Mouth-Watering Sara Lee Coffee Cake Recipe

Are you a fan of Sara Lee’s famous Butter Coffee Cake but tired of spending money on store-bought pastries? Look no further than this copycat recipe. With a deliciously tender twisted crumb, filled with cinnamon and sugar, this cake makes for the perfect breakfast treat or afternoon indulgence.

While the original Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake is undeniably delicious, making it at home can be even better. Not only will you have the satisfaction of creating something from scratch, but you’ll also be able to customize the ingredients to your liking. Plus, with this recipe, you won’t have to wait in long lines or worry about getting to the store before they sell out.

So turn up your oven to 350 degrees and get ready to impress your family and friends with this homemade coffee cake. Trust me, they won’t believe that it’s not the original Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake - Copycat
Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake – Copycat

If you’re a fan of sweet, indulgent treats, then you’re in for a real treat with this copycat recipe for Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake. Not only is it just as delicious as the original, but it’s also incredibly easy to make and can be customized to your liking. Here are just a few reasons why you’ll fall in love with this recipe:

– It’s tender and twisted: The combination of cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, and eggs make for a rich and tender crumb that melts in your mouth. And the cinnamon sugar streusel swirled throughout the cake adds an enticing twist that elevates this dessert beyond the usual boring pound cake.

– It’s a breakfast treat: Who says you can’t have cake for breakfast? This coffee cake is the perfect morning indulgence, especially when accompanied by a hot cup of Joe. The aroma alone will get your taste buds watering!

– It’s even better than the original: Dare we say it? This copycat recipe might even surpass the original Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake. By making it fresh at home, you’re able to create a more homemade taste with the option to tweak the recipe’s proportions of vanilla and cinnamon. You’ll get all of that homemade flavor at a fraction of the cost.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try – we promise that it won’t disappoint!

Ingredient List

 This butter coffee cake will transport you straight to grandma's kitchen!
This butter coffee cake will transport you straight to grandma’s kitchen!

Here’s what you’ll need to make this copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffee Cake recipe:


  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of sour cream

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk (or more, as needed)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the best results, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before you start. This ensures that everything incorporates well and the cake turns out tender and moist.

The Recipe How-To

 Fluffy, buttery and full of flavor, this coffee cake is a true showstopper.
Fluffy, buttery and full of flavor, this coffee cake is a true showstopper.

Now, the time you’ve been waiting for: Let’s get to baking this delicious Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake – Copycat Recipe!

Prep Time

There are two main parts to the recipe preparation: making the cake mix and the butter streusel. First, let’s start with the cake mix preparation. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter.

The Cake Mix Preparation

To make the cake mix, grab a mixing bowl and beat together 1 box of yellow cake mix, 1 package of instant vanilla pudding, 1½ cups milk, 2 eggs, 2 cups water, and ½ cup vegetable oil for 8 minutes on medium speed.

After that time is up, add in 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and mix for an additional minute. Then pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

The Butter Streusel Preparation

Now onto one of the stars of this recipe: the butter streusel. In another bowl, mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

After it’s well mixed add in 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter and stir until a crumbly mixture forms. Sprinkle this over the top of the unbaked cake.

Bake In The Oven

Bake for around 45-50 minutes or until it’s golden brown on top. Check if it’s ready by inserting a toothpick into the center of your cake. If it comes out clean then you’re good to go!

Allow your cake to cool down a bit before serving. You can even wait until it reaches room temperature before adding some powdered sugar on top for an extra sweet touch.

Now you have yourself a delicious coffee cake that is perfect as a twisted breakfast treat or as a dessert!

Substitutions and Variations

 Make your mornings extra special with a slice of this heavenly coffee cake.
Make your mornings extra special with a slice of this heavenly coffee cake.

One of the great things about this copycat Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake recipe is that it allows for several substitutions and variations to fit your preferences. Here are a few ideas to help you tailor the recipe to your liking:

– Flour: You can use all-purpose flour or swap out up to half of it with whole wheat flour for a slightly denser, nuttier flavor.

– Sugar: If you prefer a less sweet version of the cake, you can reduce the sugar by a quarter cup or use a sugar substitute like Splenda.

– Eggs: If you’re looking for a vegan option, you can replace the eggs with mashed banana, applesauce, or flaxseed mixed with water.

– Streusel: Instead of using cinnamon sugar for the streusel topping, try using chopped nuts or dried fruit for added texture and flavor.

– Extracts: Add a touch of almond extract or lemon zest to the batter for an extra burst of flavor.

– Glaze: If you’d like to add a little something extra to the coffee cake, try drizzling on a powdered sugar glaze made with milk and vanilla extract.

By experimenting with different ingredients and variations, you can make this classic recipe truly your own. No matter what changes you make, though, one thing is certain: this buttery, tender twisted breakfast treat filled with cinnamon is even better than the original Sara Lee coffee cake.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect balance between sweet and savory, this coffee cake is a delight for your taste buds.
The perfect balance between sweet and savory, this coffee cake is a delight for your taste buds.

With its tender, twisted crumbs and delicious butter streusel, this Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake is a baked breakfast treat filled to the brim with flavor. When it comes to serving this cake, there are a variety of options depending on your preferences.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy this cake is as a brunch offering. Pair it with fresh fruit, whipped cream or yogurt for a complete and satisfying meal. The sweet cinnamon sugar in each bite makes for the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, making it an excellent breakfast choice

This coffee cake is also an excellent option for an afternoon tea or coffee time snack. Along with your favorite hot beverage, this rich and decadent cake will make for a delightful and indulgent pairing that will surely satisfy your cravings.

