Polish Coffee Cake


November 29, 2017

Polish Coffee Cake - literally "cake with crumbs" is the perfect dessert to enjoy while relaxing with friends and family. It pairs well with steamy mugs of coffee, cocoa or frothy eggnog.

Watch Becky make Polish Coffee Cake on Studio 5

  • Yields: 12-16 servings


Toppings Ingredients:

½ cup chopped pecans

⅓ cup flour

½ cup brown sugar

⅓ cup butter, softened

Filling Ingredients:

2 packages (8-oz ea) cream cheese, softened

½ cup white granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cake Ingredients:

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 egg

1 cup sour cream

1 lemon, zested

3 cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 baking pan with non-stick spray, set aside.

Mix together topping ingredients until crumbly; set aside.

Beat together filling ingredients until smooth; set aside.

Prepare cake. Cream together ½-cup butter and 1-cup white sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg, sour cream and the zest from 1 lemon.

Whisk together 3-cups flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; stir flour mixture into butter mixture until evenly blended. Gently press half the batter into the bottom of prepared 9x13 pan.

Spread cream cheese filling over batter in pan.

Drop teaspoons of remaining batter over top of cream cheese layer (note: batter will not completely cover cream cheese filling). Sprinkle nuts over top of cake. Bake 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold with steaming mugs of hot chocolate or frothy eggnog.

Coffee cake was not invented but rather it evolved from many recipes into what we have today. It literally means “cake with crumbs.” In the 1700’s it became common to enjoy this crumby yeast cake with (what else) coffee beverages. It is a practice still enjoyed today.

Yeast used to be the common form of "leavening" used in recipes and many old Polish Coffee Cake recipes still use yeast today. But baking powder and baking soda (with a little acid) do the job well. Little trivia, modern baking powder was invented around 1853 by a British chemist who wanted a way to make bread for his wife - who had egg and yeast allergies. Today baking powder is conveniently faster, and the choice of leavening is used in our recipe for Polish Coffee Cake.


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