6 Sweet Recipes Bringing New Life to Coffee Cake

Almost every bakery, grocery store, and market has its own take on the ever-popular coffee cake. Over the centuries, this sweet treat has evolved from a simple honey cake into its current form. Although the original cinnamon-tinged dish remains a bakery staple, even the cake’s most ardent devotees seek a change of pace every now and then.

Bring some excitement to your next coffee break with any of these 6 creative takes on coffee cake.

Source: iStock

1. Cream Cheese Swirled Carrot Coffee Cake

Girl Versus Dough’s cream cheese-swirled coffee cake brings a taste of sweet and spiced decadence to your table. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and grated carrots mingle in the rich cake center, all topped off with a buttery brown sugar crumble and light glaze. The recipe takes an hour and 10 minutes to make and yields 1 (9-inch) Cream Cheese Swirled Carrot Coffee Cake.


Cream cheese filling

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg


  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • ½ cup golden raisins (optional)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Streusel topping

  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes


  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

DirectionsHeat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg until smooth.

In a separate large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, stir flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Use a pastry blender, two knives, or fingers to cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in carrots and raisins, if desired.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk milk, vanilla, and egg until smooth. Add to dry ingredients along with half of cream cheese mixture; stir until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture. Use tip of a knife to lightly swirl cream cheese mixture into batter.

Make the streusel topping – In a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter, two knives, or fingers to cut butter into mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over top of cake.

Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour, until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Combine ingredients for glaze, adding extra powdered sugar or milk as needed to create a smooth, drippy glaze. Drizzle over cooled cake and allow to set before slicing.

Source: iStock

2. Coconut Coffee Cake

Just J. Faye’s Coconut Coffee Cake consists of an airy-soft cake base swirled with a cinnamon, sugar, pecan, and coconut ribbon. The dish is topped off with a crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping and vanilla coconut glaze to yield fantastically sweet results. After spending 35 minutes in the oven, your cake’s pecans and coconut flakes will be toasted to perfection, resulting in 9 servings of sugary coconut bliss.


For the nut mixture

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cake

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup canned lite coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened

For the icing

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canned lite coconut milk

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-by-9-inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the nut mixture. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, coconut milk, and vanilla.

In the bowl of the electric mixer (or a large bowl), stir together the sugar, flour, pudding mix, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix on medium for about 90 seconds. The butter should be evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture.

Add the wet ingredients and beat until combined, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour half of the batter into the baking disk. Top batter with half of the nut mixture. Top this with the remaining cake batter, then sprinkle the remaining nut mixture on top.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with slight crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the icing ingredients and drizzle on top of the cake. Let the cake sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Source: iStock

3. Espresso Chocolate Chunk Coffee Cake

The only thing better than the taste of coffee in the morning is enjoying it with some chocolate on the side. The Vegan And The Chef’s recipe combines these flavors into one fabulous and vegan-friendly coffee cake. Potent, aromatic espresso flavors shine through in the cake itself, enhanced by the chunks of semisweet chocolate. A coffee-infused streusel topping and cocoa-espresso glaze bring the dish to sweet completion. This Espresso Chocolate Chunk Coffee Cake recipe yields 10 servings and takes an hour and 40 minutes to make.


  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water)
  • ⅔ cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or white)
  • ⅓ cup espresso or strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted (or vegetable oil)
  • ½ cup oat flour (use a blender to grind oats into flour)
  • ½ cup almond flour (use blender to grind almonds into flour)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground espresso or instant espresso powder
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dairy free or semi-sweet chocolate chips

For streusel

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup white flour
  • ½ toasted almonds chopped
  • 5 tablespoons Earth Balance or butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground espresso or instant espresso powder

For chocolate espresso glaze

  • 1 teaspoon Earth Balance or butter
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground espresso or instant espresso powder

DirectionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a springform or round cake pan with oil.

In a small bowl, mix the flax egg together and set aside. In a different bowl, mix together the almond milk and vinegar and set aside.

