A soft and simple coffee cake with a ripple of cinnamon in the middle and a heavy streusel crumb topping. This cinnamon coffee cake makes enough to feed a crowd (if you’re willing to share). Top everything off with a simple glaze and dig in!
Most mornings I’d gladly pass on breakfast. Despite the fact that I live most of my hours counting down the minutes until my next meal and eternally daydreaming about cookies, breakfast never really seems to excite me.
As with every rule, though, there is at least one exception, and I could eat coffee cake every morning of every day.
Maybe it’s that buttery soft, sweet but not too-sweet crumb, or the ribbon of cinnamon tucked away in the center. Maybe it’s that slightly crisp, heavy blanket of crumbly streusel on the top, or the simple drizzle of glaze. Maybe it’s just because it has the word “cake” right in its name and I’m a sucker for cake any time of the day.
It may not be the healthiest breakfast, but this cinnamon coffee cake is my favorite breakfast (or snack/anytime) cake and I love having a special occasion to make and enjoy it (like, say, Easter brunch).
This coffee cake recipe is similar to my blueberry breakfast cake with a streusel topping instead of the oat one and (obviously) no blueberries.
The batter for this super soft coffee cake includes both cream cheese and buttermilk (you’ll notice it uses much less butter than you would think for such a flavorful, buttery cake). It has a wonderfully moist, tender crumb that stays soft for days (make sure you store in an airtight container, but even three days later I’ve found that it’s just as soft and delectable).
The batter will be thicker than many cakes you may have made in the past, and that’s just fine. Because of this, though, when you layer your cinnamon sugar swirl in the center, the top layer will be a bit tricky to spread so be sure to dollop it over the surface and then use a knife to nudge it evenly over the cinnamon and sugar.
If you do end up disturbing the cinnamon/sugar layer, don’t stress! It will just make for a more interesting, swirled top layer!
The crumb topping on this cinnamon coffee cake is my absolute favorite. It’s buttery and sweet and its crisp texture perfectly complements the soft cake. I like a lot of streusel on my cake, so while I think this is the perfect ratio of crumb to cake, you can certainly cut back a bit.
The glaze over top is completely optional, but with only two ingredients it’s so simple to whip together I recommend it if only for aesthetic reasons (the coffee cake tastes perfectly fine without it!).
Enjoy, and if you make this cinnamon coffee cake for your Easter brunch, make sure to snap a pic and tag it #sugarspunrun on Instagram!
P.S. I sincerely hope that this post came across clearly and coherently this morning and thank you in advance for graciously forgiving me any possible typos, as I’ve been struggling with a pretty obnoxious bout of vertigo all weekend and still can’t seem to think straight.
Any tips on how to keep the room from spinning every time I turn my head would also be appreciated 😉
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
A soft and simple coffee cake with a ripple of cinnamon in the middle and a heavy streusel crumb topping.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (113g)
- 8 oz cream cheese softened (225g)
- 1 cup light brown sugar tightly packed (200g)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (335g)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (120ml)
- 1/4 cup sugar (50g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour - 175
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar packed (225g)
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar (38g)
- 4 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted (140g)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons milk
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease and flour a 13x9 baking pan.
In KitchenAid mixer, or with electric mixer in large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese.
Beat in sugars until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl with rubber spatula.
Stir in vanilla extract.
In separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.
Gradually add flour mixture to wet mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until all of the flour mixture and buttermilk have been combined.
Spread about half of the batter into prepared pan (batter will be thick).
Quickly whisk together brown sugar and cinnamon for cinnamon ripple layer in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly over the batter.
Dollop remaining batter over the cinnamon sugar layer and use a knife to spread evenly overtop. It's OK if you end up disturbing the cinnamon sugar layer a bit, it will be a nice swirl when it bakes. Prepare your streusel topping.
Melt butter in a medium-sized bowl on 10 second increments (stirring between) until just melted (you don't want it to be too hot, if it does get too hot allow to cool.
Use a fork to whisk together your flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Pour melted butter over mixture and use a fork to stir until combined (mixture should be crumbly).
Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter.
Bake on 350F for 40-50 minutes (check doneness with a toothpick inserted in center).
Allow to cool before cutting and serving.
If desired, make glaze by whisking together powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle over cooled coffee cake.
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