Although it’s shaped like a loaf of bread and slices just like one, coffee cake bread has no yeast, so it’s quick and easy to bake for afternoon tea or a leisurely Saturday brunch. It lasts well, too, as the yogurt in the dough keeps it moist and fresh as long as you keep the loaf well-wrapped.
How to Make Coffee Cake Bread
The dough for coffee cake bread is more like a thick batter, so there’s no need for rising, kneading, or proofing. It can be mixed up in less than 15 minutes, and within an hour you’ll have a beautiful, fragrant loaf cooling on the counter.
I like to use a mix of white flour and whole wheat flour for this bread. The white flour keeps it light and tender, while the whole wheat flour gives an earthy texture and delicate nutty flavor that pairs well with the spices.
Although this coffee cake bread has streusel in it, I like to add more spicy goodness by incorporating cinnamon and nutmeg into the batter. I also add a generous amount of vanilla extract to ensure this cake is as fragrant and warming as it can be.
Traditional coffee cake often has a streusel topping, but I thought a ribbon of streusel through the coffee cake bread would be even nicer. Rather than making the streusel with just butter, white sugar, and cinnamon, I switched to dark brown sugar and added more ground nutmeg and a generous handful of finely chopped walnuts. If walnuts aren’t your thing, you could easily substitute chopped almonds, hazelnuts, or cashews.
While most breads are baked to perfection in 30-40 minutes, this coffee cake bread requires nearly an hour to ensure it’s baked all the way through. You can bake it in a well-greased loaf pan, or line the tin with baking paper so it’s easy to remove the loaf to the cooling rack.
Although coffee cake bread can stand on its own feet, it’s made even nicer with a special topping. You could keep things simple with softened butter, whipped cream, or ice cream, or you could make things extra fancy with a homemade sauce or syrup. I made a creamy caramel sauce that paired rather nicely with the nuts and spices. You could also drizzle a slice with the Earl Grey tea syrup used in our easy galette recipe, pumpkin spice syrup used in our pumpkin spice latte recipe, or the spiced brown sugar syrup used in our cinnamon brown sugar latte recipe.
Coffee Cake Bread and Tea Pairings
Choosing the right tea to enjoy with coffee cake bread is easy, for it goes well with so many variations. This afternoon I had mine with a mug of Full Moon Chai with notes of vanilla, butternut, and spices, but it would go equally well with Oregon Breakfast Black Tea with hazelnut and orange, Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Tea, or No Obligations Decaf Black Tea with hazelnut, almond, and cinnamon.
Coffee Cake Bread
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 3 walnut halves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F.
In large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Set aside.
In small bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Set aside.
In another small bowl, stir together filling ingredients. Set aside.
Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until no flour is visible.
Pour half the batter into a greased loaf pan and smooth until even. Top with filling and use knife to cut through filling and dough in swirling lines so the filling swirls through the batter.
Top with remaining batter and arrange 3 walnut halves across top.
Bake for 55-60 minutes until top is browned and toothpick inserted into loaf comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack and cool completely. Serve warm or room temperature with salted butter.
Note: Leftover coffee cake bread can be turned into delicious French toast or blended into crumbs and used as a base for plum pudding.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in heavy-bottomed saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 6-8 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve warm or at room temperature.