Cinnamon Coffee Cake

September 13, 2013

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

With a nutty cinnamon crumble on top and hidden in the middle of the cake, this cinnamon coffee cake is a sweet breakfast or brunch treat.

With a nutty cinnamon crumble on top and hidden in the middle of the cake, this cinnamon coffee cake is a sweet breakfast or brunch treat.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

My grandmother was not much of a cook.

Unlike many women of her generation, her primary interest was the family business rather than household tasks.

Despite her limited kitchen time, my grandmother had a few specialties.

One of them was her sour cream coffee cake with its addictive cinnamon nut topping.

My grandparents were breakfast experts whether my grandfather’s waffles or my grandmother’s coffee cake.

What I looked forward to most when visiting was the smell of coffee and the noise of the juicer signaling that a.m. meal.

Those mornings made me love breakfast so much that I occasionally indulge in breakfast for dinner.

The recipe for my grandmother’s cinnamon coffee cake is preserved on a smudged sheet of paper with “GOOD LUCK” as the final instruction typed in all caps. 

My mom altered the original by swapping the sour cream for Greek yogurt, an ingredient both of us usually have in the fridge.

My grandmother would be delighted that her recipe continues to be in demand and part of the repertoire of my mom, me and I hope another generation.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

How To Make Cinnamon Coffee Cake

First, I preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter.

Next, I make the topping. This might be my favorite step because it is so fragrant. I am always reminded how much I adore cinnamon baked goods.

In a small bowl, I stir together a cup of chopped walnuts or pecans, light brown sugar, cinnamon, a couple tablespoons of flour and a little melted butter.

After that, it’s on to the cake. In a medium bowl, I mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Then in a large bowl I use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar. Once it’s light and fluffy, I beat in the eggs one at a time and the vanilla extract.

With a wooden spoon, I fold in the Greek yogurt and the dry ingredients.

I spread half the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Next, I sprinkle on half the cinnamon nut mixture. Then I spread the rest of the batter on top and finish the cake with the remaining topping.

The cake bakes for 45-50 minutes. It’s best to let it cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.

You can serve the cinnamon coffee cake warm or at room temperature.

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Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45-50 minutes
  • Total Time: 65-70 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8-inch square cake 1x


With a nutty cinnamon crumble on top and hidden in the middle of the cake, this cinnamon coffee cake is a sweet breakfast or brunch treat.


  • Butter for greasing pan
  • Flour for dusting pan
  • For cinnamon nut topping and filling
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square metal baking pan and dust with flour tapping out the excess.
  2. For the cinnamon nut topping and filling, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time fully incorporating after each addition and then add the vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the yogurt and then gently fold in the dry ingredients until the mixture is just combined.
  5. Spread half the batter into the prepared cake pan and sprinkle with half the cinnamon nut mixture. Spread the other half of the batter evenly on top and cover with the remaining cinnamon nut mixture.
  6. Bake the coffee cake for 45-50 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.
  8. Store in an airtight container.


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  1. Thanks for this recipe, and for every single recipe you’ve posted! I actually love your blog! I wanted to make this cake, as I love coffee, however, I can’t find any coffee in the ingredients! Could you please help me out with this? 🙂 thanks In advance!