A moist and fluffy coffee cake with layers of cinnamon streusel topped with an optional coffee glaze. Delicious!
Why should I make this yogurt coffee cake?
This cake is DELICIOUS! It’s loosely based off a popular Ina Garten coffee cake recipe, here sour cream coffee cake. Ina knows her business, but there’s a few things I changed:
I used yogurt instead of sour cream, because I always have yogurt in my fridge.
I used 3 regular sized eggs, because we don’t get extra large in the Middle East, and I was sure that 3 would be enough.
This turned into a bundt cake instead of a tube cake which uses a tube cake pan I don’t have. I therefore layered the streusel differently to suit the bundt pan.
Most importantly, I doubled the streusel because we all know that’s the good part! It definitely wasn’t excessive, even with doubling so I highly recommend you do like me.
I changed the maple glaze to a coffee infused one, which I thought was a really fun play off a coffee cake, but you can just top with icing sugar, a regular glaze or whatever you like. It would be excellent plain too!
What is coffee cake?
It depends on where you are from. In Britain, coffee cake is usually cake that has actually been infused with coffee.
The American definition of coffee cake is like to this one posted. A cake that goes great with coffee, and can be had for an afternoon snack, breakfast or dessert.
They are often topped with a streusel crumb topping, and usually have cinnamon in them. Coffee cakes are moist and buttery and still light, because they don’t usually have a thick frosting on top.
Ingredients in coffee cake:
The recipe calls for batter ingredients, streusel ingredients, and the optional glaze ingredients:
Butter- room temperature to incorporate more easily into the sugar
Granulated sugar- regular white sugar
Eggs- room temperature to mix in more easily
Vanilla- for that mild vanilla flavour
Yogurt- offers beautiful moistness, doesn’t need to be Greek, I used plain yogurt.
Dry ingredients like baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cake flour:
Substitute for cake flour:
I know in some countries, cake flour isn’t easily found. I almost never find it in Bahrain, and was surprise that it was available at a really good price in Danube in Khobar.
Don’t worry, you can sub out regular flour in a pinch. Because cake flour is lower protein flour, it might not be quite as fluffy, but I’ve had readers try it and still love it. Alternately, you can make your own cake flour:
You just need to reduce the amount of protein in the flour a little. The way you do this is by taking out some of the flour and adding cornstarch (cornflour). Whisk very well, and sift several times- at least 3-4 times.
For every 1 cup of regular flour, remove 2 tbsp of flour and replace with 2 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour). Whisk, then sift the flour/cornstarch mixture a good 3-4 times.
For this recipe, that means removing 5 tbsp of flour and replacing with 5 tbsp cornstarch.
If doing this by weight, use 95 grams of regular flour and 20 grams of cornstarch for every 1 cup cake flour.
For this recipe, this means a total of 238g flour and 50 g cornstarch whisked together and sifted.
Brown sugar: can be light or dark, just needs to be the sticky type. Either weigh it out, or pack your measuring cup tightly.
Flour: Use all purpose here, doesn’t need to be cake flour:
Cinnamon powder: plenty of cinnamon to give you lots of flavor
Butter: Not softened, this should be cold and cubed so it doesn’t melt and holds up a crumb shape.
Walnuts: Optional, but I love the flavor and texture they give. You can replace with another nut or leave out entirely.
Quite simply, brewed coffee and icing sugar. Sift the icing sugar to prevent lumpiness in the icing. Gives the loveliest little hint of coffee flavor.
How to make the coffee cake:
Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing a little between each addition. Add the vanilla, then the yogurt and mix well until combined. Butter, eggs and yogurt should all be room temperature.
Sift together your dry ingredients, then add them to the wet and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix, to keep this light and fluffy! That’s your batter ready.
How to make the coffee cake crumble:
Make sure the butter is cold like we discussed in the ingredient section. You can use a pastry cutter, or your fingers like I did, and you work the butter into the mix of flour, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Work it enough that it’s well incorporated, but not too much so you still get nice thick crumb sized pieces that’ll retain their shape.
How to prevent bundt cake pan from sticking:
You might be lucky enough with just a good pan spray, but I wasn’t risking it, so I went the extra step.
Lightly grease your pan with regular vegetable oil, just barely enough to get a very thin layer. Make sure you get all into the nooks and crannies of your bundt pan.
Sprinkle a thin layer of regular granulated sugar on top of the oil, and shake it around so it evenly coats the pan. This creates a layer between the cake and the pan that prevents batter from sticking firmly and causing problems.
Let the cake cool out of the oven for 15-20 minutes, then turn it upside down onto a serving plate, and whack the back of the pan gently with a wooden spoon.
It should come right out! Don’t let it sit too long in the pan out of the oven of the sugar will harden and cake might get stuck.
My tips for making the perfect coffee cake:
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before starting. Take the eggs and butter out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior. If they are cold, they won’t mix properly and you’ll get gummy lumpy pockets.
- Use cake flour, or try the cake flour substitute. You really will get a fluffier softer product! Also, sift your dry ingredients for more fluffiness.
- Go heavy on the streusel, it’s seriously the best part. Get it all in, don’t be scared! And build it in layers like the recipe details, it makes for a beautiful streusel topping and center.
- Don’t over mix, so you don’t develop the gluten in the flour too much. Stop as soon as you see the ingredients in the bowl area being incorporated. Once the batter its totally done, you can give it a good folding with a spatula for any flour pockets you might have missed.
- Grease the bundt cake pan well, try the method outlined above. You don’t want half the cake to stick in the pan when you try to flip it out!
- Don’t overbake- every oven is different so I recommend that you start checking around 45 minutes in. Toothpick should come out clean, not with any wet batter, but the second it’s clean the cake should go out of the oven.
Yogurt Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel
For the cake:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened 170 g
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 300 g
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups yogurt, room temperature 300g
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour see note for substitution* , 288g
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the streusel:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
- 1 cup all purpose flour 125g
- 3 tsp cinnamon powder
- 6 tbsp butter, cold and cubed 85g
For the glaze:
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp strongly brewed coffee
For the cake batter:
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda) together and set aside.
- With an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar for a good 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition, then vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add in yogurt all at once, and mix to combine. It's fine if the batter is a little lumpy, it'll smooth out when you add the flour.
- Add the dry ingredients on low speed and mix until just combined. Turn off the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and make sure all the flour is incorporated. Set aside while you make your streusel.
For the streusel:
- Mix together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. With your fingertips, work the cold cubed butter into this mix. Add your chopped walnuts and mix a little.
To assemble and finish:
- In a well greased bundt pan (see post above for greasing tips), layer the bottom with 1/3 of the streusel mixture.
- Dollop half the batter on top of this, and smooth out a little with a spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture, then add the remainder of the batter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let it cool for 15-20 minutes, then flip bundt pan upside down over serving plate. Hit the back of the bundt cake pan gently with a wooden spoon for easier release. Once it's out of the pan, let it cool completely before glazing.
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