triple berry cream cheese coffee cake
Never underestimate the powers of a good coffee cake. This Triple Berry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake satisfies in all the ways: it warms your heart, tickles your taste buds and fills your belly. Each bite contains fresh berries, cheesecake filling and an exceedingly thick crumb topping. Serve with a cup of hot coffee or tea for the ultimate coffee cake experience.
I am putting to rest all of my past experiences with coffee cakes — the kind you buy at the store where the dough is spongy (and not in a good way), the cream cheese filling is thin and bland and the icing drizzle on top is pretty, sure, but cloyingly sweet… and the whole thing just isn’t very satisfying.
While I admit, yes, I loved these cakes for weekend breakfasts of my youth, I am (and my taste buds are) older and wiser and enlightened to the idea of what a coffee cake really should be — and it should always and forever henceforth be just like this Triple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. And I’ll tell you why.
WHY I LOVE THIS CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE RECIPE
Here is precisely why I love this coffee cake recipe: The cake itself is hefty, but not dense. It’s delicately flavored with vanilla and holds up its toppings, including a ribbon of perfectly sweet cream cheese filling, fresh berries and a thick and dreamy crumb topping. One slice will actually fill you up and keep you that way for hours. That’s why I love this coffee cake.
I also love it because it comes together with ease: Just make the filling, the cake batter and the streusel topping (all of which have very similar ingredients, so no need to go out and purchase one gazillion ingredients here), layer them in a pan with a sprinkle of berries in the middle, then bake it all together for about an hour. Let the cake cool, then slice and serve. Hey! We’ve just made the best coffee cake of our lives!
TIPS FOR THE BEST-EVER COFFEE CAKE
Now that we’ve covered the basics on why we need to make this coffee cake, let me share a few tips for achieving full coffee cake baking bliss:
1. Yes, of course you can substitute the berries. Use all blueberries, or all raspberries, or add in some strawberries. I haven’t baked this before with frozen berries, but I am fairly confident they would work well in this recipe, too (frozen, not thawed).
2. I know this is annoying if you don’t already have one, but I highly recommend using an 8-inch springform pan for this recipe. You can use a 9-inch pan, but the cake just won’t have the same height and thickness of layers as it would in a smaller pan. If you do decide to bake it in a 9-inch pan, be sure to adjust the bake time (aka bake for less time).
3. Spray your hands with cooking spray before you press the cake batter into the bottom of the pan. The batter is fairly thick (to hold up the toppings) but it will spread easily with patience. As for the cake batter that goes on top of the berries, place it on in small dollops and gently spread it with a spoon or your fingers as best as you can — but don’t stress if it doesn’t cover the top in an even layer.
4. Use a sharp serrated knife and cut the cake in a gentle sawing motion when slicing — otherwise, the crumb topping will be hard to cut through and will push into the cake when you cut into it.
Friends, if this Monday has you feeling a little, well, like it’s a Monday, I suggest you give this coffee cake a try. It’s the next best thing to coffee itself, of course, to perk you up.
For the filling:
- 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup fresh blackberries
- 2/3 cup fresh blueberries
- 2/3 cup fresh raspberries
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the streusel topping:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Heat oven to 350F. Spray bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg until well combined. Set aside.
- Make the cake: In a separate large bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda until well combined. In another large bowl using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium- high speed 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, then stir in sour cream and vanilla. Stir flour mixture gradually into butter mixture until batter is just combined.
- Spread two-thirds of batter into bottom of prepared pan. Pour and spread cream cheese filling over top. Sprinkle with berries. Top with dollops of remaining one-third batter; spread gently with a spatula as best as you can without crushing the berries (it’s OK if the batter doesn’t completely cover the berries and cream cheese).
- Make the streusel topping: In a small bowl, stir flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter until well combined and mixture looks like wet sand. Sprinkle evenly over top of cake.
- Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes until top of cake is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a cooling rack. Run a paring knife around edge of cake before gently loosening from pan.
- Store tightly covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.