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Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake | WAY better than Sara Lee's version!

Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake

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My husband has an extreme fondness for a certain frozen breakfast treat that is nearly impossible to find. When I told him I could make a Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake, you would think he had won the lottery!

Slice of Copycat Butter Streusel Copycat Recipe on a white plate with strawberries

Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake

Nearly every time we’re in a new supermarket, my husband detours through the frozen food department looking for the elusive Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake.

It’s his go-to easy breakfast treat. I have scoured the web and finally saw a copycat recipe to try. Check out this post for step by step photos.

Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake on a white serving plate

The Challenge!

When I handed the hubby the recipe I printed off, he saw cream cheese listed in the list of dough ingredients. He suggested I leave it out. What? This dude has never made anything from scratch except chocolate chip cookie bars. I discretely rolled my eyes and ignored this advice.

The challenge was on! Which was tastier? The box from the frozen foods section or the homemade butter streusel coffeecake?

The hubby said mine was WAY better than Sara Lee’s Butter Streusel Coffeecake. Whew. Even with cream cheese in the dough. And as a bonus, each batch makes TWO coffeecakes. One to eat and one to freeze!

Do you have a favorite pre-made breakfast treat?? I used to love the Sara Lee Cheese Danishes my mom would stash in our freezer. I have an inkling my sisters and I didn’t even wait for them to defrost before digging in!

More Coffeecake Recipes You’ll Love:


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Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake | WAY better than Sara Lee's version!

Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake

My husband has an extreme fondness for a certain frozen breakfast treat that is nearly impossible to find. When I told him I could make a Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake, you would think he had won the lottery!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch, Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American



  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package instant yeast, I use Red Star Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 33 1/2 cups flour


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Milk, for brushing on dough


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled


To make the dough, combine all of the dough ingredients (start with 3 cups flour) in order in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment.

Mix until a smooth, soft dough comes together. Knead until the dough is smooth. Dough should be soft, but slowly add up to 1/2 cup more flour if it’s sticky. Cover and let rise in a warm place about an hour. Dough may not double in size, but should appear to have proofed.

To make the filling, mix all of the ingredients (except the milk) together until  well blended. Set aside.

To make the streusel, whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon to combine. Pour in the butter and mix until combined.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease two [easyazon_link identifier="B00282JLHQ" locale="US" tag="thskchcaba-20"]9” round pans[/easyazon_link].

Place the dough onto a floured work surface (I use a [easyazon_link identifier="B00008T961" locale="US" tag="thskchcaba-20"]Roulpat[/easyazon_link] for easy clean up) and roll into a 12 x 14-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into four lengthwise strips (each 3 inches wide). Brush each strip with milk and spoon a 1-inch strip of the filling down the center.

Fold the dough  over the filling and pinch to seal the filling inside. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough.

Twist one of the dough strips and place one end of the twisted strip in the center of one of the prepared pans. Wind the dough around in a spiral, leaving a bit of room between the “coils” to allow space for expansion during baking. Twist the second strip and continue the spiral to fill the pan.

Repeat the process to fill the second pan, then crumble the streusel over the top, dividing it between the pans. Let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to rack and let cool before serving.


Recipe adapted from

A reader had success making this coffeecake and letting it rise in the fridge overnight, bringing it to room temperature for the second rise in the morning, then baking. He did note that it took longer than planned for the second rise.


  • Calories: 311kcal
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Sodium: 196mg
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 43g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 44mg
Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake Pinterest collage



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18 comments on “Copycat Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffeecake”

  1. wow my mouth is watering terribly now..can’t resist anything with streusel!

  2. I am such a sucker for a great coffee cake this looks fantastic I just want a slice right now!

  3. Lizzy, you got me on this spectacular coffee cake…a Sara Lee ‘copycat’, without preservatives, and homemade. Awesome indeed, and the streusel topping is divine! xo

  4. This looks fantastic! No doubt yours is much better than store bought:@)

  5. I love a good coffeecake with streusel – this one is perfection!

  6. I think we have Sara Lee cakes at our local supermarket, just that I have not ever bought them. This looks like a good cake to try since it has your hubby’s seal of approval!

  7. Yeah! So glad he liked it – our husbands sound a lot alike. Looks to me like you nailed it! So delicious and anything that makes enough for two is brilliant in my book 🙂

  8. I’ve never had this! And it’s gotta be good — it’s Sara Lee! — right? 🙂 Actually, it’s gotta be good because it’s Skinny Chick! 😀 This looks really good — thanks.

  9. No wonder your husband loved this so much it looks delicious.

  10. I remember this coffee cake. I think it came in a foil pan. But what I really remember are the Sara Lee brownies and they don’t make those anymore. But this coffee cake might be tugging my heartstrings!

  11. He better say yours is better lol! I actually do not know this product but your recipe looks really good.

  12. I think your husband did win the lottery here! This looks delicious. I’d love to have one of these in my freezer right now.

  13. During the Christmas holiday, I bought a cream cheese coffee cake from a big box food store and it was wretched! I know your recipe is going to be much better and the more cream cheese the better.

  14. Hands down this is spot on!!! So delicious! What a fabulous recipe! Thank you!

  15. Wondering if this can be made in the afternoon/evening the day before, pulled out of the refrigerator early in the morning and loaded  into the oven…any expert thoughts on this?

    • Hi, Darren, I know that method works for numerous yeast breads, but I haven’t tried with this recipe. I’m guessing it would work fine, but wish I could guarantee it! I hope you enjoy the recipe. Merry Christmas!

      • Liz — I did prepare everything last night to bake for Christmas morning today and it turned out perfectly, to rave reviews! (This was my attempt to replicate my wife’s traditional Christmas morning of the Sara Lee butter streusel coffeecake while opening gifts, as we can’t find the frozen original anymore here in Northern California.) My wife thought it was perfect, as did the kids, and I thought it was far superior to the original.

        My tip if preparing the night before: allow more time to allow the dough to come up to room temp and rise before baking (which I’m sure you would have figured).

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