Cream Cheese Coffee Cake is coffee cake stuffed with cheesecake!
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake is stuffed with everything delicious! This moist, tender coffee cake with an INCREDIBLY creamy cheesecake-like filling and thick, fresh strawberry “jam” all topped with Coconut Pecan Streusel and Lemon Drizzle is OUT OF THIS WORLD! The mind-blowing texture and flavor combination actually gets better over time, so you can make this Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Recipe ahead of time and store for stress free special occasions!
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
I loooove coffee cake. Not only is it acceptable to eat from morning to evening, for breakfast or dessert but it tastes even better the next day. I love it so much, I’ve already shared Banana Coffee Cake, Strawberry Coffee Cake, Blueberry Coffee Cake and I’m SO excited to introduce you to this Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake!
After my ridiculously delicious and wildly popular Banana Cream Cheese Stuffed Coffee Cake and Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake, I wanted to make a strawberries and cream cheese coffee cake version, because it doesn’t get much better than strawberries and cream cheese for breakfast in my book. You might say I’m slightly obsessed from my Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes, Strawberry Cream Cheese Angel Food Cake French Toast, Strawberry Cream Cheese Flatbread French Toast – I just can’t get enough.
And now its time for my latest obsession, this Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake! You won’t be able to get enough. Layers of pure decadent deliciousness from the buttery, moist cake, velvety creamy cheesecake filling, juicy fresh strawberry jam, another tender crumb cake layer piled high with easy food processor Coconut Pecan Streusel and sweet and tangy, silky Lemon Glaze.
Reasons to Love Cream Cheese Coffee Cake:
- CREAM CHEESE FILLING. The best thing about Cream Cheese Coffee Cake? The filling of course! This filling is lusciously creamy and borders more cheesecake than just cream cheese due to my special technique I’ve described below.
- MOIST. The cake itself is moist, tender, soft with a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth crumb.
- STRAWBERRY FILLING. You can substitute any fruit for the strawberries, but I LOVE strawberries and cream cheese together as previously mentioned. The filling is sweet and tart and a spectacular surprise in the Cream Cheese Coffee Cake recipe.
- STREUSEL. Three words: Coconut Pecan Streusel. Ayiyi delicious. It adds a sweet, crunchy, nutty textural component – and is SO easy to make in your food processor!
- LEMON GLAZE. Every bite of Cream Cheese Coffee Cake is enlivened with sweet, tangy, silky Lemon Glaze. I could drink it with a spoon!
- MAKE AHEAD. This coffee cake recipe tastes even better the next day for stress-free mornings!
What is Coffee Cake?
Coffee cake is a moist breakfast cake often with sugar crumb topping or streusel as opposed to frosting. Despite its name, coffee cake does not contain coffee, but rather the name refers to the fact that its suitable to serve alongside tea or coffee.
the BEST Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
The best Cream Cheese Coffee Cake starts with the BEST coffee cake. To achieve a velvety, buttery cake, I modified my Banana Cream Cheese Stuffed Coffee Cake because it is one of my favorites of all time by replacing the bananas with butter – so you have a buttery tender crumb as opposed to a banana one. And because, buttER.
I kept the 1 1/4 cups sour cream because sour cream adds moistness, richness and much more flavor than just milk, and the lactic acid in sour cream also keeps the cake fresh longer.
The sour cream not only results in a fabulously rich sour cream coffee cake but also serves double duty by adding some of the sour cream batter to your cream cheese layer to stabilize it instead of using egg and flour. This method results in an extra creamilicous cream cheese layer that is DIVINE.
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
This Cream Cheese Coffee Cake uses pantry friendly ingredients so you can make it at a moments notice! Here’s what you need:
- Cream Cheese. Use full fat cream cheese for the most creamy, dreamy results.
- Butter. You can taste the butter in this coffee cake recipe, and it is sublime! Use unsalted butter so we can control the salt in the recipe.
- Strawberries. You can use fresh or frozen frozen strawberries in this coffee cake recipe, although I prefer fresh. If you need to substitute frozen strawberries, make sure to use strawberries without any sugar added. You do not need to defrost frozen strawberries before adding them to the pan, you will just need to simmer longer until the filling is thick but still spreadable and mash up some of the strawberries once softened.
- Sour Cream. I LOVE using sour cream in my baked goods for extra moisture. It eliminates part of the butter and creates an extra tender texture. Use full fat or lowfat sour cream for best results.
- Eggs. You will need 3 large eggs at room temperature. They provide structure and binding properties. Take care they are at room temperature along with your sour cream and butter so everything mixes together easily for fluffier results.
- Vanilla extract. Use quality vanilla for best results.
- Sugar: you will need 1 ½ cups granulated sugar. I don’t recommend replacings with brown sugar so the sweet-tart flavors can really shine.
- All-purpose flour: I have not experimented with gluten free flour, but I assume gluten-free 1 to 1 flour like Bob’s Red Mill would work great. I do not recommend cake flour or self-rising flour or you will need to change the baking powder/baking soda, etc.
- baking powder: make sure it is fresh so it still works!
- baking soda: same as above, make sure it is fresh, usually 6-12 months is best.
- Salt: good ol’ table salt is best.
How to make Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
To make Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, we are essentially making a yellow cake by combining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt with creamed butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, then sandwiching our cream cheese layer in between. Here are the details for successful coffee cake every time:
- Use correct pan size: You need a 16 cup/10-inch nonstick tube pan for this Cream Cheese Coffee Cake recipe. A bundt cake pan will NOT work because it does not have enough volume and the coffee cake will overflow. The streusel also won’t be on top when inverted if you use a bundt pan.
