People Like Cake: Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

by Maris Callahan on May 20, 2010

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

People like cake. Now, I’m more of a cookie-and-brownie person myself, but even I understand that there’s a reason why we have birthday cake and not birthday brownies or birthday pie. People like cake.

There are all kinds of cakes out there – celebration cakes, breakfast cakes – and my personal favorite, ice cream cake – but the best cakes out there are the everyday cakes. Cakes that isn’t too drenched in too-sweet frosting so you can snack on it between meals, cake that you can offer someone for no reason at all.

I adapted this from an Ina Garten recipe, simply because I wanted to make the perfect crumb cake without making a trip to the store for ingredients. I had everything on the list for Ina’s cake except the blueberries, so a blueberry-less cake it would be.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon-Streusel Coffee Cake

What you need:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup creme fraiche
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

2. For the streusel: Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

3. For the cake:  Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and creme fraiche.

4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers,crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Daryl May 20, 2010 at 8:35 am

I am craving the top of that cake right now. Best part!!!


kat May 20, 2010 at 10:05 am

I love coffee cake too! I see nothing wrong with birthday pie too, my friend always used to make us apple pies for our birthdays


Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter May 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

That looks even better than similar cakes my mom used to make us. Mmmm yummy.


Lindsay May 20, 2010 at 11:30 am

Oh no, I wish I hadn’t seen this! Now I’m going to have to make it as soon as possible. Is there anything better than cinnamon and sugar and cake?
I’m so glad you left me a message because I got to check out your blog. Love the recipies!


Lisa May 20, 2010 at 11:37 am

Delicious! I want to come to your house for brunch! :)


Dana May 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Yes, people do like cake and finding a good simple one is harder than most people would think. Ina is the perfect person to trust with something like this. Looks awesome, Maris!


DessertForTwo May 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Hi Maris, thanks for the sweet comment on my blog. I am loving your blog. I’m definitely your audience! And I also love that Cooking for Mr. Latte book, too! Keep up the great recipes! I can’t wait to try the baked kale pasta, pomegranate sangria, and real corn muffins. Thanks for sharing :)


Katie@Cozydelicious May 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I adore coffee cake. Mostly because it means I can eat cake for breakfast and not feel guilty! This looks so much like my grandmother’s coffee cake, which I remember as being quite amazing. Yum!


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) May 20, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I’m a purist about coffee cakes, and would never put the blueberries in. This looks delicious. And aren’t the best cakes the ones you bake for no reason at all?


Michy May 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm

That looks sooo delicious. I love crumb cake, and I love cinnamon… Yum. Also, I asked my “adopted” mother for a birthday brownie instead of a birthday cake one year — didn’t work out, but I tried!
By the way, thanks for the comment on my blog. :-)


runnerforever May 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Oh man, this is killing me. It is one of my all time favorite desserts!


Tender B. May 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Beautiful looking streusel. Thanks for the recipe because I love streusels but seldom feel inclined to do so. Now I do so.


Beth @ 990 Square May 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Oh I love a good coffee cake! So good to snack on anytime!


Joanne May 20, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I’m more of a cupcake person than a cake person (I know. I make no sense). But I can still appreciate how delicious this is. I love how massive the crumb layer is!


mandy May 20, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I would be perfectly happy with birthday brownies. This cake looks delicious. I need something to take to a friend next week, this would be perfect!


Megan (Best of Fates) May 21, 2010 at 10:05 am

Ooh – that looks so delicious. Why, oh why, did I not foresee I’d want that, then make it last night so I could be eating it right now? Oh, the tragedy.


Caroline May 21, 2010 at 11:15 am

Looks fantastic!


CookiePie May 21, 2010 at 11:45 am

Soooo yummy!! I’ve made her cake with the blueberries, also delicious. I’d like a slice of yours right now with some coffee!!


Jessica May 21, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Delicious cake! I have never made crumb cake before with the creme fraiche before. What do you think it adds to the recipe?
The picture is beautiful too; making me hungry for some of that coffee cake!


grace May 23, 2010 at 5:45 am

yes, people like cake. also, people like streusel. me? i like cake and LOVE streusel, so the gargantuan layer of it on this particular cake excites me greatly. :)


Kelly May 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Some of my best recipe discoveries come when I don’t have all of the ingredients in my house. Looks delicious, can’t wait to make this coffee cake!


Trish May 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm

My husband has someone coming over on Friday to help him do some work and I was thinking a coffee cake and coffee would be a nice thing to offer. Thanks for the recipe!
P.S. If I make it do you mind if I post it on my blog if I link back to you?


Peter May 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Oh this looks ridiculous delicious.


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