Spanish Coffee Cake on a wood cake stand with slices on the side.

Spanish Coffee Cake

This Spanish Coffee Cake is the best streusel coffee cake recipe, moist from buttermilk with a nutty crumb topping. Perfect for brunch and gift-giving!

Spanish Coffee Cake on a wood cake stand with slices on the side.
Spanish Coffee Cake

This Spanish Coffee Cake is the best streusel coffee cake recipe, moist from buttermilk with a nutty crumb topping. Perfect for brunch and gift-giving!

Note: This post first appeared on December 24, 2010. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

Spanish Coffee Cake on a wood cake stand with slices on the side.

At the crack of dawn (or at least what feels like daybreak) on Christmas morning, the excited footsteps of children running into our bedroom are our wake up call. Our mobile alarm clocks do not have snooze buttons. It is the one day in the year when we reverse roles, where waking up is easy for them, and when we would much rather pull the covers back over our heads and sleep 15 minutes more.

Minutes later, we find ourselves downstairs, by the tree, holiday music playing, and wading through a sea of wrapping paper.

For the kids, clearly, they have their priorities – opening presents. But for the grown-ups, we need sustenance. We need coffee. And because I don’t want to miss a single gift opening, I make it a point to avoid cooking breakfast during the madness.

Luckily for us, we are blessed with a dear friend and neighbor who loves to bake. During the holidays, we get especially excited when she delivers her Spanish Coffee Cake. We save it, hard as it may be, for Christmas morning. As the children are opening up presents from Santa, I unwrap Cheryl’s cake, a beloved family recipe. It is the perfect breakfast treat to start our Christmas morning.

Cheryl’s Spanish Coffee Cake is simply phenomenal, and I was so excited when this year, she delivered her cake along with the recipe. So, we unwrapped it, even before Christmas morning, and dug in.

What will we eat on Christmas morning, you ask? Well, I have the recipe! Now I can bake another, and so can you.

HOW TO MAKE SPANISH COFFEE CAKE

Since I first shared this recipe, I’ve been asked, “what makes this Spanish?” Good question.  A common belief is that back in the day, it was the use of Spanish/Moorish spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, etc., that made this Spanish. Whatever its origins, the cinnamon flavor, along with the chopped walnuts make this a family favorite.

  1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated white sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.How to make Spanish Coffee Cake
  2. Add the oil into the flour mixture.
  3. Blend the oil into the flour mixture until moistened.How to make Spanish Coffee Cake
  4. Take 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside with the nuts; this is your streusel.
  5. Add buttermilk, egg, baking powder and baking soda to the remaining flour mixture and blend.How to make Spanish Coffee Cake
  6. Pour the batter into a baking pan and sprinkle streusel on top.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes (depending on the size of your pan, see recipe). Allow to cool slightly and enjoy!How to make Spanish Coffee Cake

LIKE THIS SPANISH COFFEE CAKE? MORE CAKE RECIPES TO TRY

Mamon: Filipino Sponge Cake
Apple Walnut Delight Cake
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Bundt Cake
Rhubarb Cake
Buttered Rum and Candied Sweet Potato Crumb Cake
Coconut Zucchini Coffee Cake
Gingerbread Snack Cake from Vanilla and Bean
German Chocolate Cake from Foolproof Living

Note: This post first appeared on December 24, 2010. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

A slice of Spanish Coffee Cake on a cream plate with a cup of coffee.

Spanish Coffee Cake

This easy Spanish Coffee Cake is the best streusel coffee cake recipe, moist from buttermilk with a nutty crumb topping. Perfect for brunch and gift-giving!
Spanish Coffee Cake on a wood cake stand with slices on the side.
Print This Pin This
5 from 3 votes
Course Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 420kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 cup buttermilk or substitute 1 cup milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Lightly grease a 9"x13" baking pan (or your desired baking pan, see notes below) and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, granulated white sugar, and cinnamon. Add oil.
  • Take 3/4 cup of the flour mixture and add chopped nuts; this is the streusel topping. Set aside.
  • Stir in baking powder and baking soda to the flour mixture without nuts. Mix in buttermilk and egg until just well incorporated. Pour batter into baking pan and sprinkle with streusel topping.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes

Recipe courtesy my dear friend, Cheryl Donatell.

Baking Pan Options:

The coffee cake may be baked in different baking pans, just adjust your baking time. In general, begin to check your cake at the following times:
  • 9"x13" baking pan: bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • 9" springform pan: bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • 2 6" springform or cheesecake pans (for two cakes): bake at 325°F for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Jumbo muffin pan: bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
As with all baking recipes, baking time can vary depending on the individual temperature of  your oven, as well as the volume and material of your baking dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante

Comments

Recipe Rating




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  1. Liz

    Made this cake to eat with neighbours later this afternoon on the patio – but who could resist it warm from the oven? Certainly not my husband and I! I noted that the recipe said it could be made in a springform or a 9 x 13 cake pan. I chose to use my 9 x 13 pan (lucky because I inherited it from my darling Ma-in-Law). It turned out beautifully and took 35 minutes exactly to bake, as set out in the recipe. As it was a thinner cake, being baked in the big pan, I am guessing that the extra bake time another commentator encountered might have been due to the cake being baked in a springform pan, which would have made for a deeper cake. Whatever, it is divine and is going into our “Home Recipes” binder for sure! Hopefully by tea time on the patio there will be some left for the neighbours to try!

