Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping

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This Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping is the perfect brunch, breakfast, or dessert treat! A tender buttery cake with a cinnamon middle ribbon and topped with a crunchy cinnamon topping. This coffee cake recipe is so much better than Starbucks coffee cake!

Slice of coffee cake with icing drizzled on top. Mint in the corner for garnish.

Coffee cake is one of those cakes you can take anywhere and everyone will gladly have a piece. We love making it not only for special occasions but whenever we have a craving for cinnamony carbs.

We also love to make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting for a special breakfast treat. Or even this Easy Banana Bread to use up those ripe bananas and these Lemon Muffins for something bright and cheery.

This Coffee Cake Recipe Is:

  • Ultra soft and moist
  • Buttery with a crunchy topping
  • Filled with brown sugar and cinnamon flavor
  • Perfect for sharing (if you are willing, lol!)
  • Great for brunch, breakfast, or dessert
Ingredients to make coffee cake: flour, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla.

Ingredients For This Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping:

ALL PURPOSE FLOUR: Provides the structure for the cake and is also used in the crumb topping
BAKING POWDER AND BAKING SODA: These are the leavening agents used to raise the cake and make it fluffy.
SALT: Provides flavor and is necessary for baking so don’t omit it!

BUTTER: Provides flavor, helps make the cake tender, and is used in both the cake and topping
SUGAR AND BROWN SUGAR: Sugar is used to sweeten the cake batter and brown sugar is used for the middle and topping.
EGGS: Eggs add moisture and help hold the cake together.

VANILLA: Adds yummy vanilla flavor to the cake.
SOUR CREAM: Adds so much moisture to this cake! It also makes it a little denser than a traditional white cake but not as dense as a pound cake.
CINNAMON: Let’s face it, you can’t have a coffee cake without cinnamon! Cinnamon is used in both the middle filling and crumb topping so you know it’s going to be good!

Ingredients for coffee cake filling: brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Ingredients for crumb topping: flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt.

3 Parts To This Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping Recipe:


Made completely from scratch, but don’t let that scare you! It is an easy to follow recipe and you won’t be disappointed, promise! It’s a pretty thick cake batter so don’t be alarmed.

You will first cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Make sure your butter is room temperature or this will be very difficult and alter the results of your cake.

Next, come the eggs and the vanilla. Mix just until combined and scrape the bowl often.

Now alternate with the flour mixture and sour cream mixing well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl often. This is important or the batter will not incorporate completely.

Six pictures showing how to make coffee cake. Starting with the creaming of the butter and sugar to adding in the flour and sour cream.


This part is super simple! Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Spread half of the batter in the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Three pictures showing spreading the cake batter into the pan and adding in the middle layer.


Mix together the flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Spread the remaining half of the batter carefully over the middle cinnamon layer then sprinkle with the crumb topping!

Three pictures showing how to finish the cake and add the crumb topping.

Optional Vanilla Icing:

I know I just said optional but you will want to go the extra step! Mix powdered sugar with milk and drizzle across the top of the coffee cake.

Don’t want a vanilla icing? Try drizzling it with Salted Caramel or serve it with whipped cream or even ice cream.



No, it doesn’t. There isn’t any coffee in coffee cake. It is a buttery, moist, soft vanilla cake with cinnamon and a crumb topping. It is typically served with coffee.


Cover completely cooled coffee cake well and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. After that, the cake will really start to dry out.


Yes! Wrap completely cooled coffee cake in plastic wrap and then in heavy duty foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.


Overbaking is the main cause of dry coffee cake. It will also start to dry out significantly 3 days after being baked.

A piece of coffee cake showing the cinnamon middle and crumb topping.

Tips and Suggestions

  • Don’t be alarmed at how thick this batter is. Most coffee cake batters are very thick.
  • To make the top layer of batter a little easier to spread grease an offset spatula, and try not to worry too much about perfection!
  • Please don’t substitute the butter for margarine! Your cake will not turn out or taste the same.
  • You can replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt or full-fat plain yogurt. I don’t recommend using low-fat or no-fat sour cream or yogurt.
  • It may seem like too much salt in the middle layer and topping but it makes a nice sweet and salty combo. However, feel free to reduce if needed.

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Slice of coffee cake with icing drizzled on top. Mint in the corner for garnish.

Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coffee cake, coffee cake recipe
This Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping will have you staying in instead of grabbing that Starbucks coffee cake! This coffee cake recipe is perfect for sharing and will fill your home with the smell of cinnamon!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 818kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe



  • ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • cups (215g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 3 cups (425g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, soft
  • cups (325g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • cup (420g) sour cream



  • In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the middle layer; set aside.


  • In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients for the crumb topping until well combined; set aside.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix just until combined. The batter may look a little curdled and that is fine. Scrape the mixer often.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add ⅓ of the sour cream and mix just until combined. Scrape the bowl often. Repeat for remaining flour and sour cream 2 more times.
  • Spread ½ of the batter in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with reserved middle layer. Spread the remaining batter across the top of the middle layer. Sprinkle with crumb topping and very lightly press into the batter.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


  1. STORAGE: Store covered at room temperature for 3-4 days. 
  2. FREEZER FRIENDLY: Wrap cooled cake in plastic wrap and then in heavy duty foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature overnight. 
  3. Don’t replace the butter with margarine.
  4. Can substitute Greek yogurt or full fat plain yogurt for sour cream. I don’t recommend using reduced fat or no fat sour cream or yogurt. 
  5. Vanilla Icing: if you would like a vanilla icing combine ½ cup powdered sugar with 2-3 teaspoons until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake before serving. 


Calories: 818kcal | Carbohydrates: 129g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 5mg

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