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Coffee Cake Cookies

Coffee Cake Cookies Recipe By: Cece Kirkwood This post may contain affiliate links.

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Calling all Gilmore Girls lovers! Grab a cup of coffee and snuggle up with these coffee cake cookies and your favorite season of Gilmore Girls (mine is definitely Season 1 or Season 4). 

I seriously cannot stress enough how incredible these cookies are. The cinnamon cookie base welcomes your taste buds into the classic coffee cake flavor. The next layer is the oh-so delicious, streusel topping. Brown sugar and cinnamon flavors, combined with melted butter create the perfect crunch on top of an already incredible cookie. 

No coffee cake is complete without vanilla glaze drizzled on top and completely satisfying everything you know about coffee cake. I like to use vanilla bean paste in the glaze as I think it gives it an extra boost of flavor, but vanilla extract is more than fine! 

Every bite of this cookie is even more perfect than the last. I cannot wait to see you dig into this delicious coffee cake cookie recipe. 

The Ingredients for the Coffee Cake Cookies

The Cookies are created using your basic cookie ingredients…

  • Butter: Butter gives cookies its structure and rich flavor. When creamed with sugar, butter can also act as a leavening agent, giving it an extra “lift”. Finally, this butter will be browned in the recipe which gives the cookies an extra nutty flavor and gives the cookies a wonderful chew on the outside, while still maintaining a soft inside. 
  • Flour: While butter does help with structure, flour is the real structure queen. Without flour, there would be nothing for the flour and other ingredients to bind to. 
  • Cinnamon: The key ingredient to ensure these cookies bring out the classic coffee cake flavor 
  • Baking soda: The main leavening agent. Baking soda is purely “sodium bicarbonate”, but it needs to be activated by an acid in order to produce CO2. When it’s combined with the flour and sugar, the gas is released and the cookies rise! 
  • Morton’s Kosher salt: Salt is a great balancer to the sweetness of the brown sugar and vanilla in this recipe. Kosher salt is extra salty so make sure you stick to the right amount of it in the recipe! Learn more about all the different types of salt here! 
  • Our sugars – brown sugar and granulated sugar: Sugar gives both moisture and flavor to our cookies, but too much of one or the other can alter the baked good, so be sure to measure carefully! 
  • Vanilla: flavor, flavor, flavor. Vanilla is the best flavor enhancer in a cookie and without it your cookies may turn out flat!  
  • Egg: Using the whole egg in your cookies provides structure, flavor, color and binding! Without an egg, these coffee cake cookies won’t bind together fully when baking. 

The Coffee Cake Cookies Process

The coffee cake cookie recipe is split into a couple main steps: prepare the ingredients, make the cookie dough, make the streusel, assemble the cookies & bake, and finally add the vanilla glaze before devouring.

Prepare the ingredients:

First up, you’ll want to brown the butter and let it cool:

  • To brown the butter, grab a light colored pan (this helps with being able to spot when the butter is browned enough) and place it over medium heat. 
  • Add the cubed butter to the pan and continuously stir with a wooden or rubber spoon to keep the heat moving evenly across all the butter.
  • The butter will quickly melt and start to foam and sizzle. This is good! Keep things going for another 5-8 minutes until the butter turns a nice golden brown. Hint: Once it starts to smell nice and toasty and nutty, you are about 3 minutes away from it being done! 
  • Immediately remove the butter from heat and place it into a heat proof container to completely cool to room temperature. 

Once the butter it browned and cooling, Preheat the oven to 375ºF and pre-measure the ingredients into separate bowls.

Make the coffee cake cookie dough:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set that aside. 
  • In a medium sized bowl, add the butter, both sugars and the vanilla.
  • Beat using an electric mixer (standing or handheld) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium-high speed.  
  • Add the egg and continue to mix until just combined. 
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until everything is combined. Be sure to wipe down the sides of the bowls to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. 
  • Scoop the cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place them onto a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or silicone mats are my favorite). 
  • Place the scooped cookies into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. 

Make the streusel:

  • Place the nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, flour and salt into a bowl and whisk it together.
  • Then add the melted butter, and using a fork, combine the ingredients until things start to look like wet sand, with large clumps throughout.

Assemble the cookies & bake:

  • Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and using a floured metal spoon, press the back side of the spoon into each cookie dough ball, creating a little crater in each cookie for the streusel topping (see photos above). 
  • Then, gently spoon a little bit of streusel on top of each cookie dough flattened ball. 
  • Bake the cookies for about 10 – 12 minutes, until just set. 
  • Remove from the oven and leave them on the pan for about 5 minutes, until removing to cool fully on a cooling rack. 

