Cinnamon Coffee Cake: Embracing Kaffee & Kuchen

coffee cake

There’s nothing quite like the fragrance of cinnamon as it wafts through the air and fills your home.  This cinnamon coffee cake recipe with streusel topping will make your house smell great, and it tastes great too! The coffee cake tradition is tied to Kaffee und Kuchen. A tradition practiced in Germany, Vienna, and parts of Switzerland. 

My first experience hearing of Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) was during my first trip to Germany back in 2018. I was blown away by the beautiful cakes and baked goods I discovered during my travels around Europe.  The German bakeries had me drooling and wanting to sample every last cake.  I gave it my best shot, but alas, I will need to return to finish this lofty goal.

What is Kaffee und Kuchen?

Essentially, it’s a pause button for your afternoon. It’s a coffee and cake break usually taken during the afternoon hours 2-4 p.m. A time when friends, family, and co-workers gather together for coffee and cake and community. I love this! Not only do I enjoy something sweet with my coffee, but I love the idea of taking time to connect.

Our world has become so busy and full of hurried distractions. Perhaps, if we were to slow down and make a habit of connecting over a cup of coffee and a slice of coffee cake, we’d be just a bit happier. Maybe, a little less stressed. Perhaps, we’d focus on what we have, our blessings, our friendships, and our family.  I don’t know, but let’s give it a shot!

Bake Ahead Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I think I established that I love all things coffee, and I love something sweet with my coffee. Be it pancakes, coffee cake (actual cake with coffee in it), or leftover Thanksgiving pie. Coffee and desserts give that perfect balance of bitter and sweet. I have some go-to coffee cake recipes, this cinnamon coffee cake recipe is one of them, and I also love my cranberry coffee cake and a rhubarb crisp in the summer.  I did not know it, but I was born for this Kaffee & Kuchen concept! I just didn’t realize there was a term for it.

This cinnamon coffee cake recipe is so easy to make, and it makes your house smell incredible! Between prep and baking, you’ll have this cinnamon coffee cake made in less than 1-hour. As a bonus, I think this tastes best after it’s completely cooled, meaning you can bake it the night before, and it will taste even better the next morning.  No muss, no fuss, bake ahead cinnamon coffee cake.

Tips for Making this Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

  1. When you mix the wet and dry ingredients, try not to overmix. I like to turn and fold the mixture to grab the flour off the bottom of the bowl. Stir the flour and wet ingredients together until combined, and you no longer see powdered flour.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon for the topping first, eliminating any brown sugar lumps before adding in the melted butter.
  3. And as I mentioned above, I think baking the cinnamon coffee cake ahead of time and serving it cold tastes the best, and the texture is best this way too. Plus, it makes for easy prep the night before. You can even microwave a slice for 10 seconds if you want it slightly warm (this is my hubby’s preference).
  4. Serve with coffee, and enjoy!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

cinnamon coffee cake

Bake Ahead Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Bake this cinnamon coffee cake the night before and serve it for a no-fuss-no-muss breakfast treat the next morning or reserve it for afternoon coffee and cake. The delicious cinnamon fragrance fills the house and beckons to all within to come eat!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bake ahead, cinnamon, coffee, coffee cake
Servings: 16

Ingredients

Cake Batter

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tsp baking power
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon Streusel Topping

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled (half-stick) (4 TB)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease and flour (or using baking spray) 13"x9" baking pan.
  • Whisk together 3 cups flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Cut in the chilled butter until the mixture is coarse and texture is similar to cornmeal.
  • Beat the eggs. Then add milk and vanilla and whisk together. Pour this wet mixture into the dry flour mixture. Stir to combine, so no dry flour shows, but don't overmix.
  • Spoon batter into prepared 13"x9" baking pan and spread evenly.
  • Prepare topping ingredients. Mix the brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and cinnamon together making sure to remove any brown sugar lumps. Add the 4T melted butter to this mixture and combine.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon streusel topping over the batter and then bake at 375°F for 27-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let this cool completely and before serving.

Notes

  1. When you mix the wet and dry ingredients together try not to overmix.  Stir the flour and wet ingredients together just until they're combined and you no longer see powdered flour.  I like to turn and fold the mixture to grab the flour off the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon for the topping together first making sure to eliminate any brown sugar lumps before adding in the melted butter.
  3. Baking the cinnamon coffee cake ahead of time and serving it cold tastes the best, and the texture is best this way too. Plus, it makes for easy prep the night before.

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