Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake | The Sugar Hit


Isn’t it crazy how you can be nostalgic for something that you’ve never even had?


For example, I have spent far too many hours of my life thinking about what my exact plan of action would be if I managed to somehow time-travel back to 1962. I think it would be amazing.


Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake | The Sugar Hit


Food has that pull on me more than any other thing, except maybe music. Music is just a lot easier to get hold of these days. So I can go ahead and listen to as much Led Zeppelin as I like, and feel in some way transported.


But food, you can’t just google a food item and hope to enjoy it’s taste immediately. I know. I’ve tried.


Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake | The Sugar Hit


You can look at pictures and recipes, and read about food. But that’s like trying to enjoy music by reading reviews, and looking at sheet music.


No matter how good the writer is, and some people are phenomenally good, unfortunately we puny human writers just cannot create the same experience as the actual sound, or the actual taste.


Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake | The Sugar Hit


I regret that it’s taken me this long to get to coffee cake, something which I have felt nostalgic about for so long, even though I never actually tasted it until now.


I have heard about it on Seinfeld. I have read about it in this fantastic book. I have seen recipes for it pop-up just about everywhere, but I had never had it. It became a symbol to me of a wonderful land where cake for breakfast was totally cool.


Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake | The Sugar Hit


Lucky for me, this story has a happy ending. This is not one of those times when my imagination builds something up so much that reality can never live up to the dream. Nope. Because I have coffee cake now. And coffee cake is glorious.


It’s crumbly, light, flakey. It’s buttery, dense, heady with cinnamon. It’s the best friend that a cup of black coffee could ever have. And any fried of coffee is a friend of mine. Do you have a recipe that you constantly think about, but have never tasted?


xx Sarah.


Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake | The Sugar Hit


Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake
The most delicious, buttery cake, topped with a sweet-salty cinnamon crumb.
Serves: 6
For the crumb topping:
  • ⅓ cup (85g) butter
  • ⅓ cup (75g) brown sugar
  • 1½ tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
For the cake:
  • ½ stick (50g) butter
  • ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, or extract
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F, and grease 6 x ⅔ cup (200ml) capacity ramekins.
  2. To make the crumb, melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave, then add the remaining ingredients and stir together until everything is combined. Set aside.
  3. To make the cake, cream together the butter and sugar until they are smooth and combined. Add the egg yolk and beat until slightly pale.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients, and then stir until everything is completely combined and homogenous, being careful not to over-mix.
  5. Divide the cake batter evenly between the ramekins, and then top them equally with the crumb mixture.
  6. Place the ramekins onto a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly, before carefully removing from the ramekins and serving.
  7. These are particularly delicious when they're still a bit warm.


  • I think food contains magical properties–even more so when I think about how impossible it is to capture in words or even photos. Lovely thoughts here. Coffee cake was my favorite childhood treat. Yours looks positively awesome!

  • My mom makes really good coffee cake with a gooey cinnamon swirl. Every time I get hungry for it I call her and invite myself over for breakfast. I do have to bring my own coffee–Mom only drinks tea.
    These little individual coffee cakes are adorable. And that powdered sugar photot?! The bomb!

  • I used to have these feelings about kouign amann, but that changed last weekend when i finally tried one! and I still have these same feelings about porchetta. I just know I’d love it!

  • Not sure if anyone’s mentioned yet, but The temperature in Fahrenheit should be 350 not 250. Getting ready to whip these up right now and I cannot wait!

  • I love that you made a bunch of tiny coffee cakes instead of one big one. As one of the main features of coffee cake is the crumbly top, cutting slice by slice out of a big coffee cake gets mad messy. I could totally cover these single servings up and have em around for a couple of days with no stale-age going on. And, YES, any friend of coffee is a friend of mine too.
    p.s. the recipe i’ve always dreamed of but have never made or eaten = pavlova. They’re so freakin beautiful and look delicious. I need to just go ahead and make some. Top em w cream and fruits. Done.

    • You SHOULD make pavlova! It’s mad fun to make, and SUPER easy. The only trick is to keep whisking until you can’t feel any grains of sugar in the meringue mixture. Top em with cream and fruits – DONE.

  • Haha, I get the concept, Sarah! In my latest post I was talking about how one of my favourite cookbooks is one that I don’t own, which is sort of a similar ‘thing’, I guess!
    WE don’t have ‘coffee cake’ in the UK in the same way that you do, so I remember when I first heard the term I thought it was coffee-flavoured cake!
    This coffee cake looks fabulous … so glad you enjoyed your first attempt at making it!

    • The weird thing is, we don’t have coffee cake here in Australia either! So at first I thought the same thing. It was only through my ridiculous food obsessiveness that I learned the truth!

  • ohmygod, yes to the seinfeld reference and yes to this post. I’m totally stealing the idea of baking them in ramekins you beautiful genius.

  • Coffee cake is the best kind of cake! Now that you’ve had it I bet you can’t imagine your life now without it. We have a blueberry one that’s also called Blueberry Buckle. So, so good.. These look so good, and gorgeous snaps Sarah…I’m off to make some coffee cake..

  • YOU’VE NEVER. HAD COFFEE CAKE BEFORE?!?!?! Mind blown. You seem like the perfect candidate for an amazing coffeecake recipe!! (Which of course, is now true :)) You sure are a pro at making it look super pretty…like it belongs in the classiest diner of all time. Hm. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I’ve never had princess cake (or if I have, it was when I was a child and thus too long ago to count) but I lust after it always. You’re inspiring me to go make it asap.

  • Great minds, sarah! I just made this too… my mister was super confused as to why it ‘s called coffee cake when, infact, there’s no coffee. “nono, you eat it with coffee!” I explained. I love the idea of mini cakes.. maybe that way we’d slow our roll and not eat the whole damn thing in a day :)

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