Delicious Coffee Cake Recipe Perfect for Weekend Brunch

Welcome, coffee lovers! Are you tired of the same old coffee routine every morning? Do you crave a little something extra to go with your cup of joe? Well, look no further than this delicious coffee cake recipe.

What makes this recipe special, you might ask? Simple – it’s a true coffee cake, literally made with coffee. Many so-called “coffee cakes” out there are just cinnamon or streusel cakes with no actual coffee involved. But not this one! Using instant coffee granules and boiling water in the batter creates a bold and rich coffee flavor that compliments the sweetness of the cake perfectly.

Plus, this recipe is versatile and easy to make. Whether you’re a seasoned home barista or a novice in the kitchen, you’ll love making this cake. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert – and don’t worry about wasting leftover coffee or grounds, because it uses both!

So let’s grab some ingredients and get ready to make the perfect accompaniment to your morning cup of joe – a delicious and literal coffee cake.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Coffee Cake.  Literally.
Coffee Cake. Literally.

Are you a coffee lover looking for a new twist to your usual coffee routine? Then this Coffee Cake recipe is perfect for you! This cake literally tastes like coffee, and it’s all thanks to the instant coffee granules and boiling water that are mixed into the batter. The result is a moist and flavorful cake that has just the right amount of coffee flavor.

This coffee cake recipe is easy to follow and uses simple ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. You’ll need all-purpose flour, white sugar, butter, eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, salt, and of course, instant coffee granules. The crumbly streusel topping adds an extra layer of texture to the cake, giving it a delicious crunch.

But what makes this coffee cake truly special is its versatility. You can substitute some of the ingredients depending on what you have on hand or what you prefer. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use regular milk instead. If you want a sweeter cake, you can add more confectioners’ sugar to the frosting.

This coffee cake is also perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s for breakfast or dessert, this cake will surely impress your guests. It’s also great as a snack or even as a gift for your coffee-loving friends! Plus, with its ease of preparation and delicious taste, this Coffee Cake recipe may become one of your go-to desserts.

In conclusion, if you’re a fan of coffee or just looking for a new dessert option to add to your repertoire, then this Coffee Cake recipe is definitely worth trying. With its rich coffee flavor and simple ingredients, it’s bound to be a hit with everyone who tries it!

Ingredient List

 Sweeten up your morning with this delightful coffee cake!
Sweeten up your morning with this delightful coffee cake!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious and crumbly coffee cake literally that tastes like you’ve added leftover coffee grounds or instant coffee crystals into the cake!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules mixed with 3 tablespoons boiling water

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

The Recipe How-To

 This cake is the perfect blend of coffee and sweetness.
This cake is the perfect blend of coffee and sweetness.

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, it’s time to dive right into the recipe!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.

  2. In a small bowl, dissolve instant coffee granules in boiling water and set aside.

  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.

  4. In a mixer’s bowl or another large mixing bowl, blend together the softened butter with eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until the batter is smooth.

  5. Gradually pour in buttermilk while continuing to stir.

  6. Stir in coffee mixture.

  7. Pour batter evenly into your prepared pan.

  8. To make the streusel topping: melt 2 sticks of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1½ cups of white sugar, ½ cup of brown sugar, and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. Let the mixture bubble for a few minutes before carefully stirring in any remaining coffee mixture from earlier along with 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules. Lastly, add 2 cups of all-purpose flour and crush everything together using your hands until it’s crumbly! Sprinkle your finished topping over your batter before sticking it in the oven to bake.

  9. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  10. Allow it to cool completely in pan before slicing and serving. And that’s it! The coffee cake literally recipe is now ready.

The heavenly aroma of this treat baking and the sight of its crumbly streusel topping will have your mouth watering even before you taste it, and when you do, you’ll be swept away on a wave of delicious coffee flavor. Don’t forget to enjoy it with a piping hot cup of leftover coffee or some fresh-brewed deliciousness!

Substitutions and Variations

 Start your day off right with a slice of this coffee cake.
Start your day off right with a slice of this coffee cake.

There are many ways to put your own spin on this coffee cake recipe. Here are a few substitutions and variations to consider:

– Streusel Topping: Instead of using the suggested sugar and instant coffee crystal mixture for the streusel topping, you can mix in chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, or walnuts) or use brown sugar instead of white sugar for a deeper flavor.

