My great grandma was the best baker in our family. My recipe book holds some of the most delicious baked goods and meals that I've ever had, but more importantly, it holds memories of her and I. She passed away when I was young, but some of my most prevalent memories of her are in the kitchen. Even now, many years after she has passed, I still think of her when I open my recipe book and see recipes like sugar cookies and coffee cake. In the kitchen, she was so carefree and she reminded me that cooking is supposed to be fun, not a chore. Now that I am in college, I try to remember this motto when cooking feels like something I have to do and not something I get to do. When I bake with my mom, I also try to remember the importance of doing something you love with people you love, and that's what this specific recipe reminds me of. 

Every Christmas Day, my family eagerly awaits the same treat we have been craving for the last 365 days. Waking up to presents wasn't the only thing we enjoyed on December 25th, we also enjoyed the coffee cake which has been passed down through generations in my family. The soft texture and cinnamony center are only two of the many qualities that make this coffee cake drool worthy. I am a firm believer that desserts get better as they sit, and that's why we serve this coffee cake the day after we make it. Everything sets and when you heat it up for breakfast, the flavors just melt together. Eating it is exactly like a warm hug. I wanted to share this recipe because I want people to experience the same happiness that my family does every year. Enjoy!

Grandma's Cinnamon Coffee Cake

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:50 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 5 mins
  • Servings:18
  • Easy


  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold butter
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
Ally Hutchison
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9x13 pan with spray.

    Ally Hutchison
  • Step 2

    Combine the softened butter and sugar. Cream until light and fluffy.

    Ally Hutchison
  • Step 3

    Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until combined. It may look curdled and chunky; That's okay!

    Ally Hutchison
  • Step 4

    Add the flour and baking powder until a smooth, cake batter like consistency is achieved. Set aside.

    Ally Hutchison
  • Step 5

    Combine the 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse sand. This is your cinnamon crumble for inside and on top.

    Ally Hutchison
  • Step 6

    Spread half of the batter on the bottom of the baking dish in an even layer. Then, sprinkle half of the cinnamon mixture on top in another even layer.

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  • Step 7

    Cover the cinnamon layer in the final half of the batter, spreading evenly while carefully trying not to mix the layers together. Cover with the last of the cinnamon mixture.

    Ally Hutchison
  • Step 8

    Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350° fahrenheit. Cut and serve warm, or my preference is to allow it to sit over night and serve the next morning.

    Ally Hutchison