coffee cake

Coffee cake is a delightful treat that perfectly complements a morning cup of coffee or serves as a delicious dessert for any occasion. Our easy classic coffee cake recipe is designed to be both simple and exquisite, ensuring a moist and flavorful cake every time. Follow our detailed guide to create this timeless favorite.

Ingredients for the Classic Coffee Cake

To make the best coffee cake, gather the following ingredients:

For the Cake:

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

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Streusel Topping

  1. Combine the Ingredients: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and stir until the mixture is crumbly. If desired, add the chopped nuts and mix well. Set aside.

Making the Coffee Cake Batter

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream the Butter and Sugar: In another large bowl, beat the softened butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add Eggs and Vanilla: Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Incorporate Sour Cream: Add the sour cream to the butter mixture and blend until smooth.
  6. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring just until combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a dense cake.

    Read More:
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Assembling and Baking the Cake

  1. Layer the Batter: Spread half of the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel topping over the batter.
  2. Add Remaining Batter and Topping: Spread the remaining batter over the streusel layer and then sprinkle the rest of the streusel on top.
  3. Bake the Cake: Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If using a glass or dark metal pan, you may need to adjust the baking time slightly.
  4. Cool and Serve: Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tips for the Perfect Coffee Cake

Choosing the Right Ingredients

  • Butter: Using unsalted butter allows you to control the salt content in your cake. Make sure it’s softened to room temperature for easier creaming with the sugar.
  • Sour Cream: This ingredient keeps the cake moist and tender. If you don’t have sour cream, you can substitute with plain Greek yogurt.
  • Nuts: Adding nuts to the streusel topping adds a nice crunch and enhances the flavor. Toasting the nuts beforehand can bring out even more flavor.

Ensuring a Moist Cake

  • Measure Ingredients Accurately: Use the spoon-and-level method for measuring flour to avoid packing it down and ending up with too much, which can make the cake dry.
  • Avoid Overmixing: Overmixing the batter can develop gluten, leading to a tougher cake. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Baking Tips

  • Pan Preparation: Grease and flour your baking pan or line it with parchment paper to prevent sticking and make it easier to remove the cake.
  • Even Baking: Check the cake a few minutes before the end of the baking time. If the top is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

Serving Suggestions

Coffee cake is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways:

  • With Coffee or Tea: The classic pairing is, of course, with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
  • As a Dessert: Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for an indulgent dessert.
  • Brunch Spread: Include it as part of a brunch spread with fresh fruits, yogurt, and other pastries.

Storing and Freezing


  • Room Temperature: Store the coffee cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Refrigerator: It can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let it come to room temperature before serving for the best texture and flavor.


  • Whole Cake: Wrap the cooled coffee cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Individual Slices: For convenience, slice the cake and wrap each piece individually before freezing. This allows you to thaw only the amount you need.


Our easy classic coffee cake recipe is a must-try for any baking enthusiast. With its moist, tender crumb and rich, flavorful streusel topping, it is sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you’re serving it for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, this coffee cake will impress your family and friends with its delightful taste and simplicity.

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