– Flavors: Love chocolate or cinnamon in your coffee? You can add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the batter for a delicious chocolate flavor or mix in 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon for a sweet cinnamon roll-style coffee cake. You can also try adding espresso powder to intensify the coffee flavor even more.

– Gluten-Free: If you or someone you know is gluten-free, try substituting the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour. The end result may be denser but still as delicious.

– Leftover Coffee: Don’t let extra coffee go to waste! You can use leftover coffee (chilled or room temperature) instead of boiling water when mixing the instant coffee granules into the batter. This will add even more depth and richness to the coffee flavor.

– Buttermilk Substitute: If you’re out of buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and then filling it up with milk until it reaches 1 cup. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using it in the recipe.

These substitutions and variations allow you to experiment with different flavors and textures while still enjoying a classic coffee cake. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new!

Serving and Pairing

 If you love coffee, you'll love this cake even more.
If you love coffee, you’ll love this cake even more.

Coffee cake is a perfect dessert that can be served for breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea. The crumbly texture and rich coffee flavor make it a crowd-pleaser at any time of the day.

To enhance the taste of your coffee cake, you can serve it with a dollop of vanilla or caramel ice cream. Alternatively, you can also drizzle some chocolate sauce on top of your cake to create a decadent dessert that will wow your guests.

If you are serving coffee cake for breakfast or brunch, you can pair it with a cup of hot coffee or latte to complement the bold coffee flavor in the cake. You can also try pairing it with a glass of milk or fresh juice for a refreshing drink.

For those who prefer something stronger, you can pair your coffee cake with a shot of espresso or a latte macchiato to bring out the distinct coffee flavor in the cake.

Lastly, if you have leftovers and don’t want to serve them on their own, consider using them as topping for your pancakes or waffles or even crush them as mix-ins for other baking like cookies or muffins which will give added flavors and crumble into every bite.

Overall, serving and pairing coffee cake is versatile and easy that everyone will enjoy this indulging recipe.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Take your coffee obsession to the next level with this cake.
Take your coffee obsession to the next level with this cake.

This coffee cake recipe actually tastes better the next day, making it an excellent candidate for make-ahead breakfast or brunch. Once you’ve baked the cake, allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping it in plastic wrap and storing it in the refrigerator. The cake will stay fresh for up to four days.

To reheat the cake, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. This may take up to an hour. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and place the unwrapped cake on a baking sheet. Warm the cake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until heated thoroughly.

If you have leftover coffee, add a tablespoon of leftover coffee or coffee grounds into your coffee cake batter mixture for an extra boost of flavor. You can also experiment with adding chocolate chips or cinnamon to the batter for variety.

This cake freezes well too. Wrap cooled slices in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw slices by removing them from the container and allowing them to come to room temperature on a plate or wire rack.

In summary, this recipe makes it easy to enjoy a delicious homemade coffee cake even when you’re short on time. It’s perfect for making ahead of time and storing in the fridge or freezer for busy mornings or unexpected guests. With rich coffee flavor and a crumbly streusel topping, this coffee cake is sure to become a family favorite!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This cake is so good, you'll want to have it with every cup of coffee.
This cake is so good, you’ll want to have it with every cup of coffee.

Now that you have all the ingredients ready and the recipe how-to in hand, let’s turn our attention to some essential tips for perfect results.

1. Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure all the ingredients like eggs, buttermilk, and butter are at room temperature before using them. It’s because room temperature ingredients bind together better, giving the cake a smoother texture.

2. Measure Accurately: Use measuring cups and spoons to measure each ingredient accurately. Even a slight difference in measurement can result in an entirely different flavor and texture.

3. Don’t Overmix: When mixing the batter, avoid overmixing as it can cause gluten formation making your cake hard and chewy.

4. Streusel Topping: Don’t forget to make the crumbly streusel topping while preparing the batter, as it is an essential aspect of this coffee cake literally recipe.

5. Use High-Quality Coffee: Since coffee is the star of this coffee cake literally, use high-quality instant coffee granules or leftover coffee grounds for that robust and roasted flavor.

