Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

My kids were dying for doughnuts this weekend and I just couldn’t do it. Trust me, I love doughnuts and have a framed photo in my house of a now-defunct doughnut shop in my town – “Freddie’s Doughnuts” – that I remember going to with my father many Sunday mornings when I was little. My favorite doughnut was a peanut stick and I could easily put down three of them in a sitting. Talk about a stomach ache. My high school even had a fund raiser where we sold boxes of Freddie’s doughnuts – similar to the Girl Scout cookie sale. I would never sell any and on the day order forms were due my mom and grandmother would order a dozen boxes, which we would freeze and I would have an endless supply of peanut sticks. (Hmm. Lots of doughnuts = not so many dates. But a lot of friends with whom to share all of the doughnuts in the freezer.)

My kids have doughnuts probably a little too often so I will sometimes make a coffee cake or muffins instead to satisfy their sweet breakfast cravings. I threw together this coffee cake this weekend and it was on the table in under 45 minutes. It’s no Freddie’s but still delicious.

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake (click here for printable recipe)

(adapted from recipe)


For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • A pinch of salt

For the coffee cake:

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup plain or Greek-style yogurt (I used nonfat)


Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch pan with nonstick vegetable spray.

Make the crumb topping: In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, chocolate chips, ground cinnamon and flour. Set aside.

Make the coffee cake: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and yogurt (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula (it will be thin). Sprinkle about half of the crumb topping on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter and spread so the batter is even. Sprinkle with the remaining crumb topping. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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