With a thick streusel crumb topping a fluffy, buttery cake, this Starbucks Copycat Coffee Cake will get them out of bed in the morning! It’s a delicious, easy classic crumb coffee cake recipe. Gluten free option included!
Occasionally I will surprise my family with a sweet treat on a school morning. But, I am not getting up before dawn to make a coffee cake!!!
STARBUCKS COPYCAT COFFEE CAKE
Which is why I love this recipe, it’s inspired by Picky Palate’s Copycat Starbucks Cake recipe, with my usual tweaks and tips.
Why You Will Love Starbucks Copycat Coffee Cake
- MAKE AHEAD | This freezes great, I typically make it the night before.
- MAKES TWO | Split the recipe into two round or 8×8 squares pans, unless you have a larger need, then make in 9×13.
- EASY | The base of the cake uses a simple cake mix!
- TASTE | Moist, with an incredible buttery, brown sugar crumb topping, better than Starbucks!
Here are my ingredients, you may certainly use any regular yellow or vanilla cake mix, I like this natural one from Trader Joe’s, plus I swap out the oil for melted butter!
- Vanilla or Yellow Cake Mix | use all natural or your favorite store-bought brand.
- Ingredients on box to make cake | Or swap out melted butter for oil and milk for water.
BEST CRUMB TOPPING
- Salted Butter | Cut into cubes
- All-Purpose Flour | I use organic, unbleached
- Cinnamon | Adds that amazing flavor, traditional to coffee cake
- Brown Sugar | I used light, but you could use dark too
- Vanilla Extract | I use my homemade vanilla extract
- Kosher Salt | to enhance the flavors
- Powdered Sugar | optional, for dusting
TFC PRO TIP | Did you know you can do that with any boxed cake and brownie recipe? Melt butter, swapping for oil and let it cool slightly before mixing into dry ingredients.
How to Bake a Tender Coffee Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350º F. Crack eggs into a 2 qt mixing bowl (or stand mixer) and add milk (or water) and give them a whirl to mix.
- Add cake mix and blend for the recommended amount of time on the box, generally about 2 minutes at medium-high speed.
TFC PRO TIP | Did you know you can also swap out your water for milk in your cake mixes? Milk will make it moister and less crumbly. Slowly add in your cooled butter while mixing.
- Pour half of the batter into two greased 8×8 pans or 9×13 pan. It measured about 4 cups of batter, pour 2 cups into each pan. Eyeballing works just fine too.
- Bake at 350° for 12-18 minutes or until the center is wiggly, semi-set, but not soupy, you don’t want the cake completely baked as you’ll put it back in the oven.
- A few minutes longer if you opted for the 9×13 pan. Keep in mind you may need to check it sooner or keep it in longer, I bake at mile high altitude and sometimes you need to adjust your times up or down.
How to Make the Best Crumb Topping
- Cut the cold butter into cubes (I slice the cube lengthwise down the middle then chop the cube into tablespoon sized chunks). You can also grate your cold butter using a box grater, then pop in freezer until ready to use
- Add your all-purpose flour, packed brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla into a large bowl.
- Break out your “Big Bertha” and use it, you’ll be happy you did, plus it must count as exercise right? Lift it up and down elbows tight against your sides, 10 reps should do it. I tried.
- Don’t forget a nice little pinch of sea salt.
- You want it to stick together when you grab a handful, like this! Much better and less mess too!
As soon as your cakes are partially done, remove them from the oven and grabbing handfuls of the crumb topping, gently break apart and spread evenly onto the hot cakes.
The crumbs will “sink” into the cake slightly.
Return to the oven immediately and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, under-baking them slightly (around 10-12 minutes) if you want to reheat them in the oven when ready to serve.
Let cool fully on a cooling rack, then cover with foil for easy reheating the next day and freeze the second one for later.
This coffee does well on the counter in an air tight container for 3-4 days. Refrigerate up to a week. Freeze up to 6 months.