In a large bowl. mix all of your dry ingredients. In a mixer or large bowl, whisk together all of your wet ingredients. Whisk in the flax egg and almond milk-vinegar mixture. Whisk your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients until the batter is smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips until well combined.

In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the streusel, using your hands to mix in the butter. Mix together until it resembles wet sand.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and then top it with the streusel. Bake in the oven for around 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

To make the glaze, microwave the Earth Balance and chocolate chips together in a small bowl for 30-second intervals until fully melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Transfer them to a medium-size bowl and whisk in the confectionary sugar and almond milk alternately in 2 batches. Whisk in the vanilla and espresso.

Once cake is finished baking, let it cool for at least 15 minutes and then drizzle on the glaze and serve.

Source: iStock

4. Triple Berry Nut Coffee Cake

Living Better Together’s recipe for Triple Berry Nut Coffee Cake is highly adaptable, so feel free to add whichever berries you prefer or happen have on hand, fresh or frozen. The original recipe calls for a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, with each lending a sweet and juicy aspect to your coffee cake. To top it all off, chopped pecans bring a wonderful textural component to the dish. The recipe yields 1 (9-inch) cake.


Berry mixture
  • ¾ cup chopped strawberries (frozen or fresh)
  • ¾ cup blackberries (frozen or fresh)
  • ½ cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
Coffee cake
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons water

Directions: Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch spring form pan.

Mix together all ingredients for the berry mixture in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in another medium bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add in eggs one at a time, beating in between. Add in vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Beat in the flour mixer, alternating with the sour cream on low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides as needed.

Spread ½ of the batter out in the pan; batter will have a bit of a dough consistency, and you may need to use your hands to spread it around all the way out to the edges. Evenly distribute half of the berry mixture on top of the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the filling and then evenly top with the remaining filling.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Check around minute 45 to see if you need to use the tin foil method mentioned above for the remainder of cooking. Once cake is fully cooked, remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cake has cooled, stir together icing ingredients and drizzle over the cake.

Apple Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Source: iStock

5. Bananas Foster Coffee Cake

The crumbly pecan topping in this Bananas Foster Coffee Cake from Spicy Southern Kitchen pairs wonderfully with its moist banana cake base, bursting with the flavors of cinnamon, rum, and brown sugar. The cake is finished off with a dazzling rum sauce, making for a confection friends and family are sure to adore. The recipe takes an hour and 5 minutes and yields 12 servings.


  • 1½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
  • 3 tablespoons dark or light rum
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
Rum sauce
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons light or dark rum
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

In a medium pan, cook the mashed bananas, 3 tablespoons rum, ½ cup brown sugar, and ¼ cup butter until butter is melted and mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Let cool.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and ½ cup softened butter until smooth and creamy. Add 1 cup brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Stop to scrape down sides of bowl to get everything mixed evenly.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to cream cheese mixture and beat on low until combined. Stir in banana mixture and pour batter into prepared pan.

In a bowl, mix together pecans, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup flour, and melted butter. Sprinkle on top of batter. Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile make rum sauce. In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together rum and cornstarch. Add to heavy cream and whisk well. Continue to whisk and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in ½ cup granulated sugar.

To serve, cut coffee cake into squares and drizzle with rum sauce.

Source: iStock

6. Apple Chai Coffee Cake

Give your cake a spicy twist with this Apple Chai Coffee Cake recipe from Cookie Named Desire. Both the luscious cake and its buttery topping are packed with spiced chai flavors, delicately offset by the sweet-tart apples that punctuate every bite. The cake makes for a great accompaniment to your morning tea, coffee, or even hot chocolate!


Crumb topping
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Chai-spiced apple cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 medium apples, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease plus flour an 8-by-8-inch baking pan.

Mix together the ingredients for the crumb topping with a fork. It should form large, coarse clumps. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the butter until creamy, then add the sugar. Alternate adding in the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add in the vanilla. Be careful not to overmix. Toss the apples with the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. Gently fold into the batter.

Pour the batter into the pan and then crumble the crumb topping over the batter, pressing gently to ensure it adheres to the batter. Bake for about 45 to 48 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow the cake to cool and serve warm or room temperature.

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