Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Coffee Cake

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Cinnamon Coffee Cake — Between the cinnamon-sugar crust AND the cinnamon-sugar swirled through the center, this EASY coffee cake is IRRESISTIBLE!! Soft, fluffy, light, and of course it’s perfect with coffee!!

slice of cinnamon coffee cake on white plate

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

There are so many reasons to love and make this cinnamon swirl cake.

First, it’s a homemade coffee cake. I’ve always loved coffee cakes, which I identify as either something with lots of cinnamon-sugar or something with streusel. This one has plenty of cinnamon-sugar and is squarely in the coffee cake camp.

Second, there’s a ribbon of cinnamon-sugar swirled through the center of the cake. Not only is it eye-catching and pretty, it tastes damn good too.

Third, the outside of the cake has a cinnamon-sugar crust, which is accomplished simply by adding cinnamon-sugar to a cooking-sprayed Bundt pan and rolling it around. Why grease and flour a pan when you can cinnamon-sugar it instead?

There’s plenty of cinnamon-sugar in this cake and I’m not complaining, nor did anyone in my family when they tried it.

It’s also a fast, easy, and an unfussy kind of cake that comes together in minutes, the only kind I make. The bundt coffee cake is soft, fluffy, and isn’t heavy or overly dense.

There’s one cup of sour cream in the batter, which helps keep the cake light, it adds a very slight tanginess, and it prevents the cake from being overly sweet.

cinnamon bundt coffee cake on white plate with slice missing

All things considered though, in a cake of this size, there’s only one and a half cups of sugar in the batter, which isn’t enough to create an overly sweet cake anyway — with or without the sour cream variable.

My daughter said the cinnamon-sugar crust reminded her of the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. I love that stuff so it’s no surprise I loved the cake, loved the crust, loved everything about it, including the ribbon of cinnamon-sugar swirled through the center. So good.

Between the cinnamon-sugar crust and the swirl of cinnamon-sugar in the cake, it reminds me of this Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon Ribbon Bread from 2014 which has been a reader favorite since then. In fact, many of the coffee cakes in the Related Recipes below are circa 2013-14. Apparently I was into making lots of coffee cakes then.

It’s a coffee cake for a reason. It’s an absolutely perfect cake to be paired with your morning cup of coffee or tea.

And being that it’s not too sweet, rich, or dense, it would be a great cake for a brunch you’re hosting.

Or just have it for breakfast. Yes, cake for breakfast is always a win for me. Or have some in the afternoon with your afternoon pick-me-up cup of coffee.

There’s never a wrong time to enjoy coffee + cake.

close up of cinnamon coffee cake with slice missing

What’s in Cinnamon Coffee Cake? 

To make this ultra moist coffee cake recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Ground cinnamon
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sour cream
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda 
  • Salt

How to Make Cinnamon Coffee Cake

First, whisk together the cinnamon sugar. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray, then coat with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Then, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, and sour cream and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients last. 

Turn half the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over top. Pour the remaining batter over that. 

Bake the bundt coffee cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter.

slice of cinnamon swirl cake on white plate

Can I Use a Sour Cream Substitute? 

You may be able to use plain Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. However, I have not tried substituting Greek yogurt so I cannot speak from experience how it will taste or what the results will be.

Can I Make This Recipe in a Regular Cake Pan? 

You could possibly divide this cake batter between two 9-inch cake pans, but I haven’t tried this myself so I can’t say for sure. 

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Coffee Cake - Between the cinnamon-sugar crust AND the cinnamon-sugar swirled through the center, this EASY coffee cake is IRRESISTIBLE!! Soft, fluffy, light, and of course it's perfect with coffee!!

Tips for Making Cinnamon Coffee Cake

When pouring the batter into the bundt pan, you first only add half of the mixture to the pan. Make sure you don’t add more than half; novice bakers tend to underestimate how much batter they’re adding, and the problem is that you then don’t have sufficient batter to properly complete the cake.

Since all ovens, pans, climates, etc. are different, I recommend starting to check on the cake at the 30- to 35-minute mark, and keep a close eye on it from there until it’s done; don’t overbake or your homemade coffee cake will be dry.

Watch your cinnamon swirl cake and not the clock and if it takes a bit less or longer for your cake to be sufficiently baked than my baking time estimates, do what is needed for your cake.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake — Between the cinnamon-sugar crust AND the cinnamon-sugar swirled through the center, this EASY coffee cake is IRRESISTIBLE!! Soft, fluffy, light, and of course it's perfect with coffee!!

