Make-Ahead Cinnamon Coffee Cake


Make-ahead cinnamon coffee cake in a large rectangular pan, with two squares cut out, beside two cups of coffee and a bowl of drizzle with a spoon.

This make-ahead cinnamon coffee cake is perfect for the mornings that you want to have something sweet, nutty, and freshly baked without the fuss of getting up early. It also makes a lovely afternoon snack or dessert.

Make-ahead cinnamon coffee cake in a large rectangular pan, with two squares cut out, beside two cups of coffee and a bowl of drizzle with a spoon.Make-ahead cinnamon coffee cake in a large rectangular pan, with two squares cut out, beside two cups of coffee and a bowl of drizzle with a spoon.

Adapted from Rebecca Lang | Y’all Come Over | Rizzoli, 2021

The best party menus are filled with recipes that vary in flavor, colors, cooking times, and most importantly, are able to be mostly made ahead. If I had to choose my favorite time of day to entertain, it would be in the morning for several reasons. I could live on breakfast foods, it’s usually less expensive than parties in the evening, and it allows for an after-party nap before sundown. If you get up in the middle of the night to cook for the morning, the life of the party certainly won’t be you.—Rebecca Lang

Why our testers loved this

Our testers loved that this simple coffee cake can be made ahead of time, keeps well, feeds plenty, and is made with everyday pantry ingredients. As much as they all enjoyed it for breakfast, they also found that it makes an excellent afternoon snack or evening dessert. The “crunch factor” from the nut crumble took this cake over the top for them.

Notes on ingredients

  • Unsalted butter–Start with butter that is at room temperature. It will give you a lighter, fluffier cake. If you substitute salted butter, decrease the amount of salt in the batter to 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Sour cream–For the best flavor, we recommend using full-fat sour cream.
  • Nuts–You can substitute different varieties of nuts if you prefer, and if nut allergies are a concern, you can leave them out.

How to make this recipe

  1. Beat the butter until creamy. Slowly add the sugars, beating well to combine. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating between each addition.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. Mix the dry and wet ingredients into the butter in alternating batches, beginning and ending with the flour.
  1. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the batter into the dish, cover, and chill for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. Heat the oven to 350°F. While the oven preheats, let the baking dish stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Mix together the nut crumble ingredients.
  3. Sprinkle the nut crumble over the cake. Bake the cake until a tester comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool while you make the drizzle.
  4. Mix the confectioners’ sugar and milk together to make a smooth icing. Drizzle the icing over the cake.

What can I do if the crumble topping is getting too brown in the oven?

First, loosely tent the pan with foil. This should slow down the browning considerably. Another thing you can do is to move the pan to the lower third of the oven.

Can the nut crumble be made ahead of time, too?

Sure. It can sit in the fridge overnight and, actually, you’ll find that your crumble will stay together in bigger chunks if it’s cold. If big delicious nuggets of crumble aren’t your thing, let it come to room temperature alongside the batter.

Why is my cake dry?

If you consistently find that your cakes are dry and crumbly, it’s possible that you’ve been overbaking them. Try cooking for a few minutes less, just until a tester comes out clean.

Being heavy-handed when measuring your flour can also contribute to dryness in baked goods. Ideally, weigh your flour, but if you don’t have a scale, be sure to fluff your flour before gently scooping or spooning.

Helpful tips

  • Leftover cake can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • For a quick snack or dessert, freeze individual slices of the cake, well-wrapped in plastic.
  • If nut allergies are a concern, leave the nuts out of the crumble. The topping will be more like a streusel, but it will be every bit as delicious.

More great coffee cake recipes

A glazed lemon pull-apart coffee cake on a wire rack with a spoon and jar of glaze beside it, all resting on a wooden cutting board.A glazed lemon pull-apart coffee cake on a wire rack with a spoon and jar of glaze beside it, all resting on a wooden cutting board.Lemon Pull-Apart Coffee Cake A Zingerman's sour cream coffee cake with a piece cut from it and lying on its side with a cup of coffee, and a stack of plates and pile of forks nearby.A Zingerman's sour cream coffee cake with a piece cut from it and lying on its side with a cup of coffee, and a stack of plates and pile of forks nearby.Zingerman’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Make-Ahead Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Make-ahead cinnamon coffee cake in a large rectangular pan, with two squares cut out, beside two cups of coffee and a bowl of drizzle with a spoon.Make-ahead cinnamon coffee cake in a large rectangular pan, with two squares cut out, beside two cups of coffee and a bowl of drizzle with a spoon.

No brunch should take place without a coffee cake. Serving a warm cake in the morning often means getting up before the sun, but letting the batter chill overnight keeps the early alarm silent. Because the batter rests in the baking pan, there’s no pressure to perform a dive into the bakeware cabinet before enjoying the first cup of coffee.

Prep 40 mins

Cook 35 mins

Total 9 hrs 45 mins

Make the coffee cake

  • In the bowl of a fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugars, beating well. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

  • In a small bowl, combine sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Allow each addition to be fully incorporated before continuing.
  • Butter and flour a 13-by-9-inch (33-by-23-cm) baking dish. Pour the batter into the dish, cover tightly, and chill 8 to 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Let the batter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Make the nut crumble

  • While the chilled batter comes to room temperature, in a medium bowl, stir together all of the nut crumble ingredients.

  • Sprinkle the batter with the nut crumble. Bake in the preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

Make the drizzle icing

  • In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until glossy and looks like satin ribbons when a spoon is lifted from the bowl.

  • Drizzle the icing over the cake and serve.

  1. Storage–Leftover cake can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
  2. Individual portions–For a quick snack or dessert, freeze individual slices of the cake, well-wrapped in plastic.
  3. Substitutions–If nut allergies are a concern, leave the nuts out of the crumble. The topping will be more like a streusel, but it will be every bit as delicious.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 574kcal (29%)Carbohydrates: 60g (20%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 35g (54%)Saturated Fat: 15g (94%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mg (30%)Sodium: 262mg (11%)Potassium: 269mg (8%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 38g (42%)Vitamin A: 747IU (15%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 116mg (12%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Recipe © 2021 Rebecca Lang. © 2021 All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.



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