Buttery Crumb Coffee Cake

Coffee Crumb Cake — This coffee crumb cake recipe couldn’t be easier to make! It’s made with boxed yellow cake mix, which is used in both the batter and the crumble topping.

Coffee Crumb Cake on white platter

Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

I have a thing for buttery crumbs or anything with a crumble or streusel topping. The more crumbs there are, the happier I am.

Let’s talk about coffee cake for a minute — I think it’s very underrated. I would prefer a slice of glazed coffee cake with those big crumbs to a fancy layer cake most any day. It’s even better when the cake is extremely easy and fast to make. I had this coffee crumb cake made, cooled, and ready to dig into in under an hour.

It tastes like something you’d get at a bakery but better because it’s not dry in the least, a problem I find with cake in general from bakeries.

The secret is that I doctored up a box of yellow cake mix. Who knew that cake mix combined with brown sugar and melted butter could yield such a scrumptious crumb topping? If you’re cake mix averse, make this scratch base and use this crumb topping minus the cocoa.

This cake mix coffee cake is soft, fluffy, and tender. The crumbs add subtle texture and it wouldn’t be coffee cake without plenty of glaze. It’s a perfect brunch cake or simply a great recipe to keep on hand for when you need a fast, easy coffee crumb cake that everyone will love.

slice of Coffee Crumb Cake drizzled with glaze

What’s in Coffee Crumb Cake? 

For this yellow cake mix recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Yellow cake mix
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • All-purpose flour
  • Canola oil
  • Light brown sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar
  • Corn syrup

slice of cake mix coffee cake on white plate

How to Make Coffee Crumb Cake

To make the cake mix coffee cake base, simply add all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until combined. Turn the batter out into a greased 9×13-inch pan, then make the crumb topping. The crumb topping is made by mashing the ingredients together with the back of a fork until the texture resembles coarse sand. 

Sprinkle the crumb topping over the cake batter, then bake until the center is set. Once the coffee crumb cake is out of the oven, let it cool slightly before whisking together the glaze and drizzling it evenly over top. Give the cake a few more minutes to cool before slicing and serving. 

Can I Make This Easy Coffee Cake Recipe in Advance? 

Yes, you can certainly make this cake mix coffee cake the night before you plan on serving it. The glaze will stay fairly soft, but it won’t soak into the cake, so nothing should get mushy. 

Can I Omit the Glaze? 

Of course! If you don’t have the ingredients for the glaze or simply don’t want to make it, this coffee crumb cake is delicious without it. But try making it with the glaze at least once to know whether or not you like it! 

Buttery Crumb Coffee Cake - A soft, fluffy cake with cinnamon-brown sugar streusel CRUMBS and a perfectly sweet glaze!! An easy coffee cake that's perfect for brunch, holidays, or anytime you're CRAVING cake!!

Tips for Making Crumb Coffee Cake

When making the coffee cake batter, you do NOT make the cake mix according to package instructions. You should measure it out like you would any other dry ingredient and mix it with the ingredients I’ve listed in the recipe card below. 

And when making the crumb topping, you don’t want to overwork the mixture. Tossing lightly with a fork is the way to go. If you overwork the crumb topping, it’ll be too fine in texture and will just sink into the raw cake batter. 

Unlike a layer cake, you actually want to add the glaze to this coffee crumb cake while it’s still a little warm. The residual heat helps the glaze sink into the crumb topping and makes for the most delicious, gooey bite of coffee cake. 

Buttery Coffee Crumb Cake

Buttery Coffee Crumb Cake

This coffee crumb cake recipe couldn't be easier to make! It's made with boxed yellow cake mix, which is used in both the batter and the crumble topping.

Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes

Ingredients

Cake

  • one 15.25-ounce package yellow cake mix; reserve 1 cup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Topping

  • 1 cup reserved cake mix
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light-colored corn syrup (helps keep the glaze softer)
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

    Make the Cake

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch metal pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
    2. To a large bowl add the cake mix (reserve one cup and add to a medium bowl), eggs, water, flour, oil, and mix with a handheld electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Mix on high speed for about 2 minutes, or until blended, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
    3. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula; set aside.

