Bake or Break

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

How great is coffee cake? There aren’t that many cakes that can justifiably be eaten at any time of day. While we may not always need an excuse to eat cake for breakfast, it’s nice to do so with a tad less guilt sometimes.

This particular coffee cake is a slight twist on the traditional with the addition of a cream cheese swirl. All the things we love about coffee cake are still there — cinnamon, nuts, crumb topping. There just happens to be some cream cheese goodness swirled into it the delicate cake to take it to new levels of fabulousness.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake features a swirl of sweet cream cheese filling in a traditional coffee cake with a cinnamon-nut crumb topping. - Bake or Break

Don’t be put off by the long-ish recipe. This is really far quicker and easier to put together than it appears. You will go through a lot of measuring spoons, bowls, and such, so make sure your dishwasher is ready for that. But, once you take a bite, you’ll know it was worth every dirty bowl.

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Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Yield 24 to 32 servings
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

A swirl of sweet cream cheese filling and a cinnamon-nut crumb topping offer a flavorful twist on traditional coffee cake.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Ingredients

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • pinch salt

For the cream cheese swirl:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

For the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sour cream

Instructions

To make the crumb topping:

  1. Combine all the crumb ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Mix with a fork until the mixture resembles crumbs.

To make the cream cheese swirl:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and brown sugar until fluffy.
  2. Mix in the vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in the pecans.

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9” x 13” x 2" baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in the sour cream and mix just until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Top the batter with spoonfuls of the cream cheese swirl. Use an up and down motion with a knife to swirl. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
  6. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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    89 Comments on “Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake”

  1. What a delicious coffee cake – soft moist and creamy cheese-y 😀
    Thanks!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Double Jaffa Nutella Fudge Cookies + More

    • I thought the coffee cake was a little dry. Need to double the topping in order for it to look like the picture. Also would suggest doubling the filling just wasn’t enough either topping or filling to satisfy us.

      • I agree with Chris! Made this today. It is very yummy but definitely not enough cream cheese filling or topping. Will double the next time I make it! 

  2. I don’t like coffee at all but I guess i could just substitute it with chocolate!!

    • If you read the ingredients…there’s not actually coffee in it. It’s just called coffee cake b/c it goes nicely with coffee for breakfast or brunch.

  3. Now this I’ve got to try!!! Looks delicious

  4. It looks so delicious. Loll. 🙂 I’m really pleased to see the image of Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. It is really full of taste. Definitely I will try it today/tomorrow. Thanks for this allocation. 🙂

  5. Looks awesome! Yummmm!

  6. Look at that crumb on top! Yum. Looks soo tasty.

  7. Looks so delicious,want to taste it very much,thanks for your sharing,see you again.

  8. I’m going to make this for our Easter breakfast at church! Just one question, does it have to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese? Thanks!!

    • Julie, I don’t refrigerate something with this small amount of cream cheese that’s baked into the cake if it’s going to be eaten within a few days.

  9. Thanks!! Just making sure since I’m taking it up to church the night before!

  10. Just made this for Easter morning breakfast! It’s bit denser than I’m used to coffee cake being but still really, really, good (and able to be made from my bare-bones pantry). Bravo!

  11. I baked this cake for Easter this year – the coffee cake duties usually falling to my mother or grandmother – love ’em to bits but theirs were always a bit on the dry side – this recipe was wonderful and will become a new Easter tradition! Just love your blog! Thanks!

  12. This is really far quicker and easier to put together than it appears. You will go through a lot of measuring spoons, bowls, and such, so make sure your dishwasher is ready for that. But, once you take a bite, you’ll know it was worth every dirty bowl.

  13. Hi there, I’m just wondering why is this called coffee cake but I don’t see coffee as one of the ingredients? am I missing something? actually this cake is baking in my oven as I type this.. 😉

  14. Lol.. that’s totally new for me. Thanks! It turned out awesome. We slapped loads of nutella on top, but i’ll try coffee tomorrow morning. Thanks Jen!

  15. this looks so good,Im always looking for a good cinnamon coffee cake,Im getting ready to make it now.Hope it turns out as well as it looks:)

    • In the words of a former Idol judge, “it was just okay for me.” I felt the crumb topping was sufficient. But the cake itself was dry. And my cream cheese swirl completely disappeared into the cake, so there was no moist cream cheesy layer to moisten the bite.

  16. Can I turn this into muffins? If so, would I need to adjust the cooking time? I’d also like to use muffins liners, would that affect the outcome?

  17. Shawn, it’s worth a shot! I would decrease the baking time and check on them after 30-35 minutes. The liners shouldn’t affect the baking time.

  18. Thanks Jennifer! My sister & I are hosting a very last minute baby shower brunch, and are looking for simple convenient food, so I think I will give these a try!

  19. I followed the recipe exactly.
    The next time I make this I would add a touch of orange zest for the cake batter.

    I also put mine in muffin tins.

