Double-Streusel Coffee Cake

Choosing the best part about a piece of cake is challenging. It’s all good! It’s cake! But if I were pressed, I could identify one particularly good bit about every kind of cake. I do love the soft, moist crumbs that cling to the frosting on a layer cake, or custardy, clafoutis-like pockets that form around bits of fruit in a simple strawberry yogurt cake. And in a coffee cake, it’s all about the streusel.

I am no mathematician. But it has always seemed to me that doubling the streusel in your standard coffee cake would double the deliciousness. I can now report back that this is true. Today’s coffee cake batter is a pretty standard one, although I like to use Greek yogurt as the dairy (although sour cream is a fine option). Yogurt keeps it moist and not overly rich, letting the streusel take center stage as the real star.

Photo by Posie Harwood

The recipe yields a lot of streusel, as planned! You can either divide it evenly between the middle layer and the top layer, or you can do one-third in the center and two-thirds on top. Life is your slice of cake. Do what you wish.

If you want to kick things up even further, add a dash of cardamom and espresso powder to the streusel. This is a coffee cake for people who want to maximize their baked good enjoyment, and I assume you are that sort of person if you are reading this. (Between you and me, I almost called this cake the Carpe Diem Coffee Cake, because it is all about upping the pleasure of the present.)

Makes one 9″ x 13″ cake

  • 2/3

    cup (142 grams) packed brown sugar

  • 1 1/3

    cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 3

    teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/2

    teaspoon salt

  • 8

    tablespoons (113 grams) cold butter, in chunks

  • 2 1/2

    cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1

    teaspoon baking soda

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2

    teaspoon salt

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 12

    tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3


  • 1 1/4

    cups (285 grams) Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

  • 1 1/2

    cups granulated sugar

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