Classic Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

If you love Starbuck’s cinnamon coffee cake then you are going to love this homemade Classic Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe! This simple cinnamon coffee cake recipe produces a tender cake with a cinnamon sugar swirl inside and is topped with a crunchy cinnamon-sugar crumb topping. A drizzle of icing completes the perfect cake to pair with your coffee.

I don’t know who decided cake should be considered a breakfast food, but I am here for it. As far as brunch menus go, including a delicious coffee cake on that brunch menu is always a crowd-pleaser.

I mean, cake. Enough said.

While it is technically considered a breakfast cake, I often enjoy coffee cake as a dessert too. Either way, paired with a cup of coffee, it is the perfect treat (easily a personal favorite treat to pair with coffee). If you have ever walked into a Starbuck’s to pick up your favourite brew and just had to pick up a slice of their cinnamon coffee cake, you know just how well they go together.

A slice of coffee cake with a crumb topping and icing drizzle on a white plate set down next to a white baking dish with coffee cake and a white cloth napkin in the foreground.

This homemade coffee cake recipe is easy to make and sure to please. Like any good coffee cake, it has a tender crumb and a gorgeous ribbon of cinnamon-sugar running through the center. Topped off with a generous crumb topping and a drizzle of icing, it really becomes something special.

So good.

My recipe makes a small 9×9 cake but can easily be doubled if you are serving a larger crowd.

A slice of coffee cake showing a cinnamon-sugar ribbon running through the center and a crumble topping with drizzled icing over it set on a white plate with a white pan of coffee cake in the background and a gree plant.

Ingredients in my Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

  • All purpose flour

  • Butter: softened butter is used both in the cake and in the crumb topping.

  • Sugar: light brown sugar, white sugar, and icing sugar are used in this recipe.

  • Milk: buttermilk or regular milk

  • Sour Cream: adds moisture to the cake. Can substitute with Greek yogurt instead.

  • Cinnamon: classic coffee cake pretty much requires a cinnamon-sugar layer, imo.

  • Other standard cake ingredients: baking powder, large eggs, vanilla extract, salt

Note: Ingredient quantities and full instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post.

How to make this cake

There are several components to this cake but they are all easy to do. Full instructions are in the recipe card but essentially, this recipe comes down to these easy steps:

Start by making the cake batter:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) in a large bowl and set them aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer).
  3. Add the other wet ingredients to the creamed sugar (eggs, vanilla extract, milk, sour cream)
  4. Blend in the flour mixture to form the cake batter, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure it all mixes well.
Photo collage showing three steps for making coffee cake batter.

Make your cinnamon-sugar layer and crumb topping:

  1. Cinnamon-sugar layer: To make the cinnamon-sugar layer, combine the cinnamon, flour and sugar in a medium bowl.
  2. Crumb topping: In a separate bowl, blend all of the ingredients for the crumb topping using a fork (butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt). This crumbly mixture will be added to the top of the cake for a nice crunch.
A photo collage showing cinnamon sugar in a white bowl with a spoon and a white bowl of crumb topping.

Assemble the layers and bake:

  1. Pour half of the batter into your baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle it evenly with the cinnamon sugar. This will produce that cinnamon stripe that runs through the middle of the cake.
  3. Dollop the rest of the batter evenly over the cinnamon-sugar and use the back of a spoon to gently spread it.
  4. Using your hands, sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the batter breaking it up into pea sized clumps.
  5. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
A photo collage showing 6 different steps for assembling a coffee cake.

Before serving, you can drizzle the cake with icing made from mixing icing sugar and milk. While the cinnamon streusel topping is delightful on its own, the icing really takes it up a notch and makes it even tastier.

Just like that, you have a delicious moist cake to pair with a hot cup of coffee!

Top view of a coffee cake topped with crumb topping and a drizzled with icing in a zigzag pattern set on a grey marble countertop and surrounded by a white napkin and plates with forks.

Tips for Making this Classic Coffee Cake Recipe

  • Don’t over mix the batter. As with most baked goods, its important not to overwork the flour once you add it into your batter. In order to ensure a fluffy texture, incorporate the dry ingredients into the batter and then stop mixing as soon as everything is mixed together.

  • The batter will be thick, spread carefully. The batter for this cake is a bit thick (but still spreadable). Since you are spreading it over cinnamon sugar layer, you will want to spread it carefully so you don’t lose that cinnamon layer. I recommend spooning the batter evenly over the cinnamon sugar layer and then gently using the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread it.

  • You can double recipe. I made this recipe on the smaller side to bake in a 9×9 baking pan. It can easily be doubled for a larger crowd. Just double the ingredients and increase your bake time a bit, checking with a toothpick to ensure the center is cooked through.

  • Store cake in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. This cake will dry out on you if left unwrapped, particularly after its sliced. Be sure to wrap it or store it in an airtight container to keep it moist.
A slice of coffee cake with a cinnamon-sugar ribbon running through it a crumb topping with icing drizzle set on a white plate with a silver fork.

Storing coffee cake

In order to prevent the cake from drying out, once it is cooled, be sure to wrap it in plastic food wrap or transfer it to an airtight container.

Can you freeze coffee cake?

Yes, coffee cake can be frozen. To freeze, wrap the completely cooled coffee cake well with plastic food wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Place it in a freezer safe bag or container for added protection from freezer burn.

You can do this with individual slices, a partial cake, or even the whole cake.

To defrost, set the cake out on the counter until thawed.

I hope you enjoy this coffee cake recipe as much as I do! While you can still enjoy the Starbucks version when out on the town, you can now whip up an entire cake to enjoy at home with friends!

-Cathy

A bite sized piece of coffee cake on a fork set on a plate with the remaining slice.

You may also like:

Blackberry Coffee Cake
Apple Cake (Greek Milopita)
Sheet Pan Pancakes

A slice of coffee cake with a crumb topping and icing drizzle on a white plate set down next to a white baking dish with coffee cake and a white cloth napkin in the foreground.

Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

Herbs and Flour
This tender and easy coffee cake recipe has a cinnamon sugar swirl inside and is topped with a crunchy cinnamon-sugar crumb topping. A drizzle of icing completes the perfect cake to pair with your coffee.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 servings
Calories 534 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt

For the Cinnamon-Sugar layer:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Icing Drizzle

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F and generously grease a 9×9 cake pan with butter (or line it with parchment paper.)
  • To make the cake, mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment affixed, blend the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla extract, milk and sour cream and blend until combined.
  • Blend in the dry ingredients to form the cake batter, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure it all mixes well.
  • Next, combine the cinnamon, flour and sugar for the cinnamon-sugar layer in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, blend all of the ingredients for the crumb topping using a fork.
  • Pour half of the cake batter into your baking dish. Sprinkle it evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Dollop the remaining cake batter evenly over the cinnamon-sugar and use the back of a spoon or spatula to gently spread it.
  • Using your hands, sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the cake batter breaking it up into pea sized clumps.
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, stir icing sugar and milk together to create the icing. Add more milk if needed to get the desired consistency. Drizzle over the cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 534kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 6gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 366mgPotassium: 104mgFiber: 1gSugar: 52gVitamin A: 716IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 2mg
Keyword cake, coffee cake
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