    If you do use muffin tins (I didn’t use the paper inserts) put less cake batter in the bottom. Filling it 1/2 full, then cream cheese (forget knifing it in, just layer it on top), then the crumble mixture. Do not overfill because the crumble mixture melts. Then when you pull it out of the oven as it cools into a solid the sugar will become crumbly.

    You can leave the little cakes in the muffin tin for a few minutes but you should remove them or the cake will become soggy.

    I made a full batch and put half of it in the freezer in an air tight container for those unexpected guests.

  20. Just curious…. why is the sour cream added after the dry ingredients? It seems to make the whole mixing process quite laborious. Is there anyway we can add it after the eggs?

    The coffee turned out pretty good, especially the topping which is delish. I was surprised that the cake part of it dried out within a day or so, given the amount of butter and cream in the cake.

    • Danica, as an alternative, you can alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. When I’ve made this, it didn’t dry out quickly, so I’m not sure what is different with yours.

  21. is it possible to make this cake in muffin form?

  22. Melissa, you can certainly do that. You’ll need to decrease the baking time a bit. If you read Wendi’s comment above, she explains how she successfully made these as muffins. Enjoy!

  23. I made this this in a nine inch springform pan and it presented well and tasted even better. This is definitely one of my favourite recipes going forward.

  24. are the nuts optional? i would love to make this, but some of my friends are allergic to nuts.

  25. Question, instead of sour cream, could you use buttermilk for your recipe? I’ve used buttermilk in a diff recipe for coffee cake and it turned out great! I’m a little nervous to use the sour cream. Lol.

  26. I made this coffee cake on Sunday, for a co-worker’s birthday. Let me just say….wow! I was impressed with how well it turned out. The batter got a little too stiff for me to work with, even when alternating the flour mixture with the sour cream, so I added a 1/2 c. of buttermilk, and that did the trick for me. This cake was amazing. Everyone raved about how flavorful and moist it was. This recipe is a keeper.

  27. Happen to know how many calories are in a piece? It was delicious!

  28. Anyone know how many calories are in a serving of this delicious coffee cake???

  29. Made this the other day and it honestly tasted like it came from a mix. It was ok. Not great. Would not make again

  30. Another right-on recipe, Jennifer! I absolutely adore cinnamon, and this cake certainly delivers. The only thing was that it sank just a tad while it was cooling. Sooooo gooooooood!!!!!

  31. Hi,

    Since there is sour cream in the cake, does it have to be refrigerated? I made this cake today for Christmas tomorrow!

    Thanks!

  32. My better came out more like a dough, did not spread evenly. Yes, sifted everything. But it looks good, and hope it tastes good!

  33. I made this today and the batter was the consistency of biscuit dough. Is it supposed to be this thick or is the recipe supposed to have milk?

  34. I made this and did not care for it at all. Found the cake part very bland. Won’t make it again.

  35. I made this cake for Mothers Day Brunch. I was very pleased with how it turned out but I think next time I make it I will double the cream cheese swirl. The 4 oz. just didn’t make much and it it is such a nice addition that you might as well just use the whole block.

  36. HI,
    I made this amazing recipe for church coffee hour. My husband is the taste tester, tough job. He loved it, and I know everyone else will too. It is a thicker batter, but spreads out just fine. Great recipe, wouldn’t change a thing!
    I

  37. Making this for my sister in laws birthday breakfast. My house is smelling incredible! I already put it in the oven and realized i forgot to add the sour cream!!!! Which is a must for all cake recipes. I hope it will take good. Did this happen for anyone else? 🙁

  38. Can I prep this the night before and bake it in the morning? I’m bringing it for Christmas morning and I want it to be nice and fresh! Thanks!

    • Hi, Sara. I’m not sure the leavening will work as well if you wait that long to bake it. You can always bake in advance and then put it in a low heat oven (250°F or so) for a few minutes to warm it up.

  39. My daughter and I made the cake for dessert tonight. Family loved it!
    The down fall of this recipe is that it is time consuming and very messy.
    We will definitely will make it again.

  40. I followed the directions however my cake batter was extremley dry and not the right consistency for a batter. I added 1 cup of milk which may have been omitted in error ? The batter would not have filled my 9 x 12 pan without being thinned out.

  41. All I can say is ,this is not a cake for beginners.  A lot of work and my batter  was thick and it was hard to mix in the cream cheese mix.   Won’t be making this again

  42. Just made it. I doubled every ingredient of the cream cheese swirl thanks to the comments I read plus who doesn’t love more cream cheese? It turned out good but not great, the cake part was dry in my opinion and my husband. Flavor was good, sweet but not too much. But definitely if I do it next time I will do just 2 cups of flour instead of 3. Cake batter was very thick so I think that is why it didn’t turn moist like other comments I read. Last thing that I would change is to melt the butter of the crumbles part so the top can be more even. 

  43. I had to add at least a full cup of milk to make this batter even close to useable. I doubled the cream cheese and added an egg to make it more like a cheesecake filling. Topping appears very sparse. I should have doubled that as well. It baking now so we will see how it turns out…

  44. This is an Amazing recipe! I did as others suggested and doubled both the cream cheese layer and the crumb topping. It was a real hit for my summer BBQ. I’m a decent baker and thus is a definite addition to my favorite desserts. Thank you!

