Learn how to make a delicious sourdough coffee cake with my simple and easy recipe. This has a cinnamon sugar filling and a delectable butter topping.
If you’re a sourdough connoisseur looking for a delicious sweet treat, you’re in the right place! This sourdough coffee cake is the perfect comfort food for cozy mornings or as an after-dinner dessert.
It’s warm, fluffy, and melt-in-your-mouth good.
And here’s the good news: you don’t have to be a master baker to pull this off! With my simple-to-follow recipe, you can easily make a mouthwatering sourdough coffee cake for you and your family to enjoy.
I’ll show you what ingredients you’ll need, walk you through the process step-by-step, and share my favorite tips for making sure your creation comes out scrumptious every time.
So get ready to whip up a delicious coffee cake that will have your family begging for more!
Here’s a video tutorial in case you learn better that way! The written tutorial is below:
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First, let’s go over what you’ll need to make this sourdough coffee cake:
- 1 cup (230 grams) water: Please us filtered water here, since chlorine can be too harsh on your sourdough starter.
- 1 cup (240 grams) active sourdough starter: I’ll discuss this more below, but you want to use an active starter here, not sourdough discard. It’s okay to use leftover sourdough starter as long as it’s still fairly active. If you’re looking for sourdough discard recipes, you can check out my Sourdough Discard Waffles and Sourdough Banana Bread recipes.
- 2 1/2 cups (345 grams) all-purpose flour: I like to use organic all purpose flour. Please use unbleached flour since the bleach can be hard on your starter as well. I haven’t experimented with using whole wheat flour or another whole grain, but I’m sure you could safely substitute half whole wheat flour for the all purpose.
- 1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar: You can use either an unrefined sugar such as sucanat or coconut sugar, or just use brown sugar. I prefer those over regular can sugar since it lends more of a caramel flavor to the coffee cake.
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon: Yes, I like quite a strong cinnamon flavor! If you prefer a milder flavor you could cut back to 2 teaspoons.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted: As you’ll see, this is to drizzle on top of the coffee cake.
- 3/4 cup pecans or 1 cup of wild blueberries, optional: These are totally optional, but boy do they elevate this! I’m partial to pecans, so I really like to add those. Make sure to toast them for the best flavor! I tested this with frozen wild blueberries, but I’m sure fresh blueberries would work as well.
Coffee Cake Dough:
- All of the overnight sponge
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled: Yes, this is a lot of butter! Make sure to allow it to cool a bit before adding it to the batter so as not to scorch the eggs. Technically you could substitute 1 cup vegetable oil such as avocado or coconut oil, but I haven’t personally tested that out. The only thing I’d be worried about is the fact that butter lends such an amazing flavor.
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten: I like to use organic or pastured eggs, but regular eggs will work just fine!
- 1/2 cup cane sugar (or coconut sugar or sucanat): It’s less important to use a dark sugar here, so I usually use cane sugar. But feel free to use sucanat or coconut sugar if you prefer.
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract: Please use pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavoring! You could also experiment with substituting almond extract.
- 1 tablespoon baking powder: I use all baking powder, no baking soda in this recipe. This is the brand of baking powder I use.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt: I use Redmond Real Salt, which is an unrefined sea salt. So if you use regular table salt you may want to reduce the amount slightly. This is because regular salt tends to taste saltier than unrefined salt.
A Word About Sourdough Starter:
IMPORTANT! I keep my starter at 100% hydration, which means I feed it equal weights, not volume, of flour and water. If you use a different hydration, your coffee cake might have a different texture than mine.
For this recipe, you’ll want to use an active sourdough starter.
An active sourdough starter is one that’s been fed 4-12 hours previously, has doubled in volume, is active and bubbly, and passes the float test.
To perform the float test, simply drop a small amount of sourdough starter in a glass of room temperature water. If it floats, it’s ready to go!
If you don’t have a sourdough starter of your own just yet, make sure to check out my How to Make a Sourdough Starter from Scratch post. It’s got everything you need to get going!
Or, if your starter is not behaving itself, you can check out my Sourdough Starter Troubleshooting post.
How to Make Sourdough Coffee Cake:
The steps to making a sourdough coffee cake are as follows:
- Mix together the overnight sponge and allow to ferment for 8 hours.
- Combine the sponge with the remaining dough ingredients the next morning.
- Prepare the filling ingredients.
- Assemble and bake the cake.
Okay, let me break that down for you!
Mixing the Overnight Sponge:
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the water and sourdough starter.
It’s best to mix the water and starter together first, since this helps everything to get evenly distributed.
Also, I don’t recommend using a wooden spoon since the sourdough starter tends to stick to it badly.
Add the flour and mix well to create a shaggy dough.
Cover the sourdough mixture in the bowl and allow to ferment at room temperature for about 8 to 12 hours, or overnight.
The long ferment helps the flour to be more easily digested.
I like to use this glass mixing bowl (available on Amazon) because it comes with a lid, which cuts down on plastic wrap use.
As you can see, the sponge should rise pretty dramatically.
