Old fashioned coffee cake from Flour Bakery

There are countless recipes for coffee cake. This one is from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery, and it is a mashup of 12 different recipes that she tried. I left out the nuts since I’m not a fan of them, but you can add them if you like.

old fashioned coffee cake

I was flipping through some cookbooks recently and came across this coffee cake recipe from Joanne Chang. Coffee cake? Why hadn’t I tried this yet?

When I read her description that she had baked 12 different tried and true recipes, I knew she was onto something. Joanne was looking for a light and fluffy cake with a buttery flour and a zing from sour cream. But, after she taste tested the dozen recipes, she came up with this one.

old fashioned coffee cake

It is definitely light and airy and has a great buttery flavor. I swapped out the creme fraiche for some Greek yogurt since that is what I had on hand. I also omitted the nuts in the streusel because I don’t like them, but the coffee cake was still great. I had originally expected a thick, crumbly streusel on top, but this did not have that. Instead, the streusel turned out to be a darker, thinner and smoother layer than what I was used to.

Because I wasn’t too thrilled with how the cake appeared after it came out of the oven, I drizzled some powdered sugar icing on top. In my opinion, the cake probably could have used less time in the oven, so keep your eye on it after 50 minutes or so. Both Addie and my husband said it was on the drier side, even though I only baked this for an hour.

old fashioned coffee cake

Regardless, I still enjoyed the coffee cake, as did the friends who received a slice. This cake definitely would go better with a cup of coffee (which I don’t drink) or a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Husband’s rating: 2.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 3 out of 5
My rating: 3.5 out of 5

Old fashioned coffee cake (Flour Bakery)

This old-fashioned coffee cake comes to us from Flour Bakery. It combines various tried and true methods from other recipes.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Breakfast, Cake
Author: Eva Bakes



  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar packed
  • cup (70 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons cake flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (¼ stick / 28 grams) unsalted butter room temperature


  • 2 and ½ cups (300 grams) cake flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 and ½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (2 and ¼ sticks / 256 grams) unsalted butter room temperature, cut into 10-12 pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) creme fraiche I used plain Greek yogurt


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom and set aside.

Make the streusel

  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the brown sugar, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and flour together. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut in the butter until you achieve pea-sized crumbs. Set aside.

Make the cake

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar together with a spatula. Add in the butter and mix on low speed for about 3-4 minutes. Your batter will look crumbly (if your butter is super soft, the batter may come together into a soft dough).
  • In a separate small bowl, mix together the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and creme fraiche until well incorporated.
  • With the mixer still on low, slowly add half of the egg mixture into the large bowl with the butter mixture.
  • Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for about 1 and ½ minutes. Your batter will start to turn pale white and fluffy.
  • Turn the mixer back down to low and slowly add in the remaining egg mixture, beating until everything just comes together.
  • Transfer about 1 cup of the batter to the bowl with your streusel. Mix everything together (we are creating a batter that won't sink to the bottom).
  • Transfer the main batter to your prepared pan. Smooth out the top. Then top with the streusel mixture and make sure you smooth the top as well.
  • Bake in your preheated oven for about 1 hour or until the cake is golden brown.
  • Allow the cake to cool before slicing and serving. I added a simple powdered sugar drizzle on top (I combined powdered sugar with a little bit of water and drizzled it over the cake).


Leftover cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep for a few days. It can also be frozen and thawed.
Source: Barely adapted from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe by Joanne Chang

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