May is National Coffee Cake Month, April 7th is National Coffee Day. Those are two reasons why a coffee cake lover should consider baking a coffee cake.
Many of us would love a delicious piece of coffee cake with our morning coffee. But finding a really delicious one is getting harder and harder.
If you can find an artisan-baked coffee cake in your area, great. We live in a big city where the rents are so high that the beloved neighborhood mom-and-pop bakery is largely a thing of the past.
Coffee cake is a yeast-leavened cake that is typically served at breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea. It is often glazed with a white confectioner’s sugar icing or topped with streusel. The latter is also called crumb cake.
Coffee cake can contain raisins, nuts, other dried fruits and/or chocolate chunks. Most are flavored with cinnamon. More elaborate recipes incorporate cream cheese, jam, or fruit curd.
According to FoodTimeline.org, food historians generally agree that the tradition of eating sweet cakes with coffee likely originated in northern or central Europe in the 17th century, when coffee was introduced (see the history of coffee).
German, Dutch, and Scandinavian immigrants brought the recipes with them to America. Over time, coffee cake recipes evolved to contain sugared fruit; cream cheese, yogurt, and other creamy fillings; streusel, and other toppings—all equally delicious.
National Coffee Cake Day is April 7th.
See the different types of cake in our Cake Glossary.
 A classic coffee cake. Here’s the recipe (photo © King Arthur Baking).
 The “cinnamon roll” coffee cake (photo © The Baker Chick).
BAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE CAKE
There are many great coffee cake recipes out there. If you don’t have one, ask family and friends if they have a favorite before heading to recipe websites.
For an inspired coffee cake recipe, we looked to Audra Fullerton, a.k.a The Baker Chick, the writer, recipe developer and photographer for this blog. We’re big fans.
The “Blueberry Muffin” Coffee Cake
The first coffee cake from Audra, photo #2, is a blueberry muffin recipe baked as a cake, with an extra brown sugar topping. It’s not a yeast cake but is super moist, with plump blueberries in every bite.
It takes all of 10 minutes to mix, and 40 minutes in the oven. How can you resist?
The “Cinnamon Roll” Coffee Cake
The second recommendation is a jumbo cinnamon roll, the size of a cake (photo #3).
Instead of rolling and cutting the dough into individual rolls, you cut the dough into strips and attach them one by one until a monster cinnamon roll is achieved.
It’s more time-consuming than the blueberry coffee cake, but isn’t that “wow” factor worth 1 hour and 15 minutes of your time to assemble?
After that, in just 20 minutes in the oven, you have a warm, fragrant, gooey 9-inch “coffee cake.”
Here’s the recipe.
Special enough for Father’s Day: this Apple Streusel Bundt Cake.
Also for your consideration: a Hummingbird Coffee Cake, a Southern tradition.