What Is Bisquick® Coffee Cake?

Megan Shoop

Bisquick® coffee cake is a traditional coffee cake made with Bisquick® baking mix used as both part of the cake batter base and the streusel topping. Coffee cakes made with Bisquick® generally taste no different than those made from scratch. Boxed baking mixes like Bisquick® don’t typically contain unusual ingredients, they’re just a perfectly proportioned mixture of dry baking ingredients like flour, baking powder and salt. Making Bisquick® coffee cake is usually faster than measuring all the dry ingredients from scratch, and this often preferred by cooks that like quick recipes.

Currants can be added to a Bisquick coffee cake in winter.
Currants can be added to a Bisquick coffee cake in winter.

Many versions of Bisquick® coffee cake use Bisquick® Original as the base, but health-conscious bakers may use Bisquick® Heart Smart. The taste is typically the same, the only real difference is that Heart-Smart Bisquick® coffee cake isn’t usually as dense as cake made with the Original mix. For both recipes, the coffee cake batter generally starts with 2 parts Bisquick® mix, 1/8 part sugar, one egg, and 2/3 part milk, water, or lactose-free milk. Once blended, the batter should be dense and runny, somewhat like white school glue or very thick honey.

Coffee cake typically is eaten in the morning.
Coffee cake typically is eaten in the morning.

The batter may rest in the bottom of a lightly-greased square cake pan while the cook makes the streusel. This sweet, crispy topping for Bisquick® coffee cake usually starts with 1/3 part each of Bisquick® mix and brown sugar, 1/8 part butter, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Once mixed together, the streusel should look crumbly and golden brown. The cook then spreads the topping evenly over the cake batter and the whole cake bakes in an oven for about 20 minutes at 375°F (about 190°C). When finished, the streusel should be crisp and dark brown, while the cake should be light, crumbly, and slightly golden yellow.

Peeled and cubed pears can add an autumn touch to Bisquick coffee cake.
Peeled and cubed pears can add an autumn touch to Bisquick coffee cake.

This basic recipe for Bisquick® coffee cake is by no means the only version. One very popular variation involves adding fruit. Peeled, cubed apples can turn the cake into an early autumn treat, as do pears. Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries can make this dish a fast summer dessert.

Some cooks may even want to combine different kinds of fruits. Peaches and blueberries, strawberries and apples, or pears and blackberries may all make delicious combinations. Other possibilities include crushed pineapple and diced banana for a tropical Bisquick® coffee cake. Walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts often add protein as well as flavor. A winter holiday coffee cake might include dried fruits, like chopped apricots, raisins, currants, and even cranberries.

Bisquick® can be used to make both the cake batter and the streusel topping.
Bisquick® can be used to make both the cake batter and the streusel topping.

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Discussion Comments


@Grivusangel -- I've made that recipe, myself. I guess it's probably still on the Bisquick box.

I always like to add raisins to my coffee cake. I plump them in warm rum for about 30 minutes, and that adds flavor, as well as a good texture, to the coffee cake. The rum just enhances the cinnamon swirl, and it only takes a couple of tablespoons.

I also use good vanilla and cinnamon when I make this recipe. Even Bisquick tastes from scratch when the flavorings are good quality. I'm not wasting my money on fake vanilla flavoring. I'll spend a little more money and get the really good stuff.


One of my sister's first baking exercises was a Bisquick coffee cake! It was really good. I remember she was about 13 and did it on a Saturday morning when our mom could keep an eye on her work.

We ate it as a late breakfast, as I recall. She was the one who got up and baked. I preferred to sleep late, although if I got up and coffee cake, muffins or similar were around, I wasn't going to gripe. I love coffee cake, even now -- especially with a nice cup of strong coffee. I've made that recipe since then, and it's a good one. It always turns out well and is consistent. That's a great recipe, in my book.

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