The Comprehensive Guide: How To Make Coffee Cake Crumble

Coffee cake crumble is a delightful dessert that features a moist and flavorful cake topped with a buttery, crumbly streusel. This delectable treat is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea, and it’s not just for breakfast! Whether you’re hosting a brunch, preparing a dessert for a special occasion, or simply satisfying your sweet tooth, making a coffee cake crumble from scratch is a rewarding and delicious endeavor. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the essential ingredients, step-by-step preparation instructions, and creative ways to enhance the flavors and textures of your coffee cake crumble.

Quick Answer: How To Make Coffee Cake Crumble

To make coffee cake crumble, you will need to prepare a basic coffee cake batter and a streusel topping. The batter typically includes flour, sugar, leavening agents, eggs, butter, and flavorings such as vanilla extract. The streusel topping is made from a mixture of flour, sugar, butter, and spices. After the cake batter is poured into a pan, the streusel topping is sprinkled generously over the top. The cake is then baked until the crumble is golden brown and the cake is cooked through. This simple and versatile recipe allows for creative customization to suit your taste preferences.

Essential Ingredients For Coffee Cake Crumble

For The Cake Batter

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted butter
  • Sour cream or buttermilk
  • Vanilla extract

For The Streusel Topping

  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Unsalted butter
  • Chopped nuts (optional)

Step-by-Step Preparation Instructions

Step 1: Prepare The Streusel Topping

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, blend in the cold, diced butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. For added texture and flavor, consider incorporating chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts into the streusel.

Step 2: Make The Coffee Cake Batter

  1. Preheat your oven to the desired temperature for baking the coffee cake.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs and then add the melted butter, sour cream or buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Whisk the wet ingredients until well combined.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a dense cake.

Step 3: Assemble And Bake

  1. Grease a baking pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal of the cake.
  2. Pour the coffee cake batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
  3. Sprinkle the prepared streusel topping generously over the batter, covering it completely.
  4. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake according to the recipe’s instructions or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Once baked, allow the coffee cake to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adding A Variety Of Flavors And Textures

Incorporating Fruits

  • Consider adding diced or sliced fruits such as apples, pears, or berries to the coffee cake batter for a burst of fruity flavor and moisture.
  • Layer the fruits between the batter and the streusel topping to distribute them evenly throughout the cake.

Infusing Spices

  • Experiment with spices such as nutmeg, cardamom, or ginger in the streusel topping to impart warmth and depth to the flavor profile of the coffee cake.

Drizzling Glazes

  • After the coffee cake has cooled, drizzle it with a simple glaze made from powdered sugar and milk or a flavored syrup to add a touch of sweetness and visual appeal.

Adding Texture With Nuts

  • Elevate the texture and nutty flavor of the crumble by incorporating chopped nuts like pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts into the streusel topping or sprinkling them over the batter for extra crunch.

Using Different Flours

  • Experiment with using alternative flours like whole wheat flour, almond flour, or spelt flour to add a nutty, wholesome dimension to the coffee cake batter.

Creating a delectable coffee cake crumble from scratch allows for a myriad of opportunities to customize and elevate a classic dessert. By mastering the art of preparing a moist and flavorful coffee cake batter and pairing it with a buttery, crumbly streusel topping, you can indulge in the delightful combination of textures and flavors that make this treat universally loved. Whether you’re a fan of traditional flavors or enjoy experimenting with unique combinations, the process of making coffee cake crumble is both versatile and gratifying, promising a satisfying outcome with every batch. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on the journey of crafting a delicious coffee cake crumble that will undoubtedly become a cherished favorite among friends and family.

Baking And Cooling Techniques

Coffee cake crumble is a delicious and indulgent treat that combines the best of both worlds: the rich flavors of coffee cake and the irresistible texture of crumble topping. This delightful dessert is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a sweet snack.

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To start making coffee cake crumble, you will need to gather the necessary ingredients and equipment:


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream


  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer or stand mixer
  • 9-inch square baking dish
  • Cooling rack

Follow these steps to make the coffee cake batter and crumble topping:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease the 9-inch square baking dish with butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set the dry ingredients aside.

  3. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. You can use an electric mixer or a stand mixer for this step.

  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.

  5. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Avoid overmixing, as it can lead to a dense cake.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly.

  7. Now, let’s prepare the crumble topping. In a small mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  1. Mix the ingredients together until they form a crumbly texture. This can be done by using a fork or your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients.

  2. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the coffee cake batter in the baking dish, covering the entire surface.

  3. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

  4. Once the coffee cake crumble is baked to perfection, remove it from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Allow it to cool completely before serving. The cooling process ensures that the crumble topping maintains its crispy texture.

Tips For Perfectly Crispy Crumbles

Achieving a perfectly crisp crumble topping is a key element in making irresistible coffee cake crumble. Here are some tips to help you achieve that crispy texture:

  1. Use cold ingredients: When making the crumble topping, use cold butter straight from the refrigerator. The coldness of the butter helps create a flaky and crispy texture. Avoid using softened or room temperature butter, as it may result in a greasy crumble.

