Contrary to what the name might suggest (and what Brits might say), a traditional American coffee cake isn't actually flavored with coffee. A standard coffee cake recipe calls for a mix of flour, butter, sugar, and often sour cream. The result is a somewhat dense yet moist cake that's then topped with streusel. A slice of coffee cake, with its sweet, cinnamon flavor and crumbly, streusel topping, is a perfect pairing with a cup of coffee (hence the name). But not all coffee cakes are made equal, and some of the best coffee cakes take the recipe far beyond the traditional mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and butter—like these nine coffee cake recipes.
All of these coffee cakes are creative, fun takes on the original. There's a coffee cake recipe here for any palate, whether you like nuts or pieces of fruit in your cake, or you want to double down on the sweetness by adding maple syrup or chocolate chips. There are even coffee cake recipes on this list that cater to different dietary needs, including a couple dairy-free options.
Really, all of them are proof that coffee cake can be so much more than sugar, cinnamon, and butter—even if there's still no actual coffee included.
This brown sugar and pecan coffee cake recipe from Life, Love and Good Food is a twist on a classic. The moist cake has a sprinkled topping of pecans and brown sugar, all on a brown sugar and crumb crust.
Greek yogurt keeps this coffee cake recipe both light and moist. There's a streusel swirl baked into the cake itself, and the whole thing is topped with cinnamon and brown sugar crumbs.
If you're in need of a dairy-free coffee cake recipe, look no further than this one, from The Conscientious Eater.
Use Granny Smith apples in this apple crisp coffee cake from Spicy Southern Kitchen to contrast the sweet brown sugar glaze and crumb topping.
This coffee cake from Handle the Heat really doubles down on the maple flavor. It's got both maple extract and maple syrup, and it's topped with a brown sugar streusel and a maple syrup icing.
This vegan coffee cake recipe from The Conscientious Eater is made with coconut oil, which makes it moist. The blueberries bring a sweetness to the cake, while the streusel topping adds a nice crispiness.
If you're looking for a coffee cake recipe with a crumbly topping, look no further than this one, from The DIY Foodie. It's also topped with chocolate chips, and how can you say no to chocolate for breakfast?
This coffee cake with a crumb topping from Bunny's Warm Oven is made with a can of cherry pie filling—and this recipe will really work with any canned pie filling you might have.
If you're looking for a grab-and-go coffee cake recipe, these coffee cake muffins are drizzled with a vanilla glaze and piled high with sweet streusel.
This coffee cake recipe from Carlsbad Cravings is truly over the top. It's a banana bread with chocolate chips that's stuffed with a layer of cream cheese, then topped with a cinnamon walnut streusel.