To say I've tried a lot of coffee cakes is an understatement. In my opinion everyone is pretty keen on their mom or grandma's coffee cake recipes. But that's not to say those recipes can't be topped or at the very least tied. It's just what we're used to.

This is the quintessential coffee cake. It's loaded with butter, and the first time I made it I was sure that I had measured incorrectly because of the enormous amount of cinnamon sugar crumble on top (I hadn't). I've made it twice now, and it's been delicious both times. I vaguely remember the last one turning out a bit prettier, but you can't win 'em all.

Ree titled this recipe "The Best Coffee Cake. Ever." It's hard for me to pick a favorite coffee cake because I have so many that I love that at a certain point all of the best ones start blending together in my mind. I probably have 10 favorites that I transition between. I'd rather not have added a coffee cake to that list that has 3 sticks of butter, but once I tried it I knew it was a keeper, butter and all.

So, here's one more coffee cake to add to the "bests" list. You can never have too many. Ree titled it "The Best Coffee Cake. Ever." - it's definitely up there with the best I've made, but the jury is still out on whether it's actually the best ever. Regardless, it's absolutely one you will want to make as soon as possible.

"The Best Coffee Cake. Ever."
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman


  • 1-½ stick Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Scant Sugar
  • 3 cups Flour, Sifted
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-¼ cup Whole Milk
  • 3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff

  • 1-½ stick Butter, Softened
  • ¾ cups Flour
  • 1-½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1-½ cup Pecans, Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. Don’t overbeat. Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 (or LARGER!) baking pan. A cake pan with higher sides would be best.
In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until no longer jiggly. Serve warm—delicious!


Jihane @ Sinful Sundays said... @ May 12, 2011 at 12:23 PM

This looks so fluffy and buttery! I absolutely love coffee cake.

best coffee cake said... @ May 16, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Wow!! It's looking so delicious and tasty.

All That's Left Are The Crumbs said... @ May 16, 2011 at 9:13 PM

I am always up for trying another coffee cake recipe. This looks delicious and could very well be on the menu for Father's Day.

Angela@RecipesFromMyMom said... @ May 17, 2011 at 7:52 AM

Sounds so light with the beaten egg whites. I wonder if it would work in a Bundt pan?

Anonymous said... @ May 17, 2011 at 11:32 AM

I LOVE coffee cake, and I definetly need to try this!

Stephanie said... @ July 11, 2011 at 1:06 PM

i just drooled a little bit showing this to a girl i work with. i cannot WAIT to eat this asap when we get back. and by that, i mean in very tiny bites after i lick the bowl. nomnomnom

Viv said... @ November 23, 2011 at 8:15 AM

This looks amazing but....can't see any coffee in the ingredients??

Anonymous said... @ March 22, 2014 at 6:56 AM

Not sure why comments are all fro folks who have not actually made the cake?.. Would like feedback from people who tried it...

Anonymous said... @ July 4, 2014 at 9:10 PM

LOVE this recipe. I made it for Christmas, and my family had to make 2 more pans for the rest of Christmas break because it was so good!

Unknown said... @ July 15, 2014 at 1:42 PM

I made this a couple weeks ago and it was great! I was kinda surprised that a lot of the brown sugar topping sunk to the bottom but it actually turned out really nice that way. Will definitely be making this again!

Unknown said... @ January 29, 2015 at 1:45 PM

I'm sorry, but I find it absolutely hilarious that someone actually commented asking where the coffee ingredient was in this cake! Coffee cake doesn't have coffee in is typically eaten with coffee in the morning.

Annoyed annon said... @ October 3, 2015 at 4:37 PM

In England coffee cake definatly has coffee in it!!

Anonymous said... @ May 19, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Coffee cake is eaten with a cup of coffee. There is no coffee in the cake.

Anonymous said... @ May 19, 2016 at 3:09 PM


Anonymous said... @ May 19, 2016 at 3:10 PM


DartLady said... @ November 6, 2016 at 9:19 PM

I'm not sure I would call it the best ever, but it's close. Love the extra topping!

Anonymous said... @ January 8, 2017 at 2:10 PM

Would this work in a bundt pan?.....

Art said... @ June 24, 2017 at 5:01 PM

Regular salted butter work in this recipe? You don't specify salted or unsalted and many dessert recipes want unsalted.

Unknown said... @ April 29, 2018 at 1:01 PM

I agree

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Barbara said... @ January 6, 2019 at 10:55 PM

The measurements are confusing--does 1-1/2 stick mean 1 and 1/2 sticks or 1 half stick of butter? Never seen it written this way.

Carlson said... @ January 30, 2019 at 7:42 AM

Good I'm curious. Seeing how there's quite a bit of dry ingredients I'm going to go with 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter in 1 and 1/4 cup of milk

Carlson said... @ January 30, 2019 at 7:43 AM

Since it calls for a teaspoon of salt I would go with unsalted butter

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Anonymous said... @ June 26, 2023 at 9:53 PM

This usually means one and 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4cup)

Anonymous said... @ March 27, 2024 at 5:05 PM

Can you substitute 2% milk? And what does Scant sugar mean?

Anonymous said... @ April 14, 2024 at 10:25 AM

Good morning. I made this coffee cake this morning.I was a bit disappointed in how it turned out. Structure of cake is dense even with addition of egg whites folded in. There was a generous amount of topping, which settled to the bottom of cake. Taste was just okay. Overall, I don’t think I will make it again.

Anonymous said... @ June 21, 2024 at 6:15 AM

Probably because of the amount of baking powder. That usually will define the density of the cake.

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