Fun fact, most coffee cakes don’t actually have coffee in them. So I am here to change that! When I started developing this dirty chai coffee cake recipe, I knew that not only did I want this coffee back to actually have coffee in it, but also some chai spices. This coffee cake has a soft yellow cake and a delicious streusel on top. It only takes 20 minutes to prep this recipe!
Coffee cake is the perfect weekday recipe – it doesn’t take long to make it and is wonderful to have as a snack with a cup of coffee.
Tell me about this recipe!
- This recipe has a tender and moist yellow cake, topped with a chai spice streusel and a coffee cinnamon swirl in the middle.
- While there are three components to this recipe, you can put the filling and streusel together ahead of time.
- It takes just 20 minutes to prepare this recipe
The printable recipe card with the full list of ingredients and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Butter: I use European style butter which has a higher butterfat content – this gives a much creamier and richer taste.
- Sour Cream: I lose using sour cream in coffee cake to give you a lot of moisture and some tang
- Spices: you’ll find all the chai spices here – cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves
How to make this recipe
One: Whisk together the brown sugar, espresso and ground cinnamon for the filling in a small bowl and set aside.
Two: Prepare the streusel. Whisk together the sugar, salt, spices and flour in a large jug.
Three: In a small saucepan, brown the butter. Cook it on medium and stir frequently, until you get small brown flecks at the bottom of the pan. As soon as you get those flecks, take it off the heat and pour over the streusel mixture. Whisk it until it comes together, then keep it in the fridge.
Four: Prepare your cake. Start by creaming the butter with your sugars, salt, baking powder and vanilla in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment
Five: Add your eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Six: In a jug, whisk together your sour cream and milk.
Seven: Add a third of the flour mixture to the bowl and mix well. Add half of your wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Repeat once more, then end with the last third of the flour mixture.
Eight: Pour half of your batter into a greased and lined 8×8 baking pan.
Nine: Sprinkle over your filling mixture, making sure it is on the batter evenly.
Ten: Pour over the remaining batter, use a small offset spatula to cover the filling evenly. Sprinkle over your streusel. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out clean.
- I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
- I make sure that all of my ingredients are at room temperature before I start the recipe, so pull out all of the ingredients (including the sour cream!) before you start baking.
- Use a light metal pan for this recipe. A dark metal will scorch the sides of the cake.
- Whisk together some confectioners’ sugar with milk to create a glaze.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make the streusel a day or two before, but be sure to keep in the fridge. You can also make it and keep it in a freezer bag for up to three months.
When you’re mixing the milk and sour cream together, it is totally normal to leave a few lumps.
Wrap up the cake tightly and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can tightly wrap leftover slices in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months.
Yes! Double all the ingredients and bake in a 9×13 inch baking pan.
Other simple recipes to try:
Make sure to tag me on Instagram @alpineella and leave a review below if you’ve made this coffee cake! If you want more baking ideas, you can follow me on Pinterest
Dirty Chai Coffee Cake
- 8×8 inch baking pan
- 85 grams unsalted butter room temperature
- 150 grams granulated sugar
- 36 grams light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 227 grams all purpose flour
- 85 ml sour cream
- 141 grams milk
- 71 grams light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 100 grams granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 80 grams all purpose flour
- 43 grams unsalted butter
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Mix together the brown sugar, espresso and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
- Whisk sugar, salt flour and spices together in a bowl.
- In a small saucepan, brown the butter. Cook it on medium and stir frequently, until you get small brown flecks at the bottom of the pan. As soon as you get those flecks, take it off the heat and pour over the filling mixture. Whisk it until it comes together, then keep it in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease a 8×8" pan with butter and parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer, beat the butter, salt, sugars, baking powder and vanilla until smooth with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a jug, whisk the sour cream and milk together until combined.
- Add ⅓ of flour to the stand mixer bowl, beating until well combined. Add ⅓ of the milk mixture. Repeat until everything is combined.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the filling on the batter, then pour the remaining batter on top. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter.
- Bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out clean
Do you brown all the butter or just the butter for the streusel and use softened butter for the cake? The directions are a bit unclear.
Hi there! So sorry about that, you brown just the butter for the streusel!
Wondering if I can use coffee ground on the espresso setting… is this what you mean by espresso powder? Thanks!
You can buy espresso powder, also called instant espresso, at the store! Just make sure if you’re grinding it yourself that it is a fine powder.
Is this recipe for an 8×8 or 9×13? The actual recipe states 9×13, but the how-to list is 8×8. Thanks!
Hi Deb! So sorry about that, it’s for 8×8!
I just baked the cake amd it’s very moist and love the flavour!
But I think the baking time is odd, 30-35 min @ 350 was just perfect.
I have many similar coffee cake recipes and pretty much they all call for 30 min @ 350 for this type of batter.
Thank you for your feedback!