Coffee Cake Cookies

Trading in the cake pan for a bake sheet, coffee cake gets a quick and easy cookie makeover that is every bit as moist and tender as its bigger cousin. Yes, this seems to be my new run: cake cookies.

Coffee Cake Cookies

At the chance of sounding like I’m bragging, but you know what, I’m super excited about this new cookie recipe of mine. And as luck would have it, I nailed it on the first run.

Okay, that’s enough self-congratulatory back patting. What I do want to say is I bake A LOT. With that you start to learn ratios and what combinations are needed to achieve the texture and flavor you are going for. I’m no expert baker-trust me, I will be show casing a fabulous fail this Friday.

Here’s something I don’t do. I don’t Google my idea before time. There’s no reason to unless I plan to adapt someone’s recipe or if I’m failing miserably at a executing a concept then I research it. In which case I will end up adapting a recipe.. I do Google afterwards to see what appears at the top of the search page then I go after those keywords-a little SEO bloggy bit for my fellow bloggers.

Besides that Google is really good about slapping you down to reality when you think you are so original and so clever. So if you by chance have an original idea-it better be really good and you better have another original one ready because I’m pretty sure there will be, at minimum, a few thousand people working on the same idea and expect them to do it better.

So there you go . . . cookies and life lessons all in one.

Coffee Cake Cookies

Coffee Cake Cookies

Seriously, these cookies are nothing short of being addictive. Yep, tooting the ol’horn again. My point is if you like coffee cake-make these!

A few notes:

  • These cakelets or cakesters, whatever you want to term them are soft and tender with a cake like crumb—these are not a chewy cookie variation.
  • Make sure to toast the pecans. Toasted nuts make a huge difference in baked goods, especially cookies.
  • Don’t be lazy and not gently press the streusel into the tops of the cookies. The streusel needs some body to stick to, ie. the dough. I did this on the first few cookies and the streusel just kind of melts and weeps to the edges. Take the two seconds and love your cookie with some gentle patting.
  • For those worried about flat cookies from melted butter, nope-not the case with these cookies. Nor will you need to use a whoopie pie or muffin top pan to keep the cookies from going flat and unshapely. In fact I’ve gotten lazy and the last few, including a few to come are made with melted butter.  Same goes for my method of mixing in the baking soda, baking powder and salt with the egg or wet portion instead of sifting it into the flour.

Coffee Cake Cookies

Makes 2 dozen (3 inch size cookies) | Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F


Pecan Streusel:

  • 1 ½ cups of pecans, toasted
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Cookie dough portion:

  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, browned
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cup unbleached all purpose flour


To make pecan streusel:

  1. Place pecans on a bake sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes or until pecans start to darken slightly and smell nutty. Set aside to cool. Chop pecans once cooled.
  2. Place chopped pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine. Add melted butter and toss to combine. Set aside.

To make cookie:

  1. Heat and melt butter until it is brown and nutty smelling. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Place egg, dark brown sugar and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and mix on medium speed with a paddle attachment and beat until mixture is glossy, about 1-2 minutes. Add sour cream, cream cheese, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt into mixture and beat to combine. Add in cooled butter and beat to combine. Turn off mixture.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula, fold flour into wet mixture. Add 1/2 the streusel mixture and fold to combine.
  4. Scoop out 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture and light roll into a ball and place cookie on bake sheet. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of streusel on top of cookie and lightly press onto the top of cookie.
  5. Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

*Cookies will keep for 2 days in a tightly sealed container

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44 Responses to “Coffee Cake Cookies”

  1. #
    Suzie — August 29, 2011 @ 6:03 am

    Just checking that there’s really no coffee in it. I am in bed sick and I could be missing it completely but I’ve tried really hard to find it so I thought I’d ask. I’m sorry if it’s me being sick (probably is LOL)

    I love your website. Thank you!!!!


    • Naomi replied: — August 29th, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

      Suzie-There’s no coffee in it. There’s actually no coffee in the coffee cake itself, So good question because I don’t know why it’s called coffee cake, other than people traditionally eat with coffee? Sorry for the not so insightful answer.


    • S. Santos replied: — February 22nd, 2015 @ 2:43 pm

      Suzie, This is my take on it, Back when women stayed home and had time to visit with neighbors, they would take a break, after the kids were off to school. They would have coffee and a snack, a sweet cake with there coffee. So coffee cake is pretty any sweet cake usually with some kind of fruit or cinnamon, served with coffee. I also googled it.


  2. #
    ella — August 29, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    Google is a dream crusher but then again that’s how I found your site and love the recipes so it’s not all that bad :)


  3. #
    Caroline — August 29, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    Keep on tuttin’ that horn Naomi! ;-) These look soo good!


  4. #
    Blog is the New Black — August 29, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

    Wow, these look WONDERFUL! My fiance would love them!


  5. #
    Michelle — August 29, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    Wonderful idea!


  6. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — August 29, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    Fairly confident I could polish off an entire batch of these by myself…perhaps I shouldn’t admit that online.

    Anything involving coffee cake and/or strudel is like my kryptonite. Yum!! :)


  7. #
    Chris @ TheKeenanCookbook — August 29, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    Awesome you got it on your first shot! I don’t drink coffee, but I’d gladly have these with a cup of tea.