Once the cookies are cool, prepare the vanilla glaze

  • The final touches… 
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar, melted butter, vanilla and milk to a bowl and whisk together until smooth. 
  • Drizzle the glaze on top of the cookies to complete the coffee cake cookie.
  • Finally, devour. 

The Tips 

Why is it called “Coffee Cake” if there is no coffee in the recipe?

NEWS ALERT! There is no coffee in coffee cake! Wild right? The name comes from the fact that coffee cake is meant to be paired with coffee and breakfast items in the morning. Obviously this is a cookie, which is normally meant for dessert, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t eat this cookie with coffee in the morning as well.

Why did my streusel melt away?

Hopefully for my streusel recipe, it didn’t melt away, because I tested this one many many times. But in general, there are two reasons why streusel could melt away in the oven. Either your butter is too warm or there isn’t enough flour! I found that I had a ton of trouble with streusel when I used room temp butter or even cold butter and then rubbing it into the flour. This method works well for muffins and normal coffee cake, but cookies are completely different. So for this recipe, I chose to go with the melted butter method. It helps the flour and sugar clump together and when baked, it hardens just enough to add that perfect crunch to the cookie.

Why is this recipe in Grams?

Baking is a science and in science you want things to be exact and precise. The best way to do this is by weighing out your ingredients using a simple scale. Ever baked a cookie using the same recipe, yet somehow it turns out slightly different each time? That is because when measuring by volume, you can’t be as precise. It is vital that your ingredient ratios are accurate for a reliable bake every time. 

How long do the Coffee Cake Cookies last in the fridge?

The coffee cake cookies will last up to a week in the fridge, if placed into an airtight container. 

Do I have to let my cookies chill in the fridge before baking?

Yes! It’s important to get all the ingredients in the cookie dough to the same temperature before baking, otherwise the cookies will spread too much and the streusel topping might melt into the cookies! Check out my cookie baking tips for more on why chilling cookie dough can be super important! 

The Coffee Cake Cookies Recipe

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Coffee Cake Cookies

Baked Coffee Cake Cookies on a baking sheet

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Calling all Gilmore Girls lovers! Grab a cup of coffee and snuggle up with these coffee cake cookies and your favorite cozy show.

  • Author: Cece
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies

Ingredients

Scale

Cookie Base:

  • 1 stick of butter, browned
  • 160g of flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Morton’s Kosher salt
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 85g packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg

Streusel top: 

  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 60g flour
  • 100g brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg

Vanilla Glaze:

  • 115g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • ½ tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Brown the butter and let it cool:

  • To brown the butter, grab a light colored pan (this helps with being able to spot when the butter is browned enough) and place it over medium heat.
  • Add the cubed butter to the pan and continuously stir with a wooden or rubber spoon to keep the heat moving evenly across all the butter.
  • The butter will quickly melt and start to foam and sizzle. This is good! Keep things going for another 5-8 minutes until the butter turns a nice golden brown. Hint: Once it starts to smell nice and toasty and nutty, you are about 3 minutes away from it being done!
  • Immediately remove the butter from heat and place it into a heat proof container to completely cool to room temperature.

Prepare the cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF and pre-measure the ingredients into separate bowls.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set that aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, add the butter, both sugars and the vanilla.
  • Beat using an electric mixer (standing or handheld) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium-high speed.
  • Add the egg and continue to mix until just combined.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until everything is combined. Be sure to wipe down the sides of the bowls to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
  • Scoop the cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place them onto a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or silicone mats are my favorite).
  • Place the scooped cookies into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.

Prepare the streusel:

  • Place the nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, flour and salt into a bowl and whisk it together.
  • Then add the melted butter, and using a fork, combine the ingredients until things start to look like wet sand, with large clumps throughout.

Assemble the cookies:

  • Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and using a floured metal spoon, press the back side of the spoon into each cookie dough ball, creating a little crater in each cookie for the streusel topping (see photos above).
  • Then, gently spoon a little bit of streusel on top of each cookie dough flattened ball.
  • Bake the cookies for about 10 – 12 minutes, until just set.
  • Remove from the oven and leave them on the pan for about 5 minutes, until removing to cool fully on a cooling rack.

The final touches… 

  • Once the cookies are cool, prepare the vanilla glaze
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar, melted butter, vanilla and milk to a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  • Drizzle the glaze on top of the cookies to complete the coffee cake cookie.
  • Finally, devour.

 

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