Make the Topping

  1. To the medium bowl with the 1 cup reserved cake mix, add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and mix with a fork until crumbs form. There will be a mixture of sandy crumbs and pebbles.
  2. Evenly turn crumb mixture out over the cake mix.
  3. Bake for about 22 to 24 minutes, or until cake is set in the center, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack while you prepare the glaze.

Make the Glaze

  1. To a medium bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup (milk or water may be substituted noting glaze will set up harder and crustier), water, and whisk until smooth and combined. Evenly drizzle glaze over cake.
  2. Allow cake to cool for about 15 minutes in pan or until sufficiently cooled to slice and serve.

Notes

Cake will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 55mg Sodium: 220mg Carbohydrates: 61g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 45g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g

More Easy Coffee Cake Recipes: 

Sweet Cream Vanilla Coffee Cake — You’ll never guess what special ingredient keeps this fast and easy cake so soft and moist!

Sweet Cream Vanilla Coffee Cake - You'll never guess what special ingredient keeps this fast & easy cake so soft and moist!

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake – An EASY, no-mixer cake studded with juicy blueberries and topped with big buttery streusel nuggets that are just SO GOOD!

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Coffee Cake – Between the cinnamon-sugar crust AND the cinnamon-sugar swirled through the center, this EASY coffee cake is IRRESISTIBLE!

Pumpkin Crumb Coffee Cake – A FAST and EASY no-mixer coffee cake with rich pumpkin flavor!! Super soft, tender, and topped with the BEST crumble topping that you’ll fall in love with!

Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake — Sweet juicy strawberries are found in every bite, and the cream cheese glaze is the perfect tangy complement to the creamy, sweet cake.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coffee Cake — The cake is soft, fluffy, light, and very moist, with just enough density to give it some heft and dimension.

46 comments on “Buttery Crumb Coffee Cake”

  1. Doctored cake mixes are the best. I’ve made crumb bars with them before and they’re so good! And crumb cake is my number-one favorite dessert. You’re so right about the bakeries. The topping is fine, but the cake is dry. This looks a whole lot better!

    • I’ve made bars too from cake mixes, more along the lines of a gooey bar and the cake mix + 1 egg and butter is all that gets mixed to form the base layer. So m any things you can do with them and glad you kwim about bakery cakes!

    • Wonderful easy recipe. The few revisions made we’re;Serving size of applesauce to replace the oil in the cake mixAdded a dash of vanilla to the batterTablespoon of cinnamon to the toppingResults…. fantastic! Thank you

      Rating: 5
  2. I have a patient who brings us a pretty awesome coffee cake around the holidays. She said she also uses a yellow cake mix so I think I have had something very similar. It’s impossible not to demolish it in short order and the crumble topping is the best part!

  3. Usually I avoid coffee cakes due to the dryness of the cake, but I know better with one of your recipes!  I dust off your blueberry coffee cake recipe 2 or 3 times a year.  I know this one will be just as tasty.  

    • That’s awesome to hear you still make that blueberry coffee cake! Feels like a lifetime ago that I posted that recipe but glad it’s a keeper for you!

      And yes, this one is anything but dry!

  4. I adore coffee cake! Especially when it’s as buttery and delicious as this.

  5. hey girl this looks amazing!

  6. This is totally going to be breakfast tomorrow morning!  I want a big piece of it with my Sunday morning coffee! 

  7. I made the cake this morning and my crumbs sunk and are crunchy :( I followed the recipe exactly and baked it for 23 minutes. It tastes delicious but I wish the crumbs were softer. Any idea what could’ve gone wrong? I feel like this always happens when I make crumb cake.

    • Not all ovens are created equal and if your crumbs were crunchy at 23 mins, then maybe bake a bit less next time. As far as them sinking, all crumbs sink in all crumb cakes. Perhaps you could go a little bit heavier handed when portioning out the ingredients to ensure a few more crumbs.

      Glad it still tastes delicious!

  8. the more crumb the better-DEFINITELY!!! This coffee cake is heaven <3

  9. I brought this cake into work today and it was gone before 9 (my boss was disappointed he didn’t get to have a second piece)! I also gave out the link to the recipe to many colleagues.

