So when I set out on a mission to think of recipes to share on my blog featuring my favorite things (#lynnsfavs), I had little bit of a hard time. Not because I don’t have a lot of favorite foods, but because a lot of my favorite foods are things (like Peppermint Patties, and sauerkraut, and oatmeal cookies, and, well, you’ll just have to wait and see some of the other things that are coming! 😉 ), so I had to come up with recipes that used a lot of those things as ingredients.
This specific recipe started out as a vehicle for cinnamon (I’ve talked about my love for cinnamon plenty of times), which reminded me how much I love cinnamon streusel, and then I remembered that I’ve had “coffee cake” on my April Flours list since I first made it in April 2014. And that just led to… Well… One of the best things I’ve ever baked. Fuhreal.
I realize now why I’ve never made coffee cake, and why I tend to avoid it when given the opportunity to pick it at breakfast or brunch buffets, despite it being a favorite. I actually love it so much that it is really hard for me to stop eating it. I say all the time that I have a lot of self control when it comes to the things I make. I am so good at eating one cookie, sometimes even just half a cookie, and giving the rest away to friends and family. I can make an entire cake and not even taste test a crumb. But things like homemade granola, sweet heat snacks, and mostly anything that has the slightest bit to do with cheese and crunch, I’m into it.
And, as I recall now, after having this cinnamon streusel beauty in my kitchen for 2 days, COFFEE CAKE.
I live with a sweets lover, and he’s pretty good at taste testing recipes for me. In fact, he is so good that I sometimes have to remove baked goods from his line of sight, otherwise he will devour the whole thing. True story. Just ask him.
I have to admit… I caught his sweet tooth with this one. Oh, I caught it REAL bad. So bad, actually, that I had to put a sign on it to remind both of us that we really didn’t want to be eating this coffee cake (after all, we were just a few weeks away from our cruise). Despite the fact that it was so(ooooo) good, I made it to take with us to dinner with friends, so it had to last from Sunday when I made it until Tuesday evening when we had the plans.
(Ok, stop. Wouldya JUST look at all that streusel?)
The struggle was real, people.
I searched high and low for a coffee cake recipe that sounded like it would fit the bill. Qualities I was looking for: an easy, uncomplicated list of ingredients, lots of cinnamon, something that would be super moist, could fit into a bundt pan (more on this later), and didn’t need any kind of glaze. After perusing what seemed like hundreds of recipes, I stumbled on Ina Garten’s recipe and knew I had found the coffee cake of my dreams.
But of course, I changed a few things to make Ina’s coffee cake fit my preferences. She uses a glaze on hers, but I am not about that glaze. I am totally about the streusel (because let’s be honest: life is about things like LOTS OF STREUSEL), so I wanted that to be the star of the show. So much the star, in fact, that I put a layer of streusel not only on the top but ALSO the bottom of the batter in my bundt pan so my coffee cake was literally sandwiched between two layers of streusel. A streusel sandwich!! (<– can I take one of those for my lunch tomorrow instead of my salad?)
Have you ever made streusel? It’s suuuuuper easy. Flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cold, cubed butter get all smashed together with a fork/your fingers to create sweet and buttery chunks of cinnamon-y goodness. Making streusel is another one of those things every baker should just know how to do, in case of streusel emergencies. Those happen. Really.
Your batter consists of the usual suspects (flour, sugar, eggs, leaveners, you know these guys), but to make this coffee cake ultra tender, we add a hefty dose of Greek yogurt. Not only does this bring extreme moisture to your cake, but heyyyyy, extra protein! Ya can’t argue with that.
Once your batter is all mixed up, you’ll sprinkle half of the streusel directly into the bottom of your bundt pan. Now about this bundt pan business… If you don’t have one or simply don’t want to use one, this recipe will fit into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. See recipe for assembly and baking instructions.
Once your cake is fully baked, you’ll let it rest for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you’ll very carefully, and with oven mitts (because your pan will still be crazy hot), flip your pan onto the serving dish, leaving the cake in the pan to cool. Why do we do this? Not only will this insure your cake comes out of the pan (oh, there’s nothing worse than a potentially beautiful bundt cake sticking to the bottom of the pan, which then becomes the top of the pan that everyoneeeee sees), but it will flatten out the streusel on the top of the cake (which, in your flipping, will make the top the bottom– did I lose you?) so your cake will sit nicely on a flat surface despite its bottom that will be FULL OF STREUSEL LUMPS!! Eeeeek!
I chose to dust my coffee cake with powdered sugar because, well, to be honest, without it, the cake wasn’t all that interesting to photograph. But, a word of advice if you’d like to use powdered sugar: dust your coffee cake right before serving, or even as you cut slices. Since the top of your bundt cake has streusel baked directly into it, the butter (ohhhh, the butter) will absorb a lot of the powdered sugar after only a few minutes. This is definitely a good problem to have.
I don’t know if I have adequate words to describe to you just how delicious this coffee cake is. Not only do you have streusel in every which way you take a bite, but the cake itself is just an absolutely perfect texture. It is not too dense that you feel weighed down by each bite, but it’s also not light in the slightest, so you have a ton of vanilla/cinnamon cake flavor going on between your streusel sandwich.
Dunk it in your coffee, eat it straight up, make up some glaze if you feel you really want it… However it is that you decide to enjoy your coffee cake, know that you might find yourself sneaking nibble after nibble after nibble before there isn’t any more coffee cake. Which I guess wouldn’t be the worst thing– you could just make it again. And you’ll want to. Because it’s that good.
I cannot be held responsible for how much coffee cake consumption might be in your future.
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed (light or dark)
- 1 and ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 and ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed (light or dark)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature*
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 and ¼ cups Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla, any fat content-- you may also use sour cream)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Place flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter into a small bowl.
- Using a fork, press ingredients together until butter is in small chunks. Use your fingers to pinch pieces together until streusel is mostly small crumbles. Some large crumbles are ok. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, toss together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed after each until combined. Add the vanilla and the yogurt and beat again on medium speed until completely incorporated.
- Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until no flour lumps remain. Do not over mix batter.
- Sprinkle half (approximately ¾ cup) of the streusel evenly into the bottom of your prepared bundt pan. Pour all of the cake batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining streusel evenly on top of the cake batter. Bake for 42-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire cooling rack. Using oven mitts, carefully flip the coffee cake onto your serving dish/platter. To do this: flip the serving dish/platter over and place on top of the cooling bundt pan. Flip everything over and allow cake to cool completely in the pan, sitting on the serving dish. When cake is completely cool, lift pan off of the cake and cut to serve. Dust with powdered sugar if desired, keeping in mind the butter in the streusel that has been baked into the top of the cake will absorb the powdered sugar quickly. Leftovers can be kept covered tightly at room temperature up to 5 days or in the refrigerator up to one week. Cake freezes well, up to 2 months. Thaw in fridge overnight and allow to come to room temperature.
*It is always a good rule of thumb to use room temperature ingredients when using room temperature butter. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, place in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten