The BEST Damn Coffeecake Ever

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on November 19, 2012

Whether your choice of hot drink is coffee, tea or hot chocolate, a huge piece of this coffeecake should always accompany each mug. With the Holidays around the corner, many of us will have family visiting from all over, and this is the perfect snack cake to serve when it’s finally time to sit down and catch up. It is based on the recipe I use for hot milk cake, and truly shows the versatility of this batter.

The important part here is to introduce a caramel layer in the center which adds a gooeyness to the filling that is just delicious. To achieve this, I make my streusel recipe in 2 different ways. For the caramel interior, I use ¾ cup of flour and for the crunchy streusel top I use 1 cup of flour. I also added chopped, roasted pecans and shards of darks chocolate. To make it a real coffeecake, I drizzled my milk sugar glaze on top…try this, it’s just heavenly.

Streusel For Center of Cake

1 stick cold salted butter

¾ cup flour

½  cup packed brown sugar

½  cup granulated sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon

Streusel For Top Of Cake

1 sticks cold salted butter

1 cups flour

½  cup packed brown sugar

½  cup granulated sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon

Make each streusel in exactly the same way…Add the cold butter to a medium sized bowl and then add the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it is all incorporated and resembles a coarse meal. The one make with less flour will be softer. Store both in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use. 

Coffeecake (makes 1-14” square cake)

1 recipe hot milk cake

1 recipe milk sugar glaze

1-1   ½ cups dark chocolate mini chips or shards (I used 1 ½)

1-1   ½  cups chopped, roasted pecans (I used 1 ½)

First prepare both of the streusels and keep them in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to use. Roast and chop the pecans and chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and set aside. Prepare the batter and pour it into your paper- lined cake pan.

Pour in half of the batter and add all of the streusel made with the ¾ cup of flour.

Top this with the pecans and dark chocolate and pour the other half of the cake batter on top. Add the other streusel all over that will create a lovely crunchy top and bake this at 350°F for 30-40 minutes until the cake is golden brown and tests clean…do not over bake.

When cool, drizzle the milks sugar on the cake and set aside until ready to serve.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Shayna C January 14, 2013 at 7:30 p

Any idea how this yummy looking cake would freeze?

avatar Brenda January 18, 2013 at 1:59 p

I’d love to make “The BEST Damn Coffeecake Ever” but didn’t see the batter ingredients or instructions. Am I just missing it?

avatar Shelly January 18, 2013 at 5:24 p

Self rising flour or are you using all Purpose flour?

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet January 20, 2013 at 9:12 p

Hi Shelly! In any recipe when they say ‘flour’, you can assume that they mean all purpose flour…if they mean something else they will usually clarify it…the same goes for when you see ‘eggs’ in a recipe…you can assume that they are large eggs (about 1.8 oz each) unless otherwise specified…hope that helps!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet January 20, 2013 at 9:15 p

Brenda, beneath the recipe for the streusels, you will see a link for the hot milk cake base along with the milk sugar glaze that I use. You will LOVE this and it’s very easy to make…let me know if you have any other questions!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet January 20, 2013 at 9:17 p

Shayna, this freezes beautifully…I do it all the time, just make sure to cover it well with plastic wrap and then wrap the whole thing in foil if you are going to freeze for extended periods of time. My house is like grand central station, so I always have lots of cakes and cookie dough pre-made and frozen, so when visitors stop by, I always have something to serve fairly quickly…

avatar Vintage Quilter January 24, 2013 at 8:37 p

I have never heard of a 14″ square pan. I have 8″ square or 9×12 or 9×13. Would either of the 9″ pans work do you think?

avatar Nicole Chantre January 24, 2013 at 8:40 p

Love this receipe

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet January 26, 2013 at 9:49 p

Thank you!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet January 26, 2013 at 9:53 p

a 14″ square is something you will find in cake supply stores and used on a commercial basis, but you can use 2- 8″ square or round pans or 2-9″ square or round pans to accommodate the batter…the ones you mentioned would be too small. Hope that helps!

avatar April January 31, 2013 at 7:14 p

I am thinking about using canned cherry pie filling on top as you did with the pumpkin butter in the other recipe… Any thoughts?

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet February 2, 2013 at 5:01 p

Canned pie filling will work just fine in this recipe, let me know how it goes!

avatar Haa February 3, 2013 at 3:19 p


Is it okay to halve this entire recipe – i.e. halve the recipe for the cake, as well as the recipes for both streusels?

I’m asking because I want to make only one 8″ or 9″ cake (sadly, not enough dessert lovers at home!)

Thanks :)

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet February 9, 2013 at 11:43 p

Yes, this recipe works just fine cut in half…it also freezes very well if you want to make a full batch and then just freeze half of it. When freezing, remove the cake from the pans and wrap it in plastic wrap and then wrap again in foil, this will prevent freezer burn…let me know how it goes!

avatar Karen February 15, 2013 at 8:35 p

Just halved the recipe and made it today!

