Sugar-Topped Coffee Cake

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Sugar-Topped Coffee Cake

The Farm Journal’s Homemade Breads cookbook was the very first cookbook I ever bought, and that was way back in my early college years. It’s been a wonderful resource. My copy of the book is falling apart and held together with Contact paper and tape.

I’ve made this coffee cake for years, and it’s always a hit with company or for a family treat on the weekend. The cake is moist and the sugar and cinnamon topping adds a nice crunch. And it’s so easy to make! You can whip it up in the morning or make it the night before for a nice breakfast or brunch. Sometimes I add raisins to the cake. If you soak 1/4 cup of raisins in some orange juice before adding them to the batter, you’ll get a really interesting flavor.

[Updated November 24, 2009.]


Adapted from Farm Journal’s Homemade Breads: 250 Naturally Good Recipes (1985).

Serves 8.


stand mixer with paddle attachment
8×8×2 pan (9×13 pan if you double the recipe), greased


1-1/2 cups (180 g) sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (131 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 cup  (240 ml) sour cream or Greek yogurt

1/2 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 375° F/190° C.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside.

3. In large bowl using mixer at medium speed, beat granulated sugar, vanilla, egg, and 1 tablespoon butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Low-Fat Blend until well blended.

4. Reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients until just blended. Don’t over mix, or the cake will be tough. Pour batter into greased baking pan.

5. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons flour. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture over batter.

6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake is browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack.

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