6. Baking Time: Ensure your oven is preheated to 350°F (175°C) and bake your cake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

7. Cooling Time: Let your cake rest on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing into it, allowing it to cool evenly and prevent crumbly edges.

By following these tips, you can surely bake the perfect coffee cake that looks great and tastes like heaven!


Now, it’s time to tackle some frequently asked questions about the coffee cake recipe. These questions might help you troubleshoot any issues that you may encounter while making the cake, and they’ll also give you a better understanding of the recipe as a whole. So, without further ado, let’s proceed to addressing these queries.

What makes a coffee cake a coffee cake?

A particular type of cake referred to as coffee cake typically features one soft layer and a streusel topping with a crumbly texture. Interestingly, despite its name, there is no coffee flavor involved in the cake’s recipe. The crumbly texture complements the cake well when served with a hot cup of coffee.

What makes coffee cake different from cake?

The uniqueness of coffee cakes is due to their streusel topping and lack of frosting, while some varieties may also include filling such as fruit, nuts, or chocolate. Occasionally, a drizzle of glaze is added for extra sweetness, but the key feature is always the irresistible crumbly topping.

What’s the difference between coffee cake and streusel?

When it comes to crumb cake and coffee cake, their main distinguishing factor is the amount of streusel topping used. The crumb cake typically has a more generous layer of streusel topping, whereas the coffee cake can either have a small amount of streusel or none at all.

Does coffee cake actually have coffee in it?

Coffee cake doesn’t necessarily contain coffee as an ingredient. The term “coffee cake” suggests that the cake is typically consumed alongside a cup of coffee, either as a snack or breakfast item. While this particular coffee cake I’m discussing here does indeed contain espresso powder for a coffee flavor, the majority of coffee cakes don’t contain any actual coffee.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this coffee cake literally recipe will exceed your expectations. The rich flavor of coffee combined with the crumbly streusel topping creates a perfect balance, making it irresistible. You don’t need to be a professional baker or a home barista to make this cake. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can make this cake at home and impress your family and friends.

This recipe can be easily adapted to suit your taste preferences. You can add chocolate chips or nuts for some extra crunch, or substitute instant coffee granules with leftover coffee grounds for a more intense coffee flavor. This cake can be served as a breakfast treat, dessert or snack accompanied by your favorite beverage.

Moreover, the versatility of this recipe makes it perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or hosting a brunch, this coffee cake will be a hit among your guests. Additionally, this recipe can be adjusted to make gluten-free or dairy-free versions for those with dietary restrictions.

In short, the simplicity of this recipe is one of its strongest assets. It is an excellent choice for beginner bakers who want to impress their loved ones without too much hassle. The convenience of having all the ingredients readily available makes it easy to whip up whenever you feel like having a sweet treat. So why not give it a try? I guarantee that this coffee cake literally recipe will become your new favorite!

Coffee Cake. Literally.

Coffee Cake. Literally. Recipe

This coffee-flavored cake has been a hit at BBQs, Easter Brunch, and birthday parties. I've had coffee haters, and those who dislike cake, compliment me on this recipe and say they love it.
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Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 8-inch or 9-inch double layer cake
Calories 587.9 kcal


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules (more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed


  • Preheat oven to 350°F Grease 2 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans, and dust with flour. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, white sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined.
  • Melt 1 cup of butter in a small saucepan, stir together 3 tablespoons of instant coffee with the boiling water until the coffee has dissolved. Pour the coffee mixture into the melted butter, bring to a boil over medium heat, and stir for about 10 seconds; set the butter-coffee mixture aside to cool.
  • Mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, and baking soda in a bowl until the baking soda has dissolved. Mix the cooled coffee mixture into the flour mixture, then gently stir in the buttermilk mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the cakes are browned, and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before cooling completely on racks.
  • Mix 3/4 cup of softened butter, confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon of instant coffee, and cream in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on High speed until the frosting is light and creamy; mix in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed to whip frosting to spreadable texture. Frost the cooled cake layers.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 160gCalories: 587.9kcalCarbohydrates: 80.3gProtein: 4gFat: 28.9gSaturated Fat: 17.9gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 415.6mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 63.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Baking, Birthday, Dessert, European, From Scratch, Kid-Friendly, Low Protein, Mixer, Oven, Potluck, Small Appliance, Sweet, Toddler-Friendly
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