Breakfast Coffee Cake Recipe

Coffee Cake

Coffee cake is one of those rare cakes that may eat at any time of day.

Coffee cake, oddly enough, has no coffee. I believe (and this is just speculation) that it intends to serve with coffee, in the manner of tea. My online research suggests that the origins are in German yeast cakes, although this isn’t certain.

The usage of streusel is a typical feature of coffee cakes. For many of us (at least in the United States), that means a rich yellow cake flavored with cinnamon and topped with as much crumble as the cake can take!

Sour cream includes in the cake mix, which provides richness while also ensuring a soft crumb. A cinnamon stripe runs through the center of the cake, with a crumble blanket on top.

We spread about half of the batter in the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle the cinnamon layer on top, then the remaining batter, and lastly a thick layer of crumble topping.

How to Store and Freeze Coffee Cake

After a day or two on the counter, this is one of those cakes that just gets better. Moisture retains while the texture improves. It freezes well as well!

To freeze the cake, Allow the cake to cool completely before wrapping it in plastic and foil to freeze. It won’t dry out in the freezer because of the double layer. Set the cake on the counter to defrost until it reaches room temperature—if you have the patience! Even half-frozen, the cake is still wonderful.

Ingredients for Coffee Cake


  • 1 cup walnuts(akhrote), coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour(meda)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar(dane dar chini)
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar(shaker)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon(darchini powder)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Coffee Cake:

  • 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar(dane dar chini)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour(meda)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream


  • For the topping: Prepare a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the nuts, flour, sugars, cinnamon(darchini) and salt. Stir to blend. Stir in the butter. The topping should form sandy clumps. Sprinkle the topping onto the baking sheet to break it up into smaller clumps. Refrigerate.
  • For the coffee cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use butter to thoroughly grease the bottom and sides of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, “cream” the butter and sugar together until light yellow and smooth, 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, this can be done with an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, one by one, and beat until thoroughly integrated.
  • Remove the topping from the refrigerator so it has a few minutes to come to room temperature before baking. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the sour cream until smooth. Turn the mixer on low and alternate adding some of the flour mixture with some of the sour cream. Add the lemon zest. When all has been mix, give the sides and the bottom of the bowl a scrape and blend to make sure the batter is thoroughly integrat.
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  • Transfer the batter to the greased baking pan and “tap” it lightly on the sides so it falls evenly in the pan and removes any air bubbles. Liberally sprinkle the cake with all of the topping. Take care to cover the whole top. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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