Coffee Cake with Strudel (Streusel) Topping

There is something interesting going on linguistically with this cake, and by interesting, I mean wrong. The topping is called ‘strudel’, but is in fact ‘streusel’. Strudel is German for ‘whirlpool’ and refers to a layered pastry, whereas ‘streusel’ is German for ‘sprinkle’ and refers to a sugar-crumb-spice mixture which is used as topping. Take that, Good Housekeeping  Cookery Compendium (volume 3: Picture Cake Making, chapter 11 ‘Large Cakes and Gateaux’, Waverley, 1956)! Your reputation is no match for my pedantry and German A-Level!


  • Very easy and light work to put together.
  • This makes a lot of  fairly sticky streusel. I used brown bread crumbs (I rarely eat white bread)  but white sugar as brown wasn’t specified (but is in other recipes). There was a half-inch thick layer of small chunks by the time I had sprinkled it on top of the cake.
  • In lieu of coffee extract, I used 2 tsp of instant, dissolved in 1tsp of hot water.
  • It needed a lot more that 40 minutes. I preheated the oven properly and gave it an hour by which time the centre was just cooked and the top was starting to burn. (Yay.)


Ass you can see, the cake buckled the sides of my silicon loaf tin, failed to rise properly, cracked in the middle and did not cook evenly. It tastes strongly of butter and the top is as hard as toast crust. It’s very nice. When I bake this again, which I will, I think a better plan would be to use a round tin and marble some of the streusel through the batter.

Edit: The following day the topping had softened considerably and was crisp, rather than crunchy!

Strewed by Elly

8 responses to “Coffee Cake with Strudel (Streusel) Topping

  1. That’s a very high oven setting for this sort of cake. Some researchers, many years ago, tried using lower-than-usual settings for cakes, and found that a slight reduction, i.e. one gas number, improved the result, giving a more evenly-cooked cake.

  2. Do you think the silicone pan is a problem? I always wonder how well they work.

  3. Preselyanne – a good question! Silicone bakeware fans claim it distributes heat more evenly, however this is the second cake I’ve had recently which was very unevenly cooked in a silicon loaf tin.

    I think for this cake, the high temp was the issue – also I was baking it in a small top oven, so perhaps this contributed to the almost burnt top.

    This cake ( was baked in the same silicone loaf tin and cooked perfectly.

  4. My German grandmother-in-law used these same ingredients to make her coffee cake, only she pressed the cake part into a greased pie dish,then often sliced fruits like apples or peaches onto the dough before topping with the struessel crumbs. It was baked at 350* for about 25 min.

  5. Liz, thank you for commenting! Especially relevant to me because my mum has just informed me that her apple trees have had a bumper crop this year.

  6. Talking of apples, some streusel toppings are just spiced crumble mixture.

  7. Nadine Martin

    looking for the coffee cake recipe that had the eggs separated–folded in the whites. It also had the streusel topping. That page was so well used I think it just blew away!

  8. Sorry Nadine, we don’t have that one.