coffee cake

Irresistable Coffee Cake

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coffee cake

Coffee cake—a term that instantly conjures images of cozy mornings, warm kitchens, and the comforting (and nostalgic) aroma of a freshly baked cake! This beloved treat has carved out a niche in the world of baked goods, as the perfect companion to a steaming cup of coffee. Whether you enjoy it at breakfast, as an afternoon pick-me-up, or even as a late-night indulgence, coffee cake is a timeless treat. Let’s dive into its rich history, explore some delightful variations, and discover tips for storage and gifting.

The Rich History of Coffee Cake

The origins of coffee cake can be traced back to 17th-century Europe, where the custom of enjoying sweet cakes with coffee began. Initially popular in Germany and Scandinavia, these early versions were simpler, more akin to sweet breads than the rich, crumb-topped delights we savor today. The idea was to complement the newly fashionable coffee drink with a sweet treat.

As coffee culture spread across Europe, each country developed its own version of coffee cake. The Germans contributed streusel-topped cakes, while the Scandinavians introduced their rich, buttery cakes often flavored with cardamom. When these European immigrants arrived in America, they brought their coffee cake recipes with them, and over time, these recipes evolved into the diverse array of coffee cakes we know today.

Irresistable Coffee Cake Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Durigon

What You’ll Need to Make This Delicious Cake:

  • all purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • eggs
  • butter
  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugayogurt/sour cream
  • fruit filling (if using)
Irresistable Coffee Cake Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Durigon

Delicious Variations to Explore

The beauty of coffee cake lies in its versatility. Here are a few popular variations that showcase its adaptability:

  1. Classic Cinnamon Streusel: The quintessential coffee cake, with a moist, tender crumb and a generous layer of cinnamon-sugar streusel on top. This basic recipe is akin to this type of coffee cake (although I’ve given you ideas in the recipe to cahnge it up!!)
  2. Blueberry Coffee Cake: Juicy blueberries add a delightful freshness to the cake. Often topped with a lemon glaze, this variation is perfect for a summer brunch.
  3. Apple Crumb Cake: Chunks of sweet-tart apples and a cinnamon-infused crumb topping make this version a fall favorite. It’s like apple pie, but in cake form.
  4. Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake: For those with a sweet tooth, adding chocolate chips to the batter and topping it with a chocolate drizzle takes coffee cake to a whole new level of decadence.
  5. Cream Cheese Coffee Cake: Featuring a layer of creamy, tangy cream cheese in the middle, this variation is rich and satisfying, ideal for special occasions.
  6. Use-Your-Leftover- Fruit Coffee Cake: If you have some fruit in your crisper drawer that has seen better days, cut/core/peel/chop it and add it between the layers…change the flavourings as you like!!

Freezing and Storage Tips

Coffee cake can be made ahead and stored in the freezer, making it a convenient treat for any time. Here are some tips to ensure it stays fresh:

  • Wrap It Well: Once the cake has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then again in aluminum foil. This double layer helps prevent freezer burn. Tip: Cut into serving pieces, wrap individually and then place wrapped pieces into a freezer bag – that way you can take out one or two pieces without tdefrosting the whole thing!
  • Use Freezer Bags: For added protection, place the wrapped cake in a large, resealable freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
  • Label and Date: Always label your packages with the date so you can keep track of how long they’ve been stored. Coffee cake can be frozen for up to three months.
  • Thawing: When ready to enjoy, thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can also thaw it at room temperature for a few hours.

Serving Tips for the Perfect Coffee Cake Experience

Coffee cake is best served slightly warm, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Warm It Up: A quick zap in the microwave (about 10-15 seconds per slice) or a few minutes in a 300°F oven will revive that fresh-baked taste.
  • Pairing: Naturally, coffee cake pairs wonderfully with coffee, but it’s also delightful with a cup of tea or hot cocoa.
  • Toppings: A dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream can transform a simple slice into a decadent dessert.

Packaging Coffee Cake for Gifts

Coffee cake makes a delightful homemade gift, perfect for holidays, birthdays, or just because. Here’s how to package it beautifully:

  • Loaf or Bundt Pan: Baking your coffee cake in a decorative loaf or Bundt pan adds an extra touch of elegance…I look for pans on sale so I can gift the pan WITH the cake!
  • Wrap it Right: Once cooled, wrap the cake in parchment paper or wax paper, then in a layer of festive cellophane or tissue paper. Secure with a ribbon. I even like to wrap it in a pretty ktichen towel as an extra gift!
  • Gift Boxes: Place the wrapped cake in a sturdy gift box. You can find boxes designed specifically for baked goods at craft stores and even the dollar store.
  • Personal Touch: Include a handwritten note or a small card with the cake’s flavor and a personal message. It’s the little details that make homemade gifts so special.

If You Like Coffee Cake, Here are a Few More Recipes for You!

Coffee cake is more than just a treat—it’s a slice of history, a testament to culinary tradition, and a versatile addition to any occasion. Whether you’re enjoying it at home, sharing it with friends, or giving it as a gift, coffee cake always brings a touch of warmth and sweetness to your day.

coffee cake

Grandmas Nostalgic Coffee Cake

Whether you grew up eating this treat with your morning coffee or it’s a new discovery for you, this basic (but delicious!) recipe is sure to become a family favourite!


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter at room temp
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar amount depends on if you add fruit filling or not
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds optional
  • 2 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a 9×13″ pan or line with parchment paper.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until it’s fluffy and almost white.  Add sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream.  Add flour mixture and combine again.
  • In a small bowl, mix almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon (see note below if adding filling)
  • Pour 1/2-2/3 batter into prepared pan – the mixture will be thick so you will have to smooth it our so it covers most of the bottom of the pan
  • Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture.  Spoon the rest of the batter (a tbsp at a time) to cover the nut mixture.  Use a butter knife to smooth out the top mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes until sides are browning and middle is firm.
  • Enjoy warm or cool completely and wrap individual portions in plastic wrap and freeze for the future!


You can use any flavour yogurt and you can even sub in sour cream.
If you are making your coffee cake plain (with no filling between layers), you can use the cinamon, nuts and sugar in the amount noted. If you are making this coffee cake with the addition of a fruit filling, feel free to omit the nuts and reduce the sugar by half (you will only sprinkle it on the top!!)