- Grease pan: I always grease my pans with nonstick cooking spray WITH FLOUR. I have NEVER had a problem with any of my cakes or breads sticking with this method. Alternatively, you can grease and flour your pan.
- Strawberry filling. The delectable fresh yet simple strawberry filling is made by cooking strawberries, sugar, lemon juice with cornstarch. You cook the strawberries until the filling is nice and thick so it won’t run away in your cake and instead stays a thick, uniform strawberry layer.
- Whisk dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whenever you measure flour, don’t scoop the flour directly from the container or else the flour will compress – and packed flour = more flour, which = denser, drier cakes. Instead, scoop flour into measuring cup and then level, without packing or tapping.
- Cream until fluffy. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy on medium high speed, about 3-5 minutes – no less! One of the keys to a soft coffee cake – or any cake – is to cream your sugar and butter until light and fluffy. This step is so important because it is the only time you want to whip air into the cake batter to create bubbles. The bubbles will expand as the cake bakes, resulting in a lighter cake.
- Don’t over beat eggs. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears after each egg. You never want to overbeat eggs as this will cause the batter to be runny and may cause the batter to overflow when baking. Overbeaten eggs can also create a fragile crust that crumbles and separates from the cake as it cools.
- Mix batter ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed butter mixture in thirds, alternately with sour cream in between each third. Beat until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Over-mixing cake batter causes the gluten in the flour to form elastic gluten strands which result in a dense, chewy tough, texture. Stop mixing as soon as you see the flour disappear.
- Reserve batter for cream cheese. Measure out 1/4 cup batter and set aside for Cream Cheese Filling (instructions in section below).
- Assemble. Measure out 1 cup batter (to top cream cheese layer) and spoon the rest of the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over batter and gently smooth, but do not touch the sides of the pan. Top Cream Cheese Layer with Strawberry Filling, again, not touching the sides of the pan. Spread reserved 1 cup batter evenly over filling (it will be very thin).
- Bake for 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees F or until toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs (without inserting in cream cheese). Your toothpick should NOT come out clean, this means it is over baked. If your Cream Cheese Coffee Cake is not baked in 60 minutes, then continue to bake, adding foil on top of the cake if the top is browning too much. Be careful NOT to overbake, however, as this is the main cause for a dry cake.
- Don’t peak: Don’t open the oven doors until you are ready to check your Cream Cheese Coffee Cake for doneness. Opening the doors too early can cause the cake to fall in the middle or cook unevenly.
- Don’t slice while warm: Don’t be tempted to slice your cake while it is still warm or it can fall apart. Let it cool completely before inverting and slicing.
How do You Make Cream Cheese Filling?
The Cream Cheese Coffee Cake gets its name from the delectable cream cheese filling. The filling is very easy but elevates this coffee cake into something gourmetly special. You will need:
- cream cheese
- reserved batter
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
To make, beat ingredients on medium high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. The resulting cream cheese layer is wonderfully creamy due to using the reserved cake batter as opposed to flour and egg like many recipes.
The one thing to look out for is softened cream cheese. You need your cream cheese to be soft enough that it can mix together completely without any lumps.
How do You Make a Streusel Topping?
The sugary, buttery, crunchy Coconut Pecan Streusel is the perfect compliment to the melt-in-your-mouth Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. It’s made extra easy in the food processor or you can cut it in by hand if needed. Either way, you’re left with a mound of delicate, delectable streusel mingling with the sweet and tangy Lemon Glaze.
You will need:
- granulated sugar
- shredded sweetened coconut
For a successful streusel, make sure your cubed butter is very cold. I like to cut my butter then return it to the refrigerator to ensure it’s really cold.
- Food processor streusel: The EASIEST way to make streusel is in your food processor. Simply add pecans to your food processor and pulse 3 times. Add flour and sugar and pulse a few times to combine. Sprinkle cold butter over top and pulse until the mixture resembles small pebbles then add coconut.
- Hand streusel: If you don’t have a food processor, never fear, you can still make streusel! You will need to chop the pecans by hand and set aside. In a large bowl, add all ingredients except the pecans and use a fork or pastry cutter to cut the butter in. The butter should no larger than peas when you’re done. Finish by stirring in pecans and coconut.
How to Make Glaze for Coffee Cake?
The Lemon Glaze is the crowning glory of this Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. It’s sweet tanginess cuts through the sweet cake and makes every element shine.
You will need:
- powdered sugar
- lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
When ready to serve, whisk Lemon Glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl starting with just 1 tablespoon milk adding additional milk if needed to thin or add powdered sugar if needed to thicken.
How to Serve Coffee Cake
You can serve this Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake cold, at room temperature, or I like mine microwaved for 15 seconds or so as the flavors meld together beautifully.
Can Cream Cheese Coffee Cake be Made Ahead of Time?
Yes, please do! This Cream Cheese Coffee Cake tastes even better the next day, so it is best to make 24 hours in advance.
DOES COFFEE CAKE NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED?
This Cream Cheese Coffee Cake does need to be refrigerated. To store, tightly wrap coffee cake in plastic wrap before placing in the refrigerator to prevent it from drying out. Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days but it is best (more moist) the first couple of days.
CAN I FREEZE CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE?
Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes freezes well, although you might notice a slight difference in texture of the cream cheese filling. To freeze:
- Let Coffee Cake cool completely.
- Wrap cake tightly in plastic wrap then repeat with a second layer of plastic wrap. Next wrap tightly in 1-2 layers of foil until completely sealed.
- If you are freezing individual slices, then place these plastic/foil wrapped slices in a freezer bag. If you are freezing your entire Coffee Cake for an extended period of time, then secure the aluminum foil with freezer tape to prevent freezer burn.
- You can store your Coffee Cake for up to 3 months.
- When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
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