Wake Up to an Aromatic Southern Coffee Cake This Morning

There’s always something special about Southern-style cuisine – it’s hearty, flavorful, and comforting. As a chef specializing in this style of cooking, I’m excited to share my recipe for an all-time favorite: Southern Coffee Cake. This cake has a crumbly streusel topping that’s sure to leave you craving for more.

But this isn’t your typical coffee cake. The secret ingredient? Cream cheese! This adds an extra layer of richness and depth to the already delicious cake. With hints of cinnamon and pecans, this Southern classic will become a new favorite in your household.

So get ready to indulge in the best coffee cake recipe ever. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Coffee Cake
Southern Coffee Cake

If you’re a die-hard coffee cake fan like me, you’ll fall head over heels in love with this Southern-style Coffee Cake Recipe. From its tender crumb to the delectable brown sugar-cinnamon streusel topping, this cake recipe is worth waking up for.

What makes this coffee cake recipe ever so special is the use of cream cheese and sour cream in the batter, which keeps the cake moist and soft. The addition of chopped pecans toasted with ground cinnamon adds texture and depth to each bite.

And let’s not forget about the alligator Coffee Cake – a variation where you can swap out the nuts for apple slices or blueberries for a burst of fruity flavor. Trust us when we say that every single variation of this cake recipe is astonishingly delicious.

Whether you’re hosting a brunch or just craving something sweet on lazy mornings, this easy Coffee Cake Recipe is always best served with a fresh pot of coffee. In fact, the aroma of cinnamon streusel and freshly brewed coffee wafting through your home will simply make your day.

Ingredient List

 A warm slice of heaven in every bite.
A warm slice of heaven in every bite.

Here are the ingredients needed for this Southern Coffee Cake Recipe:

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ⅓ cups of packed light brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 cups of chopped pecans (toasted)

For the Cake Batter:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of sour cream

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Make sure to have all these ingredients before starting the recipe and follow the instructions carefully for best results.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect pairing for your morning coffee.
The perfect pairing for your morning coffee.

Now that we’ve covered the introduction and why-you’ll-love it part of this recipe, let’s dive into the recipe itself. This Southern Coffee Cake Recipe is a decadent and rich treat that’s sure to impress your guests. This easy-to-follow recipe has three parts: the cake itself, the cream cheese layer, and the streusel topping. Shall we get started?

For the Cake

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg

For the Streusel Topping

  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Step One: Preheat the oven and prepare the pan.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or butter.

Step Two: Prepare the Streusel Topping.

In a bowl, combine white sugar, light brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and ground cinnamon. Mix well. Add in the melted butter and stir until crumbs start to form. Next, add some chopped pecans until they are completely coated with crumbs; these of course will become your delicious streusel! Set aside.

Step Three: Mix up the Cake Batter.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together melted butter and granulated sugar until creamy. Add in 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the sour cream mixture into the butter mixture and mix well. In another bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, a little at a time, until everything is combined.

Step Four: Create Cream Cheese Layer

In another bowl or stand mixer, combine softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and an egg, mix for a few minutes until it becomes smooth.

Step Five: Pour and Layer the Batter

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Then spread all of the Cream Cheese Mixture over the top of the batter, leaving some space around the edges so the cream cheese doesn’t touch the pan too much. Pour on the remaining cake batter.

Step Six: Add Streusel T

Substitutions and Variations

 Let the aroma of baked goodness fill your home.
Let the aroma of baked goodness fill your home.

One of the best things about this Southern Coffee Cake recipe is its versatility. There are so many ways to make it your own! Here are a few substitutions and variations you can try:

– Cream Cheese: If you’re not a fan of cream cheese, you can substitute it for sour cream or buttermilk. This will give the cake a tangy flavor and make it even more moist.

– Streusel Topping: The cinnamon streusel topping is a must for any true Southern Coffee Cake, but you can switch things up by adding different toppings. Try a brown sugar cinnamon crumb topping for a sweeter coffee cake. Or, add chopped pecans and sugar cinnamon for a nutty crunch.

– Flour: If you’re looking to make this cake a little healthier, you can substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. Or, if you want an even fluffier cake, use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour.

– Eggs: Don’t have eggs on hand? No problem! You can substitute each egg with 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas. This will make the cake a little denser and add some natural sweetness.

– Add-ins: The possibilities are endless when it comes to add-ins for this coffee cake. Try adding fresh berries like blueberries or strawberries to the batter for a fruity twist. Or, add apple cinnamon coffee for a fall-flavored treat. You could also toss in some caramel bits or chopped pecans for a truly decadent coffee cake.

No matter what substitutions or variations you choose, this Southern Coffee Cake recipe is sure to be a hit at any breakfast or brunch gathering. Be adventurous and try out new combinations to discover your favorite version yet!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready for a slice of southern comfort.
Get ready for a slice of southern comfort.

A perfect slice of this Southern Coffee Cake Recipe is best served warm or at room temperature, allowing you to fully savor its texture and flavors. It pairs impeccably with your morning coffee, creating a heavenly breakfast indulgence. You could also treat yourself and your loved ones with this cinnamon-spiced coffee cake by serving it for brunch or as an after-dinner dessert. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to make it more sophisticated.

In addition to coffee, this cake recipe pairs well with rich hot cocoa, tea, or even a glass of milk. The flavor combination is well-suited for autumn, but it’s enjoyable year-round.

If you’re looking to step up your serving game further, try adding a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce on top, which takes the cake’s flavor to new heights. Alternatively, you could serve it with fresh berries or sliced fruit on the side to make it a bit healthier and lighter.

Whether you’re sharing it at home with your family or taking it to an office party, this Southern Coffee Cake Recipe will undoubtedly impress anyone who tastes it. Its versatility makes pairing easy and enables you to get creative when serving!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A crumbly, buttery delight that melts in your mouth.
A crumbly, buttery delight that melts in your mouth.

