My Favorite Coffee Cake

A good coffee cake recipe is worth its weight in gold, if you ask me, and everybody needs a trusty one. It should be tasty beyond words; something you can whip up for company or take to a potluck or even to an after-funeral reception. As strange as that sounds, it's what we do here in the south. We show our love and support by overflowing your kitchen with food.

This recipe meets all my criteria for great coffee cake. It's scratch-made with streusel topping, nutty and fragrant with cinnamon. It's not overly sweet, and it has a ribbon of sweet cream cheese running through its center.

This cake was also what my husband requested for his birthday this year. I tried not to do a judgmental eye roll, but I might have. Each year the request is similar: something without sprinkles or colorful toppers or sparkler candles (which you know I love). Instead, he likes a simple cake that he can also eat through the week for breakfast.

Speaking of cakes! You should check out the new cake gallery I added to the site here. It's a quick visual reference to my favorite cakes on Sprinkle Bakes.

This cake has a bit of layering involved, but it's really simple and pretty quick to put together. First a layer of cake batter goes into the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish.

A layer of cinnamon-sugar streusel goes in the center. There are pecans involved, which is always a good idea where coffee cake is concerned.

Sweetened cream cheese goes over the cinnamon layer. It makes for the tastiest surprise inside.

Smooth the cream cheese layer as best you can. Don't worry if a little of the cinnamon gets mixed in. It'll all be okay in the end.

Add dollops of more cake batter on top of the cream cheese layer. Smooth it evenly with an offset spatula.

Add the remaining cinnamon-sugar topping and bake it up for about 40 minutes

The cake will puff slightly in the oven, and then it will sink slightly as it cools. It's not winning any beauty contests at this stage, but it gets prettier when cut into squares and arranged on a serving plate.


Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
(My Favorite Coffee Cake)
Yields about 15 servings

Cake batter
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) full fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon-sugar streusel
1/3 cup (75 g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (80 g) light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (180 g) chopped pecans

Cream cheese filling
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the sour cream and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking leavens and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well combined. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.

Combine the cinnamon streusel topping ingredients in a small bowl. Scatter half of the topping over the batter.

Mix together the cream cheese filling ingredients in a medium bowl using an electric mixer. Pour the mixture over the cinnamon-sugar mixture in the pan. Smooth evenly with an offset spatula.

Dollop the remaining cake batter over the cream cheese mixture and spread evenly; cover with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack. Slice into squares and display on a serving platter.

link My Favorite Coffee Cake By Published: Coffee Cake Recipe


  1. Heavenly! So many great flavours going on in there.




  2. This might just be my new fav coffee cake!

  3. I love how perfect the little squares of cake cut up! I don't blame your husband for requesting this cake. If it were me, though, I'd ask for sprinkles on top anyway. And sparkler candles. ;)

  4. I'd like to meet your husband one day, I believe he and I might have a lot in common. Can men be a kindred spirit, in the Anne Shirley sense of things? I too love cake for breakfast. Some people look at your like you have three heads when you say you like cake AND pie for breakfast but I figure it can't be any worse than a donut or any other pastry. Does your husband like his cake warm and his pie cold by any chance? That's how I prefer mine. This is probably before your time as these were sold during my childhood and college years and then they sadly disappeared....but there used to be one of the cake companies that sold a snack cake kit that came with a small waxed box you could mix a yellow cake in and bake it right in the "cake pan" (box thing). Then, when baked...it had the yummiest chocolate frosting in a pouch you squeezed over and iced the cake. I used to do that almost as soon as it came out of the oven and eat half the cake with a BIG glass of ice cold milk. I LOVED it. It wasn't anything fancy or gourmet, nothing to brag about, but boy it was good. Of course that was before my gluten free days, regretfully. Anyway, I've ALWAYS loved a good coffee cake, how can you not? How can anyone not love something with cinnamon, sugar, nuts, cream cheese, vanilla and sour cream? You have to feel sorry for those folks out there that are allergic to nuts. Oh how much they miss! I'm going to give this a try substituting the Cup4Cup gluten free flour mixture and see how it goes. I'm never quite sure what to expect and I've had various levels of success. Some people adapted right away to the gf thing; its been 10 years for me and I STILL have a hard time accepting it. It probably doesn't help that I am a "hobby" baker spending my days baking all sorts of regular gluten baking for everyone else in the world. I have to admit, as much as I love your sprinkled, glittered, decorated, and sparkly cakes, I'm with your husband on this one, this WAS a nice change. Give your husband my best regards from a fellow breakfast cake eater. We aren't crazy after all!

  5. There is honestly nothing I love more than a great coffeecake! The cream cheese layer in this one has me totally swooning.

  6. I adore coffee cake! I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Can't wait to try your recipe!!

  7. I just made these and can’t wait to see if the kids love them – I already do!! Thanks for recipe!

  8. Sorry to ask, but is this suppose to have any coffee in it? I know some coffee cake are suppose to be coffee-flavored, and others are meant to be eaten with coffee.

    1. Hi Bryant! I'm glad you asked. This cake in particular is meant to be eaten with coffee. It's not coffee-flavored.

  9. Do you think these would work as muffins, or would the center cream-cheese stripe make them fall apart?

    1. I think the recipe would work well as muffins! The cream cheese layer is slightly cakey because of the addition of the egg. I wouldn't expect the muffins to fall apart. Thanks for asking!

  10. Hi Heather, this looks delicious! I was wondering if you had any suggestions for good non-nut goodies to add in (loved one is allergic), and it seems like it is extra yummy with a little bit of crunch so if be sad to just omit that.

  11. I like your coffee cake. Its looking so tasty.

  12. Such a lovely recipe, I am sure it tasted lovely!

  13. Made this for a work treat, the recipe was enough for two 8" square pand and an entire construction crew. I snuck some pieces for myself, absolutely moist and delicious! Easy enough to make that this is now part of a regular repertoire! Thank you and your hubby!

  14. Wow this really looks awesome dish. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  15. Just made this and it's even better than I expected!!! Thinking next time I might double the cream cheese layer so it's more visible and just because I love cream cheese :) Definitely a great recipe to have around!

  16. Just made what must be my tenth batch of this coffee cake. I always pass along the credit to you, Heather, but most people are too busy eating it.


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