Easy, Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Coffee Cake (Streusel)

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You guys.

I’ve been wanting to make some kind of extra glorious breakfast treat for you for some time.

I’m talking sweet, yeasted dough. Shot through with homemade strawberry jam and cream cheese. Drizzled with thin ribbons of sugary icing.

The kind of thing you wake up at 5 am to make for your overnight guests…for brunch. The kind of thing that makes you think you accidentally woke up the best hotel in Budapest.

I’ll make one of those. One of these days. Truly, I will.

This is not that super complicated fancy treat.

This coffee cake that I have for you today…this BEAUTY…is my new, go-to morning cake.

Morning cake, as in: Roll out of bed, throw on your bathrobe, whip the batter together together, and…VOILA…warm coffee cake, before you even really think about brushing your hair or getting dressed.

It’s so seriously NOT a lot of work. Which, honestly, is my idea of cooking in the morning.

It’s fragrant with cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar. The streusel topping has just the slightest sugary crunch to it. It’s, like…heavenly.

The best part? You can go from batter to baked in just under 50 minutes.

Maybe 7 minutes of that is active cooking time. The rest of it, your oven does all the work.

That’s my kind of breakfast treat. Easy to make. (Hello, one bowl!) Even easier to eat.

Hell, if you’re ambitious, you could pull that off on a weekday morning.

This is old-school coffee cake, like your grandma would make, or like you’d get at a grammar school bake sale or a late-night diner.

Serve it warm out of the oven with piping hot coffee spiked with heavy cream and (maybe) some seasonal, fresh berries if you’re feeling fancy.

Pack it for an after-lunch snack. Or heat up a fat wedge when you get home from work in a hot pan with a generous chunk of butter.

Eat it standing up at the kitchen counter when you get in after midnight on a Thursday, with an icy cold glass of chocolate milk, before you even take off your shoes. (We won’t tell!)

You get the idea.

That’s this cake. My jack of all trades. No muss. No fuss. Always delicious. I love it.

The short version of the recipe goes like this

This base for this cake is made with eggs, flour, and pure olive oil.

Pour half the batter in your greased pan. Layer on some dark brown sugar laced with good, ground cinnamon.

Top with the rest of the batter. Sprinkle on the remaining cinnamon sugar, then drench the whole business with hot, melted butter.

Pop it into the oven, and…wait. Honestly, that’s the hardest part.

Ideas to customize your coffee cake

This recipe is just a guide. Switch the streusel layer up with any flavors you like.

We love classic cinnamon. You could also try these combos:

  • Cardamon, ginger, and clove would be good additions for a spicy, Chai kind of situation.
  • Lemon zest and chopped cranberries or blueberries would also be great.
  • Get crazy with mini chocolate chips and fresh mint leaves. (Yum!)
  • You could add finely chopped walnuts and pecans.
  • Or, jump on the maple/bacon bandwagon with bits of smokey, crispy pig and a generous drizzle of Grade B maple syrup. (Take it over the top with a splash of good Scotch.)

Use your imagination!

Alright, enough chatter!

Ready to bake? To the ovens!

Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

1 cup olive oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
1 cup white sugar
3 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 Tablespoons butter, melted (that’s one stick)

Yields one 9 x 12 coffee cake

Do a little prep

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 9 x 12 inch baking pan with butter or oil. Set aside.

How to make the coffee cake batter

Grab a big mixing bowl. Keep your electric mixer on the shelf, you won’t need it. This is a one-bowl, one spoon situation. (Alright, there’s a whisk, too.)

Put the olive oil, eggs, vanilla, and milk in your mixing bowl.

Whisk the whole shebang together until it’s uniform.

Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until the batter just comes together.

Don’t overmix it. When it’s pretty uniform, stop. Mixing makes flour develop gluten (that’s why you knead the heck out of bread dough). Great for French bread, not what you want for a more delicate coffee cake like this.

The batter will be pretty thick.

Scoop roughly half of the cake batter into your prepared pan. Spread it around so it covers the bottom of the pan evenly.

Don’t make yourself nuts with this. Just do the best you can. It’s going to be delicious.

Put the brown sugar and cinnamon in a measuring cup or small bowl. Mix well to combine.

(If you’re customizing your coffee cake flavor, this is the part where you mix it up.)

Sprinkle about half of the topping evenly over the batter in the pan.

Little chunks of brown sugar are fine, they’ll basically melt as the cake bakes. Break any bigger chunks up.

Once you’ve put your first layer of streusel topping down, spread the rest of the batter on top.

There will be a point where you dump the batter on, and you’re going to say: There’s NO WAY I can spread this out. Trust me, you can. Go slow, use a spatula if it’s easier than a spoon. Some of it may mash together with the streusel layer. That’s just fine. You’re making a cake, not painting a Picasso.

Here, look:

Sprinkle the remaining streusel evenly on top.

Grab your melted butter. (I zap mine in the microwave, about 40 seconds on high. Melt yours however you like.)

Drizzle the top of the cake relatively evenly with melted butter.

HELLO, rivers of melted butter.

Bake the coffee cake

Pop your pan into your pre-heated, 350-degree F oven.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

When it’s done, yank the pan out of the oven.

Place on a rack to cook.

Cool completely before cutting.

 

Serve and enjoy!

And…VOILA! You just made a coffee cake! (And I bet you still have your jammies on.)

Your coffee cake will keep well-wrapped on the counter for about 3 days. If it lasts that long. 🙂

Have you tried this coffee cake recipe?

Leave a comment below, let us know what kind of filling you used, and how you liked it!

Until next time, happy munching!

Easy, Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Yields One 9x13 coffee cake

Here's how to make a mouthwatering, old-fashioned cinnamon streusel coffee cake. Just like grandma--and probably your favorite diner--used to make.

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

For the cake batter
1 cup olive oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
1 cup white sugar
3 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
For the streusel topping
1½ cups dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 Tablespoons butter, melted (that's one stick)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 12 inch baking pan with butter or oil. Set aside.
  2. Put the olive oil, eggs, vanilla, and milk in your mixing bowl. Whisk the whole shebang together until it's uniform.
  3. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until the batter just comes together. Don't overmix it.
  4. Scoop roughly half of the cake dough into your prepared pan. Spread it around so it covers the bottom of the pan evenly.
  5. Put the brown sugar and cinnamon in a measuring cup or small bowl. Mix well to combine.
  6. Sprinkle about half of the topping evenly over the batter in the pan.
  7. Once you've put your first layer of streusel topping down, spread the rest of the batter on top.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining streusel evenly on top.
  9. Drizzle the top of the cake relatively evenly with melted butter.
  10. Pop your pan into your pre-heated, 350-degree F oven.
  11. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  12. When it's done, yank the pan out of the oven. Place on a rack to cool.
  13. Cool completely before cutting. Serve and enjoy! Keeps well-wrapped on the counter for about 3 days. If it lasts that long. 🙂
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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

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