My Grandma’s Coffee Bundt Cake is completely scandalous. I spent 18 years devouring this ethereally fluffy, lightly buttery, and cinnamon pecan-streusel coffee cake, completely unaware of the intrigue hiding in every slice.
This coffee bundt cake recipe may have deceived me for years, but I’m way too excited about it to keep it hush-hush. Call the tabloids! This cake has a story to tell.
On the outside, this cake appears to be straightforward:
- A classic bundt with a lovely shape, golden tone, and solid companionship for your cup of coffee (just like Cranberry Coffee Cake and Buttermilk Cake).
- Topped with the perfect vanilla glaze that hints at subtle sweetness and cues that this cake is a special treat.
5 Star Review
“Thank you!! I’d lost the recipe for my family’s traditional bundt cake and your Grandma had it!! Now I’m saved! This recipe is always a crowd-pleaser.”— Elaine —
However, there’s more than meets the eye to my grandma’s coffee bundt cake.
- The first surprise is a gorgeous interior swirl—a hidden ribbon of cinnamon sugar and chopped pecans that infuses the cake with warm flavor. (This Honey Swirled Coffee Cake also has a delightful hidden swirl).
- The second is the cake’s texture. Unlike dense and filling coffee cakes, my grandma’s bundt cake is like biting into a cloud.
- AND the scandal. Are you ready for this? This bundt cake isn’t from scratch. Its only ingredients? A box of yellow cake mix, a box of vanilla instant pudding mix, milk, eggs, and vanilla and butter extracts. That’s it.
Yes. My Grandma—who for years made hundreds of holiday rolls, pies (ahem, Grammy’s Lemon Cream Pie), and cookies 100% from scratch—uses a boxed mix and instant pudding to make her heavenly coffee cake.
Feeling a little duped? Me too. But this cake mix coffee cake is too delicious to care about honesty.
How to Make Grandma’s Coffee Bundt Cake
How a coffee bundt cake that is this easy—it’s one bowl and is ready to bake in less than 10 minutes—taste this fabulous is a mystery to me, but Grandma clearly knows best.
- Cake Mix. Even my Grandma, a devoted from-scratch baker, knew when to take a shortcut and grab a box of trusty cake mix.
- Pudding Mix. Grandma’s trick for adding tons of flavor and moisture to this rich and fluffy cake mix coffee cake.
- Milk + Water. Bring all the dry ingredients together.
- Eggs. Gives this bundt cake its fluffy lift, while also making it rich and tender.
- Vanilla Extract. Enhances the flavor of the cake.
- Butter Extract. My grandma’s secret for giving this coffee bundt cake rich butter flavor without actually using butter.
- Cinnamon + Sugar. A dynamic duo that gives this cake its hidden core of spiced sweetness. (Also responsible for making Cinnamon Crunch Bagels truly amazing.)
- Pecans. Add a lovely nutty crunch to this cinnamon-swirled coffee bundt cake.
- Powdered Sugar. Stirred together with milk, butter extract, and vanilla for a perfectly simple and delicious coffee cake glaze (also delicious on Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls).
- Stir together the cake and pudding mixes.
- Add the wet ingredients and beat for 6 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the streusel ingredients.
- Pour half of the batter into a greased bundt pan, top with streusel then pour over the remaining batter.
- Bake until golden, remove, let cool in the pan for several minutes, then remove.
- While the cake cools, prepare the glaze, then drizzle over the cooled cake. ENJOY!
- To Store. Store leftover coffee bundt cake well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- To Freeze. Freeze cake mix coffee cake in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Go ahead. Add a box of cake and pudding mix to your shopping cart. I won’t tell if you don’t!
Frequently Asked Questions
Butter extract can be found at most local grocery stores. Check the baking aisle near the vanilla extract. You can also find it online on Amazon and other major retailers.
I have not made this recipe with other pudding mix flavors so it would be an experiment. However, I imagine it would work just fine and open the door to TONS of fantastic flavor combinations.
I have not prepared this recipe in a loaf or cake pan so I cannot offer specific instructions on this method. If you choose to experiment, keep an eye on it in the oven since it will likely not need to bake for as long.
Grandma’s Coffee Bundt Cake
For the Cake:
- 1 box yellow cake mix (my Grandma’s recipe calls for Duncan Hines. I’ve also used Betty Crocker with excellent results)
- 1 package vanilla instant pudding (4-serving, 3.9 ounce size box)
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup water (my Grandma also suggests sherry or apricot juice)
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon butter extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Cinnamon Streusel:
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a large (10 or 12-cup) bundt pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cake and pudding mixes. Add the milk and water and stir to combine. Beat in the eggs one at a time, combing well after each, then add the butter and vanilla extracts. Beat for 6 minutes at high speed.
- In a small bowl, stir together the streusel ingredients: granulated sugar, cinnamon, and pecans.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with all of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then pour the remaining batter over the top.
- Bake the cake in the center of the oven until golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 8 minutes, then turn the cake out of the pan and let cool completely.
- To make the glaze, beat together the powdered sugar, milk, butter extract, and vanilla extract until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake. Slice and serve.
- TO STORE: Store leftover butter bundt coffee cake well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze bundt cake in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Join today and start saving your favorite recipes
Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.Sign Me Up