I baked it in a 9×13, and it was perfect- didn’t even reach the top….

I can’t imagine baking it in a 14×14- they would have been super super thin! I was thinking maybe you meant 12×12 originally?

Either way, it is an AMAZING coffee cake!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet February 16, 2013 at 4:27 p

Hi Karen! I’m so glad you made the recipe and liked it…this is truly one of my favorite cakes. I like to make it in a larger pan and add more filling and streusel on top, and I find that I don’t have to worry about it remaining raw with all of that stuff in it if I bake it in a slightly bigger pan. I know you will be making it again and again!! xoxo

avatar sharon February 23, 2013 at 11:44 p

where is the coffee in this coffee cake??

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet February 23, 2013 at 9:30 p

Sharon, I really hope you are kidding, but if you are not, a ‘coffeecake’ is meant to be served with coffee or tea as in a coffee break…it was not supposed to be a ‘coffee’ flavored cake…

avatar maria isabella March 7, 2013 at 12:20 p

Hi Shelly, I just wanted to know how much is one stick of butter?
thank you.


avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet March 7, 2013 at 8:17 p

I stick of butter is 4 ounces, hope that helps!

avatar Meg March 10, 2013 at 6:01 p

where is the recipe for the batter? I’m trying to make it now but can’t find it…. Help!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet March 10, 2013 at 6:55 p

All you need to do is click on the link provided in the recipe for the hot milk cake, it will take you to the recipe for the batter…let me know if you need any more help!

avatar Claudia March 31, 2013 at 7:29 p

I’m Australian, so a little confused with the difference between all purpose flour & cake flour? Love the sound of this cake – and would love to make. Here in the land down under, we use plain flour (no raising agent), self raising flour (raising agent added), corn flour, arrowroot, 000 flour for pasta, but no specific cake flours – as there is baking powder in the recipe for the hot milk cake, that is your raising agent. I assume I could use our equivalent of plain flour for all the flour requirements.

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet March 31, 2013 at 3:16 p

Hi Claudia, thanks for writing in! I’m a fellow Aussie from Melbourne, so it’s always nice to hear from my first home down under. I have done some searching online and found that there are a few places in Aus that carry a brand called Swans, which is sold here in the regular grocery stores. Cake flour is an ideal product that has a much lower protein content (about 8%) compared to the 10% or so protein found in all purpose flour. It yields a much lighter and tender product. You may not find it listed as cake flour, but it may be packaged and sold as flour for ‘cake or biscuits’. If you cant find it, it is relatively easy to make. Take 1 cup of regular flour and remove 2 tablespoons. Replace these 2 tablespoons with cornstarch and sift it all together. This will help in creating a lighter product for you to use…hope that helps!

avatar Claudia April 2, 2013 at 2:19 p

Thanks Caterina – we do have the “cake or biscuit” flour which I usually use for my baking – as plain flour. As a fellow Melbournian, many thanks and look forward to making the cake!!

avatar DeeDee April 3, 2013 at 5:30 p

When you freeze this coffee cake, do you put the glaze on it first, or wait until you thaw it?

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet April 7, 2013 at 2:46 p

Hi DeeDee…Ideally, you should freeze the coffeecake without the glaze, after all, sugar melts in the refrigerator after a while…but sometimes I have some leftover with the glaze, so I cut it into pieces, wrap them well and then freeze. The glaze does soften a little when frozen, but it does not make the cake soggy, it’s still delicious…

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet April 7, 2013 at 2:47 p

Claudia you are welcome! Let me know what you end up using and how it works for you…

avatar Marti Austin April 30, 2013 at 6:31 p

I’m making this a day ahead for a church function. Does it need to be refrigerated overnight? Also do you just put parchment on the bottom or up the sides? Thank-you

avatar Joni May 13, 2013 at 10:47 p

Good Lord….I think I need to go to the dentist after one piece…..I never ate anything so sweet……

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet May 19, 2013 at 8:21 p

Joni thanks for your comment. I actually pride myself on developing recipes that are not overly sweet. If you liked the resulting cake but want to adjust the sweetness, feel free to limit the amount of streusel in the middle and the amount on top, and that should cut back on the extra sweetness. I don’t like things too sweet either, and this was just fine for me.

