Coffee cake was a staple in my house during the holidays. It was basically the only time we got to eat it! My mom always picked up multiple coffee cakes from a local bakery (one that I somehow never went to with her, it is still a mystery where these coffee cakes came from!). And I am still trying re-create the exact coffee cakes they made there. Soon, I will have that recipe for you, maybe next holiday season!
But, I have mastered a more traditional style coffee cake that is absolutely amazing. You can find my traditional Coffee Cake in my book, The Mountain Baker. And, I shared a Lemon Coffee Cake last holiday season. So, if you’ve made either of those recipes then this Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake will be a breeze for you. And if not, this is so good and it’s so easy to make! You can make this Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake the day before you plan to enjoy it, and it keeps just fine in the pan overnight. Or, if you have a cake dome, that’s even better and you can store it in there too. I love recipes like this Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake where you can easily make them ahead of time, so it’s really easy to have a homemade breakfast or brunch on a special day when you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
My mom always bought coffee cake for this exact reason, that it was already made, and we wouldn’t have to make breakfast on Christmas morning. And, then it just became tradition that we had to have coffee cake every Christmas, and I still feel that way! In this Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake, I make a cinnamon swirl for the inside of the cake, and then top it with my signature crumb topping and of course a sweet glaze. I could eat this cake all day long (and I have!). Get the recipe for my Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake.
Tips for Making the Best Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake
• Make sure your butter is soft. This is just like making any type of cake, you want the butter to be soft so it creams well with the sugar. I like to leave butter out at room temperature overnight before I make cake, this usually allows it to soften naturally which I find is best!
• It’s also important to have room temperature eggs, milk, and sour cream. If your butter is room temperature and soft, then adding colder ingredients can cause it to seize up, which will then create chunks of butter in the finished cake batter. This causes two problems, the first being that the butter doesn’t incorporate completely which then can cause the cake to be dry, as there are larger chunks of butter and that can leave the rest of the cake without fat and moisture. It also makes little holes in the cake, which can sometimes cause the cake to break as well.
• Make sure to have the topping ready so when the first timer goes off, you can easily add it on. The reason I add the topping on after partially baking the cake is so that it doesn’t sink into the cake. The first time I made a coffee cake like this with a crumb topping, I put it on right away and it turned out perfect. I then made the cake 3 times after that and each time, the topping sunk into the cake. I think I just got lucky the first time, and so now I always partially bake the cake to be safe! Because, the topping is the best part, and you want it to be in tact on top of the cake.
• I store this cake in a cake dome when I make it and it keeps well for up to 5 days.
Why use organic ingredients in this recipe? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why you should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. And organic ingredients are much healthier for you to eat in general as they do not contain GMOs or anything artificial. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients!
So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.
Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake
Makes 9-inch cake
1/2 cup (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
170 grams (3/4 cup) organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
2 organic large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup organic milk, room temperature
1/4 cup (57 grams) organic sour cream, room temperature
212 grams (1 1/2 cups) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon organic milk
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
95 grams (3/4 cup) organic all purpose flour
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic cane sugar
57 grams (1/4 cup) organic packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon
6 tablespoons (85 grams) organic salted butter, melted
142 grams (1 cup) organic powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons organic milk
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
To make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, cane sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined and no chunks of butter remain. Add the eggs, milk, and sour cream and mix on low until combined.
In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, and sea salt and whisk together. With the mixer on low, slowly add the cake flour mixture to the butter mixture and continue to mix on low until combined into a smooth batter, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
To make the cinnamon swirl: In a small bowl, add together the dark brown sugar, milk and cinnamon and stir to combine completely.
Transfer half the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread out evenly. Then add the cinnamon swirl mixture by drizzling it on top of the batter in a spiral. Then add in the remaining batter on top, spreading evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes. Set a timer. While the cake is baking, prepare the topping.
To make the topping: Add the flour, cane sugar, cinnamon, light brown sugar, and cardamom to a medium bowl and swirl together. Add the melted butter and fold together with a spatula until you have a paste.
Once the timer goes off, remove the cake from the oven and using your hands, crumble the topping onto the partially baked cake batter. Return the cake to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan.
To make the glaze: Add the powdered sugar and milk and whisk to combine completely. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the coffee cake.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Gluten Free — Replace the cake flour with 212 grams (1 1/3 cups) organic gluten free flour blend and replace the all purpose flour with 95 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude — Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes, remove and add topping, then bake again for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.