How To Make The Best Coffee Cake

Real butter helps creates the soft, pillowy sponge and crumbly streusel topping that are signatures of a classic coffee cake. Butter provides the best aeration for a tender cake, and it holds together the streusel for the perfect crunchy topping. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and follow our steps to bring this decadent cake to life.

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Step 1: Start with Your Topping

Bring together the dry ingredients for your streusel topping – flour, sugar, cinnamon. Remember to measure all dry ingredients carefully with the scoop and level method to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Step 2: Bind Streusel Topping with Melted Butter

Next, add melted unsalted butter to your dry ingredients mixture and stir until well combined. Real butter is an essential element for creating the perfect streusel, as it coats and binds the ingredients together.

Step 3: Create the Filling

An important aspect to any coffee cake is the center swirl – created by mixing brown sugar and cinnamon.

Step 4: Cream Butter and Sugar Well

Start your batter by creaming the butter and sugars until smooth. This may take 5 to 7 minutes, depending on your beater. It’s important to ensure your butter and sugar are well combined to create the ideal light and soft coffee cake texture.

Step 5: Add Eggs

To your butter and sugar mixture, add eggs one at a time and beating well after each addition. Adding eggs slowly into the batter will allow for better suspension and absorption.

Step 6: Combine Sour Cream and Milk

In a separate bowl from your batter, whisk together sour cream and milk. You do not need to ensure these ingredients are well combined – lumps are preferred. This is an important step, as sour cream adds just the right amount of moisture without thinning the batter.

Step 7: Add Flour and Milk/Sour Cream Mixture to Batter

Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the creamed mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Do this gradually and beat gently together between each add.

Step 8: Assemble Cake Layers

In a greased pan, pour half of your batter and spread to corners. Then, sprinkle on your filling of sugar and cinnamon, layering on the batter evenly.

Step 9: Create the Swirl

Spread the rest of the batter on top of your filling. Using a butter knife, gently move through the batter and filling layers. This will help build the anticipated swirl when cutting into the cake after baking.

Step 10: Add the Streusel Topping

Generously layer on the streusel topping, completely covering the batter. Making sure you have a substantial coating will give your coffee cake an added crunchy texture and richness.

Step 11: Bake, Serve, Enjoy!

Bake until the streusel is golden-brown and a bit darker on the edges. Let the cake cool and enjoy with a cup of coffee. Ready to start baking with the full recipe?