Deliciously Moist Traditional Coffee Cake Recipe

Have you ever craved a warm, buttery slice of freshly baked coffee cake? Well, I have just the recipe for you! This classic homemade coffee cake recipe is perfect for any occasion – from breakfast to brunch, to a mid-day snack alongside your favorite hot beverage.

This easy coffee cake recipe is made with simple ingredients that you may already have on hand in your kitchen pantry. The aroma of cinnamon and butter will fill your home as soon as you pop this delicious cake in the oven.

In this article, I’m excited to share with you my tried and true recipe for the perfect traditional coffee cake. Not only is this cake recipe utterly delicious, but it will also remind you of simpler times and family traditions that are so special.

Don’t settle for a mediocre store-bought coffee cake or waste your money at Starbucks – make this classic sour cream coffee cake that everyone will love! Let’s get baking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Traditional Coffee Cake
Traditional Coffee Cake

Are you a fan of classic baked goods that are perfect for breakfast, brunch or even an afternoon coffee break? If so, you are certainly in for a treat with this classic homemade coffee cake recipe!

One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is its simplicity. With just a few basic ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, you can make a delicious and classic coffee cake that will impress your family and friends. Moreover, its preparation method is very straightforward and easy to follow, making it the perfect recipe for beginners who want to try their hand at baking.

Another reason why this classic homemade coffee cake recipe is a must-try is its versatility. You can customize it to your liking by adding various flavors, such as raisins, lemon rind or even chocolate chips. You can also tweak the streusel topping to make it sweeter or more crunchy. The possibilities are endless!

Not only is this coffee cake recipe easy to prepare and versatile, but it is also super moist and fluffy thanks to the sour cream it contains. The sour cream adds depth of flavor and keeps the cake tender and fluffy, allowing you to enjoy each bite without feeling overwhelmed.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to impress your loved ones with an easy-to-make but impressive dessert that has stood the test of time, then look no further than this classic homemade coffee cake recipe. It’s simple, versatile, moist, and tastes amazing. So why not give it a try? Your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

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

You’ll love the sensuous aroma and delectable taste of this classic homemade Coffee Cake. It is a perfect foundation for breakfast, brunch or during coffee breaks, especially when shared with friends and family. Here are the ingredients you will require to make one 9×13 inch cake:

  • For the Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream

  • For the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • For the Vanilla Glaze:
    -3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
    -1-2 tablespoons milk
    -1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Note: You can adorn your cake with raisins, chopped nuts or lemon rind if you prefer those flavors in your cake.

The Recipe How-To

 Perfectly crumbly and cinnamon-y
Perfectly crumbly and cinnamon-y

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into how to make this classic homemade coffee cake.

Ingredient List:
For The Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

Pro Tip: Room temperature ingredients integrate better and create a smoother batter.

For The Brown Sugar Cinnamon Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pro Tip: Use it generously to add extra flavor and texture to your coffee cake

Step One: preheat the oven and prepare the bundt pan

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) bundt pan with Baker’s Joy or cooking spray.

Step Two: make the brown sugar cinnamon streusel topping

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, and ground cinnamon, then stir in the melted unsalted butter until crumbly. Set aside.

Step Three: prepare the cake batter

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer (or your stand mixer) beat together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy for about 2 minutes.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, then mix in vanilla extract until combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture while alternating with sour cream.

Make sure to start and end with the dry ingredients, and mix just until everything is incorporated.

Step Four: layer the batter and streusel topping

Pour 1/3 of the batter into your bundt pan, then sprinkle with 1/3 of your streusel topping. Repeat adding two more layers.

Step Five: bake the coffee cake

Bake the coffee cake for about 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step Six: serving, pairing, make-ahead, storing and reheating

After taking it out from the oven, let it cool down in its pan for around 10-15 minutes , then transfer it to a wire rack for cooling completely.

This classic sour cream coffee cake can be paired with jam and whipped cream as an ambitious breakfast dessert or enjoyed as a stand-alone treat

Substitutions and Variations

 Let the aroma of freshly baked coffee cake fill your kitchen
Let the aroma of freshly baked coffee cake fill your kitchen

The traditional coffee cake recipe is a true classic, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can experiment with some substitutions and variations to give this classic cake a unique spin.

Firstly, let’s talk about the streusel topping. While cinnamon and brown sugar is the classic combination used in the recipe, you can try swapping cinnamon for other warm spices like nutmeg or allspice, or use a mixture of spices to create a unique flavor profile.

