Cinnamon-sugar toast with lots of butter is one of my favorite comfort foods. It makes me feel so cozy.
I took those warm and fuzzy flavors, and baked them into this coffee cake.
The cake is soft and fluffy, with a slightly crunchy topping, and the drippy glaze seals the deal.
Between the cinnamon-and-sugar laden cake batter, the buttery brown sugar topping, and the vanilla cream cheese glaze, it’s my idea of the perfect coffee cake. Take that, Entenmann’s.
I made a Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake along these lines last year, and it’s been very popular with readers, but this one is even easier and more streamlined.
I love to bake because it’s a creative outlet and it helps me relax, but only if the recipe isn’t overly complicated or fussy, and this coffee cake starts with a bowl of dry ingredients and a bowl of wet. Pour the wet over the dry, stir, pour into a pan, top with the brown sugar mixture, and bake. Nice and easy.
Since I loathe dry coffee cake, I used a trifecta of tricks to keep it super soft, moist, and tender: Buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and oil.
Buttermilk helps keep cakes soft, springy, bouncy, tender, with the perfect balance of density and fluffiness. The results are unparalleled. You can make buttermilk by souring your own milk. Add about 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk, wait for 10 minutes for it to curdle, then use as indicated.
If you don’t routinely keep buttermilk on hand, I highly recommend this Powdered Buttermilk . If you don’t use buttermilk much, but sometimes see a recipe that needs a half cup, but because you think you won’t use the rest of the jug before it goes bad, you opt of trying the recipe, then this powder is your new best friend. Shelf stable, keeps for ages.
To make sure the cake has a nice pop of cinnamon flavor, I used one tablespoon cinnamon in the cake batter, and there’s one teaspoon in the topping.
For a cinnamon fiend like me it’s perfect and I don’t think too intense, but if you’re more sensitive to cinnamon, you may wish to dial it down, possibly even halving it.
After whisking together the easy cake batter and turning it out into the pan, add the buttery brown sugar topping.
When you mix up the topping, it looks like streusel topping, with some pea-sized clumps and some sandy bits. However, while baking, the brown sugar and butter melt, and the topping turns into a caramelized wall of brown sugar. Best tasting wall ever.
The simple vanilla cream cheese glaze is the literal icing on the cake. Sweet and light, with a slight tang, and it’s the perfect contrast to the warming cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. If you don’t have cream cheese on hand, you can use butter instead.
The cake is springy, bouncy, and very moist, with just enough density to give it some heft and dimension, while the contrasting brown sugar top layer is buttery, firm, crispy and flakey.
It’s the perfect cake for a brunch, on Christmas morning, or just because it’s a Wednesday. It’s cake I want to eat on the couch, curled up with a blanket, with a book in one hand, and a mug of hot coffee in the other.
My ultimate (pipe) dream is to be served this cake as a breakfast-in-bed cake, but I’d have to believe in Santa Claus in order for that to be a reality.
Brown Sugar-Topped Cinnamon-and-Sugar Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze
Yield: one 8x8-inch pan, 9 generous pieces
Prep Time: 10 mintues
Cook Time: about 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, to allow for cooling
Brown Sugar Topping
Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze, optional but recommended
Recipe from Averie Cooks . All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
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Cranberry Lemon and Ginger Muffins – Texanerin Baking
Cranberry Orange Breakfast Knots – Completely Delicious
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes – Gimme Some Oven
Chocolate Turtle Pie – Sugar Plum Blog
This post was brought to you by Gold Medal Flour. Recipe and opinions are my own.
What’s your favorite coffee cake?