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Buttermilk Coffee Cake

This Buttermilk Coffee Cake has cinnamon streusel all over the top and in the middle of the cake. It is made with lots of tangy buttermilk to keep it moist for days.

Two pieces of buttermilk coffee cake on platesI love using buttermilk for baking. It’s thick and tangy and keeps baked goods moist for days. I usually send all the baked goods I test on the weekend with my husband to work on Monday or Tuesday. But this Buttermilk Coffee Cake, I kept munching on it for breakfast the whole week, and it stayed moist until the very last slice.A slice of buttermilk coffee cake is lifted from the cake stand

How to make Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Streusel

First, make the cinnamon streusel by mixing together flour, sugar, cinnamon and cold butter. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture to create coarse crumbs. Alternately, the streusel can be made using a food processor very easily. This can be made a head of time and kept refrigerated or just before you start baking. If the kitchen is warm, keep the streusel refrigerated so it doesn’t melt.A collage of photos showing cinnamon streusel in the making

Allow all of your refrigerated ingredients to come to room temperature before mixing up the cake batter; that includes your butter, eggs and buttermilk. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and beat to combine. At this stage, sometimes the mixture looks slightly separated, especially if the eggs are still cold. Don’t worry too much, just keep mixing and move on to the next step which is adding the flour mixture and buttermilk.A collage of photos showing the cake batter being mixed

Alternate your addition of the flour and buttermilk: half flour, mix, half buttermilk, mix, then remaining flour, mix, remaining buttermilk, mix. When done, make sure to scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl for even mixing.Buttermilk coffee cake batter in the stand mixer bowl

A collage of photos showing the batter and streusel being assembled in a cake panNow it’s time to assemble your cake batter along with the cinnamon streusel made earlier. I like to use a springform pan to bake this coffee cake because it unmolds easily. Always butter the pan generously to prevent sticking, even if your pan is “nonstick”. Add half the cake batter to the pan, then add half the cinnamon streusel on top in an even layer. Add the remaining cake batter and try to spread it out evenly with the back of the spoon, then sprinkle on top the rest of the cinnamon streusel. Bake, and enjoy!

Buttermilk coffee cake on a cake stand being cut with a knifeThis buttermilk coffee cake is really quick and easy to whip up. It’s perfect for brunch or a little something sweet for breakfast with your coffee during the week if you have any left over from the weekend. If you don’t have any buttermilk in the fridge, you can check out all the buttermilk substitutes from this Taste of Home’s article. Note that I have not tried any of those substitutes so I can’t guarantee results.

More coffee cakes you’ll love

Buttermilk coffee cake on a cake stand next to a small slice on a plateIf you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!

A slice of buttermilk coffee cake is lifted from the cake stand

Buttermilk Coffee Cake

This Buttermilk Coffee Cake has cinnamon streusel all over the top and in the middle of the cake. It is made with lots of tangy buttermilk to keep it moist for days.
5 from 12 votes
Print Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 334kcal
Author: Trang

Ingredients

Cinnamon Streusel

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar ((90 g))
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour ((68 g))
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon ((3 g))
  • 2 oz unsalted butter ((57 g, cold & cubed))

Cake

  • 4 oz unsalted butter ((115 g, room temperature))
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar ((130 g))
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ((4 g))
  • 2 large eggs ((room temperature))
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour ((203 g))
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt ((3 g))
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda ((3 g))
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder ((4 g))
  • 1 cup buttermilk ((235 g, room temperature))

Instructions

Prepare the streusel

  • Add sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and stir together with a whisk to distribute evenly. Toss in the cold cubed butter and cut with a pastry blender or a fork until the texture is sandy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the cake batter

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Brush a 9” springform pan with butter and set aside.
  • Add flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder to a small bowl and mix with a whisk to combine.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream softened butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined.
  • Add half of the flour mixture and beat to combine, then add half of the buttermilk and beat again to combine. Alternate the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk and continue to beat until a smooth batter forms. Use a spatula to scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
  • Add half the cake batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the streusel mixture on top. Then add the remaining cake batter over the streusel, use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the remaining streusel over the top.
  • Bake for 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Nutrition

Serving: 102g | Calories: 334kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

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44 Comments

  1. NRS
    August 31, 2020 /

    The streusel was cold, straight from fridge. Sorry, forgot to answer that when i wrote the first reply.