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet May 26, 2013 at 4:58 p

Hi Marti! No, I did not use parchment paper because I can buy a really good pan spray commercially. Unfortunately, it is not available in the grocery stores and Pam spray isn’t that good, so if you prefer to use parchment just in case, I would do that to be safe…

avatar Darlene Mason July 11, 2013 at 10:05 p

I do not bake much, but my husband would love this, there is only the two of us now, so Q: do you make the whole cake, icing and all and freeze

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet July 16, 2013 at 10:50 p

Darlene thanks for writing in! If you wer going to make this and freeze it, here is what I would do. I would make the cake as the recipe states and when it is completely cool, cut it into sections that would be enough for what you need…either half, thirds or quarters. Wrap each piece well in plastic wrap and then in some foil to prevent freezer burn. When you get the urge for some, take it out of the freezer and thaw on your counter then drizzle on the icing when you are ready to serve. This cake freezes beautifully!

avatar Leanne August 10, 2013 at 7:32 p

If I count correctly….there are a total of 5 sticks of butter in this recipe?? 2 for the streusels and 3 for the cake batter?

avatar Lesa Bragg August 15, 2013 at 8:41 p

I would love to make this cake but did not see the batter recipe

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet August 15, 2013 at 9:02 p

Hi Lesa, I’m not sure why everyone is missing the link for the cake part in the recipe. If you look at the listing for the recipe where it says ‘coffeecake’, you will see it say ’1 recipe for hot milk cake’. This is a live hotlink that will take you to the recipe itself, so click on that. There you will find the ingredients and the procedures on how to make the cake.

avatar Stacey Boudreaux August 15, 2013 at 8:46 p

This sounds so yummy! I can’t wait to make it! Has anyone used the pumpkin butter that is attached to the Hot Milk Cake link?

I wish you had a Pinterest plug, so I could Pin It I’m my recipe folder :)

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet August 17, 2013 at 7:41 p

Thanks Stacey, yes it is very delicious and better than the one you buy commercially. I find that the ones I have purchased in the past can be too heavily spiced. Making it yourself allows you to control how much spice you use. I will have our web person add a Pinterest button to each post. We are making some changes to the format next year, so thank you for the suggestion! Here is my Pinterest page. If you are interested in posting any of the recipes many of them are here, so feel free to check it out,

avatar Jeanne September 16, 2013 at 8:29 p

Question: Maybe you answered but I didn’t see it but can this cake be baked in a bundt pan (or two) ??????

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet September 20, 2013 at 7:33 p

Hi Jeanne, actually this cannot be baked in a bundt pan because it has streusel on the top of the cake. When you bake in a bundt, you cannot add anything to the top of the batter because the cake is inverted and the top becomes the bottom of the cake. Part of the beauty of this cake is the streusel. If you wanted to, you could do everything the same but not add the streusel to the top. Once the cake is baked and inverted onto a platter, you can use my recipe for milk sugar glaze to add to the top. That would be equally delicious! Hope that helps…

avatar Robin December 19, 2013 at 1:00 p

This reminds me of a cake I had at Joan’s on Fourth in LA that was delicious, so I can’t wait to try it. Can you double the soft streusel recipe then just add some additional flour to half of it afterwards, just to simplify that step? Thanks!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet December 22, 2013 at 5:28 p

Robin you can do that, but you just never know what consistency you will get in the final streusel. As a pastry chef, I try to stick with the recipe unless it is something that I make all the time and can eyeball the right consistency that I need.

avatar Jeri Kelly April 15, 2014 at 3:56 p

Am making your delicious coffee cake for a church Easter breakfast. If I wanted to leave out the chocolate, would you suggest adding anything or leaving out anything to compensate. I’m going for a classic moist & delicious coffee cake.

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet April 15, 2014 at 8:18 p

I think the chocolate in the recipe really adds to the overall deliciousness of this cake…but if you don’t want to add the chocolate, simply omit it or add some extra nuts.

avatar Toni Iacoboni June 8, 2014 at 9:27 p

Thank you for the most amazing recipe. I was in the mountains on vacation and thought I would try this recipe. I only had a 9×13 pan so I used it. And yes, not the best idea, but not the worst either. I had a little flow over, which I wiped immediately so I was spared hours of burned caramel clean-up. The sides baked faster and the center would not come out completely clean, so after an hour I took it out. When it cooled it was amazing anyway. My favorite was the center…..very buttery soft cake. I would probably change the sugar content of the streusel portions…a little too sugary sweet for me. This recipe is decadent and not for dieters….why…… because even though you know it is NOT heart healthy (smiles), you can’t stop going back for more. So I gave pieces to my five Native Appalachian friends in South Western North Carolina Smokey Mountains……… They loved it too!!!! Saved the center for me and it was gone in no time! I tried NOT to eat it and couldn’t! Thank You

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet June 12, 2014 at 10:42 p

Thank you Toni, yes this recipe has become a bit of a classic and much loved by everyone who tries it. The great thing with recipes is you can always adjust it to your taste…

avatar Kathy Ortega April 19, 2015 at 6:10 p

Anxious to try this recipe.

avatar Kayla April 20, 2015 at 2:24 p

I made this but switched the cake part for your cinnamon bun cake (i was short on butter) and added a teaspoon of cloves to the streusel. it came out amazing. thanks for the recipe !

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