Overnight Coffeecake

My cousin LeAnne’s long-time go-to make-ahead coffeecake recipe and since last year, mine too. I make it over and over which suggests how easy, adaptable and forgiving LeAnne's recipe is. It takes about 20 minutes to mix up the night before, then throw it in the oven in the morning. Fresh warm coffeecake on Christmas morning? With a crispy streusel topping? Oh, you’re going to be glad you clipped this recipe!

Overnight Coffeecake ♥ KitchenParade.com with a sweet, crispy streusel topping. Mix it the night before, bake in the morning to serve hot and fresh.

Homemade Coffeecake, Warm from the Oven. Mixed At Night, Baked in the Morning. A Long-Time Home-Style and Family-Tested Recipe. Budget Friendly. Potluck & Brunch Friendly.

  • "I love, love, love this recipe ... turned out amazing, and all my brunch guests wanted the recipe! " ~ Collawyer

Just Call Me Santa Coffeecake

Oh! If only I could delivery warm coffeecakes to everyone’s homes on Christmas morning! But you can!

Say “hello” to my cousin LeAnne’s go-to coffeecake recipe that’s become my own go-to recipe as well. I like it best with a little fruit added, especially dried fruit, but I think small bits of chopped apple and pear, even frozen rhubarb, would work great too. Fruit adds wonderful texture contrast and helps the coffeecake stay moist for a couple of days too.

Truth be told, Overnight Coffeecake is my substitute for a crumb cake, the streusel topping is crispy and chewy, way better (to my taste, anyway) than the usual crumbs on a crumb cake.

Overnight Coffeecake ♥ KitchenParade.com with a sweet, crispy streusel topping. Mix it the night before, bake in the morning to serve hot and fresh.

What Is Coffeecake, Anyway?

Inquiring minds, want to know!

First thing — let's just get this out of the way, okay? Coffeecake rarely contains actual, you know, coffee. Instead, it's a cake meant to be served alongside a cup of coffee though in this household, we're smitten with cold milk.

Second thing — coffeecake may be spelled as one word or coffee cake may be spelled as two words. Your pick!

Coffeecake is usually a casual cake, nothing fancy, a single-layer morning snacking cake. It's usually served in squares (if baked in a square pan) or wedges (if baked in a round pan) or some times slices (if baked in a bundt pan).

Some times fruit is added to coffee cakes. In today's Overnight Coffeecake, I especially like dried fruit but Blueberry Coffeecake and Rhubarb Cake are the favorites in my family.

Some coffeecakes have a buttery crumb topping: for some people, the crumbs are the best thing about a coffeecake, especially if the crumbs are more boulders than, well, crumbs. My taste leans toward a thin crisp sugary topping, just for a bit of a finishing touch.

Coffeecake is often served warm, luscious! A coffeecake is meant to be enjoyed, right in the moment!

What's In My Overnight Coffeecake? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • Typical Dry Ingredients flour + salt + baking soda + baking powder
  • Typical Wet Ingredients butter + white & brown sugar + 1 egg + vanilla + buttermilk
  • Streusel Topping brown sugar + cinnamon + nutmeg + toasted pecans or walnuts
  • Optional Fruit for the coffeecake batter, bits of dried fruit (my favorite) or frozen berries or other chopped fruit
  • Optional Whole Nuts for garnishing the top (before baking)
  • Optional Icing for garnishing the top (after baking)
Overnight Coffeecake ♥ KitchenParade.com with a sweet, crispy streusel topping. Mix it the night before, bake in the morning to serve hot and fresh.

What Is Streusel?


WORD ORIGIN Streusel is a German word that means to "scatter" or "sprinkle".

You know how some cakes and muffins and crumbles and crisps and pies are topped with sweet and buttery crumbs, like miniature boulders, some times as big as grapes, other times as small as dried currants? Some times, a coffeecake can be half cake and half topping, no wonder they're called "crumb cakes".

Anyway, that crumb topping is some times calles a streusel. It's usually made with cold butter, flour and spices and I really like to stir in some nuts, too. No wonder it's often everyone's favorite!

Overnight Coffeecake ♥ KitchenParade.com with a sweet, crispy streusel topping. Mix it the night before, bake in the morning to serve hot and fresh.

How to Make an Overnight Coffeecake

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in three easy steps. You can definitely do this!

  • MIX up the coffeecake the night before. Top with a nutty streusel and if you like, some whole nuts.
  • LET REST OVERNIGHT right on the counter, this lets the streusel sink a bit into the batter, unifying the whole coffeecake, making it extra delicious!
  • BAKE in the morning to serve warm and fresh!
Overnight Coffeecake ♥ KitchenParade.com with a sweet, crispy streusel topping. Mix it the night before, bake in the morning to serve hot and fresh.

What Makes This Recipe Special

Why would anyone go to the trouble of making a coffeecake from scratch? Here are a few of my reasons. Why do you make it? Let me know in the comments!