While I have not tried it, I do not see why they wouldn’t work, in fact I think the spice cake mix would be grand.
American’s coffee cakes do not have coffee in them, instead they are called coffee cakes as we eat these cakes with our coffee.
Yes! I would replace ¼ cup of liquid (milk or water) with strong brewed coffee to the cake mix. You could also add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to the cake mix.
Gluten Free Starbucks Copycat Coffee Cake
As with many of my recipes, I offer gluten free options as I have many family and friends who are gluten free, my suggestions are below:
- GLUTEN FREE CAKE MIX | Use your favorite vanilla (<–my favorite), yellow or white gluten free cake mix and the follow other ingredients and instructions.
- CRUMB TOPPING | Use a good cup for cup gluten free all purpose flour or even better (in my opinion) use ½ gluten free oat flour and ½ gluten free all-purpose flour in the crumb mix.
If you are looking for gluten free options, you might try these recipes:
Dust with powdered sugar just prior to serving. Yummy! I sure hope you enjoy this Starbucks Coffee Cake Copycat recipe!
Try these other delicious breakfast and brunch recipes:
- Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Easy Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake
- Chile Relleno Casserole
- Healthy Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies
- Cinnamon Crunch Scones
- UNDERBAKE | Ever so slightly, when you reheat it it will finish baking, but not become dry.
- FREEZE | I highly recommend you freeze one of these cakes, wrap in plastic and place in ziplock baggie.
- BAKE AHEAD | Do not skip the step of pre-baking the cake portion, this enables the heavy crumb to stay on top and not sink.
- CHILL CRUMB TOPPING | While cake is baking, place crumb topping in fridge or freezer, this will slow down the melting of the butter.
More Great Breakfast Treats!
- Honey Bun Cake
- Healthy Strawberry Bread | Gluten and Dairy Free – but def not taste free!
- Chocolate Bourbon Monkey Bread | a decadent, chocolate filled surprise bread!
- Healthy Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies | these are so tasty and delicious, you will want your kids to eat them!
- Easy Old Fashioned Apple Crisp | doesn’t get better than this!
- Easy Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake | the taste of fall and sugar and spice!
- Apple Crumb Cake with a double crumb!
- Best Banana Bread recipe ever or these amazing Banana Bars with cream cheese frosting.
- Healthier Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread | hide that zucchini in this delicious cinnamon sugar bread!
Starbucks Copycat Coffee Cake
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- 1 box Yellow or Vanilla cake mix substitute with your favorite Gluten Free cake mix
- plus ingredients for cake mix; eggs, butter/oil and water/milk
- Preheat oven to 350° and spray two 8×8 pans with non-stick spray or one 9×13 pan.
- Prepare cake mix in a large mixing bowl according to box instructions. It’s helpful if the bowl has measurements if you plan on splitting the batter. If you are using butter in place of oil, make sure you have cooled the butter slightly to avoid "cooking" your eggs.
- Mix 2 minutes on medium-high, scraping down sides of bowl once. Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake at 350 for 12-18 minutes, until center is wiggly, barely set, not soupy.
- In a large bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, combine butter, flour, brown sugar, vanilla and salt and mix until butter incorporated and mixture is uniform without large chunks of butter.
- Once cakes are finished with initial baking, remove and immediately crumble the topping over the hot cake(s), spreading evenly.
- Return to the oven and continue baking an additional 10-15 minutes. If you will be freezing or serving later, pull out on the earlier side (about 10 minutes) and reheat at 300 for 10-15 minutes when ready to serve.
- Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. Cool completely and wrap well if freezing. To reheat, cover with foil and place in 275° oven for 20-30 minutes. Removing foil for last 5-10 minutes.
In the Crumb topping use a good GF All-Purpose 1-1 or cup for cup flour in place of regular flour, or try half GF All Purpose and half GF Oat Flour