Delicious Danish Yeast Coffee Cake Recipe

Good morning coffee lovers! Are you ready to indulge in a mouthwatering cake to pair with your morning brew? If so, I have the perfect recipe for you: Danish Yeast Coffee Cake, also known as Kaffekage.

This cake is the epitome of a traditional Danish treat, dating back to the early 1800s. I am sure that this delightful cake has already caught your attention, but let me give you some more reasons why you should consider giving it a try.

Firstly, nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked goods in the morning. As soon as this cake starts baking, your kitchen will be filled with the irresistible scent of buttery dough and cinnamon. Your senses will be invigorated, and your mouth will start to water in anticipation of tasting this delicious treat.

Moreover, this yeast coffee cake is perfect for any occasion. You can serve it for breakfast or brunch, during a coffee break, or even as a dessert after dinner. It’s versatile and easy to make since all of its ingredients are most likely already in your pantry.

Finally, who doesn’t enjoy sinking their teeth into a fluffy cake with a crispy exterior? This recipe yields an indulgent cake with a rich coffee flavor, topped with a sweet brown sugar topping that will make your taste buds dance with joy!

In conclusion, this Danish Yeast Coffee Cake recipe is one of the best coffee cakes out there. It’s flavorful, easy to make and versatile. You simply cannot go wrong by making it for your next coffee session. Trust me; your kitchen will never smell better!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Danish Yeast Coffee Cake (Kaffekage)
Danish Yeast Coffee Cake (Kaffekage)

If you’re a fan of coffee and baked goods, then this Danish Yeast Coffee Cake recipe (also known as Kaffekage) is just what you need to make your days a lot sweeter. One of the most enticing things about this cake is its unique aroma which is a perfect blend of coffee and cinnamon. In combination with the tender cake texture and delicious brown sugar topping, it’ll make your mouth water before you’ve even taken your first bite.

But aside from its fantastic taste, this recipe has much to offer. It’s easy to follow and doesn’t require any advanced baking skills. All you need are common ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen such as flour, sugar, butter, eggs, lemon rind, milk, and dry yeast. Moreover, because it’s a yeast coffee cake recipe, the same leavening agent responsible for making bread rise – yeast – is utilized in this recipe too. The yeast reacts with the sugars to produce carbon dioxide gas which makes the cake rise and gives it its characteristic lightness.

Furthermore, there are several variations that can be used to customize the recipe according to your preferences or available ingredients. You can substitute cinnamon with vanilla or cardamom for an exotic flavor or add chocolate chips into the batter for more decadence; even adding some frosting will elevate it to a whole new level! Alternatively, pairing a slice of this coffee-flavored cake with some sour cream or cream cheese danish along with a cup of Danish pastry makes it an elegant continental brunch option.

Finally, what makes this cake kaffekage recipe even more appealing is how versatile it is. It’s perfect for any time of day – breakfast bites, afternoon tea or dessert – and suited for any occasion – family gatherings, potlucks or office parties. You can serve it warm or cold depending on your mood or preference.

So if you’re looking for something sweet and satisfying that you can whip up quickly without much hassle, this is the recipe for you. Its cultural significance, its homey flavors and ease of preparation make this old Danish yeast coffee cake (also known as Gammel kaffekage or Brunsviger) an instant favorite that you and your loved ones will enjoy time and time again.

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven on a plate.
A slice of heaven on a plate.

Ingredient List

For the dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) firm butter, cut into small pieces
1 package (1/4 ounce) dry yeast
2 cups milk, divided
3 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon

For the brown sugar topping:
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

This recipe requires several ingredients to give that perfect danish yeast coffee cake flavor. To make the cake rise, we need a leavening agent like dry yeast which will produce carbon dioxide and cause the dough to rise. And to create that beautiful coffee aroma and flavour, we need coffee itself. The use of zest of 1 lemon is a great addition to bring some freshness in flavour hidden inside the cake.

The butter should be firm to create that flaky effect when baked so it can withstand the heat while it is in the oven. It is essential to have firm butter, otherwise, your cake may not have that desired effect.

It’s important to use your ingredients in exact measurements and in order as instructed in the recipe, otherwise it can affect the taste of the finished product. Let’s see what’s on this ingredient list!

The Recipe How-To

 This kaffekage is guaranteed to impress.
This kaffekage is guaranteed to impress.

Step 1: Proofing the Yeast

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup of warm water and 2 1/4 teaspoons of dry yeast. Stir it gently and let it rest for about 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes frothy. This is called proofing the yeast. If the mixture doesn’t froth, discard it and start again with a fresh packet of yeast.

Step 2: Mix everything together
Next, add 2 cups of warm milk, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and the lemon rind to your yeast mixture. Mix everything together using a whisk or wooden spoon.

Step 3: Add Flour

Gradually add 4 cups of flour divided into 1 cup and 3 cups to the bowl, stirring constantly after each addition. This makes a soft but not too sticky dough.

Step 4: Knead The Dough

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead gently for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. If the dough sticks to your hands or surface, use a bit more flour.

Step 5: Let it Rise

Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it doubles in size.

Step 6: Shape The Cake

Punch down the dough to deflate then roll it out flat into an oval shape. Using kitchen scissors or sharp knife make several cuts along both sides of the oval leaving about an inch intact at the center.

Step 7: Second Rise

Let your Danish Yeast Coffee Cake rise for another hour in draft-free area; while preheating your oven at around 350°F.

Step 8: Bake

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Step 9: Sugar Topping
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar on top of your cake while it’s still warm.

Step 10: Serve

Serve your homemade Danish Yeast Coffee Cake (Kaffekage) and impress your friends and family with this delicious, authentic Danish pastry. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 A coffee cake that's worth waking up for.
A coffee cake that’s worth waking up for.

Nothing beats the classic recipe in its authentic form, but sometimes it’s fun to experiment with some substitutions and variations. Here are some ideas that you can try to switch things up a bit!

– Sugar Topping: Instead of using brown sugar as a topping, you can use white sugar or demerara sugar for a crunchier texture. You can also add chopped nuts or shredded coconut for extra flavor and texture.

– Lemon Rind: If you don’t have any lemon rind on hand, you can substitute it with orange rind or lime rind to give your Danish yeast coffee cake a citrusy twist.

– Cinnamon: While cinnamon is a classic spice used in Danish coffee cake, you can also use other spices like nutmeg or cardamom to change the flavor profile.

– Flour: If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, you can use almond flour or rice flour instead of wheat flour. Just keep in mind that the texture might be slightly different.

– Milk: You can substitute whole milk with almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk if you have dietary restrictions.

– Addition of Cream Cheese: Adding cream cheese to your Danish yeast coffee cake will give it a creamier texture and tangy flavor. Just drop spoonfuls of softened cream cheese on top of the batter before baking.

– Chocolate Swirls: You can add some chocolate swirls by melting some chocolate chips and drizzling them on the batter in a zigzag pattern before baking.

Remember, these are just some ideas for substitutions and variations – feel free to get creative and experiment with your own!

Serving and Pairing

 You'll want to savor every last crumb.
You’ll want to savor every last crumb.

The Danish Yeast Coffee Cake, or Kaffekage, is best served with a hot cup of coffee. The combination of the sweet and light cake with the bitter taste of coffee creates an exquisite contrast of flavors that will satisfy your taste buds.

When serving this delicious cake, make sure to slice it into even pieces, so everyone can enjoy the same amount of delectable goodness. A hot pot of tea or a crisp glass of milk would also complement the cake perfectly for those who want a less intense pairing.

If you’re looking to take your serving game to another level, consider adding some fresh whipped cream on top or dusting it with powdered sugar before slicing. These extras add a flare of sophistication and flavor to your already delectable dessert.

This cake does not only complement coffee but can also serve as an excellent addition to your breakfast line up. Paired with eggs or sausages, it will make for the perfect breakfast dish.

The Danish Yeast Coffee Cake is also great for sharing during gatherings such as picnics and afternoon tea parties. It’s easy to transport in a Tupperware or wrapped up in foil.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair it, the Danish Yeast Coffee Cake(Kaffekage) will undoubtedly leave your palate pleased and satisfied.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A Danish classic that never goes out of style.
A Danish classic that never goes out of style.

Planning ahead? This is the section for you. The Danish Yeast Coffee Cake is a great make-ahead recipe that can save you lots of time especially when you have guests coming over. You can make the dough on the day before and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator, then bake it up in the morning just before serving.

For storing, make sure to cool the cake completely before wrapping it up tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can store it at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. However, it is best to consume it within 2-3 days to maintain its freshness and texture.

When reheating, wrap the cake in foil and place it in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. This will help bring back its softness and warmth without over-browning or drying it out. You can also slice the cake into portions and reheat them in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds per slice.

Remember that this coffee cake is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven with a cup of coffee, but storing and reheating tips can come in handy when you need them!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect pairing for your morning cup of joe.
The perfect pairing for your morning cup of joe.

To achieve the perfect results of this Danish Yeast Coffee Cake recipe, here are some helpful tips to guide you along the way.

Firstly, opting for good quality ingredients will result in an outstanding cake. Make sure to use firm butter for both the dough and the topping, and fresh cinnamon and lemon rind to add up more flavour to the cake.

Secondly, when it comes to incorporating yeast into any mixture, temperature is highly important. Ensure that you warm up the milk only until lukewarm; hot milk can kill the yeast while cold milk can hinder its activation. Moreover, mixing dry yeast with sugar will give it a boost in glucose which accelerates its activation process.

Thirdly, give your cake enough time to rise properly. Yeast produces carbon dioxide that makes the cake rise; thus, allowing it enough time to ferment and produce that gas is essential for the fluffiness of your coffee cake. Keep your cake dough in a warm place and do not disturb it this way the yeast can do its magic.

Fourthly, do not overwork the dough as this can lead to toughening instead of tenderness. When kneading or shaping your cake pastry, remember that less is more!

Lastly, be patient during baking! Already mentioned before but it’s also essential not to disturb your cake once inside the oven for that will make it fall. Finally don’t forget to wait for your freshly baked kaffekage (coffee cake) out of the oven for 10 minutes before removing from pan; this way, you’ll have perfectly browned crust on top and around it.

If you follow these tips correctly (and use mom’s old danish secret recipe), believe me, your yeasty delight will be worth every minute of work!


As a barista, I understand how customers may have questions about coffee and pastries. The same goes for making the perfect Danish yeast coffee cake. In this section, I will share with you some frequently asked questions and provide answers to help you make the best kaffekage recipe.

What makes coffee cake coffee cake?

Coffee cake has varying descriptions depending on the source. Some describe it as a sponge cake with a cinnamon twist and a crumbly streusel topping, while others characterize it as a sponge cake flavored with coffee, often topped with coffee-infused frosting and cream.

Why does yeast make cake rise?

When yeast is provided with favorable conditions, it undergoes the process of fermentation, whereby it transforms sugar into carbon dioxide gas. This causes the formation of small air pockets in the cake batter, resulting in its light and fluffy texture.

Do they put yeast inside cake?

Almost all baked goods including breads, cakes, and cookies require a specific ingredient that helps them rise, which are called leavening agents. These essential elements can either be biological, such as yeast, or chemical, like baking soda and baking powder.

What is the yeast cake?

A dense little cake that contains yeast and is used for baking or making sweet bread is known as a yeast cake.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Danish Yeast Coffee Cake (Kaffekage) recipe is a true delight for coffee and cake enthusiasts. Its soft and fluffy texture combined with the rich aroma of cinnamon and coffee make for an unforgettable sensory experience.

With this recipe, you can let your taste buds travel all the way to Denmark, experiencing a classic Danish pastry that has been enjoyed for generations. And what’s more, you don’t have to go to a fancy bakery to enjoy it – you can make it right in the comfort of your home!

By using firm butter, cinnamon, eggs, and coffee-flavored yeast dough, this cake will rise perfectly, creating a deliciously decadent texture. And with our ingredient substitutions and recommendations, you can customize your experience in ways that best suit your taste buds!

So why not shake up your dessert routine and try out this Kaffekage recipe? Give it a go – and share it with all those you love – and be transported to the warm atmosphere of an authentic Danish bakery!

Danish Yeast Coffee Cake (Kaffekage)

Danish Yeast Coffee Cake (Kaffekage) Recipe

I haven't tried this yet; from the cookbook Aeblskivers and More - A Sampling of Danish Recipes by Lisa Steen Riggs.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Danish
Servings 2 cakes
Calories 161.6 kcal


  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
  • 4 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lemon rind, grated
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons firm butter


  • Scald milk; cool to lukewarm.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of the cooled milk over the yeast and let stand.
  • Beat remaining milk into 2-1/4 cups flour.
  • Stir in the yeast mixture; let rise until dough springs back to touch,
  • then mix in melted butter, sugar, lemon rind, and beaten eggs.
  • Stir in the remaining flour.
  • Spread dough about 1 inch thick on two greased baking sheets and let rise again.
  • When well risen, sprinkle with cinnamon and almonds; dot with firm butter.
  • Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes; lower heat to 375 degrees and bake until brown, about 12-15 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 58gCalories: 161.6kcalCarbohydrates: 21.4gProtein: 3.9gFat: 6.7gSaturated Fat: 3.7gCholesterol: 41.9mgSodium: 55.6mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 4.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, Breakfast, Brunch, Danish, European, For Large Groups, Grains, Oven, Scandinavian
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