A wonderfully buttery buttermilk coffee cake, made in a bundt pan with a vein of streusel. A great use for that left-over buttermilk!

buttermilk coffee cake sliced

If you are craving a classic buttermilk coffee cake, this is it! While it is a sturdy cake, the crumb itself is wonderfully moist and buttery and the flavourful streusel provides a perfect foil for the tender buttermilk cake.

Key ingredients and substitutions

Buttermilk – To really do justice to this lovely coffee cake, I highly recommend starting with real buttermilk, as it will produce the nicest flavour and texture. I haven’t tested this cake with DIY buttermilk, but I have no reason to think it won’t work, albeit with a somewhat different texture and flavour.

Coffee – Yes! It’s a coffee cake that actually has coffee in it. Typically North American coffee cakes don’t have coffee in them, as they’re intended to be enjoyed with coffee, rather than containing coffee. The touch of coffee in this one simply heightens the other flavours and doesn’t impart a coffee flavour to the cake. If you don’t have coffee on hand, simply replace it with water or milk.

Rolled Oats – for best results, use large-flake, old-fashioned rolled oats.

Walnuts or Pecans – walnuts are recommended, for classic coffee cake flavour, but pecans will also work here.

Graham Cracker Crumbs – you can use crumbs or crush graham crackers until fine. If you don’t have either on hand, you could substitute crushed cookies or cereal, such as Digestive, vanilla wafers, Biscoff or crushed Corn Flakes, for example.

How to make buttermilk coffee cake

Streusel ingredients in a small bowl.
1
Adding melted butter to streusel.
2
Stirring together the streusel with a wooden spoon.
3
  1. Add all the dry ingredients for the streusel to a small bowl and stir together.
  2. Add the melted butter to the streusel.
  3. Stir the streusel mixture together.
Finished streusel in bowl
4
Whisking together the dry ingredients for the cake.
5
Adding the buttermilk to the cake batter.
6
  1. Set the streusel aside while you make the cake.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the buttermilk.
Adding the flour mixture to the batter.
7
Folding in the flour with a spatula.
8
Half of the batter added to a bundt pan.
9
  1. Fold the flour mixture in with a spatula.
  2. Scrape the bowl well.
  3. Add 1/2 the batter to a bundt pan or tube pan.
Adding half the streusel to the cake pan.
10
Adding the remaining batter to the pan.
11
Topping the cake with the remaining streusel.
12
  1. Add 1/2 of the streusel to the pan.
  2. Top with the remaining cake batter.
  3. Finish with the remaining streusel and bake.

How to make sure a bundt cake doesn’t stick to the pan!

My best tips for getting a bundt cake out of the pan perfectly!

  1. Start with a very clean pan. Bits of cake hiding out in the ridges, nooks and crannies can cause sticking.
  2. When it comes to greasing the bundt pan, you have a couple of options. I have always had good luck with Baking Spray (not cooking spray). Spray the pan generously with Baking Spray, but be sure to spray the pan right before adding the batter to the pan. If you spray too early, the spray will run down the sides and pool at the bottom. The bottom won’t stick, but the sides might! If you don’t have baking spray, brush with melted shortening or butter, then dust with flour.
  3. Remove the cake from the bundt pan exactly 10 minutes after removing the cake from the oven. Leaving the bundt cake in the pan too long causes condensation to form, which causes sticking.
Buttermilk coffee cake sliced.

Making ahead, storing and freezing

This cake keeps well for several days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature, so it’s a good cake to make a bit ahead.

This cake will also freeze well. Wrap it tightly and freeze for up to 3 months.

buttermilk coffee cake sliced

Get the Recipe: Buttermilk Streusel Coffee Cake

A wonderfully buttery buttermilk coffee cake, made in a bundt pan with vein of streusel. A great use for that left-over buttermilk!
5 stars from 4 ratings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

For the streusel:

  • 3/4 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) large-flake rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) graham cracker crumbs, *see Note 1 below
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 Tablespoons (67 g) butter, melted

For the cake:

  • 4 1/2 cups (560 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (5 g) salt, reduce to a generous pinch if using salted butter
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 g) white granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (480 ml) buttermilk, well-shaken, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons freshly brewed strong coffee

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 300F (non-convection). Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.

For the streusel:

  • Mix all the streusel topping ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

For the cake:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs two at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the buttermilk, vanilla and coffee. Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix in on low speed just until combined.
  • Fill the baking pan halfway with the batter. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the streusel mixture (about 1 cup). Add the rest of the batter and smooth level. Top with the remaining streusel topping.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for exactly 10 minutes. Unmold the cake by placing a large plate or platter overtop of the pan and flipping over, rapping the baking pan if the cake doesn't fall out immediately. Allow to cool. Serve dusted with icing/confectioners' sugar, if desired.
  • Store cake well-wrapped at room temperature for about 3 days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze up to 3 months.

Notes

Note 1: If you don’t have graham crackers on hand, you could substitute crushed cookies or cereal, such as Digestive, vanilla wafers, Biscoff or crushed Corn Flakes, for example.
My best tips for getting a bundt cake out of the pan perfectly!
  1. Start with a very clean pan. Bits of cake hiding out in the ridges, nooks and crannies can cause sticking.
  2. When it comes to greasing the bundt pan, you have a couple of options. I have always had good luck with Baking Spray (not cooking spray). Spray the pan generously with Baking Spray, but be sure to spray the pan right before adding the batter to the pan. If you spray too early, the spray will run down the sides and pool at the bottom. The bottom won’t stick, but the sides might! If you don’t have baking spray, brush with melted shortening or butter, then dust with flour.
  3. Remove the cake from the bundt pan exactly 10 minutes after removing the cake from the oven. Leaving the bundt cake in the pan too long causes condensation to form, which causes sticking.
Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card, for more tips on making this recipe. You’ll also find step-by-step photos, that you might find helpful.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Snack
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 489kcal, Carbohydrates: 72g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 88mg, Sodium: 227mg, Potassium: 167mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 560IU, Vitamin C: 0.05mg, Calcium: 77mg, Iron: 2mg
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Adapted from Clinton St. Baking Company