  2. Go easy on the mixing: When combining the ingredients for the crumble topping, be gentle with the mixing. Overmixing can lead to the butter melting too quickly, resulting in a less crispy texture. Mix the ingredients just until they form a crumbly consistency, with small pea-sized clumps of butter.

  3. Spread out the crumble topping: To ensure an even distribution of the crumble topping, sprinkle it over the coffee cake batter in a thin layer. This will allow the heat from the oven to reach all parts of the crumble, promoting even browning and crispiness.

  4. Use the right flour: All-purpose flour is commonly used in crumble toppings due to its versatility. However, you can experiment with different types of flour, such as whole wheat flour or almond flour, to add a unique flavor to your crumble. Just keep in mind that different flours may affect the texture slightly.

Alternatives For Special Dietary Needs

For those with dietary restrictions or preferences, there are several alternatives you can explore to make coffee cake crumble suitable for your needs. Here are a few options:

  1. Gluten-free: To make a gluten-free coffee cake crumble, replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. There are various gluten-free flour options available, such as almond flour, rice flour, or a gluten-free flour blend specifically designed for baking. Be sure to check the ingredient label for any potential sources of gluten if you opt for a pre-made blend.

  2. Dairy-free: If you need to avoid dairy, there are simple swaps you can make to create a dairy-free coffee cake crumble. Replace the butter with a non-dairy spread or coconut oil. For the sour cream, use a non-dairy alternative such as almond milk yogurt or coconut milk yogurt.

  3. Vegan: To make a vegan coffee cake crumble, you will need to replace the eggs, butter, and sour cream. There are various substitutes available:

  • Eggs: Substitute each egg with a flax egg or applesauce. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for a few minutes to thicken.

  • Butter: Use a plant-based butter substitute, such as vegan margarine or coconut oil.

  • Sour cream: Coconut milk yogurt or almond milk yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.

By making these ingredient substitutions, you can still enjoy a delicious coffee cake crumble while adhering to your dietary restrictions or preferences.

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Creative Presentation Ideas

Now that you have successfully baked and cooled your coffee cake crumble, it’s time to think about creative ways to present and serve this delightful treat. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

  1. Individual portions: Instead of serving the coffee cake crumble in a baking dish, consider portioning it out into individual servings. Use ramekins or small oven-safe dishes for a personalized touch. This can be a great option for a brunch or special occasion.

  2. Drizzle a glaze: Add an extra touch of sweetness by drizzling a glaze over the cooled coffee cake crumble. You can make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and a liquid of your choice, such as milk or lemon juice. The glaze will not only enhance the presentation but also add a burst of flavor.

  3. Serve with a scoop of ice cream: Elevate your coffee cake crumble by serving it alongside a scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor. The combination of warm crumble, cold ice cream, and flavors complementing each other will create a memorable dessert experience.

  4. Garnish with fresh fruits: Top your coffee cake crumble with a selection of fresh fruits for a vibrant and refreshing twist. Fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries work particularly well. You can also sprinkle some powdered sugar on top to complete the presentation.

Get creative and experiment with different presentation ideas to make your coffee cake crumble visually appealing and even more enjoyable.

Making coffee cake crumble is a delightful baking adventure that results in a scrumptious treat. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you can bake a coffee cake with a crispy crumble topping that will impress your family and friends. Remember to use the right techniques for baking and cooling, ensure the crumble is perfectly crispy, consider alternatives for special dietary needs, and get creative with your presentation ideas. Now, it’s time to savor the deliciousness of your homemade coffee cake crumble and enjoy every bite.

Serving Suggestions And Pairings

Coffee cake crumble is a delicious and indulgent dessert that combines the flavors of a traditional coffee cake with a rich crumbly topping. This delightful treat is perfect for any occasion, whether it be a cozy morning breakfast or a sweet afternoon snack.

Coffee cake crumble is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. Here are some serving suggestions and pairings to enhance your coffee cake Crumble experience:

  1. Drizzle of Glaze: Before serving, you can add a sweet glaze on top of the coffee cake crumble to enhance its flavor and presentation. A simple powdered sugar and milk glaze works wonders, but you can get creative by adding a hint of vanilla or even a touch of lemon juice.

  2. Fresh Fruits: Serve coffee cake crumble with a side of fresh fruits, such as berries or sliced apples. The tartness of the fruits will complement the sweetness of the crumble, creating a delightful balance of flavors.

  3. Whipped Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream atop a warm slice of coffee cake crumble elevates its taste and adds a creamy texture. The coolness of the whipped cream creates a delicious contrast with the warm crumble.

  4. Ice Cream: For a truly decadent experience, serve coffee cake crumble with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. The combination of warm crumble and cold ice cream creates a delightful contrast in temperature, and the creamy ice cream adds an extra layer of richness.

