Cream-Filled Coffeecake

star rating (6) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 large or 2 small cakes, 20 servings

Recipe photo

This recipe is recreated from the archives of Doris Knutson, who was famous in Wisconsin for her cream-filled creations. She was asked many times to share her recipe and always declined. Her family gave out the formula at her funeral, which left out any amounts for flour, or baking time, or pan size. We've tested and tweaked, and along the way discovered that Doris was, indeed, a master of her craft. This is a light cake with delicious filling and a sweet, crunchy top.

Cream-Filled Coffeecake

star rating (6) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 large or 2 small cakes, 20 servings
Published: 08/16/2013



  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups additional King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


  • 1/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

Tips from our bakers

  • If you'd like to have two smaller coffeecakes (one to give, or one to freeze), leave the dough recipe as is; multiply the topping and filling ingredients by 1 1/2, and divide the dough between two 8" round pans. The baking time will be about 5 minutes shorter.
  • Be careful combining the two parts of the filling. Whisk together gently, just until they're mixed. Whipping vigorously at this point will make the filling appear curdled. It will still taste great, it'll just be a little raggedy-looking.
  • This coffeecake freezes very well with no fuss. Finish the recipe all the way, including filling the cake, then put it in a cake carrier and freeze for up to 2 weeks.


see this recipe's blog »

1) To make the dough: In a large bowl or the pan of your bread machine, combine the sugar, salt, and butter. Heat the milk and pour over. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the butter is melted. Add the water, eggs, and vanilla, stirring to combine. Let the mixture rest until it cools to lukewarm. Stir in the yeast and the 2 1/2 cups flour. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

2) Add the additional 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups flour; start with the smaller amount and see how the dough behaves, adding 1/4 cup more if it's still very sticky. Mix and knead for 6 to 8 minutes at slow to medium speed with your mixer; or use the dough cycle on your bread machine.

3) The dough will be soft, smooth, and silky; perhaps just slightly sticky to the touch. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, until puffy-looking and almost doubled. Or let your bread machine finish its cycle.

4) To make the topping: Combine the brown sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, and flour, mixing with a fork or your fingers until crumbs form. Set aside.

5) To shape and bake the cake: Deflate the dough, round it into a ball, and place it into a greased 10" springform pan. Cover with greased plastic or a large inverted bowl until the dough domes an inch above the rim of the pan, about 45 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F. When the dough is ready, sprinkle it with the topping (some will slide down). Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool it in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before tilting it out of the pan and returning it to the rack to cool completely.

6) To make the filling: While the cake cools, put the flour in a small saucepan. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring to make a smooth mixture.

7) Cook the flour and milk over medium-low heat just until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and cool. In a small mixing bowl, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then whisk into the flour/milk mixture.

8) To assemble: Split the cooled cake horizontally, and spread the filling on the bottom layer. Replace the top and refrigerate the cake until 30 minutes before serving.

Yield: 1 large or 2 small cakes, 20 servings.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 77g Servings Per Batch: 20 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246 Calories from Fat: 90 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 44mg Sodium: 105mg Total Carbohydrate: 34g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 14g Protein: 5g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


  • star rating 07/08/2014
  • Lionel Morrison from Hardwick, VT
  • Not what I was looking for and takes forever to make. Must remember to read ALL of the instructions first. That being said, if you leave off the topping and don't stuff it and just bake it as a loaf it makes a bread very similar to Challah, which was then devoured during breakfast and lunch.
  • star rating 01/25/2014
  • Halo from AZ
  • Makes a delightful coffeecake..but! I don't think the yeasted cake recipe needs to be so convoluted, the topping for a 10" springform needs to be increased by .25,and honestly? Overall while I love making yeasted coffeecakes this one takes forever and a day!!! Still, I would recommend it as the bread is lovely ( might add nutmeg) and the topping is perfect. I think I might add some cream cheese and heavy cream to the filling . The filling as written is ok, but rather insipid. I also found it best to split the cake and chill in the fridge before filling.
  • star rating 01/10/2014
  • robinwaban from KAF Community
  • Very impressive results. Looked beautiful when it came out of the oven, but I was nervous watching it bake because it rose SO high. The texture was definitely like a sweet bread, but vey moist. I only wish I had more filling to spread between the the 2 layers. It was absolutely delicious. The cake did settle a bit and I didn't expect that. However, it did not affect the cake.
  • star rating 08/24/2013
  • Lynette Bakes from KAF Community
  • I'm sure that this coffeecake will be wonderful when I make it, but I'm still confused about the ingredient list for the topping! It lists the sugar, salt, butter and cinnamon PLUS 3/4 cup of flour. However, in the topping instructions, there is no mention of flour in the topping. Please help us by clarifying this! Thanks!!!
    Yes, you are right and thank you for catching this! You need to combine the flour with all the other topping ingredients. I will see that this is corrected and thanks again. Elisabeth
  • star rating 08/23/2013
  • from
  • star rating 08/23/2013
  • Alison Tee from Utah
  • I have not yet made this, but am wondering what the milk and flour are for in the topping portion of the recipe?
    Hmm, sounds like it must have been an error on our part. The Flour and milk are now found and used in the filling portion of the recipe.-Jon

Related recipes