Yield: 1 loaf coffee cake // Total Time: 1 hr. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. //
Light and fluffy coffee cake, made small batch in a loaf pan!
Why you’ll love this small batch coffee cake
If you love coffee cake but don’t have an excuse to make a big batch, this recipe is perfect for you! This coffee cake is made in a loaf pan and makes 8 small squares of delicious, light and fluffy cake. It also comes together in just 1 hour! So ultimately, if you’re a fan of fluffy vanilla cake and cinnamon streusel, then you’ll love this small batch coffee cake.
Weigh your ingredients
- Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient and can easily throw off a recipe. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Mix the batter carefully
- It is super important to not overmix the cake batter or you will end up with a tough and chewy cake. Only mix just until all of the ingredients are cohesive.
Room temperature ingredients
- It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. Take out the egg, butter, and buttermilk at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. To bring an egg to room temperature quickly, you can place it under hot water for 1 minute. To bring butter to room temperature quickly, slice it, place it on a plate, and microwave it in 5 second intervals. For buttermilk, you can also microwave it in 5 second intervals until it’s no longer cold (but not hot!)
Keep an eye on that cake!
- Things like to go from under-baked to over-baked super quickly so it is important to keep a close eye on them. Start checking at 25 minutes with a toothpick. Keep checking in short intervals until the toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached to it.
Ingredients and substitutions
For the coffee cake:
All purpose flour: gives the cake structure.
Baking powder: for helping the cake rise.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the batter.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the cake. You can substitute in salted butter, just be sure to omit the extra salt in the batter.
Granulated sugar: for adding sweetness and for locking in moisture.
Egg: for binding the batter together and adding moisture.
Vanilla: for flavor. I use and love this vanilla extract!
Buttermilk: for tenderizing the cake and adding moisture. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, a great substitute can be made by whisking together 50g sour cream and 25g milk.
For the streusel:
Unsalted butter: the base of the streusel, really what makes it buttery and delicious. You can use salted butter here as well!
Light brown sugar: sweetens and adds flavor to the streusel. In a pinch granulated sugar will work here as well, just note that the streusel will be lighter in color.
All purpose flour: adds structure to the streusel.
Cinnamon: for flavor!
(Optional) for the glaze:
Powdered sugar: the base of the glaze.
Milk: use your favorite milk here.
Small Batch Coffee Cake Q & A
Can I double this recipe?
- Of course! I even more strongly recommend measuring by weight if you are going to double the recipe for the best results. Once you’ve doubled the batter, simply divide it up into two loaf pans to bake.
What size loaf pan do I need?
- I used an 8×4″ loaf pan for this cake. If all you have on hand is a 9×5″ pan then you can definitely use it – just note that the cake will be a tad bit shorter and will probably bake a bit faster. Also please note that I always use and recommend metal baking pans, and if you choose to use ceramic or glass, the baking time will likely be much longer.
How should I store this cake?
- This cake will taste the best on the day that it’s baked, but will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make this small batch coffee cake?
If you made this small batch coffee cake I would love to see it and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Small Batch Coffee Cake
- 70 g unsalted butter (¼ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 125 g light brown sugar (½ c. + 2 tbsp.)
- 80 g all purpose flour (⅔ c.)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 100 g all purpose flour (¾ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 62 g unsalted butter (¼ c. + ½ tbsp.) room temperature
- 85 g granulated sugar (⅓ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 75 g buttermilk (⅓ c.) room temperature
- 40 g powdered sugar (⅓ c.)
- 1 tbsp. milk
- Butter an 8×4" loaf pan, then line it with parchment paper to form a sort of hammock, where there are two sides with parchment paper sticking up. This will make it easy to pull the loaf out of the pan when it's done baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
- In a medium sized bowl, melt the butter. Add in the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Use a fork to mix the ingredients together until you have formed little clumps of dough. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, with a hand mixer (or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) beat together the softened butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
- Pour half of the flour mixture into the bowl, then use a rubber spatula to gently fold the ingredients together just until no flour streaks remain. Add in all of the buttermilk, fold, then gently fold in the rest of the flour mixture.
- Add half of the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan, and top it with ~1/3 of the streusel. Top the streusel with the rest of the cake batter, then top that with the remaining streusel.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the coffee cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk. If you'd like a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar. If you'd like a thinner glaze, add more milk.
- Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, top it off with the glaze, serve, and enjoy!
I made this recipe a few months ago multiple times and it came out perfectly… recently I’ve made it a couple times and each time the cake has risen through the streusel, I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Any help would be appreciated:)
Hi, if the cake is rising through the streusel you probably just want to save a bit more streusel for the top and put less in the middle. Hope this helps and thanks so much for making my recipe! 🙂
Hi, what can I substitute for buttermilk?
Hi – so sorry I just saw this! I mention it a bit earlier in the post, but you can sub in a mixture of 50g sour cream and 25g milk in place of the buttermilk!
The Hagens says
Coffee cake is my husband’s fave, and this is his and my favorite recipe we’ve tried! The serving size is just perfect for us two to eat over a couple of days. I really appreciate that it’s small-batch! Great flavor & texture, especially the cinnamon streusel. I’ve made it twice now & it’s been consistently delicious each time. Thanks so much for sharing! 💕
Thank you so much, I’m so happy to hear that you both like the recipe! 🙂
Valen Cabal says
I dont get why is a Coffee cake without Coffee in the recipe
Hi! Coffee cake is named as coffee cake because it’s meant to be enjoyed with coffee! 🙂