Indulge in the Delicious Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake

Are you a coffee lover looking to add some sweetness to your caffeine routine? Look no further than Starbucks’ Ultimate Coffee Cake. This indulgent dessert is packed with all the comforting flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar, making it the perfect treat for any time of day.

Not only is this coffee cake recipe easy to follow and quick to prepare, but it also utilizes simple ingredients that are likely already in your pantry. So, why not try your hand at this copycat Starbucks classic from the comfort of your own home? Whether you plan to share it with friends or enjoy alone with a warm cup of coffee, Starbucks’ Ultimate Coffee Cake is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake
Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake

As a coffee lover, let me tell you why you’ll love this Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake Recipe. Not only is it rich in flavor but it’s also super easy to make. This recipe combines two of our favorite things, coffee and cake! The classic coffee cake flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar will melt in your mouth and combine perfectly with the caffeine from the Starbucks coffee.

Using high-quality ingredients, like buttermilk, vanilla extract, and unsalted butter, ensures that the cake will be moist and flavorful every time. The baking soda and baking powder in the recipe will allow the cake to puff up giving you that perfect crumbly texture with a light, fluffy consistency.

This recipe includes a crumb topping made with cinnamon, brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs and butter which takes this cake to another level of deliciousness. It’s a sweet and buttery addition that not only adds texture but also enhances the flavor profile of the cake.

The recipe yields enough for a 9×13 inch pan so it’s great for sharing at family gatherings or taking to potlucks. It’s also easy to make substitutions to cater to your dietary requirements; for example, using vegan coffee instead of Starbucks coffee would create a vegan-friendly version.

Finally, what I love about this recipe is that it’s versatile – you can even turn it into a yellow cake with a cinnamon swirl by mixing some yellow cake mix into the batter. Plus, if you love Starbucks coffee as much as I do then you’ll appreciate the fact that now we can replicate their classic coffee cake recipe at home.

Overall, whether you’re hosting a brunch or just looking to indulge in some tasty treats at home – this Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake Recipe is sure to impress your taste buds. Try it out today and let us know what you think!

Ingredient List

“A slice of heaven: Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake”

Ingredients you will need:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Cinnamon Sugar Mixture:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

For the Graham Cracker Topping:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Optional Toppings:

  • Powdered Sugar for garnish on top of the cake.

Note: You can substitute buttermilk with Greek Yogurt.

The Recipe How-To

“Indulge in sweetness and warmth with this recipe”

Now, let’s get down to business and create this delicious Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake at home. Follow the simple steps given below:

Step 1: Prepare the oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, take a 9-inch square cake pan and spray it with non-stick baking spray.

Step 2: Prepare the crumb topping

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup unsalted butter. Add in 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and mix thoroughly until you get a crumbly texture. Keep it aside to add later.

Step 3: Prepare the coffee cake batter

Take another mixing bowl and add 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened), 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed in it. Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat the ingredients until they mix well.

Step 4: Mix dry ingredients

In another bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Step 5: Mix wet ingredients

Add 3 eggs, one at a time, to the mixture of unsalted butter prepared in step 3. In the same bowl, add 1 tsp vanilla extract and combine well.

Step 6: Add dry ingredients

Add a portion of the dry ingredient mixture prepared in step 4 into the wet mixture (step 5). Then add in half of the quantity of buttermilk (1/3 cup buttermilk) by beating with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium speed.

Repeat this process again by adding another batch of dry ingredients along with the remaining half of buttermilk in the bowl.

Step 7: Add cinnamon sugar swirl to coffee cake

In a separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Pour half of the prepared coffee cake batter into the cake pan. Sprinkle 2/3 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter. Layer it with the rest of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Step 8: Add crumb topping

Spread the entire crumb topping prepared earlier uniformly all over the top of your coffee cake.

Step 9: Bake off

Bake your Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until you notice a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean.

Serve it hot or warm as per your preference and savor its heavenly taste with your favorite beverage!

Substitutions and Variations

“Perfect for a cozy weekend brunch”

There are countless ways to customize this Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake recipe to make it your own. Here are a few substitution and variation ideas to try out:

– Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute it with regular milk. Simply mix in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup of milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it curdles. Use this mixture as a replacement for buttermilk.

– Cinnamon Sugar Variation: For a sweeter twist, try adding more cinnamon sugar to the crumb topping or cake batter before baking. You can also add a pinch of nutmeg or cardamom to the cinnamon sugar mixture for added depth of flavour.

– Healthy Substitutes: If you want to make this coffee cake healthier, you can substitute some of the ingredients with healthier alternatives. Try using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or full-fat milk, and coconut oil instead of unsalted butter.

– Vegan Coffee Cake: To make this coffee cake vegan, use plant-based substitutes such as soy milk, vegan butter or nut-based milk as a replacement for dairy products. Swap out the eggs for 1/4 cup of applesauce or mashed bananas, and use vegan graham cracker crumbs.

– Cinnamon Swirl Variation: To create a cinnamon swirl effect in the cake batter, pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and then sprinkle a layer of cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Pour the remaining batter on top and swirl it around with a knife or toothpick.

– Yellow Cake Mix Variation: Instead of making the cake batter from scratch, use a yellow cake mix as the base and add in cinnamon sugar mixture as well as graham cracker crust crumbs to give it that Starbucks-inspired coffee cake taste.

No matter which substitution or variation you choose, be sure to adjust the baking time and temperature accordingly to ensure perfect results every time.

Serving and Pairing

“Impress your guests with this easy-to-make coffee cake”

One of the best things about Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake Recipe is that it pairs well with a variety of drinks. Of course, you can enjoy it with a mug of steaming hot coffee to truly experience the full flavor of this cinnamon-sugar loaded cake. If you love Starbucks coffee, then a warm cup of their signature coffee would definitely take your taste buds on a heavenly ride.

However, if you’re looking to mix things up, there are plenty of other drinks that will complement this classic coffee cake perfectly. Consider pairing it with some cold brew coffee to balance out the sweetness of the cake. Or, try it with a hot cup of tea for a cozy and comforting treat. The slight hints of vanilla in the cake make for a delightful match with some earl grey or chamomile.

Another great way to serve this coffee cake is by topping it with whipped cream or a light dusting of powdered sugar for an elegant touch. You can even add some fresh berries such as raspberries, blackberries or blue berries to bring some tartness into your sweetness and add-in more colors into your presentation.

Overall, when serving up this delicious treat, let your taste buds be your guide! Experiment with different beverage pairings and toppings until you find the perfect combination that perfectly suits your palate.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“A heavenly aroma will fill your kitchen”

One of the best things about this Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for future consumption. Whether you’re preparing for a busy morning or planning a weekend brunch, this coffee cake recipe is perfect for meal prep.

To make this coffee cake ahead of time, simply follow the instructions as written and bake as directed. Once baked, allow the cake to cool completely before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The wrapped cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.

When reheating the coffee cake, remove the plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place the cake in a preheated oven set to 350°F. Allow the cake to heat up for 10-15 minutes until it’s warmed through.

Another way to enjoy this coffee cake is by serving it at room temperature. Simply remove it from the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for an hour, and serve.

If you’re looking to store leftovers, wrap each slice individually with plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze individual slices by wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil before storing them in the freezer.

In summary, this coffee cake recipe is a great option for make-ahead meal prep as well as storing leftovers for future enjoyment. Whether you choose to reheat each slice or serve at room temperature, this Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake will surely bring comfort and satisfaction with every bite.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Treat yourself to a homemade Starbucks-inspired dessert”

When making the Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake Recipe, achieving the perfect texture and flavor could be challenging. Here are some tips to make it turn out just right every time.

1. Ensure accurate measurement: For best results, use measuring cups and spoons to measure the ingredients accurately. Measuring by weight will guarantee even more accurate results.

2. Use quality ingredients: To achieve the rich, coffee-forward taste of classic Starbucks coffee cake, use high-quality ingredients such as Starbucks cinnamon coffee, unsalted butter, and fresh buttermilk.

3. Keep the butter at room temperature: Allow your unsalted butter to come to room temperature before using it in your recipe. This will help it mix better with other ingredients and create a smoother batter.

4. Don’t overmix: Overmixing can cause a tough texture in cakes. Mix ingredients until just combined or until there are no lumps left.

5. Preheat your oven properly: Properly heating your oven is crucial for achieving the right level of browning and to ensure even baking.

6. Use a toothpick to check for doneness: Before removing your coffee cake from the oven, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, you’re done! If not, put it back in for a few more minutes.

7. Let cool completely before cutting: The cake will harden as it cools down; so letting it cool completely before cutting into it allows you to maintain its fluffy texture instead of squishing it.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making a delicious Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake that’s moist, fluffy, and full of flavor- perfect for any occasion!


As a barista and a coffee enthusiast, I understand that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to coffee and desserts. So, to help you make the most out of Starbucks’ Ultimate Coffee Cake Recipe, I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) with detailed answers that will clear any doubts or hesitations you might have. Keep reading to find out more!

Is Starbucks coffee cake made with coffee?

Starbucks coffee cake does not contain any coffee as an ingredient. The cake is made with a rich sponge that is flavored with cinnamon and brown sugar. It has a deliciously buttery taste that complements the beverage well, which is why it is usually served alongside coffee.

Is coffee cake supposed to be dipped in coffee?

Coffee cake isn’t necessarily a cake made with coffee as an ingredient. While some initial forms of the dessert did incorporate coffee, the pastry is intended to be served alongside a cup of coffee, rather than being packed with coffee flavor.

What makes coffee cake taste like coffee?

Coffee flavor can be infused into baked goods effortlessly by including instant espresso powder in the batter, according to bakers.

What is coffee cake topping made of?

Alright, let me walk you through the steps of creating a delicious crumb topping. You’ll need to start by mixing some sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Then, add some melted butter and give it a good whisk until everything is nicely combined. Next, add some flour to the mix and use a rubber spatula to stir it together until it’s just moist. Once it’s all mixed up, spread it out on some parchment paper and let it dry until you’re ready to use it.

Does Starbucks coffee cake contain caffeine?

Although often considered just a dessert, Starbucks coffee cake actually contains caffeine. Though the amount is relatively low, it is still important to know the risks associated with caffeine consumption.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake Recipe is an excellent way to bring the taste of the famous coffee shop to your home kitchen. With its delicious crumb topping and delightful cinnamon flavor, this cake is perfect for any occasion or as a morning treat. Plus, it’s easy to make with common ingredients you may already have lying around your pantry.

Whether you’re a fan of classic coffee cakes or have a sweet spot for Starbucks’ cinnamon swirl, this recipe is a must-try. You won’t regret making this cake from scratch, and you might even enjoy it more than the original.

Just remember to use fresh ingredients, follow the instructions carefully, and don’t be afraid to experiment with substitutions or variations to tailor the recipe to your taste. Happy baking!

Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake

Starbucks Ultimate Coffee Cake Recipe

Coffee Cake. Adapted from Starbuck's Passport for Coffee in 1994 by Sunset Magazine.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices
Calories 591.6 kcal



  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • Streusel - Combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix in the melted butter. Set aside.
  • Cake - In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Add butter, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat until smooth.
  • Grease and flour a 9-inch spring form pan.
  • Spread half the batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture. Spoon remaining batter over streusel, then top with remaining streusel.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Loosely cover with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent the streusel topping from becoming too brown.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 166gCalories: 591.6kcalCarbohydrates: 83.1gProtein: 7.2gFat: 26.4gSaturated Fat: 15.4gCholesterol: 115.1mgSodium: 401.6mgFiber: 1.4gSugar: 51.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads
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