try. The perfect balance of flavors and textures will make it hard for you to stop at just one slice.

What makes this coffee cake different from others is the use of sour cream. It adds moisture, tanginess and makes the cake tender without making it overly dense. Plus, it pairs perfectly well with coffee or tea in the morning or as an after-dinner treat.

So enough talking, let’s get into the recipe. This recipe uses basic ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. So let’s put on our aprons and start baking this delightful Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake
Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake

Are you looking for a coffee cake that will make your taste buds sing? Well, look no further because this Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake recipe is the one for you.

Picture this: a soft, moist cake infused with coffee and sour cream, layered with a fine blend of brown sugar and pecans, and then topped off with more cinnamon pecan goodness. Doesn’t that sound like heaven in every bite?

Let me tell you why you’ll love this recipe:

First of all, the combination of sour cream and coffee creates a rich flavor profile that is simply irresistible. The sour cream adds a tangy depth to the cake while the coffee offers a subtle hint of bitterness. Together they create the ultimate cream coffee cake.

Secondly, the streusel topping made with finely chopped pecans, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and flour gives the cake an extra layer of crunch and nuttiness. It’s like having dessert and breakfast all in one bite.

Lastly, this brown sugar pecan coffee cake is incredibly versatile. Not only can it be served for breakfast or brunch, but it’s also perfect for dessert or as an afternoon snack. Plus, you can even customize it to suit your taste preferences by adding things like chocolate chips or dried fruits.

Trust me when I say that once you try this recipe, you’ll be hooked. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get baking!

Ingredient List

 Kickstart your morning with a slice of heaven!
Kickstart your morning with a slice of heaven!

Here’s everything you need to make this delicious, brown sugar-pecan coffee cake packed with flavorful spices and crunchy pecans.

Cake Ingredients:

Pecan Topping Ingredients:

The Recipe How-To

 Take a moment to indulge in the divine aroma of brown sugar and pecans.
Take a moment to indulge in the divine aroma of brown sugar and pecans.

Step 1 – Make the Pecan Streusel Topping

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Cut in 1/4 cup of butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in finely chopped pecans and set aside.

Step 2 – Make the Coffee Cake

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan.

In another bowl, mix together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and a pinch of salt.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup sour cream, 1 large egg, lightly beaten and 1/3 cup oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Step 3 – Assemble the Cake

Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the streusel topping. Repeat with remaining batter and then sprinkle the remaining topping on top.

Step 4 – Bake the Cake

Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Step 5 – Cool and Serve

After you remove from oven let it cool before slicing. Enjoy it by itself or try having it with a hot cup of cinnamon pecan or caramel pecan coffee!

Substitutions and Variations

 Nothing says
Nothing says “good morning” like a warm serving of coffee cake.

Let’s talk about how you can switch up this Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake recipe and make it your own. While this recipe is already delicious, there are some substitutions and variations that you can try to create a different flavor or texture.

First up, let’s talk about the nuts. You can easily swap the pecans for walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts to give the recipe a new twist. You could even mix in some chopped macadamias or cashews to add a bit of crunch to the texture.

Another way to switch things up is to add some fruit into the mix. You could throw in some sliced apples, pears or peaches with the pecans to create a fruity coffee cake. You could also try adding blueberries or raspberries into the batter for a burst of sweetness.

If you’re looking for a bit of spice, try adding some cardamom, nutmeg or ginger to the batter along with the cinnamon. This will create a warming coffee cake that’s perfect for chilly mornings.

For those who love chocolate, you could sprinkle some mini chocolate chips over the pecan streusel topping before baking. You could also drizzle melted chocolate over the top of the cake after it has baked for an indulgent touch.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, you could swap out some of the ingredients. Use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour and replace the granulated sugar with honey or maple syrup. Swap out the sour cream for Greek yogurt and add in some mashed banana or pumpkin puree for extra nutrition.

Overall, there are plenty of substitutions and variations that you can try for this Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake recipe to create a new twist on an old classic. Get creative with your flavors and textures to find your perfect coffee cake recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 One bite and you'll be transported to a cozy, rustic coffee shop.
One bite and you’ll be transported to a cozy, rustic coffee shop.

When it comes to serving brown sugar-pecan coffee cake, the possibilities are endless. This sweet and nutty cake recipe goes well with a variety of hot or cold beverages. Personally, I’d recommend complementing the rich pecan flavor with a nice cup of cinnamon pecan coffee, which is guaranteed to provide you with a warm and comforting sensation.

For a breakfast treat, pair this cake with a steaming cup of coffee and some fresh fruit on the side. The moist texture and rich sweetness make it a perfect addition to the brunch table too. Serve your guests a slice of this sumptuous cake with French toast or pancakes for a wholesome meal.

If you’re looking to serve this as dessert after dinner, consider topping off this flavorful cake with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Pairing it with a cup of creamy caramel pecan coffee will surely give your taste buds an unforgettable thrill.

But why limit yourself? It can be enjoyed any time of day or year, whether it’s for breakfast, brunch, dessert or just as an afternoon snack with sour cream coffee. Brown sugar-pecan coffee cake makes for an excellent addition to any potluck gathering or family dinner party.

However you choose to serve and pair it, one thing is certain: this sensational pecan coffee cake recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser whatever the occasion!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect balance of sweet and nutty.
The perfect balance of sweet and nutty.