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 15

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Coffee Cake

Between the cinnamon-sugar crust AND the cinnamon-sugar swirled through the center, this EASY coffee cake is IRRESISTIBLE!! Soft, fluffy, light, and of course it's perfect with coffee!!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 42 minutes
Additional Time 38 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Cinnamon-Sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Make the Cinnamon-Sugar:

  1. Add both ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine.

Make the Coffee Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan very well with cooking spray and add about 1/3 cup of the cinnamon-sugar to the pan. Carefully roll the cinnamon-sugar around the pan, getting it into all the nooks and crannies, so the pan is well coated in cinnamon-sugar; set both the Bundt pan and remaining cinnamon-sugar aside.
  3. To a large bowl, add the butter, sugar, and cream (beat) on high speed with a handheld electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla, and beat on high speed to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  5. Add the sour cream and beat on high speed to incorporate.
  6. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and beat on low speed or mix by hand until incorporated; don't overmix or cake will be tough.
  7. Turn half the batter out into the prepared Bundt pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Tip - Make sure you don't add more than half; novice bakers tend to underestimate how much batter they're adding and the problem is that you then don't have sufficient batter to properly complete the cake. Set remaining batter aside.
  8. Evenly sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar over the cake batter. It may look like a lot but it melts into the batter/cake while baking.
  9. Turn the remaining cake batter out over the cinnamon-sugar layer, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  10. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. Since all ovens, pans, climates, etc. are different, I recommend starting to check on the cake at the 30 to 35-minute mark, and keep a close eye on it from there until it's done; don't overbake or it will be dry. Watch your cake and not the clock and if it takes a bit less or longer for your cake to be sufficiently baked than my baking time estimates, do what is needed for your cake.
  11. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes before inverting it onto a serving platter and serving.

Notes

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

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g

More Easy Coffee Cake Recipes: 

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!!

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!!

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!! Not overly sweet and PERFECT with a cup of coffee for breakfast, brunch, or a snack!

Slice of Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake on white plate

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread — Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft and fluffy!

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

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

Slice of Pumpkin Crumb Coffee Cake with bite taken out

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze — Tastes like a big warm buttery cinnamon roll, without any of the time or effort that goes into making them!

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze - Tastes like a big warm buttery cinnamon roll, without any of the time or effort that goes into making them!

Brown Sugar-Topped Cinnamon-Sugar Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze — Fast, easy, no mixer, and the cake is soft and fluffy, with a slightly crunchy topping, and the drippy glaze seals the deal!

Brown Sugar-Topped Cinnamon-Sugar Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze - Fast, Easy, No-Mixer Recipe on averiecooks.com

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!

Glazed Cinnamon Roll Cake — The flavor of cinnamon rolls in a soft, tender, EASY cake!! One bowl, no mixer, and you’re going to love the tangy-sweet GLAZE!!

Glazed Cinnamon Roll Cake - The flavor of cinnamon rolls in a soft, tender, EASY cake!! One bowl, no mixer, and you're going to love the tangy-sweet GLAZE!!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. This looks great. I plan to make it for my Creativity Circle meeting next weekend now that we can do a social distance get together. I am sure it will end up with 5 star rating :) Thanks!

  2. I’ve made this cake twice (so far) and both times it came out GREAT. My 22 year oldson keeps requesting it over and over again. Going in for a third time. I’m sure there will be nothing left of it tomorrow.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that you are on a roll with this cake and made it a third time!

  3. The cake was excellent and well received at my meeting. 😊 Thanks again for your prompt reply and confidence. I WILL make this recipe AGAIN.

    1. Not sure why it didn’t rise a lot but honestly it’s not a super tall, really high-rising cake, there’s only 1/2 tsp baking soda in it. But I’m sure your cake tastes great!

  4. This is a easy and most delicious cake to make . I have made much more involved cakes, that didn’t compare to this great recipe. Thank You, it is a keeper!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad this is a keeper for you! I agree – I too have made much more involved cakes that don’t compare.

  5. Wow, I just baked this cake, it is amazing, and so easy. I carefully watched the baking time as instructed and it is very moist. Thank you so much for posting this.

    Rating: 5
  6. Ooh, love the idea of coating the pan in cinnamon sugar. I would just want to peel the outer layer off and eat it, haha.

  7. In your recipe, you say to add “cream” then later say to add “sour cream”. Confused. Dying to try but directions confusing.

    1. ‘and cream on high speed with a handheld electric mixer until light and fluffy’ is a baking term meaning to beat, whip, etc. Cream is a verb here, not a noun (ingredient).

  8. I see Cream (#4. Cake, add butter, sugar, cream) in the directions but I don’t see cream in the ingredients list, other than sour cream (and you say later to add sour cream). Am I missing something?

    1. Yes you are missing that ‘and cream on high speed with a handheld electric mixer until light and fluffy’ is a baking term. Cream is a verb here, not a noun (ingredient).

  9. I love a coffee cake with sour cream in it–you never have to worry about dryness. The cinnamon sugar crust looks so yummy–I love that type of texture too!

    1. You’re so right with regard to the sour cream! I almost called it ‘sour cream coffee cake’ but for people not familiar with it, I thought that would create confusion so went with this title instead.

      The texture was just perfect too! We devoured this cake!

  10. If I want to make the cinnamon swirl, but I don’t have the mould, can I use a normal cake pan?

    1. I am not sure… I would divide the batter into two cake pans at least. Way too much batter for one normal cake pan unless you’re talking about a 9×13.