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Cinnamon Coffee Cake – Grandma Catherine’s Recipe

This cinnamon coffee cake recipe is from my grandma Catherine’s recipe collection, and dates back to the 1950s. It’s quick to bake and less sweet than most modern recipes.

cinnamon coffee cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Tips

Take the time to sift your flour before measuring. This helps to make sure you don’t have excess flour, so the cake doesn’t get too dry. Spoon the sifted flour into your measuring cup and level with a knife.

If you don’t want to sift, add an extra tablespoon or two of milk.

Make sure your ingredients are fresh. Old baking powder won’t rise properly, and old flour tastes stale.

Mix Gently

Remember, this is cake, not bread dough. Mix just until blended – don’t turn the mixer on high and let it run. Having ingredients at room temperature will help make mixing easier.

Want More Sugar and Cinnamon in your Cinnamon Coffee Cake?

This cinnamon coffee cake recipe is much less sweet than many modern versions. If you are a fan of more cinnamon and sugar streusel, go ahead and double up the cinnamon crumb topping.

I normally use granulated sugar, but Swerve or another no calorie substitute should work.

Bake it Right

Lightly grease your pan with a neutral cooking fat like refined coconut oil or unsalted butter. Preheat your oven, and bake in the center of the oven.

Watch your bake time. 30 minutes of baking time should be plenty with a glass pan. With a metal pan, you may be done in 25 minutes.

When your cinnamon coffee cake is done, it should:

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  • Be pulling away slightly from the sides of the pan.
  • Have a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean.
  • Spring back when gently pressed.

Once the cake is done baking, cool on a wire rack before serving.

cinnamon coffee cake

Grandma Catherine’s Cinnamon Coffee Cake

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Grandma Catherine’s cinnamon streusel coffee cake recipe is easy, quick to bake and less sweet than most modern recipes. Include baking tips for the perfect cake.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale

Cake batter:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk

Cinnamon crumb topping:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in egg.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mix alternately with milk to butter mix to form smooth batter.
  3. Spread half of batter into a lightly greased 8×8 inch pan.
  4. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons melted butter for cinnamon topping.
  5. Sprinkle half of topping on top of batter in pan. Cover with remaining batter, then remaining topping.
  6. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes.

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More Made From Scratch Recipes

We have over 100 made from scratch recipes on the site, from canned good to baked goods. They’re all listed by category on the Recipes and Kitchen Tips page.

Some of our other baked goods include:

If you enjoy old fashioned recipes, let us know by leaving a comment below. I have an assortment of old recipe books with classics like this cinnamon coffee cake.

cinnamon coffee cake

A Note About the Recipe Video

In the recipe video, I page through my grandmother’s recipe binder. In with the cinnamon coffee cake and lots of other goodies, there are also scattered notes about their farming operation.

Grandma and grandpa ran a small dairy farm for a time, across the road from my parent’s farm. In the dairy farm notes, there were recipes for “louse spray for cows”. The recipe for younger cattle outside the barn included DDT.

By this point (1950s) they knew that lactating cows excreted DDT in their milk when they were sprayed with it, but DDT wasn’t banned in the U.S. until 1972.

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  1. Hello,
    My Name is Rachel and i just want to say that i love Your posts. I think you are à wonderful, smart, loving wife and mother. I get inspired When Women are homely and creative. I will Try Your Grandma”s cinnemon recipe today. Hope i make Her Proud hehe.

    1. Hi Rachel.

      Thank you for your kind words. While grandma did work as a cook for a time, most of her meals were not overly fussy. I’m sure your reaching out in kindness would have already made her proud.