HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What's your latest food project? Share your adventure

Best recipe for coffee cake?

Westy May 2, 2011 01:23 PM

Hello -

Grew up in a family of bakers (mostly Swedes and Germans). Anybody out there know how to bake a great coffee cake? Looking for a taste of home.


  1. t
    travelerjjm Dec 31, 2011 03:40 PM

    As a kid growing up in St. Louis my favorite was always Gooey Butter coffee cake. We had it many Sunday mornings. There in STL most bakeries appear to get it from a mix in big bags, but Paula Deen's recipe seems very close http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/view...

    1. b
      Blythe spirit Dec 31, 2011 11:43 AM

      I love Margaret Fox' coffee cake - in the cafe Beaujolais cookbook. It sounds exactly like what you are looking for.

      1. lilgi May 6, 2011 08:18 PM

        I love, love, love Melissa Clark's rhubarb coffee cake.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lilgi
          chowser Jun 20, 2011 12:39 PM

          Do you have the recipe handy? That sounds really good.

          (ED) Is this it?


          1. re: chowser
            lilgi Jul 5, 2011 07:18 PM

            Yes, that's the one. The tang makes a nice contrast with the sweetness of the coffee cake. This doesn't last too long when I make it, I keep small frozen batches of rhubarb for this.

        2. Jpan99 May 4, 2011 08:50 AM

          If you like cranberries, this is delicious!

          Cranberry Nut Coffee Cake

          ½ cup butter
          1 cup sugar
          2 eggs
          1 teaspoon baking powder
          1 teaspoon baking soda
          2 cups flour
          ½ teaspoon salt
          1 cup sour cream
          1 teaspoon almond extract
          1 16-oz can whole cranberry sauce
          ½ cup chopped walnuts

          Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan.

          Cream butter and sugar. Add unbeaten eggs 1 at a time. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream ending with dry ingredients. Add almond extract.

          Spoon half the batter into greased tube pan. Spread ½ of cranberry sauce evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter and then remaining cranberry sauce. Sprinkle top with nuts. Bake for about 55 – 60 minutes or until done.

          Cool in pan 5 minutes then turn onto rack and cool another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare icing.

          ¾ cup confectioners sugar
          ½ teaspoon almond extract
          2 tablespoons warm water

          Combine and drizzle over top of warm cake, letting some spill down sides.

          1. Antilope May 2, 2011 07:17 PM

            Coffee Cake from Duncan Hines (the food critic that founded the cake company) 1948

            Coffee Cake from AP Food Editor - 1955

            Award Winning Coffee Cake (1992 Vermont Apple Bake-Off

            Crumb Coffee Cake (Won 1st prize in Sour Cream contest from St Petersburg Times newspaper 1950

            One-Step Tropical Coffee Cake (1973 Pilsbury Bake Off winner

            Blueberry Coffee Cake (2nd Prize Suncoast Recipe Contest

            Peach Coffee Cake (2nd place Farmers Market summer dessert contest

            Yeast Coffee Cake (Winner Wisconsin State Fair 1956

            Cranberry Crown Coffee Cake (3rd place Suncoast Recipe Contest using cranberries 1968


            8 Replies
            1. re: Antilope
              raygunclan May 3, 2011 08:57 AM

              wow! i need to come to YOU, antilope, when i need something!!! talk about thorough!!! impressive!

              i tried the coffee cake out of "flour" and it blew up all over my oven (literally). then i tried a crumb cake off of cook's illustrated's website (with extra "crumb") and it was fantastic!

              1. re: Antilope
                HillJ Dec 31, 2011 12:19 PM

                Anti, sadly most of the links are a-wall now.

                1. re: HillJ
                  Antilope Dec 31, 2011 08:33 PM

                  Google changed part of their URL. I've gone back and copied the new URL format.
                  They are too long to work here. I have converted the URL's to TinyURL.
                  They all work now (unless Google changes them again).

                  Coffee Cake from Duncan Hines (the food critic that founded the cake company) 1948

                  Coffee Cake from AP Food Editor - 1955

                  Award Winning Coffee Cake (1992 Vermont Apple Bake-Off

                  Crumb Coffee Cake (Won 1st prize in Sour Cream contest from St Petersburg Times newspaper 1950

                  One-Step Tropical Coffee Cake (1973 Pilsbury Bake Off winner).

                  Blueberry Coffee Cake (2nd Prize Suncoast Recipe Contest).

                  Peach Coffee Cake (2nd place Farmers Market summer dessert contest

                  Yeast Coffee Cake (Winner Wisconsin State Fair 1956

                  Cranberry Crown Coffee Cake (3rd place Suncoast Recipe Contest using cranberries 1968).

                  1. re: Antilope
                    HillJ Dec 31, 2011 09:24 PM

                    much appreciated, Anti!

                    1. re: Antilope
                      MidwesternerTT Jan 23, 2013 07:17 AM

                      The trouble with links is they're a moving target -- all broken again and search isn't helping refind that first one

                      1. re: MidwesternerTT
                        cleopatra999 Jan 23, 2013 08:15 AM

                        Here is my favourite, go to coffee cake. Make it usually once a year or so, great for a group. Delish when warmed up and lasts (stays moist) for a few days easily

                        caramel apple coffee cake

                        1. re: MidwesternerTT
                          Antilope Jan 23, 2013 06:41 PM

                          Go up about 3 messages. The links in my original message are working again.

