Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Layer Cake

1 Comment

Recipe and photos from Caked by Katie:

49. 49 years old. That was how old my mother was when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. 13. 13 years long. That was how long she battled it for. I wish I could say that my mother and I had a great relationship. The truth is that I spent much of my childhood, teen years, and young adult life resentful and bitter towards her. Now as a grown woman, with 3 little girls of my own, I look back and would do anything to capture those moments, those years, with my mother again.

She smiled, with her beautiful gap tooth smile, during the seemingly endless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. She laughed through the tears when her hair fell out. She continued to pray, support, and encourage my sisters and I when she was too weak or tired to get out of bed. She lived every single day bravely facing each moment while hoping for a better tomorrow. In her utter sickness, she was the strongest.

The brave and amazing woman she was, I will say (and my sisters will also attest) that she was not the world’s best cook. She redeemed her slightly lacking cooking skills with one heck of a coffee cake. As soon as she received word that company was coming over, she would preheat that white kitchen oven and get to mixing. In the kitchen was where my mother and I would often find peace. Our squabbles and frustrations with each other could be laid to rest as we measured, mixed, and baked. Warm notes of cinnamon and brown sugar would soon fill the kitchen air. The fluffy white coffee cake with the crunchy streusel on top speckled with warm chocolate chips that immediately melted on your tongue. I’ve adapted my mother’s coffee cake recipe to create a flavourful layered cake that always brings back memories of her. Memories of my mom, not the woman with breast cancer, but the woman who courageously lived even when dying.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Coffee Cake:


  • 2 ½ cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk, warm
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup sour cream, full fat
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 6 inch cake pans.
  • Mix the espresso powder with the warm buttermilk and set aside.
  • In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In another bowl mix the eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract until combined.
  • Add the buttermilk espresso mixture. Mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and slowly mix until fully combined.
  • Pour equally into the 3 cake pans. Bake for 22-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.

Cinnamon Streusel:


  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie tray with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the chocolate chips with a fork until crumbly.
  • Spread on the prepared tray and bake for 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
  • Cool completely and crumble any large pieces. Save chocolate chips for assembly.


Cinnamon Buttercream:


  • 2 cups of salted butter
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 cup heavy cream
  • Pink food dye (optional)


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  • Add the powdered icing sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, and heavy cream and mix on low until combined.
  • Turn the mixer up to medium and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.

Cake Assembly:

1. Place one leveled layer of coffee cake on a stand, plate, or turntable. Top with approximately ¾ cup of buttercream.

2. Pipe a border of buttercream round the edge and fill with approximately 1/3 cup streusel filling and 1/8 cup of mini chocolate chips. Repeat with remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth sides.

4. Decorate with Sprinkle Pop sprinkles. This is the fun part and remember to “pink” your cake up for Breast Cancer Awareness. I used Pink Ombre which is a gorgeous collection of pinks that were perfect for this cake!

5. Enjoy.

1 Response


Oct 04, 2019

How much does this story remind me so much of the same with my mother… love that you breathe your life into each and every cake you bake… thank you for sharing – you always never know how even the simplest things can have the greatest impact on someone else’s life!

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