  2. NRS
    August 31, 2020 /

    My batter did seem loose. Maybe because since I’m lactose intolerant i used a homemade buttermilk substitute with Lactose free whole milk and cream of tartar? But that hasn’t happened with my other cakes when i use the sub. This cake was a bit spongy and dense. I’m wondering if by chance i only used 1/2 tsp baking powder instead of a full teaspoon (I don’t think i did but it’s a possibility). Could that have caused this? we did take a bite and the flavor was good but texture of cake was off. The bottom layer was the streusel with the cake on top. So sad.

    • Trang
      Author
      September 1, 2020 /

      The batter shouldn’t be too thick but there could be a few things:
      1. Maybe you measured the flour slightly on the lighter hand so there’s not enough dry ingredient.
      2. Did you use both baking soda and baking powder? I wonder if they were too old or there is not enough acid in the batter to react with the baking soda. The acid would come from the buttermilk or vinegar or lemon juice that you use to make your homemade buttermilk.
      3. Too little leavening could be an issue, but also too much can cause the cake to over-rise and sink. Typically 1 teaspoon or leavening is used to 1 cup of flour.
      4. If it’s really dense like there is no crumb kind of dense, I’ve seen this before where the batter is too wet or just didn’t rise properly.
      5. Next time try putting the streusel in the freezer so it doesn’t melt into the batter.
      6. Overmixing could cause it to be gummy.
      I hope some of these tips will help. I actually have this cake sitting in my kitchen right now so I’m just so torn with what’s happened to yours…

      • NRS
        September 1, 2020 /

        Thanks! I don’t think i used a light hand with flour since i dipped and swept (instead of spooning and leveling), but seems my dip and sweep was 201 grams. Maybe I will weigh flour next time. I did use both baking soda and baking powder (but wondering if i accidentally only did 1/2 tsp of powder vs 1 tsp). The soda was brand new and powder was close to 6 months old (i change every 6 months) but haven’t had issue with it recently. Since both vinegar and lemon both my system i use cream of tartar when making the buttermilk substitute, but haven’t had that be a problem when i use in other cakes. I will try putting the streusel in the freezer while prepping the cake batter. Do you think i may have over mixed the streusel, so that the butter was almost completely sandy instead of more coarser crumbs? But that wouldn’t answer the cake texture issue.

        • Trang
          Author
          September 1, 2020 /

          201 grams is about right, I measure mine over the weekend and I had about 199 grams. So it’s not the flour issue. Was the streusel like wet sand with some larger crumbs or just totally mixed? Think of it as making biscuits or pie dough, you want to have some butter still left. I’m stumped, 6 mos old baking powder shouldn’t be the problem, but maybe its too little leavening? The only other thing I can think of is perhaps you overmixed the batter? If you use a mixer, try to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients by hand instead using the mixer next time.

  3. NRS
    July 6, 2020 /

    Do you unmold the cake (at least the sides) after a certain amount of minutes or only until it’s fully cooled? And do you invert the cake or keep on the springform bottom? Finally, would non-stick cooking spray work ok instead of butter for greasing the pan?

    Thanks!

    • Trang
      Author
      July 7, 2020 /

      You can unmold when it’s cool to the touch or fully cool, either way is fine. You can keep on the springform bottom or use a large spatula to lift it up and out of that springform bottom, I wouldn’t invert it because of the streusel. I never use non-stick spray, just don’t have it in my pantry, always butter, but it should work. Make sure you at least line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper cut to size so it can be easily removed without sticking to the bottom springform.

      • NRS
        July 7, 2020 /

        Thanks so much!!! If i use butter for greasing do i need the parchment on the bottom if I’m going to keep it on the bottom of the springform to serve? And would you think using butter and flour to grease would be fine or it’s not necessary and butter is fine?

        • Trang
          Author
          July 7, 2020 /

          If you’re keeping it on the springform bottom, probably don’t need the parchment paper, it’s really to make it easy if you want to remove it completely. For cake like this, just butter is enough. Butter and flour combo would be necessary if you’re using something like a bundt pan with corners and decorative details.

          • NRS
            August 30, 2020 /

            Just took this out of the oven and the top streusel layer completely melted/sank into the batter, so looks like there is no streusel on top! Any thoughts? Thinking of just tossing. 🙁

          • Trang
            Author
            August 31, 2020 /

            Oh no… I’m sorry that happened, I actually just made this again over the weekend and didn’t have that issue. I wonder if somehow your batter was too wet and it just absorbed all the streusel. Was the streusel cold? Just cut it open and try it before tossing, it should still taste good.

  4. Heather
    May 28, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Really really good and so simple! Perfect for using up the buttermilk I always seem to acquire and never use!!!

