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How to prepare a coffee-flavored cake using a cake mix?

This Yellow Cake Mix is delicious. Another simple winner for a quick breakfast or dessert is coffee cake! I like recipes that begin with a cake mix because they save me both time and mess. And this breakfast cake has that perfectly soft cake layer topped with a sweet, nutty crumble. Perfection in a coffee cake!

Yellow Cake Mix Coffee Cake

Ingredients for cake mix coffee cake

  • Box Yellow Cake Mix — We tested this recipe using a variety of cake mixes and they all turned out fantastic! Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, and King Arthur are all excellent bakers. But, it did not work well using a gluten-free cake mix.
  • Unsalted Butter — For a rich topping, melt butter and set aside to cool. Vegan butter or coconut oil can also be substituted, but the mixture may be a bit runnier, but will still bake fine.
  • Light Brown Sugar Brown sugar, which is perfectly rich and sweet, gives the deep taste of molasses.
  • Chopped Pecans  — Pecans are usually my go-to nut in sweet dishes, but you may use whatever nut you choose or eliminate the nuts entirely.
  • Large Eggs — Be sure eggs are room temperature, otherwise it can adjust bake time and change the texture. See the section below for advice on fast bringing eggs to room temperature.
  • Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt — Yogurt may be replaced for a healthy choice that has little to no taste difference.
Yellow Cake Mix Coffee Cake

How to make a perfect coffee cake

Two important components should be included in the perfect coffee cake. Deliciously soft and moist cake coupled with a brown sugar crumble in the middle and on top. I love how the middle layer of crumble gets soft and a little gooey, and the topping gets a little crispy. A fantastic blend of tastes and textures.

Start by Using a third of a box of cake mix, combine it with brown sugar, butter, and pecans. This causes the crumble to form. Could it get any simpler?

Next, stir up the remainder of the cake mix with room temperature sour cream (this makes it incredibly fluffy and moist) and room temperature eggs.

how to get room temperature ingredients — fast!

Eggs — speed up the process of getting eggs to room temperature by dropping them gently into a bowl or cup full of hot water (not boiling) and let sit 5 minutes. Done!

Yogurt or Milk — To fast bring yogurt to room temperature, put it in a microwave-safe dish and microwave at 50% power for 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between.

Butter — the best way to soften butter to room temperature is to get a tall glass and fill with hot water. Let it to rest for 2-3 minutes, or until the glass is warm. Turn the glass upside down over the wrapped butter and pour off the water. Allow for a 5-minute rest. This will gradually warm the butter all the way to the middle.

Last, pour half the coffee cake mix into your prepared baking pan, then add ½ the crumble, then one more layer of cake mix and top with the rest of the crumble. Push the crumble into the top gently with your palms to ensure it adheres properly.

Bake it up for 45 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let it to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Yellow Cake Mix Coffee Cake

More Ways to Enjoy Coffee Cake

This simple cake recipe has been tested in a variety of ways by readers; here are a few of the most popular methods to prepare this coffee cake recipe:

  • In a Bundt Pan – To bake this recipe in a bundt pan, use the same procedures for the cake and topping. However, rather than saving half the crumb mixture for the “top”, (since the top of a bundt cake will end up being the bottom) make 2 layers of crumb in the center of the cake. The cake will bake quicker, so check for doneness after 30 minutes. After turning out the bundt cake, feel free to top it off with a glaze, such as this one on top of our Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Scones.
  • As Muffins – To make coffee cake muffins, combine the batter and topping according per package guidelines. Instead, oil or line a 12-cup muffin tray and stack each muffin cup. Bake for 25 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the middle.

How to make extra large bakery-style muffins

It’s quite simple to prepare these bakery-style muffins, which are large enough for a substantial breakfast. Using these 6 cup muffin pans, divide the batter and topping equally among the 6 cups. Increase the bake temperature to 425 degrees F and increase bake time to 8 minutes and 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, checking center for doneness with a toothpick or fork.

How to store coffee cake

Coffee cake will keep fresh for about 1 week in the fridge when properly stored. To keep the cake from drying out, just wrap it in foil or plastic wrap.

Let the coffee cake to cool fully before removing it from the baking dish. Cover the whole cake with saran wrap, preferably in two layers. Next, to prevent freezer burn, store it in a ziploc bag. When frozen, the cake can keep for up to three months. Let to defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Slice and serve!

Recipe Modifications

This coffee cake recipe is a great place to start and a blank canvas for you to experiment with.

  • Include blueberries or raspberries into the batter. Use one cup of your preferred fresh or frozen berries – incorporate gently into the wet ingredients. To account for the moisture from the berries, increase the baking time by roughly 5 minutes.
  • To the wet batter, add one teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. This intensifies the flavor and adds a deeper flavor.
  • To balance out the sweetness of the topping, try adding one teaspoon of almond extract.
  • Add espresso powder or granulated espresso to the wet batter to add a delicious coffee flavor right into the cake. This makes it the ideal accompaniment to your morning cup of coffee.

If you love cake for breakfast like I do, try our Banana Coffee Cake Recipe or my absolute favorite Apple Upside Down Cake. Both are gluten-free and make an excellent accompaniment to my daily cup(s) of coffee.

Can I make this coffee cake without a box cake mix?

Yes! To replace the box mix, simply stir together the following:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Continue to make the cake as per the instructions below, using the above mixture as a direct replacement for the box cake mix. It was simple!

Yellow Cake Mix Coffee Cake

Yellow Cake Mix Coffee Cake

Amazing coffee cake using a yellow cake mix. Simple and really wonderful!

Print Pin Rate

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 400kcal


  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or nut of your choice
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 12 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Set aside a 9″x13″ baking dish lightly greased with cooking spray.
  • Take 23 cup of cake mix from the box and blend it with the melted butter, brown sugar, and chopped nuts; leave aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine remaining cake mix with the room temperature eggs and sour cream, mixing with a wooden spoon until batter is smooth. Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan. Half of the crumb mixture should be on top. Layers should be repeated.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.


I love how easy this recipe is and quick it comes together. I hope you have as much fun as I do!

**This recipe has been revised to call for a 9″x13″ baking dish.


Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 346mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 370IU

Yellow Cake Mix Coffee Cake - Super easy and oh so delicious! #cakemix #coffeecake #easycake

Related Questions

  • What happens if you add coffee in cake mix?

    It will provide a deeper, richer taste to the finished cake. You may use leftover coffee or make a new pot (but be sure to let it cool beforehand). You’ll get rich, nutty flavor from the coffee that you might think would make your cake taste like coffee, but it works, even if you’re not making a chocolate cake.

  • Can I replace water with coffee in cake mix?

    Yeah, indeed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the flavor of any chocolate mix—whether for cake or brownies—benefits big time from a swig of Joe. (But, who doesn’t?) Simply substitute water for coffee, mix and bake as usual and voila: Chocolatey deliciousness!

  • Can you put coffee in a box cake?

    Speaking of coffee, instead of using hot water to make your cake mix, try substituting it with strong brewed coffee. Coffee and chocolate is a match made in heaven, and will really pop the chocolate flavor.

  • How to add coffee to chocolate box cake?

    Add Espresso Powder or Instant Coffee
    The simplest way to accentuate the chocolate flavor in your baked goods is to add a teaspoon or so of espresso powder or instant coffee granules. Since espresso powder is more concentrated, you only need a teaspoon to get the job done.