When the going gets tough, the tough apparently eat coffee cake. Just stop by any corner Starbucks for a caffeine jolt and you can’t help but notice the two or three different kinds of coffee cake on sale. Big crumbly cinnamon-y, deliciously golden-looking slices just waiting to be devoured — Sounds like comfort food but the price is anything but comforting, ringing in at around $1.85 a slice! Yikes!

I decided to see if I could make my own delicious coffee cake, share some with friends and maybe even save some $$$ in the process. This terrific recipe found on the King Arthur Flour web site fits the bill — Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake. Yum, even the name is drool-inducing!

This coffee cake actually promises AND delivers. Lots of moist crumbly golden cake accented with a cinnamon-spicy filling and topped by a sweet and spicy, crunchy and crumbly topping. The emphasis is totally on the cinnamon. There are no nuts or fruit to compete with its sweet spicy aroma and flavor. Speaking of aroma, this cake smells so delicious baking in the oven!

To make your check book feel good, too, The King Arthur Bakers state that you can go to a store and purchase a ready-made Boston Coffee Cake weighing 1.5 lbs for around $6.99 (or 29 an ounce) or you can make this Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake that weighs in at a hefty 5.25 lbs. for around $7.22 (9 an ounce). Wow, that’s quite a savings! Plus it’s delicious and homemade. This recipe makes a humongous cake, plenty to share or at least last you throughout a weeks worth of delicious coffee breaks! I followed the recipe as stated but changed up a few things along the way:

There are three separate parts to this cake: Streusel topping, filling and cake. I started by measuring out my ingredients to make the Streusel topping first.

Next, I whisked the dry ingredients together in one bowl and melted my butter in another.

Once the butter cooled slightly, I mixed it into the dry ingredients to create a nice crumbly Streusel. Set the bowl of Streusel aside.

On to the filling. I decided to change things up a bit by adding a 1/4 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper. I love how freshly ground black pepper enhances ginger spice in many of my baked goods so I wanted to see if it would have a similar effect with the cinnamon. I wasn’t disappointed! The pepper adds an extra spicy element without taking away from the overall spicy-sweet cinnamon flavor. I whisked together the black pepper, brown sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder until well incorporated. Set the bowl of filling aside.

Time to preheat the oven. The recipe calls for preheating to 350 degrees and using a 9″ x 13″ pan. Instead, I used a nonstick tube pan, lightly sprayed with Pam. Because the pan is nonstick and a darker color I reduced the baking temperature to 325 degrees. Darker colored pans heat up faster than aluminum making the sides and bottom prone to burning. Tip: Reducing the baking temperature by 25 degrees when using any dark colored pan helps the sides and bottom from over browning before the rest of the cake is finished baking.

I whisked the sour cream and milk together in a measuring cup to save on cleanup later.

Next I creamed together the butter, salt, sugars and baking powder. Once they were well creamed and fluffy, I added the eggs and the vanilla beating until smooth and well incorporated. I added the flour a little at a time alternating with the milk/sour cream mixture until just combined.

I transferred half the batter into the prepared pan and topped it with filling, making sure to completely cover the batter. Over the filling went the rest of the batter and I ran a knife through the whole thing, swirling it gently. The Streusel topping was evenly sprinkled over the top and ready to be placed into the oven to bake for around 60 minutes.

Fresh out of the oven this cake has a golden brown color with some slightly caramelized bits where the filling bubbled up to the top.

I let the cake cool down on a wire rack for 30 minutes then removed it from the pan. Cutting into this moist delicious fragrant cake is a wonderful experience. Make some for yourself and see. Enjoy!

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