Recipe: Coffee Cake with Pecan-Cinnamon Streusel

coffee cake with pecan cinnamon streusel
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated

This recipe is courtesy of America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated.

Coffee Cake with Pecan-Cinnamon Streusel

Serves 8 to 10

For the best results, we recommend weighing the flour in this recipe. Do not insert a skewer into this cake to test for doneness until the center appears firm when the pan is shaken. If you do, the weight of the streusel may squeeze out air and the cake may sink. This cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 24 hours.




  • 1 cup pecans, toasted
  • ⅓ cup packed (2 1/3 ounces) brown sugar
  • ½ cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon water


  • 1⅔ cups (8 1/3 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 7 pieces and softene​
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Watch the "America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated" episode featuring this recipe.

To Prepare

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9-inch springform pan and place on rimmed baking sheet.

For the STREUSEL: Process pecans and sugar in food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds. Add flour, cinnamon, and salt and pulse to combine, about 5 (1-second) pulses. Add melted butter and water and pulse until butter is fully incorporated and mixture begins to form clumps, 8 to 10 (1-second) pulses. Transfer streusel to bowl and set aside.

For the CAKE: In now-empty processor, process flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined, about 10 seconds. Add butter and pulse until very small but visible pieces of butter remain, 5 to 8 (5-second) pulses. Add milk, egg and yolk, and vanilla; pulse until dry ingredients are moistened, 4 to 5 (1-second) pulses. Scrape down sides of bowl. Pulse until mixture is well combined, 4 to 5 (1-second) pulses (some small pieces of butter will remain). Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top with rubber spatula.

Starting at edges of pan, sprinkle streusel in even layer over batter. Bake cake on sheet until center is firm and skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove side of pan and let cake cool completely, about 2 hours. Using offset spatula, transfer cake to serving platter. Using serrated knife, cut cake into wedges and serve.


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