Coffee Cake Cookies

Desserts  |  Published Apr 27, 2022  |  Updated Apr 27, 2022  |  By Tawnie

coffee cake cookies on a gold cooling rack with icing on top of the cookies

When you take a bite of these soft and chewy coffee cake cookies you will savor each bite that includes a blanket of buttery brown sugar streusel and vanilla icing. Each cookie is filled with this cinnamon-y sweet crumble and you won’t be able to stop at just one bite.

After making these apple pie cookies I knew I had to make another thumbprint style cookie.

You’ll love baking these because the whole house gets filled not only with scents of yummy homemade cookies but the irresistible smells of buttery cinnamon-y coffee cake too. It will make you want to grab a plate of them, a cup of coffee, a good book with a blanket and cozy up to treat yourself! Since I have a 14 month old daughter to chase around the house I don’t have much time for that, so I will have to live vicariously through you! 😉

cookies on a white plate with powdered sugar icing on top

My childhood memories of my mom’s homemade coffee cake coming out of the oven as I headed downstairs for breakfast inspired me to create these coffee cake cookies.

Just like a great piece of coffee cake, every bite of the coffee cake cookie is crowned with a buttery -sweet cinnamon crumble that is crunchy on top and soft on the bottom. And you can’t forget topping cookies with icing! Oh my gosh the icing is SO GOOD. I feel like they are naked without it! The creamy, buttery, vanilla icing tucks itself around each morsel of the streusel crumble in all of the best ways.

Just writing about them makes me want to eat another one! I mean…look at that crumble!

These cookies are a great grab-and-go quick breakfast treat, mid-day snack, or the perfect pairing with a cup of coffee and I hope you love them!

Ingredient Notes

ingredients to make cookies in small bowls
  • All-Purpose Flour: All Purpose Flour provides a delicious texture and gives the cookies the perfect chewiness you love.
  • Cake Flour: Adding in cake flour, which is ground extra fine, balances out the texture for a lighter, looser crumb and fluffy texture.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps keep the cookie from spreading, plus it increases the crumb strength and increases the tender texture of the cookie.
  • Cinnamon: I used Ceylon Cinnamon. It is both healthy and delicious and adds a warm accent of flavor to these Coffee Cake Cookies.
  • Unsalted Butter: The biggest benefit of unsalted butter lets you control the overall flavor of your cookies, plus you get the pure sweet flavor of butter in the cookies.
  • Brown Sugar: I use light brown sugar, but you can easily substitute dark brown sugar.
  • Granulated Sugar: granulated sugar adds to the crispiness of the cookie, and makes for a lighter colored cookie.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla is a must in cookies, it adds a complex and subtle spice, and I always recommend using real vanilla extract.
  • Egg & 1 egg yolk: The protein in eggs adds to a chewy texture, so adding an extra yolk, gives the cookie the extra chewiness that makes these cookies perfect.
  • For the streusel you’ll need softened butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  • For the icing you’ll need: melted butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and a pinch of salt.
coffee cake cookies on a gold cooling rack with icing on top of the cookies

Step by Step Directions

This recipe is inspired by the popular thumbprint cookie! It’s like eating coffee cake, but without the hassle of making an entire cake!

coffee cake cookie dough filled with cinnamon brown sugar streusel filling
  1. Prepare the streusel filling: combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together. Then work in the butter until small clumps form. Refrigerate.
  2. Make the cookie dough next. This cookie dough for this recipe is my snickerdoodle cookie base, without the white chocolate chips.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  4. Roll cookie dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.
  5. Make an indent in each cookie, using your thumb or the end of a spoon/spatula or something similar. (I used the end of a wooden juicer).
  6. Spoon ~1 Tbsp. of the streusel filling in each cookie and bake for ~9-11 minutes.
  7. Fill the center of each cookie with a little more streusel filling once they’re baked.
  8. Cool for a few minutes. Make the icing and once cookies are cooled, drizzle icing over the tops.
a coffee cake cookie with a bite taken out of it on a white plate with icing on top

Expert Tips

  • Mix the streusel topping and then place it in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will keep the streusel topping consistency we want. The streusel can also be made up to three days in advance and stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
  • You can double the streusel to have extra streusel topping to garnish the cookies with after they bake.
  • Make certain that the unsalted butter for the cookie dough is cold and cubed. There is a case to be made when to use cold butter in cookies especially if you are looking for a crisp texture with a tender center.
  • Using a mixture of all-purpose flour and cake flour gives the cookies just the right tender, cake-y center.
  • Ice the cookies only after they are completely cool. 
  • For added texture to the streusel add shredded coconut, or finely chopped pecans or walnuts.

