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Easy Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

If you love the combination of cinnamon and sugar and you happen to love streusel topping with crunchy toasted pecans, then I’ve got the perfect recipe for you. This Easy Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake is perfect for breakfast. . .or any time of day!

Breakfast Cake? Is that a Thing? 

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Before diving in to this baking project I decided to do a little research. I wanted to understand how coffee cake (or breakfast cake) got its start. I found my answer at the OH Danish Bakery Site

The first coffee cake likely originated in Germany, specifically in Dresden.  However, the Danish came up with the earliest version of eating a type of sweet bread while drinking coffee, so coffee cakes really evolved from many different cultural traditions.

We do know that coffee was introduced to Europe in the 1600s. From this time, Scandinavians paired their coffee with sweet breads that were brimming with nuts, fruit, and spices and established a designated break time during their busy days.  The term ‘coffee cake’ didn’t become a common name until the late 1800s.

Coffee, Tea. . .and Cake?

Basically, a coffee cake is one that pairs well with coffee (or in my case, English Breakfast Tea). These sweet cakes often have a cinnamon base and a crumbly streusel-like topping. You’ll find them at local grocery stores, coffee shops, and a variety of other bake shops. 

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

I’m a fan. I don’t know about you but I love anything with cinnamon, so these cakes are right up my alley. And let’s face it. . .cake for breakfast? Yes, please! 

If this sounds good to you, and if you’re ready to dive in, you’ll want to start gathering your ingredients. You will find the full recipe at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’re going to need to make this classic coffee cake recipe.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Ingredients

CAKE INGREDIENTS

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • light brown sugar
  • room temperature butter (salted or unsalted butter, your choice)
  • room temperature egg
  • whole milk
  • vanilla extract
  • maple extract
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • ground cinnamon
  • salt (optional, if you don’t use salted butter)

STREUSEL TOPPING INGREDIENTS

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • room temperature butter
  • light brown sugar
  • all purpose flour
  • quick oats
  • finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • white sugar
  • ground cinnamon

How to Make this Moist Coffee Cake:

MAKE THE CAKE:

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prepare an 8 x 12-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. You can use a 9 x 13-inch baking dish but will need to adjust your baking time. (A larger pan takes less time to bake.)

Place room temperature butter into a large bowl.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add brown sugar and mix until well combined. I used a stand mixer with paddle attachment but you can use an electric mixer or even mix by hand with a wooden spoon.

Add room temperature egg and mix until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and maple extracts.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

In a separate bowl whisk together dry ingredients: the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. If you’re adding salt, this is the time to put it in.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add flour and milk to wet ingredients. Alternate adding flour and milk until both are fully incorporated.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Pour cake batter into prepared baking dish and set aside. 

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

MAKE THE STREUSEL TOPPING

In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add softened butter to flour mixture and whisk together. I mixed mine in the stand mixer at medium speed. You can work it with a large fork or wooden spoon or use an electric mixer. Whatever you prefer! You could even use a pastry cutter if you like.

Add chopped pecans. You can leave the nuts out if you’re not a fan but it will affect the “crunch” of the topping. I happen to be nuts about nuts.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Using your fingers, pinch off pieces of the streusel and sprinkle it across the top of the batter. Do your best to cover all of the batter. (Streusel will spread as it bakes.)

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the streusel. (Yum!)

Place baking dish in preheated oven and bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. 

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Once cooled, slice and serve. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap or place in airtight container. Cake is best refrigerated and will stay good for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

What to Expect from this Yummy Cinnamon Streusel Cake

I’m crazy about cinnamon and I’m crazy about nuts, so I had a feeling I would really love this cake.

Boy, oh boy! I was not disappointed.

The cake part is light and fluffy. This really surprised me, since the batter was so thick. But the real star of the show was that amazing streusel layer. I have no words.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Yes. Yes I do. I’m a writer. I always have words.

The layer of streusel was the best part, in my humble opinion. There was something about the combination of oats and pecans that made me swoon. (Oatmeal cookies, anyone?) That’s really what it reminded me of, a light, crisp oatmeal cookie, loaded with pecans.

I think this easy coffee cake is delicious enough to serve as a dessert, for sure. But you know what? It’s also perfect as a breakfast cake! (I think the Scandinavians would be proud to serve it.) This homemade cinnamon coffee cake recipe is now on my “favorites” list! And even though I’m not much of a coffee drinker, it’s making me want to brew a pot of coffee at this very moment!

Variations on this Streusel Cake

This coffee cake would be a great “base” cake for a variety of flavors. Here are a few I’d love to try:

  • Apple Pie: I’ve already made this version and it’s luscious! I gave it to a good friend and she said, “That apple one is going to be hard to beat.” Add a can of apple pie filling (finely chopped) and use walnuts in place of pecans. Bake 55 – 60 minutes. The consistency on the interior is apple pie-like but the exterior is pure breakfast cake.
  • Caramel: I tried this cake with salted caramel topping drizzled over it. It was one of the finest things I’d ever tasted! Talk about a sweet glaze!
Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • Peach Pie: Same concept as above but with sliced peaches. Someone recently gifted me 60 pounds of slices peaches. (I’m not even kidding.) This is one way I plan to use some of them. Peach coffee cake sounds delicious!
  • Banana Bread: I haven’t tried this yet but I think that this coffee cake would make a great base for a banana breakfast cake. Add three over ripe bananas to the mix and bake for 55 – 60 minutes with the cinnamon streusel on top.
  • Raspberry Cream: Add fresh raspberries and chunks of cream cheese. Bake as instructed.
  • Orange Streusel: Add orange zest to the batter and the streusel. Bake as instructed. Drizzle orange cream cheese glaze on top.

