Home Copycat Recipes Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake (Easy Recipe)

Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake (Easy Recipe)

The next time you’re craving something sweet for breakfast, try this Sara Lee butter coffee cake recipe.

It’s moist, fluffy, and absolutely divine.

Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake
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Easy Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake Recipe

Here’s the first thing you need to know about coffee cakes: they don’t contain coffee.

They’re only called such because they’re best served with coffee!

And nothing goes better with your java than this copycat Sara Lee recipe. It’s tender, tasty, and impossibly easy.

The moist cake with sweet-spiced cinnamon sugar gets topped off with a delectable glaze. It’s like the real deal except a hundred times easier.

How so, you ask? You skip the homemade pastry-dough. Instead, just tear open boxed yellow cake mix, and you’re all set.

Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake Ingredients: yellow cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, oil, water, eggs, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and powdered sugar

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • Yellow Cake Mix – This recipe is simply a doctored yellow cake mix, and you can use any brand you prefer. My top choices are Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, and Pillsbury.
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding – The not-so-secret ingredient that makes boxed cake mixes ten times better, both in flavor and texture.
  • Vegetable Oil – Cakes require fat for richness and moisture. While this is technically a butter-flavored cake, it’s much better to use vegetable oil to ensure it’s super moist!
  • Water – What better way to saturate the dry ingredients than with the universal solvent?
  • Eggs – They bind the ingredients together and give structure to the cake.
  • Butter Flavor Extract – To fulfill the rich butter flavor.
  • Vanilla – To enhance the cake’s flavor.

For the Cinnamon Sugar:

  • Granulated Sugar and Cinnamon – No explanation needed.

For the Glaze:

  • Powdered Sugar – To sweeten the glaze. Don’t use granulated sugar here, or your glaze will be gritty.
  • Hot Milk – It has to be hot to help dissolve the powdered sugar.
  • Butter Flavor Extract – For that lovely buttery flavor.
  • Vanilla – To enhance the glaze’s flavor.
Butter Coffee Cake

How to Make Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake

1. Make the batter.

This part is so easy you barely have to use your brain! Just mix the yellow cake mix, pudding, water, eggs, and oil – all at the same time. 

Beat them with an electric mixer over medium speed for 8 minutes. I find that this is the perfect duration to yield the best batter.

2. Make the Cinnamon Sugar.

Easy – just mix cinnamon and sugar. Then, boom, you’re done.

3. Assemble the cake batter.

Spread half of the batter into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan. The batter will be thick, so you’ll want to use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly.

Top the batter with half of the cinnamon sugar.

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Repeat with the remaining batter and cinnamon sugar.

4. Bake the cake.

Bake the cake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C) for 30 to 35 minutes.

Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake to test for doneness. It’s ready when the toothpick comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs sticking to it.

5. Make the glaze.

While the cake is in the oven, whisk together the powdered sugar, hot milk, butter flavor extract, and vanilla until smooth.

6. Garnish the cake.

While the cake is still warm, pour the prepared glaze on top. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake on a plate with fork

Tips for the Best Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake

Want to make the most tender copycat Sara Lee butter coffee cake? Just follow these tips:

  • Use room temperature eggs. They incorporate more easily with other ingredients. If you don’t have time to wait, submerge them in warm water for 1 minute. It will do the trick!
  • Spread the batter with a spatula. A spatula can help spread the thick batter evenly in the pan. You can also use a large metal spoon. Either way, it will need guiding to the edges for a smooth cake.
  • Check the cake early. Test the cake for doneness 5 minutes before the timer dings. All ovens vary, so you want to check it early to avoid a dry cake.
  • Cut the cake with a serrated knife. It ensures clean cuts for the perfect slice. A Chef’s knife will squash the cake rather than cut neatly through it.
  • Serve a big slice with a hot drink. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or your favorite latte all pair nicely. The cake tastes great with pretty much any cozy drink.
  • Jazz things up with toppings. Fresh fruit and whipped cream are a delightful pairing. Or go all out with warm, vanilla-infused custard/pastry cream. Yum!

Recipe Variations

Are you looking to mix things up? Try these scrumptious variations:

  • Add some crunch with nuts. Add chopped pecans or almonds into the batter. You can also sprinkle them on top for more flavor and texture.
  • Make it extra special with chocolate. I like to add mini chocolate chips. They’ll blend well into the batter and make it more decadent.
  • Try a simple streusel on top. Just mix flour, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until it’s like crumbled cookie dough. It’s easy and delicious.
  • Go even bigger with a layer of pie filling. Blueberry, cherry, apple – they all pair well with the spiced cake. Just add one to the middle and bake.
Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake Close Up

How to Store Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake

You can store butter coffee cake leftovers in the fridge, freezer, or at room temperature.

Either way, I recommend reheating. Warm slices are the best!

To Store: Cover the cake with plastic wrap and store it at room temperature or refrigerate. It will stay good for up to 3 days.

To Freeze: Double-wrap the cake (or individual slices) with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then freeze for up to 3 months.

To Reheat: Microwave individuals slices on low power for 10-15 seconds.

To Thaw: Thaw frozen slices on the counter for about 30 minutes. You can also warm them in the microwave on low power for about 20-25 seconds.

More Coffee Cakes You’ll Love

Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake (Easy Recipe)

Servings

8

servings
Calories

763

kcal
Total time

45

minutes

The next time you’re craving something sweet for breakfast, try this Sara Lee butter coffee cake recipe. It’s moist, fluffy, and absolutely divine.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 1 (15. 25 oz) box yellow cake mix

  • 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

  • For the Cinnamon Sugar:
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

  • For the Topping:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon hot milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon butter flavor extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the yellow cake mix, instant pudding, water, eggs, and oil with an electric mixer at medium speed for 8 minutes. Mix in butter extract and vanilla. Pour half of the batter into the greased pan.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle half of it over the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top, followed by the remaining cinnamon sugar. Swirl the batter with a knife (optional).
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar, hot milk, butter flavor extract, and vanilla until well combined.
  • Pour the glaze while the cake is still warm. Serve warm, and enjoy!
Sara Lee Butter Coffee Cake

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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