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The Best Coffee Cake Recipe Without Sour Cream

Delicious, buttery, and tangy, you won’t believe how good the coffee cake without sour cream tastes.

So many recipes add sour cream for that zing, but let me tell you, buttermilk is king when it comes to making that bakery-fresh coffee cake to start your morning. 

And this is the best coffee cake recipe without sour cream.

A Tender Cake

A square piece of coffee cake on a brown plate. There is a tipped over shaker of cinnamon in the background next to a bowl with more ground cinnamon.

Talk about a tender and moist cake, even with the absence of sour cream.

The cake is light and fluffy underneath the streusel topping.

Don’t sleep on this one, though likely you’ll be dreaming of the crunchy streusel topping. It will most certainly be your motivation to jump out of bed when the alarm clock goes off.

And it can serve as an afternoon snack, dessert, or treat to enjoy any time with the ones you love.

A slice of coffee cake on a brown plate. There's a small bowl of sugar and cinnamon next to the plate and a cup of coffee on the counter.

A Great Recipe For Coffee Cake Without Sour Cream

As I mentioned, this coffee cake recipe is made without sour cream. I use buttermilk instead, which gives it even better results, in my opinion.

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make it by mixing one cup of milk with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir it up first before adding it in and let it sit for a few minutes, though real buttermilk is best.

The streusel topping is a bit different than a typical topping. It combines sugar, brown sugar, and butter for a thinner topping.

Ingredients For The Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

Streusel Topping

  • White granulated sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cold butter, cubed

Coffee Cake

  • White granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Cold butter, cubed
  • Egg
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk

Full recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

Watch How To Make Coffee Cake Without Sour Cream

How To Make Delicious Coffee Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish.
  2. For the streusel, add the sugar, cinnamon, and flour to a medium mixing bowl and mix.
  3. Next, add the cubed butter and cut it in until it resembles the shape of peas and set aside.
  4. For the cake, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix.
  5. Cut in the butter until it resembles the shape of peas.
  6. Add the buttermilk, milk, egg, and vanilla extract, and mix well.
  7. Pour the cake into the prepared baking dish and top with the streusel.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. The top will be crusty and melted.
A square slice of coffee cake on a brown plate.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Streusel Topping

White sugar in a clear glass bowl.

Start by adding white sugar to a medium bowl.

Sugar and ground cinnamon in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Next, add the ground cinnamon to the bowl.

Flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Add the flour to the mixing bowl.

Cutting butter into the flour, sugar, and cinnamon streusel mixture with a metal pastry cutter. The mixture is in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Add the cubed butter and cut it into the dry mixture with a pastry cutter. Cut until the mixture resembles the shape of peas.

Streusel in a clear glass bowl.

This is what the streusel will look like when it’s done. You can set it aside while you get the cake ready.

Coffee Cake

Flour, sugar, and baking powder in a clear glass mixing bowl.

For the cake, grab a large bowl and add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix.

Cubed butter with the dry mixture for coffee cake.

Add the cold cubed butter to the bowl and cut it in until it resembles the shape of peas.

Pouring buttermilk into the mixing bowl with dry ingredients.

Pour the buttermilk and milk into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

Eggs and vanilla extract in a clear glass bowl with cake ingredients.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Coffee cake batter in a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.

Streusel sprinkled over the top of coffee cake batter in a rectangle baking dish.

Sprinkle the streusel crumb topping over the top of the cake batter.

Baked coffee cake with brown sugar streusel in a rectangular baking dish.

Bake the coffee cake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cake.

The cinnamon streusel on top of the cake will be nice and melted and crunchy. And the cake will be golden brown.

Coffee cake sitting on a brown cutting board. There's a piece of cake on a fork next to the cake.

What Is Coffee Cake?

With a name like coffee cake, you’d think it has coffee in it. But nope!

There’s no java in here. It’s merely a cake made with white sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, butter, egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and milk.

The best way I can describe it is like a moist cake with a nice streusel topping made with a delicious cinnamon sugar mixture that just seals the deal.

It’s the kind of cake that’s sweet without being excessively sweet, and the perfect thing to serve when friends and family drop by. And yes, the fluffy cake goes beautifully with a hot cup of coffee which is where the name comes about.

More Delicious Desserts

The Best Coffee Cake Without Sour Cream

This coffee cake without sour cream is a wonderful way to bring this classic breakfast/dessert back to the table. I love to make mine ahead to enjoy on a lazy morning or when I know guests will be coming over. 

Just brew up a pot of good coffee to go with it, and you’ll be in business! It’s old-fashioned coffee cake at its finest!

The cinnamon coffee cake is perfect for after a holiday meal or anytime. Just add a scoop of ice cream on the side, and you’ve got one amazing dessert.

A square piece of coffee cake on a brown plate. There is a tipped over shaker of cinnamon in the background next to a bowl with more ground cinnamon.

The Best Coffee Cake Without Sour Cream

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Coffee cake without sour cream is a moist, easy and delicious recipe. It's perfect with morning coffee or as an after dinner dessert.

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

Coffee Cake

  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup milk (see notes)

Instructions

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

Streusel

  1. Add the flour, cinnamon, and sugar to a bowl and mix.
  2. Next, add the cubed butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles the shape of peas.

Coffee Cake

  1. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a medium bowl and mix.
  2. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it resembles the shape of peas.
  3. Add the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and milk and mix until combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the top.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. The top will be melted, crispy, and golden brown.

Notes

The cake batter should resemble traditional cake batter and not be too thick. If it seems too thick, add 1/2 cup of milk instead of 1/4 cup.

Store the cake in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. The cake does not need to be refrigerated.

The streusel does not have the typical tender crumb topping instead, it's a buttery, crunchy cinnamon sugar topping.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Grace

Sunday 3rd of March 2024

Made as written, mine came out pale (could be my oven!) So I broiled it for a few minutes, it browned nicely but was dry, so I quickly mixed up a little powdered sugar and milk and drizzled that over top. It tastes like a crumb donut. And, the cake recipe itself is moist, buttery, and not overly sweet.

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 3rd of March 2024

Glad to hear you liked it and the broiler idea is a great one!

Tammy

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

I think the sour cream adds a nice richness to this coffee cake. Coffee cake is probably one of my favorites. This looks divine!

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

Thanks so much, Tammy!

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