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Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

This recipe for cream cheese coffee cake is so amazing, you’ll want to make it every weekend!

With this delicious treat, you’ll get a moist, tender, and buttery cake with a layer of sweet and tangy cream cheese and a crumbly buttery topping.

In a word, it’s heaven!

Slice of Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with Nuts
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These three elements are already amazing on their own, so just imagine what magic they’ll create together. Actually, don’t imagine it – try it!

This recipe is all you’ll need. It’s the perfect way to start the day on a sweet, satisfying note!

Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Full disclosure: unlike most recipes I feature, this one requires a bit of work. But believe me, it’s worth the effort. 

What makes cream cheese coffee cake stand out from the rest?

Well, it’s denser than most cakes, but it’s very moist and crumbly.

With its layer of cream cheese and crumble topping, it creates such a heavenly flavor and texture combination. That’s what makes it perfect with coffee!

Yes, it will take several steps to make it, but I still highly recommend it. It’s the best coffee cake there is! 


For the Cake

  • Flour  – The recipe requires all-purpose, but for a more tender cake, use cake flour.
  • Sugar -You’ll need granulated sugar, but for an extra moist cake, use brown sugar. Brown sugar contains molasses, which makes cakes super moist. It’s sweeter than granulated sugar, though! What you can do is add half-a-cup each of both sugars for a well-balanced flavor.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – The leavening agents in charge of lifting the cake. Make sure they’re active! Test by dropping a teaspoon of baking powder into a glass of water. If it sizzles and bubbles, it’s still potent. Do the same with baking soda, but use vinegar instead of water.
  • Egg – For binding the ingredients together.
  • Butter – For a rich and flavorful cake.
  • Sour Cream – The key to making your cake super moist! You can use Greek yogurt or buttermilk if you don’t have it on hand. 

For the Cream Cheese Filling

  • Cream Cheese, Sugar, and Egg – The combination yields a sweet and tart filling that balances out the sweetness of the cake. 

For the Crumble Topping

  • Flour, Butter, Brown Sugar, and Pecans – Together, they create a sandy and lumpy mixture with a mind-blowing flavor! 

Here’s a tip: use cold, cubed butter for the topping. This will ensure that the mixture will be coarse with various sizes of crumbly, buttery lumps. Yum!

Tips for the Best Coffee Cake

  • You can switch a cup of the cream cheese with ricotta cheese for a flavor and texture variation.
  • Add a teaspoon of vanilla to the cream cheese mixture to enhance its flavor.
  • Use room temperature ingredients, especially for the cream cheese mixture. This will make beating them easier and yield a lump-free filling.
  • As they say, baking is an exact science, so be sure to measure the ingredients accurately! Do the spoon and level method for measuring the dry ingredients. That is, use a spoon to transfer the ingredients to the measuring cup, and level it with a knife.
  • To make your cake moister than ever: swap some of the butter with cream cheese. Aside from making the cake melt-in-your-mouth tender, it also adds a ton of flavor. 

How to Layer and Spread the Cake Batter

The cake batter will be very sticky, much like cookie dough. That said, it will be tricky to spread it over the pan and the cream cheese layer. Here are some ways to make it easier:

  • Use your hands! Grease them with cooking spray to prevent the batter from sticking.
  • Don’t want to touch the batter with your hands? Place it on a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Place another sheet on top and spread it with your hands. Peel off the second layer. Flip over the batter onto the pan and peel off the second sheet of parchment paper. Do the same for the 2nd half of the dough.
  • Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to dollop the dough over the pan. Spread with a spatula.
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with Pecan Nuts

Does This Loaf Actually Have Coffee?

I once thought that coffee cakes are coffee-flavored, hence the name. Boy, was I wrong! Coffee cakes are apparently called such because they pair well with coffee. 

So, no, this cake does not contain coffee. I hope this makes non-caffeine drinkers happy! 🙂 It is best eaten with a hot cup of joe, though.

How to Store the Cake

Another thing I love about this coffee cake is that it stays tender and moist for days!

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All you’ll need is to keep it in an air-tight container at room temperature. The cake keeps well for up to 3 days.

Don’t refrigerate the cake, as this will dry it out.

Can you freeze cream cheese coffee cake? Yes!

Wrap the whole loaf or individual slices with plastic wrap. Place it in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw the cake on the counter for a few hours, or pop it in the microwave for 10 to seconds. 

Cream Cheese Coffee Cake



Prep time


Cooking time






  • Cake
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • Cream Cheese Filling
  • 2 (-8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • Crumble Topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed


  • To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with oil or butter.
  • In a bowl, sift together 3 cups of flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup of granulated sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (this process is called u201ccreaming the butter and sugaru201d). Add the egg and beat until combined.
  • Add in the sour cream and vanilla, and continue to beat until well-combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the bowl. Beat until the mixture forms into a sticky dough.
  • Spread half of the dough evenly into the greased baking dish.
  • To make the cream cheese filling, beat together cream cheese, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 egg in a bowl until smooth. Spoon over the mixture over the dough.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the remaining dough over the cream cheese mixture.
  • To make the topping, combine pecans, brown sugar, 1/3 cup of flour, and 1/3 cup butter in a bowl until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over the dough.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done baking.
  • Let the cake cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Cream Cheese Coffee Cake”

  1. I added about 3/4 c. buttermilk to the 3 c. flour base since the dough was very dry and I wasn’t sure after well into the recipe prep if the fluid had been left out. I also used 1/4 c. less butter since the recipe called for 1 c. sour cream and used only 8 oz. of cream cheese instead of 16 oz. This might have been a thick cookie crust effect with a thick layer of cream cheese as it stands.

    The result as changed was excellent. It is great cold/hot and very rich.


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