A Classic Coffee Cake recipe that is perfect for a weekend or holiday breakfast. Overnight and make ahead friendly. The crumbly oat topping is delicious!
Originally published September 5, 2017.
A childhood favorite of mine is Classic Coffee Cake, also known affectionately as “Breakfast Cake”. The coffee cake is similar to a yellow cake, but the cinnamon, oat, and nut crumbly topping is what makes it addicting. Breakfast Cake is special to me because 1. My Daddy made it for us growing up, and 2. We would have it a few times a year around Easter, in the fall, and around Thanksgiving or Christmas time so I always associate it with family and holidays. Daddy making breakfast was a treat for us, because usually he was already gone to work by the time we went to school.
To use less dishes, I make the batter in one bowl. I start with whisking together the wet ingredients, then I add in the flour and baking powder last. Next, I make the crumbly topping (SO GUD) and sprinkle it over the batter. This coffee cake is SO EASY to make ahead overnight and bake in the morning. There is quite a bit of vegetable oil in the original Better Homes and Gardens cookbook recipe, but I replaced it with plain greek yogurt (or sour cream) and it’s so much better.
I like a big slice in a bowl with milk poured over it, almost like cereal. The milk soaks into the cake and it’s delicious! It’s also good just served warm with a big glass of milk on the side, and strawberries.
Here are some tips to make coffee cake THE BEST:
- Greek yogurt or sour cream is a must. It makes the coffee cake extra soft. I like to use plain greek yogurt for the extra protein, and there’s no difference in taste.
- Always always always use milk, not water in the batter. 1%, 2%, or whole milk is great. I won’t recommend skim milk unless it’s for a deliberately wannabe skinny recipe.
- DON’T over mix once you add the dry ingredients. Over-mixing results in less fluffy, more chewy cake when it’s baked.
Other great breakfast recipes:
Classic Coffee Cake
- ½ cup milk (1%, 2%, or whole may be used)
- ½ cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 Tablespoons melted butter (1/2 stick)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9X9 inch pan.
- In medium sized mixing bowl whisk together milk, sour cream (or plain greek yogurt, egg, vanilla, white granulated sugar, and salt. Mix well.
- Add flour and baking powder, mix together until fully combined and no flour pockets are left but do not overmix.
- Place batter in prepared 9X9 inch pan.
For the oat crumble topping:
- In a small bowl combine all ingredients and mix well, then spread over cake batter evenly to cover.
- Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes (glass pans may take a few minutes longer), until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Make recipe as directed.
- Place in refrigerator overnight, and when ready to bake increase baking time by 5-10 minutes. I
- Insert toothpick every 2-3 minutes after 40 minutes to check doneness.