Want to make this Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake recipe ahead of time? It’s a great idea! The flavors in this cake will only develop and taste better with time. You can prepare the cake up to three days in advance and store it in an airtight container at room temperature. Don’t forget to let it cool down completely before storing it.

If you want to freeze the cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag for up to two months. When you’re ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours before reheating it.

To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F. Take out the coffee cake from the airtight container or unwrap the plastic wrap if frozen. Warm the coffee cake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat individual servings using a microwave.

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. However, I doubt that there will be any leftover as this coffee cake is simply irresistible!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A delicious companion to your morning cup of joe.
A delicious companion to your morning cup of joe.

Now that you have all the ingredients and steps for making a delicious brown sugar-pecan coffee cake, let’s talk about some tips to ensure perfect results.

1. Use fresh pecans and cinnamon

Fresh pecans and cinnamon can make a big difference in the overall taste of your cake. So, make sure to check the expiration date of your pecans and use the freshest ones available. Also, consider buying whole cinnamon sticks and grating them yourself for an even fresher flavor.

2. Measure ingredients accurately

Measuring ingredients accurately is crucial when it comes to baking. Use measuring cups and spoons instead of eyeballing it. An extra tablespoon of flour or sugar may not seem significant, but it can affect the texture and taste of your cake.

3. Don’t overmix

Overmixing the batter can result in a tough and dry cake. Once all the ingredients are fully incorporated, stop mixing.

4. Let the cake cool before slicing

Allowing the cake to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing will prevent it from falling apart and ensure cleaner cuts.

5. Experiment with variations

While this recipe is delicious as is, don’t be afraid to experiment with variations. Try adding bananas or pumpkin to the batter, using different types of nuts, or even swapping out some of the sour cream for yogurt.

Follow these tips, and you’ll have a perfectly baked brown sugar-pecan coffee cake every time!


Now that you know how to make this delicious brown sugar-pecan coffee cake, it’s time to address some of the common questions that might arise during the recipe-making process. Let’s delve into item nine of our article, where we’ll tackle some frequently asked questions and provide you with helpful tips and tricks to take your baking game up a notch.

What makes coffee cake different from cake?

What sets coffee cakes apart from the rest is their unique streusel topping and lack of frosting. While some may have a drizzle of glaze, they usually feature a swirl of streusel, along with fruit, nuts, or chocolate fillings.

What’s the difference between coffee cake and streusel?

When it comes to the difference between crumb cake and coffee cake, the key factor is the amount of streusel topping that’s used. Generally, crumb cake boasts a thick layer of this sweet, crumbly topping, while coffee cake can be made with or without it.

What is the difference between coffee cake and crumb cake?

When comparing crumb cake and coffee cake, the primary distinguishing factor is the quantity of streusel topping. Crumb cake contains a denser layer of streusel topping compared to coffee cake, which can even be prepared without the streusel topping. Additionally, a variation of crumb cake exists, known as New York-style, characterized by more sizeable crumbs.

How do you increase the flavor of coffee in a cake?

As a barista, I can offer some tips on how to make coffee-infused pastries that will give you a jolt of energy with every bite. One trick that bakers use is to add instant espresso powder to the batter to give it a coffee flavor. Another way to create a mocha flavor is to add a chocolate swirl to the pastry. Don’t forget to add coffee to the crumb topping for an extra shot of flavor. To make it even more tempting, finish it off with a boozy latte glaze that will add a little kick to your pastry.

What is a sock it to me cake?

Looking for a classic dessert that is sure to impress your taste buds? Look no further than the Sock it to Me Cake. This delicious cake takes a simple box of cake mix and elevates it into a flavorful treat that will satisfy any sweet tooth. With added ingredients like sour cream, eggs, and vanilla to enhance the taste, this cake is complete with a delectable cinnamon pecan filling and a drizzle of powdered sugar glaze.

Bottom Line

Now you have a delicious brown sugar-pecan coffee cake recipe that will make your mornings brighter and your taste buds dance. You know that the combination of pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon makes magic happen inside a coffee cake.

This coffee cake is perfect for any occasion and pairs well with hot pecan coffee or sour cream coffee. You can also enjoy this cake as a dessert or snack with your family and friends.

So what are you waiting for? Try out this recipe on a lazy weekend morning or prepare it for a special occasion. It’s guaranteed to be the star of the show.

Remember, baking should bring joy and pleasure, so don’t hesitate to experiment with the recipe to make it your own. Add some pumpkin or caramel for fall flavors, or try a streusel topping with banana cake or yogurt cake mix. Get creative with America’s Test Kitchen.

Now go put on your apron and bake your way to dessert glory!

Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake

Brown Sugar-Pecan Coffee Cake Recipe

From Southern Living December 2006 test kitchen's top rated recipes.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 438.4 kcal


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • Stir together flour and brown sugar in a large bowl.
  • Cut 3/4 cup butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 forks until crumbly. Press 2 3/4 cups crumb mixture evenly on the bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.
  • Stir together sour cream, egg, and baking soda; add to remaining crumb mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Stir together granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  • Pour sour cream mixture over crumb crust in pan; sprinkle evenly with cinnamon mixture and pecans.
  • Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 107gCalories: 438.4kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 4.2gFat: 22.7gSaturated Fat: 10.5gCholesterol: 56.6mgSodium: 217.4mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 38.9g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Breads, Fruit, Nuts
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