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Published January 28, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious easy-to-make classic homemade coffee cake recipe is the perfect sweet treat to serve up for breakfast or brunch. I make mine extra thick with extra streusel for the most delicious coffee cake ever.
I’m a huge breakfast fan and am a firm believer in trying out new things to help keep them fresh so that it isn’t so mundane. If you want to expand your breakfast recipe repertoire then definitely check out my shakshuka or frittata.
Coffee cake has been around for generations and is said to have originated in Dresden, Germany. The Danish however was responsible for enhancing the cake to make it sweet and introduced eating it with coffee.
This simple to make cake is one of my favorite things to enjoy with coffee in the morning time as it can balance out the flavors of sweet cake with bitter coffee, much like how you enjoy beignets with chicory coffee.
Coffee cake can have many variations of flavors so don’t be afraid to alter a few of these ingredients to help make it your own.
Coffee Cake Ingredients
- Butter – Always use unsalted butter so you can control the salt content in your recipes.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is best for this recipe but if you only have bread flour you will need to increase the amount of milk by 5%.
- Eggs – Large fresh cold eggs.
- Baking Powder – Any brand of baking powder will do for this recipe.
- Salt – I use sea salt in all my recipes, but you can substitute for kosher salt.
- Vanilla – A good pure vanilla extract is best.
- Sugar – Granulated sugar is perfect for this.
- Brown Sugar – I use light brown sugar and make sure to pack it in when measuring.
- Cinnamon – Any good ground cinnamon is perfect.
How to Make Coffee Cake from Scratch
Follow along with these instructions to make this easy coffee cake recipe from scratch:
In a bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon until combined and no visible chunks.
Using a pastry knife cut the butter into the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon until the butter is about the size of small little balls about a ¼” in diameter to make a streusel. It’s ok if there are some bigger and some smaller. Set aside.
Next, cream the butter for 5 to 7 minutes until light and fluffy.
Pour in the sugar and cream together for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add in the vanilla and then add in 1 egg at a time until mixed in.
While everything is mixing, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate medium-size bowl. Set aside.
Turn the speed to low and add half of the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix until completely mixed in.
Next, slowly pour in all the milk until combined.
Add the remaining flour and mix until mixed in. Stop and scrape the mixture and then continue for a further 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer ½ of the cake batter to a 13×9 casserole dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray and evenly spread it out until flat.
Taking the middle layer filling, generously sprinkle it all over the batter and pat it down to flatten slightly.
Add the remaining cake batter on top of the streusel and gently spread it out completely covering the streusel.
Finish by sprinkling on the streusel covering the cake batter completely and then bake at 350° for about 50-55 minutes or until it is firm in the center or reaches 190°-195° internally in the center of the cake.
Cool on a rack slightly before slicing and serving.
There are many ways to alter this coffee cake to customize it and make it your own. Here are a few things you can add:
- Pecans – Replace a ½ cup of flour and a ¼ cup of brown sugar in the streusel with ¾ cup of chopped pecans.
- Blueberries – Add 1 cup of fresh blueberries each to the middle and top of the streusel.
- Lemon Zest – Add the zest of 1 lemon to the cake batter right after mixing in the eggs for a lemon flavor.
- Oatmeal – Replace a ½ cup of flour and a ¼ cup of brown sugar in the streusel with ¾ cup of rolled oats.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 1 day ahead of time.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount to a sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake at 325° for only 5-7 minutes or until warm. It also reheats very well in the microwave by heating a serving at a time on high until warm.
How to Store: Cover and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating and serving.
chef notes + tips
- If you do not have a stand mixer you can use electric hand beaters.
- Make sure the butter is softened before whipping it in the stand mixer.
- To make the streusel, you can also add the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the butter is cut in.
More Breakfast Recipes
Classic Homemade Coffee Cake Recipe
For the Filling Layer:
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Streusel:
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the Cake Batter:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 5 large eggs
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Filling Layer: Combine all ingredients together in a bowl until combined and no visible chunks.
- Streusel: Add the ingredient to a large bowl using a pastry knife cut the butter into the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon until the butter is about the size of small little balls about a ¼” in diameter to make a streusel. It’s ok if there are some bigger and some smaller. Set aside.
- Coffee Cake Batter: Next, cream the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on high speed for about 5-7 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add in the sugar and cream for 3 to 4 minutes on medium-high speed.
- Pour in the vanilla and then add in 1 egg at a time until they are completely mixed in. Stop and scrape the bowl before going to the next step.
- While everything is mixing, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate medium size bowl. Set aside.
- Turn the speed to low and add in half of the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix.
- Next, slowly pour in all the milk until combined.
- Add the remaining flour and mix until everything is completely mixed in. Stop and scrape the mixture and then continue mixing on low speed for further 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer ½ of the cake batter to a 13×9 casserole dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray and evenly spread it out using a spatula until flat.
- Evenly sprinkle the middle layer filling over top of the batter in the pan and gently press down to flatten and smooth out.
- Add the remaining cake batter on top of the streusel and gently spread it out completely covering the streusel.
- Finish by sprinkling on the streusel covering the cake batter completely and then bake at 350° for about 50-55 minutes or until it is firm in the center or reaches 190° to 195° internally in the center of the cake.
- Cool on a rack slightly before slicing and serving.
Very delicious, instructions had me confused so I ad lib the steps but turned out great anyhow. Very light cake and delicious layer/topping
thanks for giving it a shot!! What was confusing?
LOVE this recipe! It shines above all others that appear similar. Now part of my regular repertoire.
So easy and delicious !!
thanks for making it!
May I substitute buttermilk for the whole milk?
I think you could probably could, but without testing myself I can’t be 100% sure.
I made this yesterday, and it was delicious, I say was because it’s almost gone! Thank you Billy, this will be my go to recipe for coffee cake.
Delicious better than Starbucks 💖😁☕️Thanks Chef Billy
This coffee cake is amazing delicious! I added blueberries to the middle layer!
Outstanding recipe! Rave reviews from guests.
thanks for giving it a shot!!
This coffee cake just melts in your mouth! Even after several days I like to warm it for 10-15 seconds and it tastes just as great as it did on day one. I always add pecans or walnuts to the streusel, whichever I have. Absolutely 5 stars!
This was THE first recipe from Chef Billy I made and it got me hooked on following his website. I’ve since made a number of his dishes and each one has turned out really well.
Thank you so much!
Would buttermilk work in place of the milk?
I think it probably could. Make make it a little more dense.
Tastes just like the same coffee cake my grandmother made! Tender! Delicious! My family asked me to make it again the same week, and is their favorite sweet in the evening!
Made this 3 times already chef and it’s a crowd pleaser!!!! Thank you!
I tried this recipe for the first time and it was delicious! Moist and flavorful with the perfect crunch on top. I will definitely be making it again.
This coffee cake was delicious.. just the right amount of cinnamon .. it made a lot so I shared with the neighbors..thank you for the recipe ..
Would love to know if anyone has baked in a bread pan? Time?