Say good morning to what you should be eating right.this.second.
Are you a fan of coffee cake? I change my opinion on it every few years. Growing up, I LIVED for the crumbly streusel topping on Entenmann’s coffee cakes. You know the ones I’m talking about? Super crumbly and cinnamony and heavenly. But, truth be told, I rarely ate the cake underneath all that streusel. Maybe a bite or two but that was it.
And then I went YEARS feeling sort of “blah” about coffee cake. It always tasted kind of dry and bland to me, and eating the streusel alone wasn’t cutting it anymore. I was much more of a savory breakfast person, anyway, so I often picked my lower maintenance but oh-so-basic avocado toast with fried egg over coffee cake.
But now! I’m back on the coffee cake train. Thanks mostly to today’s recipe. It’s a doozy. I mean anything with “cinnamon roll” in the title is destined to be a doozy, right?
The cake itself is light, fluffy, and super moist (sorry), and is probably the furthest thing from the dried out crumbly mess I’ve come to expect of coffee cake. And just to make sure my 8-year-old self is happy, I doubled up on the streusel, both in the middle AND on top of the cake. Double streusel duty. This should be a thing for anything requiring streusel. Just sayin’.
And then there’s the glaze. Swoon! I wanted to mimic the cream cheese frosting on many cinnamon rolls. Consider it checked off the list, because this glaze is heavenly. It drizzled on like a dream, was studded with vanilla bean flecks, and tasted as good as it looked. What more could you ask for?
This cake basically tastes like a fluffier version of a cinnamon roll. I’d be misleading you if I said it tasted exactly like a cinnamon roll because it doesn’t have that gooeyness we all know and love with cinnamon rolls. But the flavors? Spot on!
I think one of the big keys to this cake tasting so delicious is the use of vanilla bean paste. I have talked about this before, but I truly believe that vanilla bean paste is far superior to vanilla extract, both in flavor and appearance. Seeing the little vanilla bean flecks gets me ridiculously excited. Plus, it’s way cheaper than actual vanilla beans but still delivers that pure, strong vanilla flavor. This one is my favorite. I cannot recommend investing in a bottle enough!
The vanilla bean combined with the crumbly streusel and sweet, light cake is dessert/brunch/breakfast/snack perfection. Heck, I’d eat this for dinner if I could. It’s that perfect cozy and comforting sweet bite that we all crave this time of year.
Consider this my first transitional baked good into fall. I think we’re off to a good start, don’t you?
For the Cake:
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 1¼ cups sour cream, at room temperature
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
For the Streusel:
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Pinch of fine salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
For the Glaze:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- A few tablespoons milk
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally spray a 10-inch tube/bundt pan with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of stand mixer, cream together the butter and two sugars until very fluffy and light, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then add in the vanilla and sour cream.
- While the wet ingredients are mixing, whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients, in batches, to the wet ingredients, mixing well to combine.
For the Streusel:
- Whisk together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Using a fork or your fingers, mix in the cold butter until the mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle a third of the streusel evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour half of the cake batter over top.
- Top the cake batter with the remaining streusel, being sure to evenly distribute it. Top with the remaining cake batter, smoothing out the top.
- Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
- Place your serving plate or cake stand inverted on top of the cake pan and quickly and carefully flip the cake upside down onto the plate/stand. Gently remove the cake pan.
For the Glaze:
- Whisk together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and a splash or two of milk, as needed, to thin it out to drizzling consistency. Once the glaze is smooth and runny, liberally drizzle it over the cake.
Lightly adapted from here.