This cinnamon streusel coffee cake is combines classic cinnamon flavor with a delicious streusel topping for one amazing breakfast! It’s simple to make, scrumptious, and a recipe that all your friends will be asking for at the next party!
I remember growing up my mom would on occasion make us a yummy cinnamon coffee cake before school. More often it was cold cereal and milk (or one of these healthy smoothies), but I always loved the special mornings when she made coffee cake instead.
There’s just something about coming down the stairs to the smell of fresh coffee cake that actually gets you excited about the morning.
This coffee cake is a little different than the one that I had growing up but delicious all the same.
And the flavors, with its cinnamon filling and streusel topping still give me that nostalgic coffee cake flavor.
So whether you want to make a yummy breakfast for your family or need to bring something to a brunch baby shower, this coffee cake is guaranteed to be a hit.
Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Ingredients
One of the nice things about this coffee cake is that you likely already have all the ingredients to need in your pantry – plus a little butter but who doesn’t always have butter on hand?
Here’s everything you’ll need!
- 1 box yellow cake mix – you could also just make your favorite homemade yellow cake batter
- Ingredients for the cake mix – you’ll be making the box cake batter so make sure you have the other ingredients your yellow cake mix calls for (eggs, oil/applesauce, etc.)
- Graham cracker crumbs – you can either make these yourself or buy the boxed ones
- Light brown sugar
- Pecans or walnuts – these need to be chopped into small pieces
- Ground cinnamon – this is a cinnamon streusel coffee cake after all
- Salted butter
- Confectioners sugar – also known as powdered sugar
- Milk – I always prefer whole milk but whatever you have on hand works
- Lemon juice – either fresh or jarred is fine
How to Make Cinnamon Coffee Cake
While there are a handful of steps in this recipe, it’s really easy to make. The steps are mostly just repeating themselves because you’re going to make layers in the coffee cake, kind of like a lasagna.
Just like my pumpkin crunch cake, this cinnamon streusel coffee cake stars with a yellow box cake mix. Then adds a bunch of other yummy ingredients to get a delicious coffee cake.
Here’s a quick step by step on how to make it. Make sure to read the entire recipe card at the bottom of this post for specific details and more!
1 – Prepare your cake mix.
I mentioned above that you’ll need the ingredients to make your box cake. I didn’t include specific ingredients because some cake mixes tend to be a little different in how they’re made, especially if you’re using a box versus a homemade yellow cake batter.
So make up your cake batter however you would normally. That’s going to be your first step.
Pour half of the cake mix into a greased 9×13 pan.
2 – Make your cinnamon streusel.
Mix the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, pecans (or walnuts), cinnamon, salt, and melted butter together to make a crumbly streusel.
Sprinkle half of the streusel on top of the cake batter.
3 – Add another layer.
Remember when I talked about this being kind of like a lasagna with layers? This is where that happens.
Pour the rest of your cake batter over the first streusel layer. Spread it around until it reaches all four sides of the pan and covers the first layer of streusel.
Finish it off with the rest of the streusel on top of the cake batter.
4 – Bake in the oven.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for a few minutes or until it’s cool enough to eat.
5 – Make drizzle topping.
While the cake is cooling, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and lemon juice together until well combined. Have extra fresh lemon juice? Try these delicious Greek lemon chicken thighs!
Once the cake has cooled completely, drizzle icing on top of the cake.
6 – Serve in squares.
Cut the cinnamon streusel coffee cake into squares and serve.
And one tip – just like waffles and ice cream, this coffee cake also goes really well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I mean you can eat breakfast cookies, why not breakfast cake and ice cream?
Coffee Cake FAQs
I get a lot of similar questions about this coffee cake, so I’ve included a section below with answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you have more questions, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it quickly!
What is a coffee cake?
Coffee cake is typically an unfrosted moist and tender cake and is a breakfast cake that people normally eat alongside coffee. They typically have some sort of streusel and an icing of some sort. Except I don’t drink coffee, so we normally eat it with a little orange juice or this very berry smoothie on the side.
Can you use a homemade yellow cake instead?
I referenced this in the post above but yes, you can make the yellow cake batter from scratch. Using a box mix just makes this a lot faster than making a homemade cake mix and still gives you the same flavor since the rest of the recipe is from scratch.
Can I use a different type of cake mix?
Yes! If you want to try different flavors, a white mix will give it a lighter, fluffier texture. You could also try it with something like a spice cake, pound cake, or honestly even a strawberry cake mix.
How do I store coffee cake?
Store coffee cake at room temperate in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Can I freeze this coffee cake?
You can freeze this coffee cake in an airtight container for up to three months and actually freezes really well. You can either store cut or un-cut if you want to thaw individual pieces one at a time rather than the entire cake.
Thaw completely before serving.
Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
For the Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix 15.25 oz box
- box cake mix ingredients
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts chopped
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup salted butter melted
For the Drizzle
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 TBS milk
- 2 tsp lemon juice
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Divide batter in half.
- Pour half the cake batter into a greased 9x13 pan.
- Mix graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, pecans (or walnuts), cinnamon, salt, and melted butter together to make a streusel.
- Sprinkle half the streusel on top of the first layer of cake batter.
- Spoon the last half of the batter on top of the streusel and spread until it reaches all four sides of the cake pan, making sure to cover the first layer of streusel completely.
- Sprinkle the last half of the streusel on top.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
- Cut coffee cake into squares and serve. Enjoy!
For the drizzle
- Make a drizzle topping by whisking together the confectioners' sugar, milk, and lemon juice until well combined.
- Drizzle icing on top of cooled cake.
More Delicious Breakfast Recipes
- French toast casserole with cream cheese
- Ham and cheese breakfast casserole
- Sausage egg breakfast casserole
- Breakfast egg muffins with hash browns
- Ham and cheese empanadas
- Cranberry orange bites