Questions People are Asking about Coffee Cake:

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake from Out of the Box Baking.com

Is a crumb topping the same thing as a streusel?

Yes, but you can make streusels in a variety of ways. Some recipes call for all flour and no oats. Some call for all oats and no flours. Some call for no nuts. It’s really up to you. The key is to combine butter with some sort of flour or oat mixture and spread it across the top of your cake, pie, or muffins.

Can you put streusel on the bottom of a pan?

I’ve been dying to try this coffee cake recipe in a bundt pan. After research I’ve learned that you can add 1/3 of your streusel to the bottom of the pan, 1/3 in the middle of the batter, and 1/3 on top. I can’t wait to try this!

Why is my streusel not crumbly?

Maybe your butter was too warm or maybe you overworked the mixture before adding it. For a crisper streusel use a cold butter instead of room temperature.

Do I have to refrigerate my Cinnamon Streusel Cake?

A cake like this needs to “settle” and the refrigerator is the best place for that to happen. That said, I’m not a fan of ice-cold streusel cake so if I put mine in the fridge overnight I’m going to let it come to room temperature naturally before eating any. That’s just how I roll.

Other Cinnamon Favorites from Out of the Box Baking.

If you’re in the mood for cinnamon spice and everything nice, I’ve got a ton of recipes for you. Pick from any on the list below and you won’t be sorry!

  • Apple Kuchen (Cinnamon Apple Cake): If you love the flavors of apple and cinnamon and you’re in the mood for a luscious fall treat (who isn’t, right/), this is the perfect recipe for you! It’s tasty and quick and best of all, it starts with a boxed mix! (I think I just made a rhyme!)
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies: If you appreciate the cinnamon-sugar goodness of cereal but the flaky texture of a great cookie, you’ll flip over this simple recipe, which merges basic cookie ingredients with something completely unexpected–Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal!
  • Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls Pastries: If you want the ease of a boxed bake mix but the flavor and joy of a luscious cinnamon roll, (heavens, that sounds good), I’ve got a brand new recipe for you! These tasty treats have the look of homemade cinnamon rolls but the taste and texture of a high-end pastry–light, crisp and oh, so cinnamony! (They’re a favorite in my family.)
  • Cinnamon Sugar Muffins: If you love the combination of cinnamon and brown sugar and you’re in a hurry, these muffins will be perfect for you. They come together (start to finish) in under 20 minutes. And best of all, they start with a simple white cake mix.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Pound Cake: If you’re in the mood for a buttery cake with luscious swirls of cinnamon and brown sugar, you’ve come to the right place! This moist, delicious pound cake is easy to whip up and the addition of the cinnamon and sugar sends it over the moon!
  • Flaky Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls: You love cinnamon rolls. You love pie crust. You’re looking for something pastry-like and crisp, but with the brown sugar and cinnamon flavors you’ve grown to love. This is it, friends! This is it.
  • Easy Cinnamon Rolls from Canned Biscuits: Talk about an easy breakfast treat! These cinnamon rolls taste just like the homemade ones you might slave hours over. But they come together in (literally) minutes. Best of all, no one will know you didn’t make them from scratch! (No yeast dough necessary, y’all!)
  • Easy Cinnamon Streusel Muffins: If you’re looking for an amazing cinnamon streusel muffin with crunchy topping you’ve come to the right place. This recipe, which features a streusel topping over a moist cinnamon-y muffin, is perfect.

That’s it for this recipe, y’all! I hope you enjoy this delicious breakfast cake. (I’m having mine for dinner, but don’t judge me!)

Easy Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Easy Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

If you love the combination of cinnamon and sugar and you happen to love streusel topping with crunchy toasted pecans, then I've got the perfect recipe for you. This Easy Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake is perfect for breakfast. . .or any time of day!

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Ingredients
  • CAKE INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 room temperature egg
  • 1 cup milk (plus two tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional/if you use unsalted butter)
  • STREUSEL TOPPING INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

    How to Make this Delicious Cinnamon Streusel Cake:
    MAKE THE CAKE:
    Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 
    Prepare an 8 x 12-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. You can use a 9 x 13-inch baking dish but will need to adjust your baking time. (A larger pan takes less time to bake.)
    Place room temperature butter into a large bowl. Add brown sugar and mix until well combined. I used a stand mixer with paddle attachment but you can use an electric mixer or even mix by hand with a wooden spoon.
    Add room temperature egg and mix until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and maple extracts.
    In a separate small bowl whisk together dry ingredients: the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. If you're adding salt, this is the time to put it in.
    Alternate adding flour and milk until both are fully incorporated.
    Pour batter into prepared baking dish and set aside. 

    MAKE THE STREUSEL TOPPING
    In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon.
    Add softened butter and mix well. 
    Add chopped pecans. You can leave the nuts out if you're not a fan but it will affect the "crunch" of the topping. I happen to be nuts about nuts.
    Using your fingers, pinch off pieces of the streusel and sprinkle it across the top of the batter. Do your best to cover all of the batter. (Streusel will spread as it bakes.)
    Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the streusel. (Yum!)
    Place baking dish in preheated oven and bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown on top. (Less time will probably be required if you use a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.)
    Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. 

Notes

Prepare an 8 x 12-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. You can use a 9 x 13-inch baking dish but will need to adjust your baking time. (A larger pan takes less time to bake.)

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Crystal Barnes

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

I might have to try this one, Janice. It looks and sounds delicious. Thanks!!

booksbyjanice

Friday 26th of August 2022

It was yummy!

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