Cinnamon-Streusel Coffeecake

Looking for everyone's favorite comfort-food coffeecake? This is it. Soft and moist, nicely cinnamon-y, this is the quintessential breakfast coffeecake.

Note: For those of you looking for a cake with less filling, one where the golden cake itself is the main attraction, reduce the amount of brown sugar in the filling to 1/3 cup, keeping the remaining ingredients the same.

Our guarantee: This golden cake is tender and moist, with a middle layer of dark cinnamon filling and a crumbly streusel topping.

Prep
30 mins
Bake
50 mins to 1 hr
Total
1 hr 30 mins
Yield
24 servings
Cinnamon-Streusel Coffeecake

Instructions

  1. Note: As a result of reader feedback, as of 3/24/17 we've adjusted the ingredient amounts in the streusel to yield a less dry, more pleasantly crumbly topping.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, or two 9" round cake pans.
  3. Make the topping by whisking together the sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter, stirring until well combined. Set the topping aside.
  4. Make the filling by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Note that the cocoa powder is used strictly for color, not flavor; leave it out if you like. Set it aside.
  5. To make the cake: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, salt, sugars, baking powder, and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream or yogurt and milk till well combined. You don't need to whisk out all the lumps.
  8. Add the flour to the butter mixture alternately with the milk/sour cream mixture, beating gently to combine.
  9. Pour/spread half the batter (a scant 3 cups) into the prepared pan(s), spreading all the way to the edges. If you're using two 9" round pans, spread 1 1/3 cups batter in each pan.
  10. Sprinkle the filling evenly on the batter.
  11. Spread the remaining batter atop the filling. Use a table knife to gently swirl the filling into the batter, as though you were making a marble cake. Don't combine filling and batter thoroughly; just swirl the filling through the batter.
  12. Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.
  13. Bake the cake until it's a dark golden brown around the edges; medium-golden with no light patches showing on top, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes for the 9" x 13" pan, 50 to 55 minutes for the 9" round pans. When pressed gently in the middle, the cake should spring back.
  14. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve cake right from the pan.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Dress it up for guests: Make a glaze with ½ cup confectioners' or glazing sugar and 1 tablespoon milk; drizzle glaze over the cooled coffeecake.
  • Since butter and sour cream are both key ingredients in this cake, we encourage you to use the best quality you can get. We highly recommend Cabot, a superb Vermont brand available nationally.
  • It's easy to spread half the batter in the pan when you know how much it weighs. If you have a kitchen scale, half the batter weighs about 28 ounces.
  • Want to prepare this coffeecake the night before, then bake in the morning? It's easy; simply cover the unbaked cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Next morning, bake the cake as directed. Start testing for doneness at the end of the suggested baking time; you'll probably have to add 5 minutes or so to the total time, to account for the batter being chilled.