image of red bean coffee cake recipe, sliced and with plenty of cracked crumble on top

Red Bean Coffee Cake

Hello, Red Bean Coffee Cake. There’s nothing I love more than coffee cake because of the crumb topping on top, drool. And also, there’s nothing I love more than sweet red bean paste. So, please indulge me and enjoy this comforting, cozy recipe.

This recipe is a twist you normally wouldn’t find and I think it’s perfect. At first, I was like, “Will red bean and coffee cake go together?” And then they did. They so, so did. This cake begs me to go in for seconds, and thirds…and little slivers I munch on throughout the day. I can’t help myself! It’s that good.

Red Bean Coffee Cake: Little details

If you have a sourdough starter lying around and love throwing it into anything at all (hi, this is me), I give the option to add 50 grams of sourdough starter to this Red Bean Coffee Cake. It’s totally optional, because I have made this recipe both ways and it’s delicious either way.

My absolute favorite thing about crumb topping is that it’s both tender and crunchy. Cornmeal is my little addition to make the crumb topping have that decadent cronch! I always have local stone-ground whole-grain cornmeal lying around and I don’t use it as often as I’d like, so this is a great way to throw it into a bake that really highlights it in an interesting way. That’s my blatant hint to go local, and to go stone-ground, and to go whole-grain. You won’t regret it, I promise.

image of close up sliced red bean coffee cake recipe with basket

Gotta love a good sun-kissed coffee cake! If you make this recipe, please comment and rate the recipe below! I love hearing from you all. Also, you can tag me on Instagram @higheralchemybaking with your bake!

image of sliced red bean coffee cake recipe on a white cake platter with plant and basket in the background

Red Bean Coffee Cake

This Red Bean Coffee Cake is made up of classic cake, a sweet red bean paste filling, and a decadent, crunchy crumble! This cake is a twist on a classic crumb cake with the delicious class Asian flavor of sweet red bean.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Asian, Chinese
Servings 16 servings
Calories 317 kcal


  • 9 inch cake pan


for the red bean paste

  • 405g cooked red beans
  • 62g granulated sugar

for the crumb topping

  • 95g all-purpose flour
  • 35g cornmeal
  • 140g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 113g unsalted butter, cold

for the cake

  • 185g yogurt
  • 155g granulated sugar
  • 50g sourdough starter (optional!)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 210g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 113g unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the red beans and sugar. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring constantly, until a thick paste forms. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line and oil a 9-inch cake pan, with tabs to pull the cake out if you’d like to pull it out before consuming. Combine all of the crumb ingredients minus the butter in a medium-sized bowl. Cut up the cold butter into cubes and add to the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to squeeze the butter into the mixture until the largest mounds are pea-sized. Set the bowl in the fridge while you make the cake batter!
  • In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt and sugar together until fully smooth. If you’re adding sourdough starter, whisk it in now. Then add the eggs one at a time, whisking until totally combined between each one. Add the vanilla extract and whisk thoroughly.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift the mixture over the wet cake ingredients and use a spatula to fold it in. When halfway combined, pour in the melted butter while folding. Mix until just combined.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan. Using your hand, evenly break up the red bean paste over the batter so it’s covered in an even layer. Evenly sprinkle all of the crumb topping over the red bean paste layer. It’s okay if some of the crumbs are literally just crumbs!
  • Bake for 50 minutes, and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan if you wish before serving, or don’t! This cake tastes amazing a bit warm. Let me know what you think below in the comments or on Instagram @higheralchemybaking!


For the red bean paste, you can absolutely use store-bought sweet red bean paste if you wish.
If you cook the red bean paste over the stove, the paste should be thick enough that it sticks/clumps to the spoon or spatula.
Make sure you melt your butter in advance for the cake batter!

Let me know what you think of my recipe in the comments below! And if you want another sweet recipe, check out my Sourdough Enriched Chocolate Cake!

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