cinnamon coffee cake

September 19, 2011

This is a simple cinnamon coffee cake – a great way to ease into Autumn baking and remind yourself of all those scents that evoke chunky wooly sweaters and rust-coloured leaves.

Normally I dread this time of year. Yes, I enjoy the changing colours and gorgeous crisp days as much as the next person but more than anything, Autumn tends to remind me that just beyond it is Winter, and I really don’t love Winter.

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring”

This year feels a bit different. I’ve been thinking about the sentiment above a lot and trying to remind myself to love this season for what it is rather than what it might usher in.

I’m letting this coffee cake be a simple sign of good things to come. It’s the kind of coffee cake that Dan can get behind (it might surprise you to know that I’m the sole proprietor of the sweet tooth in this house): fragrant but not too sweet. Unadorned really. Light. An honest-to-goodness great thing to have curled up with a cup of coffee.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons, melted for topping
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Put 1/2 cup of the mixture in a small bowl, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon, and set aside. Stir egg and milk into remaining flour mixture.
  2. Spoon batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface. Pour melted butter over the top. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture evenly over the butter. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. This cake will keep at room temperature for up to three days or frozen for three months.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dad September 19, 2011 at 8:55 am

What an absolute beauty! It would also go so nicely with the cup of English tea I’m just starting. The picture makes the tea seems to wet.


Katie September 19, 2011 at 11:36 am

There is nothing better than coffee cake – i think I could eat it for all three meals.

I always get a little sad about approaching winter, too. At least there’s cake. :-)


Katharina September 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I agree with you on thinking about that quote more. Each year I struggle a little to come to terms with winter. Fall isn’t that hard but it’s bittersweet for me. It’s lovely and all, but like you said… it’s a reminder that harsher months are to come. But I try to do things that help me keep a good attitude towards it. I set aside my “I wants” and “I wish”, and I try not to focus on the things that bum me out about certain seasons. Running outdoors has helped me as far as acclimating to the temperatures. It really has helped a lot actually :)

XO, I love your thoughtful posts!


Angharad September 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

Thanks love! I think it’s good to be a little reflective as the seasons change, especially when those changes aren’t always your favourite! Running helped me get through the winter immensely two years ago when I ran outside through the worst of it, week in, week out (in below zero temps and snow!) – I haven’t run in a while but I’m hopeful to reignite that tradition! Thanks for the reminder :)


dana @ my little celebration September 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I loved the quote and the recipe. Thanks for helping us all ‘ease’ into fall. I’m already loving it more at the thought of baking this delicious cake.


Wendy February 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm

I’m making your lovely coffee cake now. Should I estimate 30-35 minutes?
I know you said until toothpick come a out clean—– I was just wondering what you recommend.


Angharad February 10, 2014 at 10:44 am

Hi Wendy! Yes, I would estimate 30-35 minutes as it says in the recipe. I’d check it for done-ness after 30 mins. If your tester comes out clean, it’s done but if any batter or crumbs hold onto the tester, it might need a few more minutes. Hope that helps!


Wendy February 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Thank you very much for your reply.

It came out absolutely wonderful. I will definitely keep your recipe as one of my favorites now!

I’m sorry I could not find the time mentioned in the recipe. I’m going to read it again. I must be going blind!



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