Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

How great is coffee cake? There aren’t that many cakes that can justifiably be eaten at any time of day. While we may not always need an excuse to eat cake for breakfast, it’s nice to do so with a tad less guilt sometimes.

This particular coffee cake is a slight twist on the traditional with the addition of a cream cheese swirl. All the things we love about coffee cake are still there — cinnamon, nuts, crumb topping. There just happens to be some cream cheese goodness swirled into it the delicate cake to take it to new levels of fabulousness.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake features a swirl of sweet cream cheese filling in a traditional coffee cake with a cinnamon-nut crumb topping. - Bake or Break

Don’t be put off by the long-ish recipe. This is really far quicker and easier to put together than it appears. You will go through a lot of measuring spoons, bowls, and such, so make sure your dishwasher is ready for that. But, once you take a bite, you’ll know it was worth every dirty bowl.

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Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


    For the crumb:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • pinch salt
  • For the cream cheese swirl:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • For the cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sour cream


To make the crumb:

Combine all crumb ingredients in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until mixture resembles crumbs.

To make the cream cheese swirl:

Beat cream cheese and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in pecans.

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9” x 13” baking pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Stir in sour cream and mix just until combined.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Top batter with spoonfuls of cream cheese swirl. Use an up and down motion with a knife to swirl. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over top of cake.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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  1. Choc Chip Uru March 27, 2012 Reply

    What a delicious coffee cake – soft moist and creamy cheese-y 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Double Jaffa Nutella Fudge Cookies + More

  2. Mireia March 27, 2012 Reply

    I don’t like coffee at all but I guess i could just substitute it with chocolate!!

    • Jen February 27, 2014 Reply

      If you read the ingredients…there’s not actually coffee in it. It’s just called coffee cake b/c it goes nicely with coffee for breakfast or brunch.

  3. Ashleigh March 27, 2012 Reply

    Now this I’ve got to try!!! Looks delicious

  4. Kristen Matton March 28, 2012 Reply

    It looks so delicious. Loll. :) I’m really pleased to see the image of Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. It is really full of taste. Definitely I will try it today/tomorrow. Thanks for this allocation. :)

  5. Cori March 28, 2012 Reply

    Looks awesome! Yummmm!

  6. Look at that crumb on top! Yum. Looks soo tasty.

  7. blaine March 31, 2012 Reply

    Looks so delicious,want to taste it very much,thanks for your sharing,see you again.

  8. Julie April 3, 2012 Reply

    I’m going to make this for our Easter breakfast at church! Just one question, does it have to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese? Thanks!!

    • jennifer April 3, 2012 Reply

      Julie, I don’t refrigerate something with this small amount of cream cheese that’s baked into the cake if it’s going to be eaten within a few days.

  9. Julie April 3, 2012 Reply

    Thanks!! Just making sure since I’m taking it up to church the night before!

  10. Marie April 8, 2012 Reply

    Just made this for Easter morning breakfast! It’s bit denser than I’m used to coffee cake being but still really, really, good (and able to be made from my bare-bones pantry). Bravo!

  11. Veronica April 10, 2012 Reply

    I baked this cake for Easter this year – the coffee cake duties usually falling to my mother or grandmother – love ’em to bits but theirs were always a bit on the dry side – this recipe was wonderful and will become a new Easter tradition! Just love your blog! Thanks!

  12. moncler April 10, 2012 Reply

    This is really far quicker and easier to put together than it appears. You will go through a lot of measuring spoons, bowls, and such, so make sure your dishwasher is ready for that. But, once you take a bite, you’ll know it was worth every dirty bowl.

  13. S May 4, 2012 Reply

    Hi there, I’m just wondering why is this called coffee cake but I don’t see coffee as one of the ingredients? am I missing something? actually this cake is baking in my oven as I type this.. 😉

    • jennifer May 4, 2012 Reply

      S, coffee cake is called that because it’s often eaten with a cup of coffee. Enjoy the cake!

  14. S May 4, 2012 Reply

    Lol.. that’s totally new for me. Thanks! It turned out awesome. We slapped loads of nutella on top, but i’ll try coffee tomorrow morning. Thanks Jen!

  15. Rosemary August 13, 2012 Reply

    this looks so good,Im always looking for a good cinnamon coffee cake,Im getting ready to make it now.Hope it turns out as well as it looks:)

  16. Shawn November 6, 2012 Reply

    Can I turn this into muffins? If so, would I need to adjust the cooking time? I’d also like to use muffins liners, would that affect the outcome?