You can think of the sponge as basically a thick sourdough starter.
Prepping the Equipment and Ingredients:
The next day, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
Next, butter a 13×9 inch glass baking pan. I tested this recipe using a glass pan, so you’ll need to adjust the baking time if you use a metal pan.
Melt the butter for the filling/topping and set that aside.
Then whisk together the sucanat/brown sugar and cinnamon in a small, separate bowl. Set aside.
If you opted to use the pecans, toast them and chop them now.
Mixing the Dough:
Place all of the overnight sponge into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Then add the remaining dough ingredients.
There’s no need to whisk the wet ingredients separately from the dry ingredients!
However, I do recommend sprinkling the baking powder over the batter and breaking up any clumps.
Now fit your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. The paddle attachment should work as well, but I prefer the whisk attachment.
Attach the bowl and whisk on medium speed until the batter is well combined.
It will have the consistency of a really thick pancake batter.
You’ll most likely need to stop the mixer and scrape the whisk attachment from time to time.
The sourdough sponge tends to stick to the whisk, so you need to scrape it off in order for the batter to mix evenly.
You may find that you need to scrape down the sides of the bowl as well.
You could also use a hand mixer to mix up the batter, but of course it will take more arm strength and undivided attention!
Assembling the Sourdough Coffee Cake:
First, pour half of the cake batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth it out to the edges.
Next, sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
It doesn’t have to be perfectly even, but try to get it out to the edge of the cake batter!
If you’re using the pecans or blueberries, sprinkle half of those on top as well.
Now pour the remaining cake batter on top, and gently spread it out to the edges.
Then top with the remaining cinnamon filling and pecans/blueberries (again, if using).
Finally, drizzle the 1/2 cup of melted butter on top of everything.
Ah…doesn’t it look amazing?!
Baking and Cooling:
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
You can also carefully cut into the center with a knife to make sure everything is done baking and not doughy.
Sourdough tends to take a little longer to cook completely, but it also tends to stay nice and soft!
Let the sourdough coffee cake cool on a wire rack, in the pan, until warm but not burning hot.
This should take about 10-15 minutes.
Personally, I love to serve this with a drizzle of heavy cream. It’s so so good.
I mean, if you have a slice of this and a cup of coffee or a matcha latte, you’ll literally be in heaven. It’s the perfect way to start your Sunday morning, eh?
Store any leftovers well covered at room temperature for up to a day.
After than, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
Sample Baking Schedule:
Here’s a sample baking schedule for this sourdough coffee cake to help you plan your bake:
- The afternoon before you plan on baking: Feed your sourdough starter at around noon to 2:00.
- The evening before: Mix together overnight sponge just before going to bed.
- The next morning: Assemble and bake the sourdough coffee cake.
So if you’d like to eat this Sunday morning, feed your starter on Saturday afternoon.
So that’s my sourdough coffee cake recipe! Make sure to check out these other sourdough breakfast recipes:
More Sourdough Breakfast Recipes:
- The BEST Sourdough Pancakes
- Sourdough Blueberry Muffins via The Perfect Loaf
- Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- Overnight Sourdough Waffles
- Sourdough Dutch Baby
- Sourdough English Muffins
- 1 cup (230 grams) water
- 1 cup (240 grams) active sourdough starter, 100% hydration (see note)
- 2 1/2 cups (345 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup pecans (toasted and chopped) or 1 cup of wild blueberries, optional
Coffee Cake Dough:
- Overnight sponge
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup cane sugar (or coconut sugar or sucanat)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
The night before:
- Place the water in a large mixing bowl. Add the sourdough starter and whisk to combine. Add the flour and mix to form a shaggy dough.
- Cover and allow to ferment for 8 to 12 hours, or overnight.
The next morning:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). Butter a glass 13x9-inch baking pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Set aside. Melt the butter for the topping and set that aside as well.
- If adding the pecans, toast and chop them now.
Mixing the Dough:
- Place the overnight sponge and all of the dough ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
- Whisk the dough until everything is incorporated, stopping to scrape the dough from the whisk occasionally as needed.
Assembling the Cake:
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter. If using the pecans or blueberries, sprinkle half of those on top as well.
- Pour the remaining batter on top , and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar and pecans/blueberries if using.
- Drizzle the 1/2 cup melted butter all over the top.
Baking the cake:
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan on a wire rack until the cake is no longer hot, just warm, about 10-15 minutes.
- An active starter is one that's been fed 4-12 hours previously, has doubled in volume, is actively and bubbly, and passes the float test.
- IMPORTANT! I keep my starter at 100% hydration, which means I feed it equal weights, not volume, of flour and water. If you use a different hydration, your coffee cake might have a different texture than mine.
- Nutrition facts calculated without pecans or blueberries.
- Recipe adapted from Lil' Luna's non-sourdough coffee cake recipe.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 24.1gSaturated Fat: 14.9gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 283mgCarbohydrates: 41.31gFiber: 1.3gSugar: 12.62gProtein: 4.44g