Crumbly topping, or streusel, is perhaps the most recognizable characteristic of coffee cake.
But for me, a coffee cake isn’t truly a coffee cake unless it also has a layer of gooey streusel in the middle.
Olive Oil Coffee Cake Layers: Top to Bottom
That’s how you make a showstoppping coffee cake in my book.
If it were easy to spread cake batter over that middle layer of streusel, I’m sure more coffee cakes would have the four layers listed above.
It’s a little tricky, but the job is made easier with an offset spatula. Just dollop the second layer of cake batter over the first layer of streusel, then use the offset spatula to spread the batter out as evenly as possible over the streusel.
Make Olive Oil Coffee Cake!
The layers aren’t the only reason this is my favorite coffee cake: the cinnamon flavor in the streusel is present, but doesn’t overpower, and the sour cream and olive oil in the batter make the cake itself exceptionally moist.
Although olive oil is in the name of this coffee cake, you can substitute it with canola or vegetable oil. These oils are a bit more mild and budget-friendly, and the resulting cake will be just as delicious. It just won’t have that subtle olive oil flavor.
Make my Olive Oil Coffee Cake this week! It’s the perfect breakfast, brunch, or dessert.
The Other Cinnamon
Did you know there are four types of cinnamon?
Cassia, Ceylon, Saigon, and Korintje. I’ve never tried Saigon or Korintje cinnamon, but between Cassia and Ceylon, Ceylon is the clear winner for me.
Ceylon cinnamon is sweeter than cassia cinnamon, and, of the four cinnamons, offers the greatest health benefits: it helps regulate insulin levels, lowers blood pressure, and may even help prevent or treat cancer.
Ceylon cinnamon can be hard to find at the grocery store, so feel free to use whatever cinnamon you have on hand. But if you’re curious about trying Ceylon cinnamon, here’s my favorite brand on Amazon [aff. link].
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Olive Oil Coffee Cake with Streusel
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ⅓ cup olive oil, (substitute with canola or vegetable oil, if desired)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup sour cream
For the streusel topping and filling
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup + 3-4 tsp canola oil, (see recipe notes for a butter streusel variation)
Make the streusel
- To a medium-sized bowl, add the brown sugar, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Mix everything together with a fork until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Use your hand or a fork to keep the dry ingredients moving as you begin to slowly drizzle in ½ cup canola oil. Clumps will begin to form.
- Once ½ cup of the canola oil is mixed in, the streusel will be slightly moist and clumpy. If your streusel feels too dry, use a few more tsp of oil. If it gets too moist, add a little more flour.
- Put the streusel in the refrigerator while you make the cake batter.
Make the cake batter
- Using an electric or hand mixer, cream together the butter, olive oil, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Next, add in the eggs and the vanilla. Beat for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture lightens in color, gets a little glossy, and very creamy.
- Now add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix just a bit so that the dry ingredients begin to incorporate.
- Now add ½ cup of the sour cream and mix again until it starts to incorporate into the other ingredients.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of flour, and mix a little more. Now add the remaining ½ cup of sour cream. Mix until everything is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Take care not to over-mix!
Compile the layers
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape half of the cake batter into an oiled 9x13 inch glass baking dish. With an offset spatula, smooth the batter evenly into the bottom of the baking dish.
- With your hands, sprinkle half of the streusel evenly over the batter.
- Now layer the second half of the batter on top of the streusel. I recommend dolloping the second half of the cake batter over the streusel, then use an offset spatula to spread the dollops out into one (mostly) even layer on top of the streusel.
- Now sprinkle the rest of the streusel evenly over the cake batter.
Bake the cake
- Bake the coffee cake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake should come out mostly clean, and the cake should be mostly golden brown.
- Let the cake cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve and enjoy!