    • Trang
      Author
      May 29, 2020 /

      Glad you enjoyed it Heather! There are so many recipes you can use leftover buttermilk for, don’t let it go to waste 🙂

  5. Dianne
    May 10, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Made this twice, didn’t change a thing and it is absolutely delicious. Super moist, nice cinnamon flavor and it stayed moist for days. I recommend trying this recipe, it was super good.

    • Trang
      Author
      May 11, 2020 /

      Thank you Dianne, I’m so happy you love this recipe enough to make it twice!!! 🙂

  6. Poppy
    May 10, 2020 /

    5 stars
    I had to beat my boys back with a stick so the cake would last until this morning. Needless to say, these fools broke into it last night. It was perfect with coffee in the quiet of my living room. Everyone loves it! It’s now in our rotation. Thank you!

    • Trang
      Author
      May 11, 2020 /

      Great to hear Poppy! I’m totally LOL-ing just imagining the boys sneaking a slice of it! Thanks for that 🙂

  7. John
    May 9, 2020 /

    Could you make this all in a food processor without using a mixer, or would it come out too tough?

    • Trang
      Author
      May 11, 2020 /

      I think it would be too tough, but you could make it by hand. If the butter is soft enough, it wouldn’t be too hard to cream it with a whisk.

  8. Stephanie
    May 3, 2020 /

    5 stars
    This buttermilk coffee cake was so good! I have to make another one in a couple days because almost the entire cake I made today is gone it’s that delicious. I also made it in an 8×8 pan and it came out perfectly.

    • Trang
      Author
      May 4, 2020 /

      Thanks Stephanie!

  9. ML
    April 16, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Very moist and didn’t last long at Easter brunch.

    • Trang
      Author
      April 16, 2020 /

      Glad to hear!! Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  10. Aubz
    March 30, 2020 /

    5 stars
    It was a perfect coffee cake. It was so well balanced between cake and crumble. Also if you are me and always have leftover buttermilk from pancake this is a perfect use for it! Best coffee cake recipe Ive ever made.

    • Trang
      Author
      March 31, 2020 /

      Thank you so much!

  11. Janice
    February 26, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Excellent coffee cake, easy to make. Nothing fancy, but it’s exactly what I think of when I want a straight-forward, cinnamon coffee. Very moist.

    • Trang
      Author
      February 26, 2020 /

      Thanks Janice!! Glad to hear you enjoyed this coffee cake 🙂

  12. Kathy
    January 19, 2020 /

    5 stars
    I made this on Thursday and we’re still eating it today. It’s delicious and just like you said it stays moist. Will make this again for sure.

    • Trang
      Author
      January 19, 2020 /

      Thanks Kathy! So glad to hear you are enjoying this cake 🙂

      • Princess
        February 12, 2020 /

        I would want to know if the cinnamon can be omit3. Don’t like the scent of it.

        • Princess
          February 12, 2020 /

          Ommitted

        • Trang
          Author
          February 13, 2020 /

          I suggest replacing it with another spice you like if you don’t like cinnamon. Having a spice gives the cake more dimension and better flavor, but you can certainly make it without the spice.

  13. Shawn
    January 19, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Super easy and delicious. Thanks👍🏽

    • Trang
      Author
      January 19, 2020 /

      Thanks Shawn, I’m glad you enjoy this cake!

  14. Daphne
    December 29, 2019 /

    Hi I was wondering if I could use a loaf pan for the recipe

    • Trang
      Author
      December 30, 2019 /

      Yes, a loaf pan will work but may take a bit longer to bake, so make sure to check with a toothpick for doneness. I expect an extra 15 mins in the oven or so, at the same temperature.

  15. Deb
    November 25, 2019 /

    What could be used instead of the 9 inch springform pan? Would it work to use a regular 9 inch round cake pan or 8 inch square pan instead?

    • Trang
      Author
      November 25, 2019 /

      Yes both 9″ cake pan and 8″ square pan will work.

  16. Ravenna
    November 1, 2019 /

    5 stars
    Amazingly moist and very tasty 😀 thank you for the recipe!

    • Trang
      Author
      November 4, 2019 /

      So glad you enjoy it! Thanks for leaving a review 🙂

  17. April 25, 2019 /

    5 stars
    Cinnamon and streusel in a cake. That’s all I need. This looks fantastic – perfect with a cuppa.

    • Trang
      Author
      April 25, 2019 /

      Sure is great with coffee, but also with tea 😉

  18. Marissa
    April 20, 2019 /

    5 stars
    This is delicious. My 5yo daughter and I made this the other day as I needed to use up some leftover buttermilk. So easy and very moist.

    • Trang
      Author
      April 21, 2019 /

      Thank you Marissa, great way to use left over buttermilk for sure. I hope you had fun baking with your daughter!

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