Easy Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This one is EASILY my family’s favorite.  I could make one of these a week (… who am I kidding?  I could make TWO) .. and they would all be happy and would probably leave me alone for the rest of the week to do my thing.  I hear you – – I should probably make two, hey?

I grew up with this recipe being made only twice a year – – the mornings of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Tried though we may to convince my mother to bake this thing of beauty more often (like, how about EVERY morning??  or, ok .. just Saturdays??) – she resisted and left the entire family craving it 10 months out of the year.  The beauty of growing up and becoming an adult is that you can indulge in all of those sinful delights that you were denied as a child!  I don’t make this on a weekly basis – – but I do make it more often than holidays.

My husband pairs this with a tall glass of cold milk.  I prefer pairing it with coffee.  We both dunk a little, because the outer crust is firm and crunchy – while the inside is super tender.  It doesn’t even need the dunk, but I’m impulsive and over-indulgent, so…


Anyways – this is super easy and incredibly yummy.  The trick to a successful one is the eggs and sour cream.  Not just that those two ingredients make an incredibly rich tasking cake – but it’s HOW they are added in this recipe . it’s all about the timing.  You add the eggs one at a time.  I will, typically, crack all of the eggs into a small bowl or a Pyrex liquid measuring cup and then be careful to just kind of drop one yolk in at a time, enough of the egg white comes along with it – but this way, using a hand mixer, I don’t have to stop mixing to crack an egg.  I’m all about efficiency!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe
One. Egg. At. A. Time.

And then the sour cream?  Alternate it with the flour mixture – – with PLENTY of mixing in between.  You can use a stand mixer, or an electric hand mixer – this time around, I used my electric hand mixer because the bowl for my stand mixer is dirty and laying in the sink (conveniently, out of the shot of any of the photos I took for this post!)

Sour cream and flour
I usually alternate 1/4 sour cream with 1/4 flour mixture until it’s gone.

By the way, you can substitute plain greek yogurt for the sour cream, it produces the same rich flavor and moist texture.  Be sure to beat the crap out of the batter extremely well in between additions of sour cream and the flour mixture and you’ll end up with this amazing cake batter that is fluffy and thick at the same time…. creamy, rich and pure velvet.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe
Alternate sour cream and flour mixture – beat extremely well in between.

The last step is the layering of the batter and the cinnamon to give it layers that are both pretty and pretty darned tasty!  I’ll usually go in thirds… a third of the batter at the bottom, sprinkled with a third of the cinnamon/nut mixture, and so on, and so forth until it’s all gone.  The recipe (below this post) does call for chopped nuts, which is purely optional.  I have members of my family that are not fond of nuts at all – so I leave them out and opt for just plain cinnamon and sugar.  But this coffee cake is lovely with walnuts!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe
Alternate batter and cinnamon to create layers.

You should end up with enough cinnamon/nut mixture to sprinkle on the top, as the last layer.  And, actually, it’s not the top you’re sprinkling it on – it’s the bottom, because you’ll flip this cake when it’s fully baked and cooled.  So, I use a knife to swirl that last layer of cinnamon into the batter so that it’s not a bunch of loose cinnamon laying on the top of the cake at the end, so I lose it all when I flip it.  I am super intolerant of lost sweets!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Ready for the oven!

So, if you follow the recipe below, your oven is preheated to 350 degrees now.  It’s taken you, roughly, 20 minutes to prepare this thing of beauty and you will bake it for 60 minutes.  I will warn you now, the smell that is created will permeate your entire house and it’s entirely possible that the neighbors will come running, as well.  It smells amazing!  The last half  hour of baking is pure torture to everyone within a 25 mile radius.  I haven’t really tested that, I’m just making assumptions.

Take the cake out when done, cool it for about 15-20 minutes and then put a wire cooling rack on top of it and flip it upside down.  GENTLY.  If it doesn’t pop out easily – that means you probably didn’t grease the pan well enough, beforehand.  If that happens, flip it back over and run a flat knife around the outer edge of the pan in order to separate it from the pan as much as possible.  Re-flip it and pull the pan off – let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before serving.  I like to sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar on top while it’s still somewhat warm so the powdered sugar kind of melts into a bit of a glaze.  The full recipe is below – if you give it a try, let me know how it turned out and how right I am about how good it is!

Easy Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe
Finished product!

Easy Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Easy Cinnamon Coffee Cake
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 80 minutes
  • Yield: 20 Servings 1x


  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter ((2 sticks) Room Temperature)
  • 2 3/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Whole Eggs
  • 2 tsps Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Sour Cream ((16 ounces))
  • 2 TBSP Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, etc (Optional))


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 2 cups of sugar together until light and fluffy.  You can use a stand or a hand mixer.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time.  Be sure you beat well in between each egg.
  4. After all of the eggs have been well beaten, you should have a very smooth batter.
  5. Beat in the vanilla.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix well with a whisk to ensure good combination.
  7. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream.
  8. Beat well in between each flour / sour cream addition to keep the batter smooth.  You will notice it start to thicken with each addition.
  9. In a greased/buttered Bundt pan (or tube pan), spoon a third of the batter in the bottom.
  10. Combine 3/4 cup of sugar, the cinnamon and nuts in a small bowl.  Sprinkle a third of the mixture over the batter in the pan.
  11. Spoon another third of the batter over the top of the cinnamon/nut mixture.
  12. Be sure to spread the batter out so it covers the entire pan to the edges.  It’s thick, so spread it around with a spatula.
  13. Sprinkle another layer of the cinnamon/nut mixture, followed by another layer of the batter until you are done.  You should end up with enough cinnamon/nut mixture to sprinkle on the top.  I like to use a knife to swirl it around to make sure none of it falls off when I flip the cake after it’s done baking.
  14. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes, flip pan over on top of a wire cooling rack to cool.
  15. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while its still a little warm.  Doing this will make the powdered sugar melt a little, creating a bit of a glaze.
  16. Serve and enjoy!



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