Another sweet little coffee cake recipe for your Sunday morning- today it’s a Cream Cheese Coffee Cake! Layers of fluffy cake, sweetened cream cheese, jam, and crumble topping make this a seriously delightful breakfast cake.
Don’t know what breakfast cake is? Today is your lucky day. Eat a cake for breakfast, and it’s breakfast cake. Personally, I’m a big believer in the practice. Let’s get to it!
How to Make Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
This is a pretty simple recipe, and it starts with a really simple cake recipe. This cake gets mixed together using a bit of an odd method where you basically add everything into the bowl at once, and mix it until it’s just combined and thick. You may have little bits of butter that haven’t completely blended out, but as long as the chunks of butter are about the size of a pea or smaller, you’re good.
Then spread about half of the cake batter into your prepared cake pan. The batter is pretty thick, so you’ll want to use the back of a spoon or an off-set spatula to spread it evenly!
The cream cheese layer is just cream cheese whisked with sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Spread this mixture over the first layer of batter, going almost to the edges but not quite. Then top that layer with a layer of jam- I’m using a mixed berry jam, but you can use anything you like here!
Then it’s time to spread the remaining cake batter on top. This is a bit easier if you dollop the batter all over and then spread it, but it doesn’t have to be perfect! Finally, top the whole thing with lots of crumb topping- you want to be generous here and use ALL of the crumb topping. Off to the oven to bake!
You’ll know your cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly dry, with a few wet spots of jam and cream cheese, but not covered in cake batter. Optionally, you can use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of your cake- it should be about 200 degrees internally once it’s done.
Cool the cake in the pan completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Here are all my tips and tricks to help you make the perfect cake every time!
- Make sure your ingredients are all room temperature before you start. This cake relies on a short mixing time, so it’s important that everything is at room temp to be well combined easily.
- Don’t over mix the cake batter. You want to beat until everything is just combined and no dry pockets of flour remain, but no longer. It should very thick, and may have a few lumps but that’s ok!
- Use an off-set spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the batter and each layer evenly. The batter is thick, so it can be a little tough to spread it evenly.
- If your jam is thick, microwave for 20 seconds to thin it out and make it easier to spread!
- Use all the crumble topping! It’s going to seem like a lot, but it’s an important layer and you want to use it all to get that classic crumb cake topping.
- Bake the cake fully. It can be hard to tell when a layered cake like this is done baking. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check that the internal temp has reached 200 degrees, or a toothpick should come out mostly clean with just a few wet bits of jam and cream cheese.
- Cool the cake completely for easier removal from the pan before you slice and serve.
- I’m at about 5,000 ft. above sea level and I find that most people who live between about 3,000-7,000 ft above sea level do not need to make any adjustments to my recipes!
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
For the cake:
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tbs. buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup mixed berry jam
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temp
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. salt
For the crumb:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 tbs. cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup melted butter
For the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spray an 8-inch square pan with baking spray. Line your pan with parchment paper that has over-hanging edges for easy removal and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, flour, baking powder and salt until you have a thick batter. This is an odd mixing method for cake, but it works well here to mix everything together at once, so trust the process!
Spread about half of the cake batter into your prepared cake pan, and set aside while you prepare the filling and crumb topping.
For the filling:
In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and salt until well combined and smooth. Spread this over the first layer of cake batter evenly, going almost to the edges. Spread the jam evenly over the cream cheese mixture that you have spread into your cake pan. If your jam is very thick, you may want to microwave it for 20 seconds for easier spreading- it shouldn’t be hot. Then, spread the remaining cake batter over the top of the filling layer. This doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s a bit easier if you dollop the remaining batter all over the top, and the spread with an off-set spatula or the back of a spoon.
For the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, cornstarch, and flour until well combined. Pour in the melted butter, and use a fork to work the mixture together until everything is well combined. The mixture will be dry, but should hold together when you press it in your hands. If it does not hold together in clumps, add another 1-2 tbs. of melted butter. If it’s too wet, add another 1-2 tbs. of flour until you reach a crumbly consistency. Crumble the entire mixture over the top of your cake evenly, covering everything.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the cake looks set, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs. You may see streaks from your jam/cream cheese layer as well here. Cool the cake completely in the pan, and slice to serve!
Hello and welcome! My name is Nicole, and Dough-eyed is a food blog for people who want to bake for their family and friends in high-altitude areas. Think of me as a friendly voice there with you in the kitchen, here to give you confidence when you’re baking, and to help you with the struggles of baking at high-altitude. Come back every week for new recipes, tips, and advice on high-altitude baking!