  5. Coffee or Tea: As the name suggests, coffee cake crumble pairs perfectly with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a warm cup of tea. The flavors of the cake and the beverage complement each other, making it an ideal choice for a cozy breakfast or afternoon snack.

Storing And Reheating Coffee Cake Crumble

If you have any leftovers of your coffee cake crumble (which is quite unlikely!), you can store them properly to ensure they stay fresh:

  1. Refrigeration: Coffee cake crumble can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Place the leftover crumble slices in the container and seal it tightly to prevent moisture from seeping in.

  2. Freezing: If you want to store the coffee cake crumble for a longer period, you can freeze it for up to three months. Wrap the individual portions in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. When you’re ready to enjoy it, let the crumble thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours, or you can gently warm it in the oven.

  3. Reheating: To regain the fresh-out-of-the-oven taste, you can reheat the coffee cake crumble in the microwave or oven. For microwave reheating, place the slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 20–30 seconds until warm. If you prefer a crispier texture, opt for oven reheating. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), place the slice on a baking sheet, and bake for 5–10 minutes until heated through and slightly crispy.

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Variations And Customization Options

The beauty of coffee cake crumble lies in its versatility. Feel free to experiment with flavors, textures, and ingredients to create your unique version of this classic dessert. Here are some variations and customization options to inspire you:

  1. Fruit Fillings: Aside from the traditional cinnamon and sugar filling, you can experiment with different fruit fillings. Blueberry, raspberry, or even diced apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon make excellent choices.

  2. Nuts and Seeds: For some added crunch and flavor, incorporate chopped nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans, into your coffee cake crumble. Additionally, seeds like chia or flax seeds can add a nutritious touch.

  3. Spices: While cinnamon is the go-to spice for coffee cake crumble, feel free to try other warm spices like nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom. These spices can add depth and complexity to the overall flavor profile of the crumble.

  4. Sweeteners: Experiment with different sweeteners to suit your preferences. Substitute brown sugar for a more caramel-like flavor or use maple syrup for a natural sweetness.

  5. Toppings: Besides the classic crumble topping, you can add a twist with additional toppings. A sprinkle of coconut flakes, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, or a handful of granola can take your coffee cake crumble to the next level.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Although making coffee cake crumble is relatively straightforward, you may encounter some common issues during the process. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you overcome them:

  1. Dry or Crumbly Crumble: If your crumble turns out dry or crumbly, it’s likely due to insufficient fat in the mixture. Ensure you use enough butter or other fats, such as vegetable oil, to bind the crumble together. Adjust the ratio of dry ingredients to fat if needed.

  2. Soggy Bottom: A soggy bottom can occur when there is too much moisture in the cake batter or filling. Make sure to drain excess liquid from any fruit fillings before adding them to the cake batter. Additionally, adjust the baking time and temperature to ensure the cake is fully cooked and set.

  3. Uneven Baking: If your coffee cake crumble is browning unevenly, it might be due to uneven distribution of heat in your oven. Rotate the dish halfway through baking or consider investing in an oven thermometer to ensure an even bake.

  4. Stuck Crumble: If your crumble sticks to the baking dish, it can be challenging to remove and serve. Greasing the dish thoroughly with butter or cooking spray before adding the crumble mixture will help prevent sticking.

  5. Burnt Topping: A burnt crumble topping can occur if it is exposed to direct heat for too long. To prevent this, cover the top of the baking dish with aluminum foil halfway through baking to protect the crumble from excessive browning.


Coffee cake crumble is a delightful dessert that combines the comforting flavors of a traditional coffee cake with a crumbly and indulgent topping. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you can easily create your own homemade coffee cake crumble from scratch. Whether you enjoy it as a breakfast treat, an afternoon snack, or a delicious dessert, coffee cake crumble is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. Customize it to your liking, experiment with different flavors and toppings, and savor each delicious bite of this delectable dessert.

FAQS On How To Make Coffee Cake Crumble

What Ingredients Are Needed To Make Coffee Cake Crumble?

To make coffee cake crumble, you will need flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and coffee or coffee grounds. Optional additional ingredients can include chopped nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips.

Can I Make Coffee Cake Crumble Without Using Coffee Or Coffee Grounds?

Yes, you can substitute the coffee or coffee grounds with instant coffee powder, espresso powder, or even pure vanilla extract for a different flavor profile.

How Do I Make The Crumble Topping For The Coffee Cake?

The crumble topping can be easily made by combining the flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a food processor or by hand until it becomes a crumbly texture.

What Is The Key To Achieving A Perfect Crumble Texture For The Coffee Cake?

The key to achieving a perfect crumble texture is using cold butter and cutting it into small cubes, then mixing it with the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse sand.

Can I Make The Crumble Topping Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can make the crumble topping ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. Sprinkle it over the coffee cake just before baking.