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Classic Coffee Cake

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5 from 5 reviews


Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Note: This half of the PW’s recipe. I use a 9-inch square pyrex baking dish, but any 8- or 9-inch square pan will work.


  • I prefer this without the nuts. It has more of that classic coffee cake taste to me. I should note I’m not a huge fan of nuts in baked goods, so if you like nuts, I say use them.
  • I lightly fill a 3/4 cup measuring cup with brown sugar, which makes the topping slightly less sweet, which I prefer.


For the cake:

  • 3/4 stick butter, softened
  • 7/8 cup sugar (3/4 cup + 2 T.)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk

For the topping:

  • 3/4 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 scant tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup almonds or pecans, chopped (optional — see notes above)


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9-inch square pan (or the equivalent) with butter.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add egg to butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low until combined. Add half of the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated. Add all of the buttermilk. Mix until incorporated. Add remaining flour and whisk until just combined. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Meanwhile, make the topping: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to mix everything nicely together. Spread topping over batter. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until no longer jiggly. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes