Coffee Cake Cookies Are the Coziest Fall Treat

By Jesse Szewczyk, TheKitchn.com
Jesse Szewczyk, TheKitchn.com
Jesse Szewczyk, TheKitchn.com
November 21, 2021 Updated: November 21, 2021

It’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of cookies, but what you might not know is that I also really love coffee cake (so much so, in fact, that I created a 10-minute version). But instead of enjoying the two treats separately, I thought it would be far more exciting to combine them, creating the ultimate cozy dessert for fall. Enter: crisp and chewy coffee cake cookies, complete with brown sugar and cinnamon, a buttery streusel coating, and a drizzle of easy icing.

This step-by-step recipe will show you how to make coffee cake cookies in four simple steps—all without having to bust out your mixer. Enjoy them with coffee for breakfast, with milk for dessert, or as part of a killer ice cream sandwich. Here’s how to do it.

Make a Simple Sugar Cookie Dough

You’ll start by mixing up a super-easy sugar cookie dough by hand. Whisk together melted butter with white and brown sugars, vanilla extract, and one egg plus one egg yolk. (The extra yolk makes the cookies super tender and chewy.) Then mix in your dry ingredients—flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda—and the dough is done!

Whip Up a Buttery Streusel

After you make the dough, you’ll whip up a simple coffee cake-style streusel that you’ll roll the dough balls in before baking. To make it, mix melted butter, flour, brown and white sugars, cinnamon, and salt together with your hands, squeezing it into little pea-sized clumps.

Roll the Dough Balls in the Streusel

Now for the fun part: coating the dough balls in the streusel! Portion the dough into 3-tablespoon-sized balls, dip in egg white (this will help make the streusel stick), and roll in the streusel, using your hands to gently press it into the dough. Repeat this process with all of the dough, place the dough balls on baking sheets, and bake.

Drizzle the Baked Cookies With a 2-Ingredient Icing

After your cookies come out of the oven, let them cool completely. While they cool, make the icing, which is a simple combination of powdered sugar and milk. Whisk until the icing is pourable but not so thin that it’s translucent, then drizzle it over the cookies. Let the cookies sit for about 10 minutes until the icing sets, then pour some cups of hot coffee to go along with the cookies and enjoy!

Coffee Cake Cookies

Makes 18 (4-inch) cookies

For the Cookie Dough

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Streusel Coating

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg whites

For the Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons milk (any kind), plus more as needed

Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets (or as many as you have) with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Make the dough: Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20-second bursts until fully melted, 60 to 70 seconds total. (Alternatively, melt on the stovetop and transfer to a large bowl.)

Place the flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.

Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and egg yolk (reserve the white for the streusel coating), and vanilla extract to the melted butter. Whisk until smooth and glossy. Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until the flour is incorporated and a smooth dough forms.

Make the streusel coating: Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 10-second bursts until fully melted, 30 to 40 seconds. (Alternatively, melt on the stovetop and transfer to a medium bowl.)

Add the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and kosher salt. Using your fingertips, pinch and squeeze the dry ingredients into the melted butter until large, irregular clumps form and the mixture resembles wet sand. Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy.

Scoop out the dough with a No. 24 (2-inch wide) cookie scoop, or portion into 18 portions (about 3 scant tablespoons each), and roll into balls. (If the dough is too soft to roll into balls, let it sit for 10 minutes and try again.)

Prepare the cookies and bake: Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll in the egg whites, allowing the excess to drip off, then transfer it into the streusel. Toss until completely coated in streusel, using your hands to gently press the streusel into the dough to help it stick. (Make sure to use one hand for tossing the dough balls in the egg whites and one for tossing in the streusel to prevent the streusel from getting wet.) Place at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, 6 per sheet. Top the cookie dough balls with the remaining streusel, mounding it at the top of the cookie dough balls.

Bake the first 2 sheets for 8 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom and bake until cracks start forming, 7 to 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Bake the final batch on the upper rack, rotating it front to back halfway through baking, 15 to 18 minutes total. (If reusing a baking sheet to bake this batch, let it cool for 15 minutes first.)

Make the icing: Place the powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl and whisk until the powdered sugar is completely dissolved. The glaze should be thick yet pourable. If too thin, whisk in more powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. If too thick, whisk in more milk 1 teaspoon at a time. Drizzle the icing over the cookies in a zig-zag pattern and let sit for 10 minutes for the icing to set before serving.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Both the cookie dough and streusel can be prepared up to four days in advance and refrigerated separately tightly covered in plastic wrap. When ready to bake, let the dough sit at room temperature until it’s soft enough to roll into balls and coat in the streusel, 20 to 30 minutes.

Freezing the cookie dough: The uncoated dough balls can be frozen solid on the baking sheet, then stored in a freezer zip-top bag for up to two months. When ready to bake, let the dough balls sit at room temperature for 1 hour in a single layer until soft enough to roll in the streusel. Roll in the streusel and bake as directed.

Storage: The baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.