Cinnamon Roll “Coffee” Cake

by Barry Lewis


For the cake batter

375g plain flour

200g granulated sugar

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

360ml milk

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

115g unsalted butter


For the topping

115g unsalted butter

100g light brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp plain flour

3 tsp cinnamon

60g chopped pecans


For the frosting

105g cream cheese

35g icing sugar

1 tbsp milk

¼ tsp salt

Mrs B hasn’t been very well lately, and she spotted this recipe on Tasty for a Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake. No chance I’d be able to turn her down on that one, so I got to work! But there’s something a bit different about this coffee cake. You folks outside of the UK might already know this, but in an American coffee cake, apparently there’s no actual coffee?! It’s meant to be served with coffee instead, unlike the traditional coffee cake I know which is packed with coffee at every stage! This has kind of blown my mind, so I was even more excited to try it – although as you’ll see in the video, I couldn’t resist trying a tiny bit of it with a splash of coffee.

So today’s video is a little bit different too. I went completely out of my comfort zone by filming this one in the afternoon! So I decided to include a bit about my morning routine and my day to day life around filming for the channel. This is a bit of a sneak peek of the type of content my Patreons get (twice a week by the way!) in their raw, unedited versions of every video that goes out on the channel. So if you like this kind of stuff from me where I literally just chat about my life alongside cooking, take a look at my Patreon Vlog Club tier where you get access to these extra videos twice a week.

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake Recipe

First up, we’re going to make the cake batter so you need to mix together the milk (the recipe specifies full fat which I rarely get, but I do enjoy from time to time!), eggs and vanilla extract – and don’t worry folks, I’ve got a video in the works all about homemade vanilla extract! 

In another bowl, mix the plain flour, sugar and baking powder. This recipe has a surprising amount of baking powder but apparently gives it more of a “cake like texture” as opposed to a bread texture that you get with yeast which is sometimes used.

Now it’s time for the dry to meet the wet ingredients – pour the vanillary, eggy, milky combo into the flour mixture and the butter which wants to be melted in the microwave so it just pours in. Whisk these together, then use this chance to preheat the oven to 180C (350F) for 25-30 minutes.

While things are heating up, we’re going to make the cinnamon pecan topping which gets hidden in the middle and bunged on the top too. In a bowl, mix the light brown sugar, cinnamon and flour (which I imagine thickens the mixture slightly) then add the chopped pecans and the softened butter. Now we need to give this a quick whizz around in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Now let’s build this cinnamon roll cake! Pour half the cake batter into the bottom of a greased baking dish. Okay, so at this point I decided to add a splash of coffee just to a little section to see how it would work – feel free to do this too, or leave it out as the real recipe says! Now take the filling and put that over the whole layer. Time for the next layer, pour the rest of the cake mixture on top and scatter the rest of the cinnamon filling over that one. Swirl the topping into the batter then pop into the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.

Once you take it out of the oven, leave it to cool in the dish while you make the cream cheese frosting. Pop the icing sugar, cream cheese and milk into a bowl and mix together. Again, I took a tiny bit to one side and added a smidge of coffee, just to see what it would be like, which I used to top the side of the cake where I’d swirled in a bit of coffee. 

Finally, drizzle the frosting all over the cake, slice up and serve!