Ok - when I developed this recipe for Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake, it immediately jumped to the top of my list of favourite things to bake! My whole family is in love with this cake! It's soft and tender with a hint of almond flavour, a defined cinnamon swirl and a buttery cinnamon crumb topping. I drizzled it with my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce for dessert when my parents were visiting and they went BONKERS over it. Can't wait for you to try it!
WHAT IS COFFEE CAKE?
Coffee cake, most of the time, does not actually contain any coffee! It refers to a buttery sweet, slightly dense cake that is usually baked in a single layer round or square pan, or even a bundt pan. It often can have a crumble topping or crumble swirl through the middle.
It is intended to be eaten alongside a cup of coffee or tea, hence the name. It is generally less sweet than say a birthday cake since it doesn't have frosting which is why it is considered acceptable to eat mid-day or during brunch or breakfast.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Easy and quick to make - this recipe is super simple to make and isn't time consuming at all. It uses basic pantry ingredients too! The filling is used as the base for the crumb topping so you don't need to make two separate components - it's so easy!
- Soft coffee cake - the cake itself is so tender and soft with a hint of almond flavour. It pairs with coffee so well!
- Cinnamon swirl - there is a thick defined cinnamon swirl through this cake which is my favourite part! Make sure you read through my step-by-step instructions to learn how I ensure the swirl stays defined and doesn't bleed into the cake batter.
- Buttery crumb topping - a nice thick crumb topping loaded with cinnamon just makes this cake so delicious. Read my tips near the bottom of the post to learn what I do to make the crumb soft instead of crunchy.
INGREDIENTS FOR CINNAMON STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE
- All purpose flour - regular unbleached all-purpose flour works great this coffee cake. If you have bleached cake flour, then you can replace a third of the unbleached all-purpose flour with cake flour and it will actually give you a slightly taller cake. That's because bleached flour absorbs moisture more readily and sets more quickly to trap in gas created from baking powder.
- Unsalted butter - butter brings the flavour! Using a combination of oil and butter means we get the taste of butter and the softness of oil.
- Sunflower oil - this recipe uses part oil. Using some oil will keep the cake soft and feeling moist since it is liquid at room temperature. You can use any neutral tasting oil, but I prefer sunflower oil for its clean taste.
- Almond flour - fine ground blanched almonds give this cake a wonderful plush texture. It is moist and soft while slightly dense which is exactly how coffee cake should be. It has an irresistible quality to it and you won’t be able to stop eating it!
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla is the main flavour in these muffins so use your best one. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- Almond extract - this is my secret ingredient! It really gives this coffee cake another dimension that stands out from the rest. It adds a nostalgic taste.
- Granulated sugar - simple granulated sugar keeps this cake moist and lets the vanilla flavour shine.
- Brown sugar - the topping is made with brown sugar for a rich molasses taste that pairs so nice with the cinnamon.
- Cinnamon - what's a Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake without the cinnamon? I use quite a bit for a big punch of flavour.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Make the topping & filling. Combine flour, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and salt until blended. Reserve ¼ cup of this mixture and place in a separate bowl and stir in another ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon – this will be the filling. Add butter to the main mixture and blend until it makes clumps – this will be the topping.
- STEP 2). Combine dry ingredients. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Add almond flour and whisk to blend evenly.
- STEP 3). Cream fat and sugar. Combine soft butter, sugar, oil, vanilla and almond extracts in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy.
- STEP 4). Add egg. Beat in egg until evenly incorporated.
- STEP 5). Add dry ingredients and milk. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low then alternate adding milk and the remaining dry ingredients while mixing on low or folding gently until just combined.
- STEP 6). Spread it out. Dollop just over half of the batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the filling mixture evenly over top. Then take spoonfuls of the remaining batter and dollop over the filling and spread it out without disturbing the filling layer as little as possible (an offset spatula works well for this). Gently spread it over to cover the filling. Take the topping mixture in clumps and crumble it over the batter.
- STEP 7). BAKE. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cover with foil and let the cake steam as it cools.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
- Sift the dry ingredients - Sifting the flour will eliminate any lumps and separate all of the flour particles which means it will incorporated into the wet ingredients more easily and more quickly. This will minimize the amount of mixing required so that you ensure the cake is soft.
- Do not reduce the sugar - the right amount of sugar will create the right texture for this coffee cake. Do not reduce it as it is already less than most cake recipes.
- Do not over-bake. Over-baking will most definitely lead to dry coffee cake. Make sure you check with a skewer for doneness.
- Do not over-mix. Just fold in the flour gently until well combined, but no need to mix vigorously. Just mix until no streaks of dry flour remain.
- Let it steam - cover the cake with foil as it is cooling so that the steam will help soften the crumb topping to make luscious buttery soft clusters.
Can I freeze cinnamon streusel coffee cake?
Yes! This cake freezes very well. Just wrap it well in plastic wrap, and then in foil, and then place it in a large resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
What makes the cinnamon swirl so defined?
Using flour in the cinnamon sugar mixture will help it set and gel in place instead of baking into the batter.
How do I get a soft crumb topping?
The key to making the topping soft (if that's what you like) is to cover the cake while it is still warm so that it steams slightly. The trapped steam will soften the crumbs.
How to make soft cinnamon streusel coffee cake?
To ensure the cake has a soft texture, do not reduce the sugar. Sugar is important to hold moisture in. Also, be careful not to over-mix the batter. Over-mixing will initiate gluten formation which can lead to a tough crumb texture.
If you love coffee cake, check out these recipes!Small Batch Double Chocolate Banana MuffinsThe BEST Blueberry Muffin RecipeCopycat Starbucks Lemon LoafRaspberry Almond CakeMoist Chocolate Fudge Swirl Banana MuffinsBanana Blueberry Oat MuffinsSticky Toffee Date CakeWhole Wheat Chocolate Banana MuffinsBlueberry Peach Upside Down Cake
Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
- ¼ cup 56g unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup 60ml sunflower oil
- ¾ cup 150g granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 ⅔ cups 235g all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup 25g almond flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup 150ml milk
Filling & Topping:
- ½ cup 71g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup 110g packed light brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon divided
- 3 tablespoon 42g unsalted butter, softened
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- For the topping, combine flour, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and salt until blended. Reserve ¼ cup of this mixture and place in a separate bowl and stir in another ½ teaspoon of cinnamon – this will be the filling. Add butter to the main mixture and blend until it makes clumps – this will be the topping.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Add almond flour and whisk to blend evenly.
- Combine soft butter, sugar, oil, vanilla and almond extracts in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg until evenly incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low then alternate adding milk and dry ingredients while mixing on low until just combined.
- Dollop just over half of the batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the filling mixer evenly over top. Then take spoonfuls of the remaining batter and dollop over the filling and spread it out disturbing the filling layer as little as possible (an offset spatula works well for this). Use an offset spatula to gently spread it over to cover the filling. Take the topping mixture in clumps and crumble it over the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.