  8. #
    Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets — August 29, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

    Ooo these look so good! And LOL with all the incredible treats you make, you have the right to congratulate yourself a bit ;p. I actually started my blog originally to share great recipes I’d found elsewhere, so I’m not ashamed of adapting other recipes. But it’s also great when you have a fabulous original idea like this one to share.


  9. #
    Jess Wakasugi — August 29, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    Wow, these look wonderful! They kind of remind me of muffin tops. Can’t wait to try these out!


  10. #
    Jeanette — August 29, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    These look amazing. I can’t wait to try these, especially since I love cakey cookies.


  11. #
    DessertForTwo — August 29, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

    What a great idea! I’m loving your cake-as-cookie recipes :)

    I hear ya about the recipe development. You get to a point where you simply know what works and what doesn’t. But using melted butter in a cookie and getting one as fluffy as this?? You’re a magician!
    I think my girlfriends would LOVE these at a brunch party! Thanks for sharing :)


  12. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — August 29, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    they look so good, I’m kinda glad that coffee cake has no coffee in it :) I prefer tea.


  13. #
    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen — August 29, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

    I so agree about the google bit. That’s exactly how I do it. If I have an exciting idea, I first start working on it and then google later to see if I could better it or like. Google never makes u feel original and it also somehow won’t let u be. Oh and I baked a White chocolate cream cheese cake cookie with pistachio the other day, we are soul sistah or what :-)Your look way better of of course!


  14. #
    Reem — August 29, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    OMG these look delicious!!! Lovely idea…
    I love these cuties, now I am craving for one.


  15. #
    Jen from How To: Simplify — August 29, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

    What a great recipe! I’m definitely adding this to my “to bake” list!


  16. #
    Gina — August 29, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

    Okay- it’s official- I’m blowing the diet for these!! YUM!


  17. #
    Alice — August 29, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

    I’m loving your cookie run and all the creativity behind it.


  18. #
    alli — August 29, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

    You should toot your horn these look RAD!


  19. #
    Lynn — August 29, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

    These look so yummy. You are killing me with your bake goods.


  20. #
    Aston — August 30, 2011 @ 12:46 am

    Just finished baking these delightful cookies! They taste just like the cake version. Great recipe!


  21. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — August 30, 2011 @ 12:55 am

    Baked goods and SEO tips?! Love it, lol.


  22. #
    Sukaina — August 30, 2011 @ 6:18 am

    These look divinely gorgeous. What a great idea! I love all your bakes creations so keep em coming. And thanks for the SEO tip too!


  23. #
    Winston Salem NC Sunrooms — August 30, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    I made these, but used the incorrect amount of sour cream. Tip: too much isn’t a good thing.


  24. #
    Sharon — August 30, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

    I can’t wait to make this and share it with my bridge group.


  25. #
    Anitza — August 30, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    This is pure bliss. I love coffee cake, so having it in a cookie form is just another way for me to enjoy it.


  26. #
    Brooke (Baking with Basil) — August 31, 2011 @ 12:19 am



  27. #
    Maria — September 1, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    What a great cookie!


  28. #
    Denise — September 2, 2011 @ 1:09 am

    I made these AND I was Queen for the day. Thank you so much for the great recipe! Everyone loved them.

    I did add toffee bits to the cookies. I’m sure they would be every bit as heavenly without them though.


  29. #
    Sasha @ The Procrastobaker — September 2, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    Im making these. No doubt at all. I ADORE coffee cake, and your write up is just too convincing! They sound amazing, and look it too :)


  30. #
    Kita — September 2, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    Holy #### These look awesome. Handsome loves himself some coffee cake but whenever I make one – even he can’t eat it all. Cookies? He’d just take the whole bag to work and be done in one sitting… wait maybe this isn’t a great idea…. lol ;)


  31. #
    Heather @ CurlyGirl — September 2, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

    All these yummy cookie recipes of yours are making me hungry!


  32. #
    Darla | Bakingdom — September 4, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    These look seriously fantastic! I love coffee cake soooo much. I love cookies soooo much. How can I not love them combined?! Can’t wait to try them! :)


  33. #
    Quyen - Kitchen Runway — September 11, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

    Naomi – these are beautiful! I love coffee cake and cookies so these are a genius idea!


  34. #
    Marisa — September 14, 2011 @ 7:24 am

    What a great idea – bet it tastes fantastic with that streusel topping. Love your photos as well – brilliantly executed.


  35. #
    Becky — March 17, 2013 @ 1:57 am

    These are cooling now– look and smell beautiful! Can’t wait to bring them to a party tomorrow. Thanks!


  36. #
    how to get into columbia university — May 2, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

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  37. #
    Gingergirl — May 5, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

    These were fabulous! Made a second batch to use up the leftover sour cream and cream cheese. Just a note, I live at high altitude (7000 feet) and I did raise the oven temp 15 degrees and baked them a few minutes more. Otherwise, no adjustments to the recipe. Also used an insulated cookie sheet.
    Has anyone tried these with a milk & powdered sugar glaze? I might have to try it on a few cookies.


  38. #
    Holly — December 5, 2014 @ 5:55 am

    Tried these a couple of nights ago. They may be the perfect cookie, and the recipe is Just So — came out exactly as described, which is a beautiful thing. Thank you!


  39. #
    Azu — February 20, 2015 @ 11:01 am

    I love this idea with the streusel. I really like cakey cookies (as I called them). Pinned!


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