If you’re not a fan of raisins, you can swap them out for other dried fruits like cranberries or chopped apricots. Alternatively, you could leave them out altogether and add some chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts for some crunch.

For those who are looking for a slightly healthier option, you can try swapping out some of the butter and sugar in the recipe for applesauce or mashed bananas. This will result in a denser, moist cake with a natural sweetness that’s lower in fat and calories.

You can also switch up the texture of the cake by swapping sour cream for yogurt, or even using buttermilk instead. This will give the cake a tangier flavor and a lighter crumb.

Finally, if you’re feeling extra indulgent, you could try adding in some chocolate chips or drizzling the cake with a simple glaze made with powdered sugar and water.

With so many substitutions and variations to choose from, there’s no reason not to make this classic coffee cake recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

 A classic treat for any time of day
A classic treat for any time of day

Ah, the classic coffee cake – a delightful treat that has been gracing our tables for generations. But what’s the best way to serve and pair this timeless delicacy?

To start, it’s worth noting that coffee cake is incredibly versatile. Its rich and decadent taste profile means it can be enjoyed any time of day. Some people have it for breakfast or brunch, while others prefer it as an after-dinner dessert or even as a mid-day snack.

Now, when it comes to serving, there’s no hard and fast rule. Generally speaking, though, coffee cake is best served warm. So once your cake has come out of the oven and cooled for a bit, consider microwaving it for 10 to 15 seconds – this will help bring out its rich flavor and aroma.

As for toppings, some people like to keep things simple with just a light dusting of powdered sugar or a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Others like to add whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or even caramel sauce.

But let’s not forget about pairing. Coffee pairings can really bring out the subtle flavors in your coffee cake recipe. A strong cup of coffee can balance out the sweetness of the cake while complementing its rich flavors. If you fancy something different though, try pairing with some tea or hot chocolate.

Finally, if you’re hosting a party or get-together, consider serving individual slices of coffee cake alongside other desserts like apple crisps or pumpkin pies. This guarantees that everyone gets to try a bit of everything while keeping portions under control.

In conclusion, serving and pairing options for our traditional coffee cake are endless – there’s no right or wrong way here! It all comes down to your personal taste preference and mood at the moment. Whether served at breakfast, dessert time or paired with your favorite hot beverage; one thing is certain: this classic homemade coffee cake recipe will never disappoint!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Satisfy your sweet tooth with this homemade delight
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this homemade delight

One of the great things about this classic homemade coffee cake recipe is that it can easily be made ahead of time, stored, and reheated for a quick breakfast or brunch.

If you’re planning on making this coffee cake in advance, simply wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve it, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before reheating.

To reheat the coffee cake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the wrapped cake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until it’s heated through. You can also reheat individual slices of the cake in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

If you have leftover slices of coffee cake that won’t be eaten right away, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a day. For longer storage, store them in the refrigerator for two to three days or freeze them for up to two months.

When reheating frozen slices of coffee cake, let them thaw at room temperature first and then follow the same reheating instructions as above.

Whether you’re making this coffee cake ahead of time or simply need to store leftovers, rest assured that this classic homemade recipe will still be just as delicious after being stored and reheated.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Easy to make, hard to resist
Easy to make, hard to resist

When making a classic homemade coffee cake recipe, it is essential to follow some tips for perfect results. First and foremost, make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature unless stated otherwise in the recipe instructions. Also, avoid over-mixing the batter, as this can lead to a dense and tough coffee cake.

Another tip for perfect results is adding a streusel topping to your coffee cake. A streusel topping can add texture and flavor to the cake, making it even more delicious. To create a streusel topping, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and flour until you have a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the batter before baking in the oven.

To achieve a light and fluffy coffee cake, use sour cream instead of milk in the recipe. The acidity in sour cream reacts with the baking powder to create a softer crumb in the final product. Additionally, adding lemon zest or lemon juice to the batter can enhance the flavor of your cake.

For a rich and moist texture in your coffee cake recipe, substitute half of the butter with shortening. The shortening will add moisture to the batter and make for a tender cake. Alternatively, using oil instead of butter can also achieve similar results.

When baking your coffee cake in the oven, make sure it stays in the oven until it is fully cooked through. An undercooked coffee cake can result in a gooey and unfinished center. Test if your cake is done by inserting a toothpick into the center—if it comes out clean, your cake is ready.

Finally, let your coffee cake cool completely before slicing and serving. This allows time for the flavors to develop fully and ensures that your slices come out neat and tidy.