  17. jennifer November 6, 2012 Reply

    Shawn, it’s worth a shot! I would decrease the baking time and check on them after 30-35 minutes. The liners shouldn’t affect the baking time.

  18. Shawn November 7, 2012 Reply

    Thanks Jennifer! My sister & I are hosting a very last minute baby shower brunch, and are looking for simple convenient food, so I think I will give these a try!

  19. Wendi November 12, 2012 Reply

    I followed the recipe exactly.
    The next time I make this I would add a touch of orange zest for the cake batter.

    I also put mine in muffin tins.

    If you do use muffin tins (I didn’t use the paper inserts) put less cake batter in the bottom. Filling it 1/2 full, then cream cheese (forget knifing it in, just layer it on top), then the crumble mixture. Do not overfill because the crumble mixture melts. Then when you pull it out of the oven as it cools into a solid the sugar will become crumbly.

    You can leave the little cakes in the muffin tin for a few minutes but you should remove them or the cake will become soggy.

    I made a full batch and put half of it in the freezer in an air tight container for those unexpected guests.

  20. Danica December 31, 2012 Reply

    Just curious…. why is the sour cream added after the dry ingredients? It seems to make the whole mixing process quite laborious. Is there anyway we can add it after the eggs?

    The coffee turned out pretty good, especially the topping which is delish. I was surprised that the cake part of it dried out within a day or so, given the amount of butter and cream in the cake.

    • jennifer January 2, 2013 Reply

      Danica, as an alternative, you can alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. When I’ve made this, it didn’t dry out quickly, so I’m not sure what is different with yours.

  21. Melissa February 3, 2013 Reply

    is it possible to make this cake in muffin form?

  22. jennifer February 4, 2013 Reply

    Melissa, you can certainly do that. You’ll need to decrease the baking time a bit. If you read Wendi’s comment above, she explains how she successfully made these as muffins. Enjoy!

  23. JenniferT February 15, 2013 Reply

    I made this this in a nine inch springform pan and it presented well and tasted even better. This is definitely one of my favourite recipes going forward.

  24. Madeleine February 26, 2013 Reply

    are the nuts optional? i would love to make this, but some of my friends are allergic to nuts.

    • jennifer February 27, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Madeleine! With very few exceptions, nuts are always optional.

  25. Sandra March 31, 2013 Reply

    Question, instead of sour cream, could you use buttermilk for your recipe? I’ve used buttermilk in a diff recipe for coffee cake and it turned out great! I’m a little nervous to use the sour cream. Lol.

    • jennifer March 31, 2013 Reply

      Sandra, I think buttermilk will work. But, don’t be afraid of sour cream! It’s one if my favorite additions to a cake.

  26. icequeen22 October 1, 2013 Reply

    I made this coffee cake on Sunday, for a co-worker’s birthday. Let me just say….wow! I was impressed with how well it turned out. The batter got a little too stiff for me to work with, even when alternating the flour mixture with the sour cream, so I added a 1/2 c. of buttermilk, and that did the trick for me. This cake was amazing. Everyone raved about how flavorful and moist it was. This recipe is a keeper.

  27. Shoshana Bradford May 15, 2014 Reply

    Happen to know how many calories are in a piece? It was delicious!

  28. Lyndsay July 7, 2014 Reply

    Anyone know how many calories are in a serving of this delicious coffee cake???

  29. StevenF September 8, 2014 Reply

    Made this the other day and it honestly tasted like it came from a mix. It was ok. Not great. Would not make again

  30. Kendall Stark October 20, 2014 Reply

    Another right-on recipe, Jennifer! I absolutely adore cinnamon, and this cake certainly delivers. The only thing was that it sank just a tad while it was cooling. Sooooo gooooooood!!!!!

  31. Tara December 24, 2014 Reply


    Since there is sour cream in the cake, does it have to be refrigerated? I made this cake today for Christmas tomorrow!


    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry December 24, 2014 Reply

      Tara, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated unless it won’t be eaten within a few days.

  32. MP December 25, 2015 Reply

    My better came out more like a dough, did not spread evenly. Yes, sifted everything. But it looks good, and hope it tastes good!

  33. CINDY January 9, 2016 Reply

    I made this today and the batter was the consistency of biscuit dough. Is it supposed to be this thick or is the recipe supposed to have milk?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry January 9, 2016 Reply

      Hi, Cindy. Coffee cake batters are usually quite a bit thicker than a standard cake batter to give them their usual dense texture.

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