Cinnamon Coffee Cake


Meet your new coffee cake recipe. It's perfect for your book club, that new mom next door, or a holiday brunch.Great coffee cakes are a thing of beauty. File them under "No-Fuss Comfort Desserts."  A little mixing, a little pouring... a lot of butter... and you have something that's easy to bake and keep on hand for guests. Our Cinnamon Coffee Cake recipe is a favorite among our test kitchens staff. Bake it all the way through for a light and tender crumb or cut the bake time short for some serious ooey-gooey goodness in the center. The sweet, crunchy streusel—which would also be divine on muffins, by the way—is balanced by a sour cream mixture that keeps the sugar from going off the charts. This cake is so light that you won't even need coffee. (Oh, who are we kidding? We always need coffee, and cake is the perfect excuse to have a cup.)

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Serves 12 (serving size: 1 slice)


  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour, divided, plus more for pan

  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. pieces

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz.) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

  • Shortening, for greasing pan


  1. Stir together pecans, cinnamon, 1 cup of the flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl. Add chilled butter pieces. Pinch and smear mixture between your fingers until butter is evenly incorporated and mixture starts to clump together. Cover and chill until ready to use (up to 24 hours).

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat softened butter, granulated sugar, and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

  3. Stir together baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Add baking powder mixture to softened butter mixture alternately with sour cream in 3 additions, beginning and ending with baking powder mixture, beating on low speed until just combined after each addition.

  4. Lightly grease a 10-inch tube pan with shortening; dust with flour. Spoon half of the sour cream batter into prepared pan; top with half of the pecan mixture. Repeat layers once using remaining sour cream batter and pecan mixture. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes, tenting with foil after 35 minutes if needed to prevent excessive browning. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; invert cake onto wire rack, and let cool completely, about 2 hours.

    Cinnamon Coffee Cake
    Antonis Achilleos
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