Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

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It’s the dream, right? Eating cake first thing in the morning as you sip your coffee. Well today we’re making dreams come true with this easy coffee cake recipe.

easy coffee cake recipe

Coffee by its very nature is meant to be enjoyed slowly. Morning coffee time is one of our favorite times of day. Huddled on the couch with our 3 kids. Careful not to sit on the dog, Turbo (he’s an itty-bitty little guy), who is undoubtedly snuggled under the shared blanket for warmth. And then the Pavlovian beep of the coffee maker draws us to the kitchen for our morning cup (or two). It’s a welcome time of day when things move a little slower. Before the hustle and bustle of the day spins up. The only thing that could make this fleeting time of the day better? Well…cake, of course.

easy coffee cake recipe

It only seems natural that the coffee drinkers of the world would eventually say, “Hey, what can I have to go with this?”. Enter coffee cake. The only cake that’s socially acceptable to have for breakfast. Which isn’t to say I haven’t occasionally indulged in a slice of leftover heath bar cake or oatmeal cake with my coffee (shhh!).

Coffee cake comes in various forms but they all arise from one simple idea…the desire for some sort of delicious pastry or cake-like item to enjoy with your morning coffee. An idea we can all get behind! Just be sure to get your behind in motion later in the day to work off some calories.

easy coffee cake recipe

In a 3 kid house, coffee cake is dangerous. Our kids already think that Mommy and Daddy stay up and eat candy every night after they go to bed. And on those nights when they do wander down after their bedtimes and find us eating dessert there’s always a look of betrayal in their eyes. Now, they’re going to come down in the morning and find us eating coffee cake? Ah well, their feelings of betrayal will quickly give way to elation when we tell them they can have a slice.

This coffee cake isn’t an every day treat, but it is a really perfect comfort food for holidays and special occasions. It’s very popular at coffee hours at work (how to make one of those long work meetings go better–coffee cake) or after church get-togethers.  The only thing is…if I’m hosting a big meal later in the day I don’t always have extra energy for a complicated recipe which is why I LOVE this easy coffee cake recipe.

easy coffee cake recipe

The Secret to an Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

Duh, don’t take on anything overly complicated. That’s why I love that this easy coffee cake recipe uses a yellow cake mix. There are times when it is nice to bake things from scratch and there are times when easy wins the day. And so sometimes an easy coffee cake recipe means using a boxed cake mix. Others may call it cheating, I call it winning! 🙂

I’m sure you can find at least a few complicated recipes in this list of next level coffee cakes, but the goal with this coffee cake is making things easy.  Mix up the cake mix, mix up the topping while the cake starts baking, then top with crumb topping, and bake for a little longer.  Then it’s, ready to go!   It even tastes delicious when you freeze it and save for another time.  Just slice it up and store tightly wrapped in the freezer and pull out a day before (or night before) you are going to serve it and it’s ready to go.

easy coffee cake recipe

So go ahead and give this easy coffee cake recipe a try. I’m thinking of making it again (why not?!) and pairing it with this delicious looking slow-cooker pumpkin spice latte I found over on the Kitchn.

Time to dig in!

easy coffee cake recipe

Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

easy coffee cake
4.38 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 9
Calories: 682kcal


  • 1 box yellow cake mix plus ingredients for to make mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the topping

  • 2 sticks butter cold
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 dash white powdered sugar for sprinkling on top after baking


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Make cake mix according to directions on the box and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla.
  • Pour cake batter in greased 13x9 inch pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • While cake is baking, mix together remaining ingredients until clumping together (I used food processor)--similar to a crisp or crumb cake texture.
  • Remove cake from oven and sprinkle crumb topping all over top of cake.
  • Return cake to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with white powdered sugar and serve.


Calories: 682kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 3.2mg

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  • Reply
    November 29, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Your Coffee Cake looks very beautiful and delicious. I will try to bake it and hope I can serve the cake that would make my family happy.

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    November 29, 2016 at 9:08 am

    5 stars
    Coffee cake is such a simple and delicious treat. Everyone has a great recipe or two up their sleeve. Perfect for making in a hurry…and always delicious. I love eating it for breakfast!!

    • Reply
      November 29, 2016 at 9:49 am

      Thanks, Gloria! Yes, coffee cake is a wonderful treat!

  • Reply
    November 29, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Such a cool idea elevating a pre-boxed mix – definitely makes this treat easy and accessible! And I personally find that cake for breakfast makes any day so much better!

    • Reply
      November 29, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Thanks, Julia! Definitely easier! Cake for breakfast definitely makes the day better!

  • Reply
    Arlene Mobley
    November 29, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    I love homemade coffee cake and it has to have an awesome crumb on top. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    November 30, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    5 stars
    This looks so delicious! Love coffee cakes, perfect anytime.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Do you think this could be baked in a small muffin pan and if so do you think the cook time would be different? Just thought it might be easier to bring to a ladies meeting as muffins and might go farther as small muffins.

    • Reply
      February 12, 2017 at 7:51 am

      I have never tried it as muffins, but I am guessing it would work. Maybe check the time on the box for cupcakes and add a couple extra minutes? Bake and put the crumb topping on at the half way point?

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 2:42 am

    Could I use margarine sticks instead of butter?

  • Reply
    March 3, 2019 at 11:09 am

    3 stars
    Too much flour in the topping

    • Reply
      March 21, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      Sorry to hear it didn’t work out. Let us know if you try with less flour and have better luck, it’s always worked for us. The topping definitely needs to be well mixed or will be too crumbly.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for my family and it was gone in two days. It’s so fast and easy to make and makes a wonderful dessert when you aren’t exactly in the mood for chocolate (which is about 1% of the time for me.) I made this dairy free for my daughter with her butter sticks and it came out delicious. I will definitely be making this again soon!

    • Reply
      November 24, 2019 at 7:44 pm

      I’m glad it worked out! It goes fast in our house!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    5 stars
    Made this coffeecake for Thanksgiving breakfast. An easy 5 star recipe. Easy to make and tastes great! Thank you.

    • Reply
      December 7, 2019 at 6:04 am

      Thank you! It’s always nice to have an easy recipe in your back pocket!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2020 at 7:26 am

    4 stars
    Would give it 4.5 stars. Quick. Easy. Moist. Nice combination of salty and sweet using salted butter. Thick, decadent crumb topping, especially on the slices at the middle of the pan. Thanks for sharing such an easy and delicious recipe!

  • Reply
    July 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Looks delicious! Wondering if it can be made ahead of time and we’ll wrapped and frozen? Doing a large brunch and cannot add any last minute baking but would love to have a coffee cake heavy with crumbs. Thanks

  • Reply
    Shawna Chism
    February 23, 2024 at 10:03 pm

    5 stars
    Super easy and delicious!

  • Reply
    February 23, 2024 at 10:09 pm

    I’m sure it can!

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