                          Duncan Hines Coffee Cake from 1948

                          <<<Paraphrased recipe>>>

                          Makes 8 servings

                          1 cup sugar
                          5 Tbsp butter
                          1 egg, beaten well
                          1/2 cup milk
                          1/2 cup cream
                          1 tsp vanilla
                          2 cups flour
                          1/2 tsp salt
                          2 tsp baking powder
                          1/3 cup sugar
                          1/2 tsp cinnamon
                          1 cup walnuts, ground

                          Cream together 1 cup of sugar and butter.
                          Beat egg and add to above.
                          Then blend into a mixture of the milk, cream and vanilla.
                          Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add dry
                          ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat well.
                          Pour mixture into a shallow pan about 1-inch deep.
                          Sprinkle top with 1/3 cup of sugar, then sprinkle top with
                          cinnamon and ground walnuts. Finally dot top with butter.
                          Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes until it is done.

                          Source: Food Critic Duncan Hines, from his Nov 26, 1948 newspaper column. St Petersburg Times.

                          1. re: Antilope
                            MidwesternerTT Jan 23, 2013 08:06 PM

                            Thanks very much, Antilope for the re-check of the links and (most especially) for taking the time to paraphrase.

                  2. n
                    nothingswrong May 2, 2011 07:10 PM

                    More info please! Do you want a yeast-based coffee cake (light/airy/bread-like?) or a denser cake? One with a streusel? Fruit? Crumb-topping?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: nothingswrong
                      Westy May 4, 2011 06:17 AM

                      The ones from my youth were pretty cake-like, with a crunchy-ish topping, cinnamon flavoring, and occasionally an apple layer in the middle.

                      The other ones were usually in a circle, had an almost pastry like texture (very airy), and had a glaze on top and white frosting on top of that.

                      1. re: Westy
                        TorontoJo May 6, 2011 06:26 PM

                        My mother-in-law's sour cream coffee cakes is wonderful. And it sounds like the style you are describing: a moist, rich yellow cake with a cinnamon streusel layer in the middle and on top.

                        Sour Cream Coffee Cake

                        1 c. sour cream
                        1 t. baking soda
                        ½ c. butter, softened
                        1 c. sugar
                        2 eggs, beaten
                        1 t. vanilla
                        1 ¾ c. flour
                        2 t. baking powder

                        1/4 - 1/2 c. brown sugar (depends on your personal taste)
                        2 t. cinnamon
                        1/4 - 1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (once again, depends on your preference, you can easily leave out the nuts if you wish)

                        Preheat oven to 350.

                        Grease and flour an 8 x 8 pan. Combine sour cream and baking soda in a bowl, mix to blend. Set aside (it will double in bulk). Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Alternately mix in portions of the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture to the batter, ending with flour.

                        Spread half of the batter in the pan. Sprinkle with half of the topping mixture. Cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle with the rest of the topping mixture.

                        Bake for 30 – 40 minutes.

                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          MrsCris Jun 20, 2011 12:31 PM

                          Made this yesterday for my father-in-law. Very nice! I added more vanilla ( my preference ) and a sprinkle of chocolate chips in the middle. Nice, tender cake. Thanks, TorontoJo!

                          1. re: MrsCris
                            TorontoJo Jun 20, 2011 01:06 PM

                            Glad it turned out well for you! To me, it's cake at it's most basic. I love it and can eat far too much of it in one sitting. :) I've used the cake base for cupcakes and really liked them because it's not overly sweet. I can see how more vanilla would be really good.

                          2. re: TorontoJo
                            valerie Jun 20, 2011 06:29 PM

                            Your recipe is almost identical to mine (well, actually it's my mother's and me, my mother and my sister have been making it for years). It is always a hit...always! I just noticed that mine has chocolate chips so a slight difference.

                            Sour Cream Coffee Cake


                            ¼ Cup Butter (unsalted)
                            1 Cup Sugar
                            ½ pint Sour Cream (1 cup) – you can use low-fat if desired
                            2 Eggs
                            1 Tsp. Vanilla
                            ¼ Tsp. Salt
                            2 Cups Flour
                            1 Tsp. Baking Powder
                            1 Tsp. Baking Soda


                            ¾ Cup Chopped Walnuts
                            2 Tsp. Cinnamon
                            ¼ Cup Sugar
                            ¾ Cup Chocolate Chips (semi-sweet)

                            Preheat over to 350.

                            Cream butter. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add vanilla.

                            Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add alternately with the sour cream blending well.

                            Pour half the batter into a well-greased baking pan.

                            Combine filling ingredients. Sprinkle half of mixture over batter in pan. Top with remaining batter and then sprinkle with remaining filling mixture. Slightly press chocolate chips and nuts down so that they stay on the cake when it is baked.

                            Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Test with a toothpick – it might need a little more time in the oven (like 10 or 15 minutes).

                            1. re: valerie
                              biondanonima Jun 20, 2011 06:47 PM

                              My recipe (my mother's as well!) is very close to yours and TorontoJo's, although mine calls for 2 cups of sugar to the same amount of flour (I do recall it being rather sweet - it's been a long time since I made it). The chocolate chips sound like a tasty addition - I will have to try that next time!

                          3. re: Westy
                            sandylc Jan 23, 2013 07:36 PM

                            I think the second one you describe is a type of kringle/kringler. It is yeast based and Beatrice Ojakangas is a good source for a recipe.

                        Show Hidden Posts