One of the best things about this Southern Coffee Cake Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for any special occasion, brunch or breakfast meeting. After baking and cooling, simply store the coffee cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. For longer storing periods, wrap the coffee cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two months.

When reheating, there are a few different methods you can choose from. If you have the time, let the coffee cake come to room temperature before reheating in an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes. This method will help ensure the coffee cake remains moist and tender.

If you’re short on time, you can use a microwave to reheat a slice of coffee cake for 20 to 30 seconds or until warm. Be careful not to overheat as this may cause the cake to dry out.

Another option is to toast a slice of coffee cake in a toaster oven or regular oven until just warmed through. This will create a slightly crispy outside layer while keeping the inside nice and soft.

Whether serving straight out of the oven or reheating slices later on, this Southern Coffee Cake Recipe is sure to please any crowd with its warm cinnamon flavor and crumbly streusel topping.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate breakfast treat for any occasion.
The ultimate breakfast treat for any occasion.

To achieve perfect results with this southern coffee cake recipe, there are a few tips that I recommend following. Trust me, implementing these tips will make a world of difference and will take your coffee cake to the next level.

Firstly, when mixing the wet ingredients, be sure to bring all of them, such as the eggs and sour cream, to room temperature. This will ensure that they mix together smoothly and evenly. Cold ingredients can lead to lumps or an uneven texture that can impact the final product’s quality.

Secondly, make sure to mix the cake batter just until it comes together. Overmixing can cause gluten strands to form, which can result in a tough, dense cake. Be gentle and use a light hand.

Thirdly, when making the streusel topping or brown sugar cinnamon swirl layer (if you choose to add it), be sure to use cold butter. Cold butter helps create the crumbly texture desired in the streusel topping or swirl layer. It also prevents the mixture from becoming greasy or clumping together, creating an even layer of deliciousness.

Next, do not overfill your baking pan. This recipe yields a lot of batter and requires using a large pan. However, if you fill the pan too high, it can cause the middle of the cake to sink in and undercook while the edges burn. Be sure to keep about an inch between the batter and top of your pan.

Finally, let your cake cool completely before cutting and serving it. The flavors meld while cooling and set up correctly while cooling – this is what makes a tender crumb for this coffee cake recipe.

By implementing these Tips for Perfect Results for this southern coffee cake recipe, you’ll be able to enjoy the best coffee cake ever!


As we near the end of this Southern Coffee Cake recipe article, you might be wondering about some common questions that arise when making this type of dessert. Fear not! In this section, I’ll try to answer any lingering doubts or concerns you might have, providing you with helpful tips to ensure your coffee cake turns out deliciously perfect every time.

What makes a coffee cake a coffee cake?

Southern-style coffee cake is a delectable dessert that’s garnished with a deliciously crumbly streusel topping. Contrary to what the name suggests, there’s no flavor of coffee present in the actual cake. It’s a perfect sugary treat to relish with a freshly brewed hot cup of coffee.

What makes coffee cake different from cake?

What sets coffee cakes apart from other types of cakes is their distinct streusel topping and lack of frosting. While some may come with a light glaze on top, they typically have either swirls of crunchy streusel or surprise fillings, such as fruit, nuts or chocolate.

What’s the difference between coffee cake and streusel?

When it comes to comparing crumb cake and coffee cake, the defining factor lies in the amount of streusel used. Crumb cake has a generous topping of streusel that is thicker in comparison to coffee cake. In contrast, coffee cake can be prepared without the addition of streusel topping.

What is alligator coffee cake?

This delectable coffee cake is made from layers of Danish dough that are carefully handcrafted to create a delightful texture. The filling is made with rich caramel, which is generously mixed with pecans to add a nutty crunch to the cake. This coffee cake is perfect for any gathering, be it a potluck, party or meeting, and serves a large group of up to sixteen people. With its irresistible taste, this alligator coffee cake is sure to satisfy a crowd.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern Coffee Cake Recipe is simply the best recipe ever. With its tender texture, cinnamon streusel topping and chopped pecans toasted to perfection, what’s not to love? You can serve it for breakfast or as a dessert, paired with a cup of alligator coffee or a glass of milk.

The combination of ingredients 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup melted butter gives this cake recipe its unique flavor and crumbly texture. And with the addition of 2 eggs, 1 cup sour cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, you have yourself the perfect southern coffee cake.

Whether you follow this recipe exactly or make some substitutions and variations, I guarantee that you’ll enjoy every bite of this delectable coffee cake. So next time you’re in the mood for something sweet and delicious, give this recipe a try. Trust me, it won’t disappoint!

Southern Coffee Cake

Southern Coffee Cake Recipe

This is from the book, Heavenly Hash. It sounds delicious. The author of the recipe says, "Do not hesitate to make this the morning of use, it is very easy to do. Everyone raves about it." With a total of ten eggs in this recipe, they had better!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 1 coffee cake
Calories 6310 kcal


First layer

  • 1 (18 ounce) box butter recipe cake mix, like duncan hines
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

Second layer

  • 1 (1 lb) box powdered sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 8 eggs (yes, 8 is correct!)


  • Combine first layer ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix well and spread batter evenly in a well greased 9x13 inch pan.
  • Combine second layer ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix and beat very well.
  • Pour the mixture on top of the first layer and spread evenly.
  • Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
  • When cool, sprinkle the top with powdered sugar if desired.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1806gCalories: 6310kcalCarbohydrates: 860.3gProtein: 103.4gFat: 280.6gSaturated Fat: 132.6gCholesterol: 2618.9mgSodium: 5382.9mgFiber: 5.6gSugar: 669.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Breads, Brunch, Cheese, Oven
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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