FAQ

How long do the cookies last?

Cookies will stay fresh for up to 3 days, but make sure they are stored in an air tight container.  If refrigerated, they will last up to a week, and up to 3 months in the freezer.

How do I make homemade cake flour?

Substitute ¾ of a cup of all-purpose flour, and remove 2 tablespoons.  Then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the flour.  Sift the flour and cornstarch twice so that it  aerates the mixture so that it will have the consistency of cake flour. 

Can I make these gluten free?

Yes! Replace both the All-Purpose flour and Cake flour with: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.

cookies stacked on top of each other on a white plate with coffee cake streusel filling and vanilla icing on top

Cookies or Cake?!

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coffee cake cookies on a gold cooling rack with icing on top of the cookies
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Coffee Cake Cookies

I've combined two of my favorite desserts into one and made these dreamy coffee cake cookies. They're made with a cinnamon sugar cookie, filled with a buttery streusel and a drizzle of powdered sugar icing on top. Enjoy with a cup of warm coffee and get ready to fall in love with your new favorite cookie!
4.78 from 45 reviews
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 large cookies
Calories: 555kcal

Ingredients

For the streusel

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 5 Tbsp. softened butter, unsalted

Cookie Dough

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbsp. cold butter, unsalted, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk

Icing

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • Prepare the streusel filling: In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together. Then work in the butter until small clumps form. (I just use my fingers to work it together). Refrigerate.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl: all purpose flour, cake flour, corn starch, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Place the cubed butter and sugars into the bowl of a stand mixer and secure the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on and cream until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and blend until mixed. Use a rubber spatula to knock off mixture if any is sticking to the sides of the bowl and mix again.
  • Gradually add in the dry ingredients, about 1/4 cup at a time. Mix until incorporated.
  • Scoop and roll cookie dough into ~8 large balls, or smaller if preferred. Place on prepared baking sheets.
  • Make an indent in each cookie, using your thumb or the end of a spoon/spatula or something similar. (I used the end of a wooden juicer).
  • Spoon ~1 Tbsp. of the streusel filling in each cookie and bake for ~9-11 minutes, or until edges appear set and are slightly golden. (They will continue to bake a bit more on the pan after you pull them out so pull them out just before you think they're done so they don't over-bake/become dry.)
  • *Optional step to get cookies perfectly circular: Immediatley after the cookies come out of the oven, place a circular cookie cutter or a circular drinking glass around one of the cookies (it should be larger than the cookie so you don’t cut off any edges) and give the cookies a spin. Swirling the cookie should help to smooth out any uneven edges.
  • If you have any leftover streusel, top the centers of each cookie with a little more streusel filling, if desired. Let cookies rest on cookie sheet for ~5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Whisk together the ingredients for the icing and once the cookies are cooled, drizzle icing over the tops and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Make the streusel up to three days in advance and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
  • You can also double the streusel so you have extra streusel topping to garnish the cookies with after they bake, if needed.
  • Ice the cookies only after they are completely cool. 
  • For added texture to the streusel add shredded coconut, or finely chopped pecans or walnuts.
  • Store cookies in at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 
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Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 555kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 445mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg

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17 Comments
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Jennifer
7 days ago

The cookies are delicious! It was quite a few steps for 8 cookies but I cut the dough balls in half to get 16. I really liked the step by step instructions, explanation and video demonstration! Thank you!

Brooke
19 days ago

So easy and absolutely delicious! Made these for a family pizza night. Everyone young and old raved about them!

Renee
27 days ago

Hi, I was wondering whether anyone has tried to make your cookies vegan, like these and the funfetti ones. Maybe the eggs and egg yolk quantities would not make this possible? What do you think? Thanks. Love your site

Renee
26 days ago
Reply to  Krolls Korner

Thank you so much for you reply!!! I really appreciate it. I will look at the recipe you mentioned. I will try to make one of your awesome cookie recipes subbing the eggs, somehow and, if it works out, I will get in touch, under the comments section. Thank you, again, and have a good day. Btw, you look so pretty 🙂

Sarah
2 months ago

For gluten free substitute for cake flour do we still pull 2tbsp out and add cornstarch as well?

Rose
4 months ago

Hi, these look delicious! I’ve made the dough; would you recommend refrigerating before baking, or no and just baking them from room temp? Thanks!

Amanda
6 months ago

Can these be frozen before baking?

Amanda
6 months ago
Reply to  Krolls Korner

I did and it worked wonderfully! Thank you!

D R
6 months ago

Delicious

Emily
6 months ago

Delicious as always! I might roll them in cinnamon sugar next time and try that out.

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