This gorgeous coffee cake is a vanilla butter cake with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and streusel topping. It’s guaranteed to be your coffee’s new best friend.
I’m not the worst morning person, but knowing I have my coffee waiting for me and a little treat to enjoy it with definitely helps get me up in the morning. If you are like me, I have the perfect coffee cake to give you that extra reason to jump out of bed smiling. You’re very welcome!
What is coffee cake
A common misconception is that coffee cake is cake flavored with coffee. Traditional coffee cake actually doesn’t have any coffee in it. What gives it its name is that it’s a cake you eat with coffee.
I already know what you’re going to say next….any cake can be eaten with coffee, and that’s true. But, most other cakes have frosting. Coffee cake is a fluffy cake that isn’t frosted so it goes down easier with a cup of coffee.
How to make Coffee Cake
My brown sugar swirl coffee cake has three parts to it. It’s a buttery vanilla cake that gets sandwiched around a layer of brown sugar mixed with cinnamon. Then it gets topped with the crisp brown sugar cinnamon streusel topping. Dust with a touch of powdered sugar and serve it with the best cup of coffee.
Butter-y vanilla cake
I believe my coffee cake deserves only the best, which is why I used Danish Creamery Unsalted European Style Butter.. Their butter is slow churned in small batches giving it a velvety texture and making it rich in flavor. It has 85% butterfat, which is going to help make the cake moist and tender, like a coffee cake should be.
To add a little something special, I made a simple cinnamon brown sugar filling. If you followed me on instagram this past summer, you already know my obsession with brown sugar, cinnamon and coffee.
- Flour: I used all-purpose flour in this coffee cake because it’s generally what people have on hand and just makes a lovely cake.
- I HIGHLY recommend a digital scale to measure your ingredients, especially flour. If your cakes are ever dry and you measure them with a cup, this is probably why.
- Fat: I opted for only butter in this recipe because I wanted a strong buttery flavor so it’s important to use high quality butter.
- I love all of Danish Creamery’s butter but I opted for the Danish Creamery Unsalted European Style Butter for this cake. The 85% butterfat gives the cake an extra boost of flavor and makes it extra tender.
- Sugar: Sugar provides flavor and moisture. Since this cake is meant for breakfast with coffee, I really didn’t want it to be overly sweet so I don’t recommend cutting any of the sugar out of the cake layer but feel free to omit the brown sugar layer and the powdered sugar on top.
- Eggs: It’s best to use room temperature eggs so they emulsify properly. If you’re in a pinch, just place them in hot water for 10 minutes while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
- Liquid: You can use Greek yogurt or sour cream. It won’t make a huge difference in the flavor or texture but greek yogurt might make you feel like it’s more acceptable for breakfast, lol.
The main attraction in Coffee Cake is the streusel topping. It’s what sets it apart from other cakes. Streusel is one of those things that’s so easy to make but also so easy to mess up!
If the butter is too cold, it doesn’t blend with the other ingredients as easily and takes longer to brown. If the butter is too warm, it’s too mushy and bakes as one big chunk of streusel.
I used Danish Creamery Unsalted European Style Butter at room temperature, because it blends perfectly, browns just enough and gives a crispy texture and buttery flavor.
The streusel is simple to make- you just combine all of the dry ingredients in a food processor, then add the butter chunks and pulse until pea sized chunks form. If you don’t have a food processor, you can also mix it by hand or with a pastry blender.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What else can I top my cake with?
I dusted my coffee cake with powdered sugar after it baked, but you can also drizzle a glaze on top. You can refer to my Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake for a basic glaze recipe.
Can I make this in a circle pan?
Yes you can! If you want to make it in a circle, you would use a 9 inch pan. Using an 8 inch pan would make it even taller than it is and might have a hard time baking through.
How to store Coffee Cake
You can store coffee cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days or refrigerate it for up to a week.
If you want to freeze it, place them in an airtight container, and place the container in a freezer bag, squeezing out all the excess air.
If you want to remove just one piece at a time, you can also wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer bag.
You can store the coffee cake in the freezer for 2-3 months. To enjoy it again, defrost at room temperature or microwave until slightly warm. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Thanks so much for reading today’s post! If you have any questions just comment down below, I’m happy to answer! If you make this coffee cake, make sure to tag me @baranbakery and @danishcreamery on instagram. As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!
- 1/2 cup (113g) Danish Creamery European Style Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (170g) Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cup (180g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (56g) Danish Creamery European Style Unsalted Butter, room temperature and cubed
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Vanilla Butter Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F (177C) and grease and line a square 8-inch pan with baking spray (or butter) and parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the Danish Creamery European Style Unsalted Butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat at full speed for 1-2 minutes, until they’re fully combined.
- Add the Greek yogurt and mix until it’s fully combined.
- Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt just until the last streak of flour is combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon for the filling.
- Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread the filling evenly on top. Gently spread the rest of the batter on top of the filling.
- To make the streusel, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a food processor until they’re evenly distributed.
- Add the cubed Danish Creamery European Style Unsalted Butter to the food processor and pulse until pea size chunks form.
- Spread the streusel evenly on top of the cake batter and bake for 45 minutes, until the streusel is browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for half an hour before removing from the pan. Dust the top with powdered sugar and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.
This post was sponsored by Danish Creamery, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support Baran Bakery!