  • Bake it now or bake it in the morning, your choice.
  • Easy to mix the night before for a last-minute breakfast or brunch.
  • Uses only common baking ingredients, nothing fancy, nothing to run to the store for.
  • Easy to adapt to taste with fruit and nuts.
  • Not too sweet, even with a streusel crumb topping.
  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If my Overnight Coffeecake recipe inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Overnight Coffeecake ♥ KitchenParade.com, easy, adaptable coffeecake recipe, mix it the night before, bake to serve hot and fresh in the morning.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Let rest on the counter: Overnight
In the morning, time to table: 1 hour
For a 8x8, 9x9 or round cake pan (double ingredients for a 9x13)
Serves 9
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick, 86g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (125g) buttermilk
  • About 1 cup fresh, frozen or dried fruit
  • 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (60g) toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped (how to toast nuts)
  • Whole toasted pecans or walnuts, optional, for garnish before baking
  • Simple icing (1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract or even a little lemon zest), for drizzling after baked and cooled

THE NIGHT BEFORE Lightly butter or spray an 8x8, 9x9 or round cake pan (see ALANNA's TIPS).

COFFEECAKE In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. One at a time, add 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 the buttermilk, 1/3 flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk and the remaining flour, gently blending in each addition just until barely mixed.

OPTIONAL FRUIT If adding fruit, stir it in here (see TIPS).

Transfer the batter to baking dish; it will be quite thick, spread it gently to the corners or edges with the back of spoon.

STREUSEL TOPPING Stir together the Streusel Topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter.

OPTIONAL NUT GARNISH If adding whole nuts, arrange them across the top now (see TIPS).

REST OVERNIGHT Cover and let rest overnight on the counter, not in the fridge (see TIPS).

IN THE MORNING, BAKE Heat the oven to 350F/180C. Bake the coffeecake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a thin knife slipped into the center comes out clean.

Let cool.

OPTIONAL ICING If using, drizzle the cooled cake with icing. It's mostly for appearance, it doesn't mean much.

SERVE! Lovely served warm or at room temperature. With fruit added, room temperature is somehow a little better. Will stay fresh and moist for several days.

LeANNE’s TIPS The coffeecake turns out great even when it’s made just before serving, not the night before. What happens overnight is that the streusel topping sinks into the batter, it’s so-so good that way! I’ve also let it rest overnight in the fridge but the sinking just doesn’t happen. I usually make a little glaze for drizzling overtop, just a quarter cup of powdered sugar mixed with a tablespoon of milk and a half teaspoon vanilla or almond extract or even a little lemon zest. [Aghast!] Whaddaya mean, Alanna? You put FRUIT in my coffeecake?!

ALANNA’s TIPS Yep, me, I like to throw in a cup of frozen berries: blueberries and lingonberries have been great; raspberries taste great but are a little too big, better to break them up first. Don’t thaw the berries first, they’ll stain the dough. Dried fruit works beautifully too. I love a combo of golden raisins and dried cranberries plumped and softened in juice or a fruity liquor (or once, even a carbonated ginger beer!) for a half hour before adding. I'm smitten with the appearance when whole nuts are scattered randomly across the top. Otherwise, the coffeecake is a little plain in appearance. The whole nuts do make it slightly messier to cut, however. If the butter isn’t at room temperature, cut it into chunks and gently warm in the microwave, ten seconds at a time. Just let it soften, no melting! If you’re going to lift the coffeecake out onto a serving platter for pretty plating, it’s easier to lift out if you butter the baking pan, then cut a piece of parchment paper for the bottom and butter it too.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See https://www.kitchenparade.com/2011/12/overnight-coffeecake-recipe.html .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving, assumes 9 servings (not including optional fruit & icing): 245 Calories; 13g Tot Fat; 6g Sat Fat; 44mg Cholesterol; 303mg Sodium; 29g Carb; 1g Fiber; 17g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 6 & PointsPlus 7 & SmartPoints 11 & Freestyle 11 & myWW green 11 & blue 11 & purple 11 & future WW points

More Morning Treats

~ coffee cake recipes ~
Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake, another easy summer recipe ♥ KitchenParade.com, moist and delicious with fresh or frozen blueberries. Rave reviews!
Estonian Apple Cake ♥ KitchenParade.com, an easy low-calorie apple cake recipe, moist and bright with cinnamon.

Rhubarb Cake ♥ KitchenParade.com, simple, rustic rhubarb cake, less sweet to really taste rhubarb's 'sour'.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ buttermilk recipes ~
~ nuts ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2011, 2018 & 2023 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna, I've sent this on to some friends and figure I'll make it too! Sounds easy and am sure it will make the house smell wonderful.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe and also the Amazon Prime site info. You should be getting a "perk" from them for the advert! LOL

  2. Hi, can't see any coffee in this cake....

  3. Hi Judy ~ Glad you're liking both the recipe and ideas about Amazon Prime!

    Hi Erica ~ Ha, at least in the Midwest, a "coffeecake" is a morning cake or a simple cake that would taste great with a cup of coffee, no coffee in the ingredients! Thanks for checking --

  4. Anonymous2/14/2014

    I would really love to try this recipe when we have company but my daughter is allergic to nuts. Is there anything I can substitute for nuts in the streusel topping? Thanks

  5. Anonymous ~ Good question, I’m scratching my head on this one! The first idea is to just leave out the nuts entirely. You might do as others have, double the streusel to compensate for the volume of the missing nuts. You could also substitute sunflower seeds. You might make “granola bits” that would have a more similar texture by cooking the spices and brown sugar with a little butter and oats until crispy, this would give the “crunch” that the nuts add. Or switch to another recipe entire, My Mom’s Blueberry Coffeecake comes to mind!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna