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Easy Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

This Easy Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe is moist with a tender crumb topped with a sugar nut topping that gets crunchy like a streusel topping.  Perfect for brunch or as a potluck dish your friends will love.

Coffee Cake with a cup of tea

This Cinnamon Nut Coffee Cake recipe is a recipe my mom always made for any meeting she attended.  It’s easy to make and there is never any left when it’s served to company.   Its a tried and true classic coffee cake that will never let you down. If I’m needing something for a potluck or brunch I either take this easy coffee cake or these Lemon Blueberry Muffins.

What is a coffee cake?  

Coffee cake is thought to be American take on the German Stollen cake although they are very different in texture.  It is usually served in a square bar-shaped piece and almost always has a crumb topping of sugar, oil/butter, nuts and flour (think streusel.) Although I have seen an occasional recipe that actually has coffee in it they are rare.

The reason they are called coffee cakes is it was something you would serve along with it.  Before so many women were in the workforce,  when ladies would meet they would have their friends over for coffee to visit.  You would serve a small bite along with it and thus the name coffee cake.

What is the one thing you must do to get a light, moist coffee cake?

Measure the flour correctly.  Dry cakes are the worst.  Dry, heavy cake is caused by adding too much flour.  Most people use the measuring cup to dig into the flour bag which then compacts the flour into the cup giving you way more flour than called for. To avoid getting a dry, heavy cake you need to do one of two things.

  1. Weigh your flour using a scale.  (1 cup of all-purpose flour should weigh 130 grams.)
  2. Use the spoon and level method if you don’t own a scale.
    • Using a spoon gently scoop flour into the measuring cup so that it is heaping over the top.  Then using a knife, level off the flour to the proper measurement.  
      leveling off flour to avoid a dry crumb coffee cake

How do you make Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake?

  1. Mix the first ingredients with oil.  Note in the second photo it will be clumpy.
  2. Don’t over mix, keep the clumps for the topping.  It will give you a better crunch after baking.
  3. Save some of this mixture for nut streusel. (set aside)
  4. Add eggs, buttermilk and last of seasoning to a larger bowl and mix until batter consistency.
  5. Line your pan with parchment paper for easy removal.
  6. Grease with butter and flour atop parchment paper
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, be sure to turn at 20-minute mark so you have even baking throughout.
  8. Cool before cutting.

Can you make Cinnamon Coffee Cake ahead of time?

Yes!  You can make this the night before or even up to a couple of days.  Store covered.  When you are ready to serve it you can serve it at room temperature but I find most people prefer it a little bit warmed.  You can rewarm it at 300° for about 15 minutes then serve.

This Cinnamon Coffee Cake recipe will work well for Easter, Mother’s Day or any potluck you need to bring something for.  It’s great for serving for brunch, but it works equally as well as a dessert.

Warm Streusel Coffee Cake

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Looking for other Brunch Recipes?  Be sure and check out these recipes for Blueberry Lemon Muffins,  Loaded Breakfast Cups and Fresh Strawberry Muffins.  If you are looking for other flavors of coffee cake I highly recommend Michaela’s Banana Bread Coffee Cake on An Affair from the Heart.


Yield: 12 servings

Easy Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

Bars of Cinnamon Coffee Cake on a plate for brunch

This Easy Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe is moist with a tender crumb topped with a sugar nut topping that gets crunchy like a streusel topping.  Perfect for brunch or as a potluck dish your friends will love.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, (scoop/knife measure)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, (mild, not first pressed)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, both sugars and oil.  Mix well.
  3. Remove 3/4 cup of mixture to another bowl add nuts and balance of cinnamon to this bowl.  Mix gently, try to keep balls of sugar mix so you have more crumbly pieces for the topping. (This is the topping mixture.). Set aside until later.
  4. To the larger bowl of sugar mix add the baking soda, baking powder, egg and buttermilk.  Mix to combine. Batter will be easily pourable.
  5. Prepare a 9X 13 pan by greasing the bottom, then lining with parchment paper with side overhangs for easy removal.  See photo in post.  Then grease with butter and add a small amount of flour (1 tablespoon) .... tap sides to have flour cover all greased areas.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Take the topping mixture and sprinkle over the entire top evenly.
  8. bake for 40-45 minutes turning at halfway mark for even baking.
  9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.


You can make this ahead and warm at 300° for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

12 servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 399Saturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 221mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 4g

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Saturday 16th of February 2019

I didn’t have any buttermilk, but I used a scant cup of Greek yoghurt and a quarter cup sweet milk. Came out delicious.

Jenni LeBaron

Sunday 25th of March 2018

Yum! it's been so long since I've had a good coffee cake! I bet the buttermilk just makes this incredible rich and fluffy.


Saturday 24th of March 2018

A classic that's easy to make. I really enjoyed it.


Sunday 25th of March 2018

You are the best taste tester ever! ❤️❤️❤️

Jessica Robinson

Friday 23rd of March 2018

Our absolute favorite kind of cake!! Love this with a hot cup of coffee.

Nellie Tracy

Thursday 22nd of March 2018

The streusel on top makes this cake extra amazing! We love it!

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