  45. I’ve never written a review, but I absooutely have to for this one. This cake is insanely delicious!! I doubled the topping because that’s my favorite part, and added fresh blueberries from my backyard. I can’t get enough of it!!!

  46. This was such a delicious coffee cake: even though I messed up the recipe!😂 I didn’t want to waste cream Cheese so I used the whole package (8 oz) but didn’t double the rest of the swirl ingredients, so the mixture was quite thick and wouldn’t “swirl.” So I just spread it on like icing! It came out really good and there was a cream cheese taste with every bite!😍 Thank you for sharing!

  47. I made this today for dessert…I had to sneak a taste before serving. ☺️ I didn’t have sour cream, so I substituted with 1 1/4 Cups of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of baking soda mixed well…I was worried it wouldn’t work, but it was great! The cake came out super moist! I actually doubled the cream cheese mix and the crumb topping (because who doesn’t love excess cinnamon?) and that, too, was fabulous! I’ll definitely make this one again! Thanks for the recipe!

  48. My son and I just made this for brunch. We didn’t have sour cream so we used 1 cup plain yogurt and 1/4 cup vanilla. We all thought it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe idea. 

  49. I think you should call it coffee cake because the batter is so tight and stiff that you better have had your coffee before you make it! I think my guns just grew!! LOL

  50. I made this last weekend and it was EXCELLENT! I did what some suggested and doubled both the crumb topping and the cream cheese swirl. It was nice and moist and reminded me of an Entenmann’s cake! A keeper of a recipe for sure!

  51. Hi Jennifer…can’t wait to devour this…has all ingredients that I like. I used 2 extra large eggs…hope it’s ok. Also baked in a glass dish and it took a bit longer than 45 mins….close to 50.

  52. I made this for Easter brunch at my church yesterday. It turned out nice and moist and delicious. I did double the topping and the cream cheese mixture. For the batter I put half in the pan, covered with the cream cheese mixture and then cover that with the rest of the batter, then the topping. I didn’t “swirl” the cream cheese mixture because that never turns out right for me. Everyone loved it. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  53. do you cover this with foil to cook it or no?

  54. Delicious! I substituted plain 2% yogurt for the sour cream… didn’t even measure it that carefully… it might have been just a bit more than 1 1/4 C since I was emptying the carton. I used walnuts because that was what my neighbor had! (I discovered I was out of any kind of nuts!) Cooked in a dark glass dish and it was finished in 40 minutes. Thank you for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  55. Hello I’m about to make this for the first time and my family and I are huge cream cheese lovers.. would it hurt to add more cream cheese to this recipe? 

  56. Made it for my work crew for a coffee break. They went crazy over it. I of course had to test it first. It was the best coffee cake I ever made, moist and tasty my new go to coffee cake. THANKS 😊

  57. Can this be made the day before it will be consumed?

  58. Made the coffee cake and thought the cake portion was dense and too thick.  I also thought the cake portion was too plain in flavor.  I would add cinnamon to the cake portion of the recipe. The middle section needs to be thicker for more additional flavor to the coffee cake.   I would try to make each portion of the coffee cake the same thickness to balance the flavor otherwise I thought to cut the cake portion in half and out the balance of the recipe into an 8×8 inch pan.  I would play around with the batter too to not add the sour cream at the very end  because the batter could be dense from over mixing it at the end.  Love making new recipes.  Tasted great when we warmed it up to eat

  59. I made it this morning. Like others had suggested, I doubled my cream cheese ingredients. Also, I ended up doubling my butter amount for the topping because the consistency wasn’t right. It turned out delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  60. I’ll have to agree that this cake is much too dry and the flavor is a bit lacking. It can also be that I have a sweet tooth like it’s no one’s business. Haha!. Coffee Cake is usually more dense, also. The topping is marvelous, though. I made a double batch because I love crumb topping, so the cake tastes better when it’s accompanied by the topping. I also used candied pecans and a little extra salt. I am in no way a baker but I think more cream cheese filling would make it perfect. Thank you so much for this recipe! I love your page!!

  61. This is very good!

  62. Hi All! I have made this twice & it didn’t last! My landlord & his wife loved it with there morning coffee! Can I incorporate an apple layer in the middle or will that mess the cake up? I think I will try! I made without cream cheese & added real salted butter with my filling & walnuts! Had to use my big stainless steel skillet! Go figure real salted butter seems to add the moistness to the bottom of my skillet I couldn’t it didn’t even stick! WOW Great cake no matter what way you dress it up! Apples cinnamon & walnuts with that salted rich buttery taste has won this family over! Thank You For Sharing Such A Recipe That Reminds Me Of Someone’s Grand Mother’s Kitchen! Keep Baking Those Warm Heartening & Sweet Smelling & Homes Being Filled & Shared With Love!

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