Buttermilk-Streusel Coffee Cake

May 16, 2021
8 Ratings
  • Makes one 9-inch bundt cake
Author Notes

After baking a lot of coffee cakes, this was my favorite. Buttermilk gives the cake a light, tangy flavor, and there's enough streusel that you get some in every bite (a must)! I freeze leftover slices of the cake in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil and reheat them in the microwave for unexpected coffee guests or snacktime emergencies. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • For the streusel:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, microwaved for 10 seconds
  • For the cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, meted
  1. Spray a 9-inch bundt pan with nonstick spray. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. To make the streusel, whisk the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Cut the butter into 1-tablespoon pieces, then add it to the mixture and use your hands to mix it in until you've formed moist crumbs. Set aside.
  3. To make the cake, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl to combine. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, sugar, and melted butter to combine.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, and mix until fully combined.
  5. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan and top with half of the streusel. Pour the remaining batter on top, then finish with a sprinkling of the remaining streusel.
  6. Bake the coffee cake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Kinzie Boothe Lee
    Kinzie Boothe Lee
  • Alina
  • Alison
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

10 Reviews

Alison July 16, 2021
I haven't actually eaten this yet, but it has a wonderful aroma and rose nicely. I had to add another 1/4 cup of buttermilk to make the batter moist enough, and it still didn't exactly pour! I also added some pecans to the streusel. Bake time was 45 minutes.
My biggest concern--which I see some variations on in the comments--is that I followed the directions to use a bundt pan, and to sprinkle half of the streusel in the middle, with the remainder after the second half of the batter. Because a bundt pan creates an upside down cake, I wasn't sure how the streusel would bake into a base layer. Now that I have turned it out of the bundt pan, my cake appears to have a perfectly nice looking, crunchy streusel topping--on the bottom of the cake. This doesn't match the photo at all, not surprisingly. I wonder if it would have been better to use a tube pan, or a springform 9-inch pan, which isn't inverted, so the top is actually the streusel. This does not seem to have been accounted for in the recipe instructions. If it is a good as it smells, I will adjust for the next time.
Taylor S. May 16, 2021
This is absolutely incredible - a perfectly spiced, tangy, and fluffy coffee cake.
Brad March 31, 2020
The issue is with the baking pan nomenclature. A tube pan or spring form cake pan with the removable insert would be more accurate than bundt pan. If you look closely at the image of the cake you can see that it was not baked in the type of decorative bundt pan you invert. A tube pan would result in the streusel being on top as the recipe instructs. Hope this helps
Kathy June 8, 2019
I followed review suggestions to put half the streusel in bottom of pan first and this was a disaster - created a hard praline type top that I had to chisel out, even though I sprayed my nonstick pan thoroughly...would be much better to follow instructions as written. Cake tastes great and is very moist but looks a mess due to top sticking in pan
Kinzie B. January 15, 2018
Made this for breakfast- the recipe is definitely incorrect in that half the struesel needs to be addded to the bottom of the bundt pan BEFORE half of the batter is added. Then add the rest of the struesel and the rest of the batter. The batter is very thick so there’s no pouring it! Mine took about 50 minutes to cook. The taste is fantastic and the cake is moist thanks to the buttermilk! Would make again with the adjustments above.
Isabel March 15, 2015
I have tried the recipe twice now and neither time the batter was thin enough to "pour". Its quite thick and needed to be scooped into the bundt pan. On my first try I baked the cake for 40 minutes and found it only partially baked. The streusel however is wonderful.
Alina February 22, 2015
I made this today. I used a mix of all purpose and whole wheat flour, used all white sugar (didn't want to go out shopping) added a little over 1 1/3 cup of buttermilk (I live at 5,500 ft. elevation). So soft and delicious. Perfect morning coffee companion. :)
Irene S. February 24, 2015
Hi Alina, Love that you used whole wheat flour and it came out soft. That's always an issue for me. Would you mind please sharing the measurements? Thank you :)
Maureen M. February 22, 2015
I was also wondering how the crumbs appear to be on top of the cake - but it sounds so good I will try it and eat it upside down and maybe bake it a little longer ...
lynn February 22, 2015
I just made this cake today. The baking time seems to be off since I took it out at 40 minutes and it was completely unbaked, as in, the dough ran out of the cake after I inverted it. This was after toothpicks were coming out clean and the top was golden brown. Also, I'm not sure how the crumbs are on top of the cake pictured if the recipe says to use a bundt pan. Maybe I misunderstood. One more thing...I wasn't sure if the author meant to use dark brown or light brown sugar in the streusel and if it was supposed to be packed.