    I often find coffee cakes mean well but disappoint in execution. This is anything but a disappointment. Extremely easy to make and a big hit with folks. Will definitely make again since I think this is now my go-to coffee cake recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I agree that coffee cakes tend to be disappointing but glad you didn’t find my recipe to be that way at all and it’ll be your go-to!

  10. Hi, I just made the buttery crumb coffee cake, and the minute I melted the last of my butter, I thought this was wrong. To make a crumbly topping I never melt the butter. Was that part of the recipe correct?
    Thank you

    • Yes it’s correct. Just follow along as the recipe indicates and you will be fine. I have made crumbly toppings with cold butter, melted butter and every state in between. It works this way. Enjoy!

  11. I made this today without the sugar glaze. I used a small 8×8 pan so the cake would be thick. IT WAS AMAZING. I thought bisquick coffee cake was good, but this might be even better. It smells like heaven and looks and tastes SO GOOD. Thank you! Wonderful recipe!

  12. So yummy. I’ve made multiple recipes from scratch and this is almost as good and takes half the amount of time.

    Rating: 5
  13. Any idea of the proportions of wet ingredients for the remainder of cake mix to make it without the 1/2 cup of flour. Need college kid recipe for my daughter and the fewer ingredients for her to purchase, the better.

  14. This is a really good coffee cake. Took it to church brunch and didn’t bring any home. I was sure the bake time was too short but it was not. It is not as high as a regular cake because you omit 1 whole cup of mix for the frosting so bake time IS shorter. I added nuts just because I like them. Will make again and copy the recipe for a friend.

    Rating: 5
  15. This was really good. I wish there was a way to post a pic because it looked scrumptious. I used a Duncan Hines butter golden mix and increased the oil to 1/3 c. So it took a few extra minutes to bake (25 min total). My favorite coffee shop just puts butter on top of the hot cake so I skipped the glaze and did that. It was fantastic! Difficult to stop eating it. I would definitely make it again. So easy and inexpensive!

    Rating: 5
  16. Delicious!!! 2nd time making it. I juat split the recipe into 2 8×8 pans….one for tonight and one for the freezer. I ate over 1/2 of the 9×13 last time.🤦‍♀️😮 Thank you for this recipe!

    Rating: 5
  17. Would have liked it much better without the glaze – way too sweet for me. Without it, i think it would be perfect. Yum

    Rating: 4
  18. Delicious and so easy! Couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. I also adapted this using chocolate cake mix (because everything is better with chocolate). For the crumbs, I used the cake mix, white sugar, cocoa, and butter. All the same amounts but used 3/4 stick of butter to help the crumbles stick together). It was delicious,, too!

  19. I’m making it now! And I love coffee cake! But when I was making the topping it didn’t crumb up? It just basically turned into a sandy cake mix? Is that right? Next time I think I will not reserve the extra cake batter and make crumbs without!

    Rating: 4
    • With crumb toppings, you don’t want to overwork the mixture. Tossing lightly with a fork is the way to go. And also you say ‘batter’ but it is cake MIX (raw, natural, not with eggs) that you want to reserve…not the cake batter. Just clarifying that as well.

  20. I’m making this coffee cake for the third time this season. Our family has to eat gluten free, and your recipe works beautifully with a gluten free cake mix! This is one we’ll be saving and making often. Thanks so much!!

    Rating: 5
  21. Omgosh! This Coffee Cake was definitely a GRAND SLAM! So moist & tender.. I decided to skip the glaze & dust it with powdered sugar bc I didn’t have the corn syrup needed for the glaze. Next time…(there will be MANY more next times) I’m going to stir in some sauteed diced apples & make the glaze. Thank you for sharing your Yummalicious recipe with us 😋

    Rating: 5
  22. This is a delicious coffee cake recipe. I have also used a gluten free yellow cake mix and gluten free flour to make the recipe gluten free. All my gf request it! Easy, fast and delicious!

  23. This was, indeed absolutely delicious!! Easy to follow directions. I usually don’t take cakes out of the 9×13 pan they get baked in so next time I wont line the pan with foil. just wondering if there is a way to get more crumbs for the topping. Another cup of crumbs would not have been too much crumbs for me… But, as is, the recipe is wonderful.

    Rating: 5

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