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Liz, I am so glad you enjoyed this cake and that it worked out beautifully in your 9×13 cake pan. It really is a keeper, and I do hope the neighbors enjoy their taste, too! Thank you for coming back to let me know :)

      Reply
  2. Lorraine

    Is the cooking time for a conventional or confection oven? I have found I needed to bake this 18-20 minutes longer than specified in my conventional oven.

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Hi Lorraine,

      Bake time was in a conventional oven, though it can definitely vary depending on your oven, pan type, ingredients (eggs can make a difference, for example), and altitude. 35-40 minutes is a good guideline, though of course, as in your case, it may take longer. I hope that helps!

      Reply
  3. Lorraine

    Is the cake supposed to be wiggly after 40 minutes?
    Is the cooking time correct?

    Reply
  4. A Canadian Foodie

    Liren –
    What a GORGEOUS gift – and what a beautiful time of your life, right now, with little feet pitter-pattering through the house, and magic in the air at Christmas. I am still enjoying a wonderful and different phase of my life – but I truly do miss the magic of the little ones at Christmas time. It changes to a warm depth of appreciation for the time one gets with the family… and often, as they are grown and gone, it is only during the holidays. What a special time for us, too.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!
    I cannot wait to see how you bring it in!
    :)
    Valerie

    Reply
  5. Jean

    I feel like I disappeared from the blogging world for a few days and missed this post. What a beautiful coffee cake and what a treat to be able to enjoy this on Christmas morning. My own was spent rushing to finish a cake and a couple of other dishes before we had to head to my parents’. I would have appreciated the less frenetic morning you spent.

    Please thank your friend in advance for me as I definitely want to try this sometime. Happy New Year, Liren!

    Reply
  6. Tiny Urban Kitchen

    Merry Christmas Liren! This coffee cake sounds divine, and the combination of that and your kids opening presents sounds like an absolutely perfect morning. :)

    Reply
  7. Leanne

    What a perfect christmas breakfast! This year my son slept in until 10:30 (and he’s only four!) so I had lots of time to prepare breakfast. I might have to try this next year! (or, more realistically, next week).

    Reply
    • Liren

      You are so lucky to sleep in till 10:30 this year! Our 5 year old woke up his older sister (and subsequently us) at 4:30 am this year. That’s a record!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Great question. I’ve been wondering, too, what makes it Spanish. This is an old recipe, from what I understand, but I’m not quite sure why it’s called Spanish Coffee Cake. Some seem to suspect that back in the day, it was the use of Spanish/Moorish spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, etc., made this Spanish. I would love to know the history behind it!

      Reply
  8. Jessica

    This coffee cake looks delicious! I’ve been looking through some of your other posts & just wanted to say that I love your photos. Everything looks great!!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Why thank you, Jessica!!! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my blog!

      Reply
  9. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    Merry Christmas Liren to you and your family. What a lovely Christmas morning breakfast – I wish I could be so lucky but down here in Los Mochis, I think we will be eating whatever we can find this morning. I will close my eyes and imagine it’s this!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Merry Christmas, Mardi! Hope you’re having a wonderful time in Los Mochis (that sounds much more interesting than coffee cake, if you ask me!).

      Reply
  10. Becca

    What a wonderful way to enhance your Christmas morning! Liren, I can’t thank you enough for lighting up my life (and my kitchen!) with your happiness, ideas, and great recipes.

    May your 2011 be a year of great health, great success, great friends, and great food!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Becca, thank you for your sweet comment. This past year of blogging has been amazing and I thank it for introducing me to wonderful people like you! Hope you had a great holiday :)

      Reply
  11. Chef Dennis

    that coffee cake looks delicious! we just have the pitter patter of doggies paws to wake us up….
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!
    Dennis

    Reply
  12. Amy

    This looks scrumptious with that crumbly topping and the walnuts! I would love to get some of this all wrapped up on the holidays! Great recipe, thanks for sharing :)!

    Reply
  13. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels

    Oh how I LOVE coffee cake, it’s one of my favorite morning treats. Now I wish I had THAT coffee cake for tomorrow morning. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

    Reply
  14. Sara @CaffeIna

    I’m always in for a coffee cake, but on Christmas day, while you are opening gifts or dealing with last minute food cooking, it seems just perfect! Happy holidays, Liren!

    Reply
  15. Roxan

    Mmm, Liren, this sounds so delicious! I think my coworkers are getting tired of me bringing in cookies but I think they would be over the moon excited if I brought in this coffee cake – we are all huge coffee drinkers and a slice of cake to go with our starbucks would be lovely. Thank you! And I hope you have a beautiful christmas weekend.

    Reply
    • Liren

      I agree! I do get cookie-d out over the holidays – this is always a welcome change of pace! I’m sure your coworkers would love it!

      Reply
  16. sippitysup

    Merry Christmas! There is no pitter-patter of little feet in my house, but I know that excitement nonetheless. You realize I am talking about coffeecake, not Santa… right? GREG

    Reply
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