By following these tips for perfect results, you’ll be able to make an irresistible classic coffee cake that’s sure to impress anyone who tastes it.


As you bake this classic homemade coffee cake recipe, you may have some questions in mind. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this recipe. These will help ensure that your coffee cake turns out perfectly every time. Let’s dive right into the FAQ section.

What makes a coffee cake a coffee cake?

Coffee cake is a delicious treat that consists of a single layer of soft cake, topped with a delightful crumbly streusel topping. Surprisingly, the cake does not actually contain any coffee, but it pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee for the ultimate taste experience.

Does traditional coffee cake have coffee in it?

The term “coffee cake” suggests that the cake is meant to be paired with a cup of coffee for a snack, breakfast, or brunch. Although this specific coffee cake contains espresso powder to enhance its coffee flavor, it is not typical for coffee cakes to have coffee added to them.

How is coffee cake different from regular cake?

Unlike regular cakes which have frosting or glaze, coffee cake is typically topped with a crumb or streusel mixture consisting of flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon.

What is the difference between American and British coffee cake?

There are two types of coffee cakes, each with a different meaning. While British coffee cake is made using coffee as one of the ingredients to give it a coffee flavor, American coffee cake is a type of cake that is usually served alongside a cup of coffee.

What’s the difference between coffee cake and streusel?

When it comes to crumb cake and coffee cake, the amount of streusel topping used is what sets them apart. Generally speaking, crumb cake has a denser layer of streusel topping while coffee cake may not even have a layer of streusel at all.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this traditional coffee cake recipe is a must-try for all coffee lovers out there. With its perfect combination of cinnamon and sugar, it will satisfy your sweet tooth and give you a caffeine boost at the same time. This classic homemade coffee cake is easy to make, and you can even make it ahead of time for when you have guests over or simply want to treat yourself.

By following the step-by-step instructions and tips provided in this article, you can make a delicious coffee cake that is moist and fluffy every time. You can even experiment with different variations of this recipe by adding raisins, nuts or chocolate chips to the batter. The possibilities are endless!

So next time you are in the mood for a sugary treat with a kick, consider making this classic coffee cake. It is perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert and sure to impress your friends and family. After trying this recipe, you will never go back to store-bought coffee cakes again.

In short, trust me on this one; take some time out of your busy schedule and indulge in making this scrumptious coffee cake that everyone will love. I guarantee you that if you make it once, you will never go back to any other cake recipe again. Happy baking!

Traditional Coffee Cake

Traditional Coffee Cake Recipe

This recipe is from my MIL. This is a yeast bread (German name: Schneeben) she has been making for all her family for years. It is loved by one and all. This has been passed down for at least 3 generations. The original recipe was some of this and some of that, and hands-on instruction to "add until it looks like this". It's been revised by my DH after a helpful review and some experimentation.
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Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 5 loaves
Calories 1890.9 kcal


  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup water, lukewarm
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 10 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange rind or 2 tablespoons lemon rind
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • Scald milk and shortening. To do this, bring milk almost to a boil over low-medium heat and then stir in the shortening to melt it. Set aside to cool until lukewarm.
  • Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and add 1 T sugar.
  • When yeast is foamy and the milk is lukewarm add the yeast mixture to the milk.
  • Add 4 C flour and salt.
  • Beat well, cover and set in warm place until double in size. It should be the texture of thick pancake batter. (This is a step in old recipes known as the sponge, used to cultivate the yeast.).
  • Punch Down. Add beaten eggs, 1&1/2 C Sugar, raisins, and orange rind.
  • Add just enough flour, approx 4-5 Cups, to make soft dough just stiff enough to knead.(this is a judgement call about how much is enough).
  • Knead for at least 5 minutes, using remaining flour to coat surfaces until dough becomes elastic enough to handle (might need a little more).
  • Let rise until double again and punch down.
  • Make into five round loaves and put into greased pie pans.
  • Spread with melted butter on top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  • Let rise again.
  • Bake @375 degrees F for 35 min or until done. If it browns too quickly, turn oven down to 300 F midway through baking.
  • When cool, slice 1/2 inch thick to serve. Great toasted!
  • Same dough recipe without citrus rind makes good cinnamon rolls.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 3240gCalories: 1890.9kcalCarbohydrates: 296.2gProtein: 38.5gFat: 62.3gSaturated Fat: 21.1gCholesterol: 214.1mgSodium: 1135mgFiber: 9.3gSugar: 90.6g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, Breakfast, Brunch, Healthy, Yeast
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