Make Ahead

Classic Cinnamon Yeast Coffee Cake

December  3, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Makes 8-12 slices
Author Notes

Growing up, my Christmas breakfast memories are of two distinctly different traditions. When we stayed in New York, a traditional Jewish breakfast (Dad's Jewish and we can't keep our hands off this breakfast either) of bagels, smoked/baked salmon, cream cheese and the works of thinly sliced red onions and tomatoes. If we weren't in NY we were in my mom's hometown of a suburb outside of Cincinnati, Ohio with her family. Christmas morning meant one thing...a table full of my grandmother's baked creations rounded out with eggs (which I despised) and bacon or sausage. Her breakfast cakes were almost always yeast based and this was one was of her mainstays and a recipe that came from her mother. The cake itself is not very sweet, it gets that from the topping. My grandmother started making it with shortening (a sign of the 1950's), I brought it back to it's butter roots. - testkitchenette —testkitchenette

Test Kitchen Notes

Delightfully warm, sweet and yeasty, this breakfast treat is somewhere between fluffy bread and cake. The simple, crumbly topping adds just the right hint of spice. Try serving it warm with a little bit of butter and jam for an extra-special holiday treat. - Stephanie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 packet dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled to warm
  • 1 beaten egg, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour (I have used whole wheat pastry flour with great results)
  • 1/3 cup sugar for streusel topping
  • 1/2 cup flour for streusel topping
  • 3 tablespoons butter for streusel topping
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon for streusel topping
  • Pinch salt for streusel topping
  1. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with butter.
  2. Dissolve the packet of yeast in the water with the 1 teaspoon of sugar in a measuring cup.
  3. Cream the butter and remaining 1/4 c. sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the yeast, water, and sugar mixture and 2 cups of flour.
  4. Add the scalded milk and egg. Then add the rest of the flour and mix or knead well.
  5. Cover with a towel and let rise for 20 minutes. Put into the refrigerator and let rise until doubled, about three hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Distribute the dough between the two prepared greased cake pans, being sure to press the dough all the way out to the corner of the pan.
  7. Make streusel topping. Combine sugar, flour, butter, salt, and cinnamon together with your hands, two forks, or pastry blender until crumbly. Divide between the cakes pans, covering the cakes evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
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  • Michael Balan
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2 Reviews

Michael B. April 22, 2019
Great Recipe. I let the cakes rise in the fridge overnight, topped with streusel and baked off after letten them warm to room temp. Strussel crisp up the crust and cake was soft and delicious. Semi-sweet and was great servered with butter and jam.
Gilbert November 14, 2020
Typos make somethings confusing