For a never-fail dessert option that will impress all of your guests, serve this cake after dinner with vanilla ice cream or any other topping that you prefer. The richness of the buttery flavor combined with the fluffy texture of the cake pairs incredibly well with vanilla ice cream or even caramel sauce, taking this coffee cake to the next level.

Whether you’re serving it at breakfast, brunch, tea time, or as dessert, this coffee cake recipe Sara Lee Butter Coffee is sure to be a hit among family and friends alike. So go ahead and get creative with how you choose to serve it – let your taste buds lead the way!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This coffee cake recipe is just like Sara Lee's, but better!
This coffee cake recipe is just like Sara Lee’s, but better!

One of the best things about this Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake copycat recipe is that it can be easily made ahead of time. You can bake the cake up to three days prior to serving, and it will still taste fantastic! I recommend storing it in an airtight container at room temperature for the best results. You may also choose to wrap it in plastic wrap before you put it in the container to keep it moist.

If you have any leftovers, which is unlikely, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. When reheating, I suggest wrapping a slice in a damp paper towel and microwaving it for 10-15 seconds.

Furthermore, you can also freeze this butter coffee cake so that you can enjoy it later on. Make sure to let the cake cool completely before wrapping it in plastic wrap and foil to store it in a freezer-safe container. It will stay fresh for up to three months in the freezer.

To reheat a frozen cake slice, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator or on the countertop for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can warm it up by placing a slice on a microwave-safe dish and microwaving it for 20-30 seconds. It will taste just as good as when you first baked it!

In conclusion, you can confidently prepare this butter coffee cake ahead of time and store or freeze any leftovers without worrying about losing its freshness or flavor. With these versatile storage options available, you can enjoy a tender twisted breakfast treat filled with cinnamon even better than the original Sara Lee cake recipe anytime you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A generous amount of streusel and brown sugar make this coffee cake simply irresistible.
A generous amount of streusel and brown sugar make this coffee cake simply irresistible.

A great cup of coffee aside from the ambiance, and coffee beans, needs the right cream or pastry to complement it. As a barista, I’ve tried several recipes throughout my career, including Sara Lee’s Butter Coffee Cake. And as much as I love the original recipe, making a copycat version requires technique and some secret tips that I will be sharing with you now.

First, make sure that you are using room temperature ingredients, particularly for the egg and butter. This will give your cake a nice texture and ensure everything mixes well in the bowl. For your flour, use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour to make the cake tender and twisted.

Secondly, mix your pudding according to the box instructions before adding it to the cake batter with water and eggs. Beat these ingredients well for 8 minutes on medium speed to give them a fluffy texture. You can also add cinnamon sugar and mix it well into the batter for an even better taste.

One key ingredient that makes this copycat recipe stand out is its butter streusel topping. Ensure that you use unsalted butter for your streusel coffee cake because salted butter may overpower other flavors. You can also try combining different extracts like vanilla or almond extract with your butter streusel to customize it to your liking.

Lastly, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) before baking the cake in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. After pouring the batter into the pan, add little dollops of butter on top of you mix as this helps to give it that crumbly texture.

By following these tips and tricks, you’re guaranteed a delicious homemade version of Sara Lee’s Butter Coffee Cake. Don’t forget to experiment with different toppings and serve this tender twisted breakfast treat with a piping hot cup of coffee- just like in coffee shops!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this copycat recipe for Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake is a must-try recipe for all coffee cake lovers out there. With its tender and twisted texture filled with the even better cinnamon sugar streusel, you can have a taste of the original Sara Lee Coffee Cake without having to leave your home.

By following the instructions provided in this recipe article, you can easily make a delicious and satisfying coffee cake that’s perfect for breakfast or dessert. Plus, with the option to make-ahead, store, and reheat the cake, you can have a slice anytime you want to treat yourself.

So what are you waiting for? Gather all the ingredients needed and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Trust me, as a barista who appreciates good food and drink, you’ll love the taste of this Copycat Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake just as much as I do.

Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake – Copycat Recipe

Posted in response to a request. Found in an online search. I have to admit, it sounds pretty good…. *making note to self to try this soon* EDITED TO SAY: I made this recipe yesterday to take to an early morning meeting at work. It was quite good and everyone liked it… even folks who don’t generally like sweet things. I followed the directions exactly… even beating the batter for exactly 8 minutes. The results weren’t "gag me w/ a spoon" sweet, thankfully and, altho buttery, not as buttery as the real thing. I will keep the recipe on file for future "I need to take something breakfast-y" reference.

  • 1 (25 ounce) box yellow cake mix (Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, or Pillsbury)
  • 1 (3 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter flavor extract
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter flavor extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350*.
  2. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan.
  3. Beat cake mix, pudding, water, eggs, and oil for 8 minutes at medium speed.
  4. Add butter extract and vanilla.
  5. Pour 1/2 of mixture in buttered 9 x 13 pan.
  6. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle 1/2 mixture over batter. Spread rest of batter and rest of sugar mixture on top.
  7. Swirl knife through. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Drizzle with the following: 1 cup powdered sugar 1 Tbsp hot milk 1/2 tsp butter extract 1/4 tsp vanilla.
< 60 Mins, Breads, Breakfast, Brunch

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